The EXata communications simulation platform (EXata) is a network emulator that lets you evaluate on-the-move communication networks faster and with more realism than any other tool. It uses a software virtual network (SVN) to digitally represent the entire network, the various protocol layers, antennas, and devices. The network emulation system can interoperate, at one or more protocol layers, with real radios and devices to provide hardware-in-the-loop capabilities. EXata can also be connected to systems with real applications, which run on the SVN just as they would run on real networks.
Creating a scenario can be divided into several steps focusing on different aspects. The general approach is to first configure the general properties which are applicable to the whole scenario. Next, specify the network topology by creating subnets, placing nodes, and defining node mobility. Then you configure the protocol stack for individual nodes or groups of nodes as necessary. The last step is to configure parameters for collecting simulation results and controlling runtime performance.
Network emulation software "mimics" the functions of a real network so that it appears, interacts, and behaves like the real network. The emulator provides an exact, high quality, reproduction of external behavior so that the emulated system is indistinguishable from the real system. Network Emulation software provides a cost-effective method of evaluating new network technologies before actual systems or networks are built.
Network simulation software duplicates the behavior of a real network, but cannot interact with real networks. A simulator uses lower quality reproduction or abstraction of the real system and focuses on simply replicating the real network’s behavior. Network simulation is a cost-effective method for developing the early stages of network-centric systems. Users can evaluate the basic behavior of a network and test combinations of network features that are likely to work.
Network emulation software helps in developing a net-centric system by providing an environment in which design decisions can be easily changed and their impact evaluated. Customers of the net-centric system can use the emulated network and see how their applications (such as VoIP, situational awareness, sensor data, and streaming video) will perform when the real system is built. The emulated network can also be integrated with legacy systems to test interoperability and be used to train users on the next generation networks. By evaluating what works best early in the design cycle, the cost of modifying a system can be greatly reduced. This also sets realistic expectations of what the communications network will deliver, i.e., it provides predictability.
EXata network Emulator is a comprehensive suite of tools designed for network emulation of large wired and wireless networks. It uses network emulation and simulation to predict the behavior and performance of networks to improve their design, operation, and management. EXata provides a cost-effective and easy-to-use alternative to physical testbeds that typically have high equipment costs, complex setup requirements and limited scalability.