The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

December - 2007 - issue > Company of the Month

How to MIMIC your Complex Network

Christo Jacob
Friday, December 7, 2007
Christo Jacob
American Power Conversion (APC), who develops the world’s most advanced power management software for its complete line of power protection equipments, was tasked by its customers to provide an application with inventory and status insight into enterprise-wide installations of APC’s UPS systems. As the developers began working on this unique application they realized that the testing, which required to validate the customers’ scalability needs, would be a challenge – a unique test bed for scalability would need to be built. In order to assure that the new PowerChute Inventory Manager could find the 1000s of APC devices typically installed across a customer’s enterprise, engineers would need to spend massive amounts of time and capital to build a hardware lab just for testing the scalability of the new software. The undertaking was quite cost prohibitive. In searching for scalability testing alternatives, APC decided to use network simulator – a tool that could simulate their devices and allow the use of those virtual devices in virtual test beds. For these reasons, APC decided to turn to the New Hampshire based Gambit Communications’ software suite, MIMIC Simulator.

MIMIC Simulator offers a unique and inexpensive way to create a real world lab environment. It is a ‘tools product’, allowing enterprises to build their own virtual labs for testing and or developing software, without purchasing hardware and maintaining physical labs. “For enterprise users seeking economies in the evaluation, introduction, and enhancement of new SNMP management products – MIMIC is particularly worthwhile,” says Dennis Drogseth, Vice President, Enterprise Management Associates, a Colorado based research firm.

Moreover, with today’s enterprise network infrastructure becoming more complex and dynamic, a successful network management application requires more than just knowing if a device or application is available. Network engineers must ensure that the network and applications are up and running smoothly and efficiently. They need to proactively identify, diagnose, and predict potential problems before they have any impact on the network. Recognizing the challenges of enterprise-grade networks, an effective testing and evaluation of network management system (NMS) application becomes essential. This requires the setting up of an extensive laboratory with multi-vendor network devices, which is expensive and time consuming.

As a response to this challenge, Gambit Communi-cations came up with a solution through its MIMIC Simulator Software. With this innovation, Gambit founders Pankaj Shah and Uwe Zimmermann aimed at creating a real world environment where the software can simulate 20,000 devices in one workstation. MIMIC simulates devices like routers, switches, and firewalls from thousands of vendors. “Simulating a network is similar to using a flight simulator. The network engineers try out software applications on a simulator before deploying them, just as the pilots are trained and tested on simulators before actually flying. One can simulate an entire network with thousands of network devices to test applications as well as train staff before the actual deployment,” says Pankaj Shah, Founder and CEO of Gambit Communications.

MIMIC includes a recording tool, which can be pointed to the current production or test network to record and then simulate the entire network. This makes testing and training very realistic. Once it is simulated, it is easy to create many adverse conditions such as switching off a network segment, removing a router, increasing the traffic, and under such conditions check the network response and learn from that. Simulation-based exercises prepare the network staff for smooth handling of outages and disasters to assure business delivery. If there is a power outage on one site, then the entire load is shifted from one center to the other. If the operator is trained on this software, he will not have any difficulties and will be able to handle the situation.

Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Share on facebook
Reader's comments(1)
1:hKi2dZ dfv814t4fdfvmlfn093fvgbos
Posted by: - 23rd Jun 2008
Messages posted on this Web site under the `Comments' area are solely the opinions of those who have posted them and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Infoconnect Web Technologies India Pvt Ltd or its site www.siliconindia.com. Gossip, mud slinging and malicious attacks on individuals and organizations are strictly prohibited. Infoconnect Web Technologies India Pvt Ltd can not be held responsible for errors or omissions in content, nor for the authenticity of the user/company name or email addresses associated with posted messages. Infoconnect Web Technologies India Pvt Ltd reserves the right to edit or remove messages containing inappropriate language or any other material that could be construed as libelous, potentially libelous, or otherwise offensive or inappropriate.Infoconnect Web Technologies India Pvt Ltd do not endorse the products and services or any other offerings mentioned in these messages.