SCALABLE’s first network simulation product, QualNet, launched in 2001 and has become a leading network simulator used by commercial, military, government, and educational organizations around the world to create network digital twins. A network digital twin refers to a computer simulation model of the communication network, along with its operating environment and the application traffic that it carries. The digital twin can be used to study the behavior of its physical counterpart under a diverse set of operating conditions, in a low-cost and zero-risk environment. However, in order to do so effectively, the digital twin must have sufficient fidelity so as to accurately reflect the network dynamics that can cause networks to behave unpredictably.
QualNet can run accurate, at-scale network simulations faster than real-time, support an extensive library of network models, and provide a suite of tools for scenario creation and network visualization and analysis. It offers high-speed, large scale simulations that let the user run through a range of scenarios in minimal time and model thousands of nodes to simulate your network using our parallel computation techniques.
QualNet can easily build comprehensive network models and generate statistics that reflect actual (or projected) performance. QualNet includes three user-friendly design, visualization, and analysis modes, allowing engineers to build models, evaluate network functions, and design new protocols in the same package.
- Design Mode – Create virtual network models via an intuitive point-and-click drag-and-drop graphical user interface to set up the terrain, network, and functional parameters, along with any other details.
- Visualization Mode – Perform in-depth visualization and analysis of a network scenario created in Design Mode and see the data packet flow, dynamic graphs, and real-time statistics.
- Analyzer Mode – Statistical graphing tool that displays hundreds of
metrics in reports, graphs, or exports to compare simulations and what-if scenarios of multi-experiments.
Network simulation offers an efficient, cost-effective way to analyze application and network performance, identify potential problems, understand the root cause, and assess alternative mitigation strategies. The analysis should leverage an at-scale, accurate model of the network and the operating environment. Using our library component model allows the user to represent, in adequate detail, the behavior of the network elements (protocols at different layers, mobility patterns, etc.), the communication environment (terrain, RF characteristics, etc.), and the applications running on the network.
AGI STK Interface: Bringing High-Fidelity Advanced Network Modeling to the Mission
The QualNet interface for STK combines network performance evaluation with the dynamic platform models, wireless link calculations, and mission visualization environment of STK to better analyze how network performance impacts the mission. Users are able to directly integrate their STK scenarios with our modeling tools to rapidly understand a proposed network’s anticipated performance and gain a deeper understanding of how interconnected, dynamic systems perform and work together to provide network resiliency and achieve mission success.
Digital Mission Engineering: Advanced Network Modeling with AGI, An Ansys Company
Connecting SCALABLE’s QualNet/EXata tools with AGI’s Systems Tool Kit brings an expanded digital mission engineering capability to advanced network design analysis and provides engineers with a deeper understanding of their communications systems performance and ability to meet mission requirements. As engineers and systems designers analyze complex networks and supporting infrastructure, digital engineering efforts can be expanded to include the bigger mission-context to understand impacts that design decisions may have on end-to-end connectivity and the system of systems interactions that are involved.
QualNet’s network models are true-to-life replicas of real networks that provide invaluable data about network performance. Each model consists of nodes, which represent the network elements and endpoints. The nodes are connected by links, which represent transmission methods such as WiFi connections. QualNet uses these models to simulate actual network behavior at faster-than-real-time-speeds, plotting real-time data on metrics like latency and packet loss. These data can highlight problem points in an existing network. Alternatively, simulation data can help inform network design, showing how different design choices affect performance.
Some potential applications for QualNet include:
- Designing new architecture or operating modes
- Running “what-if” scenarios with different model, network, and traffic parameters
- Testing new equipment under realistic conditions
- Simulating the effect of a network upgrade