Realistic IP network conditions


A service that works well in an optimal laboratory network may not be capable of handling realistic network conditions. An IP deviation emulator is the tool for bringing those conditions into the lab.

Whether the service is a video streaming service, a telecom network or an IoT platform, it seeks to deliver connections with a consistent quality to its customers.

This means:

 

Financial risks 

There are financial concerns at stake as well, as the later the problems are found, the higher the costs involved in reconfiguring the network to remove them are.  

The highest costs are incurred from live network downtime, such as

Testing the system well before the commercial launch means finding and removing the bugs in the system with significantly lower costs compared to when the system is already live.

 

Requirements for a test system

To avoid service downtime, it is crucial to emulate live network conditions with realistic testing scenarios as early as possible during the development. The system can be stress tested to find any bugs that might cause significant problems after live network deployment. To create a solid testing scheme, the following features are required:

 

Example: streaming video

In real life, IP traffic will not be a constant flow of flawless packets. Instead, the traffic may be delayed or bursty, the bandwidth may be limited or the line may be down entirely for periods of time. On the byte level, packets may be dropped or corrupted or fragmented into smaller packets, and data may be lost or changed on the way.

 

 

The picture above outlines an example of a video streaming service that is followed by a multitude of users with various types of equipment. Using the Rude network emulator, the desired data streams can be targeted on the basis of the IP address, protocol etc. The targeted data streams can then be deviated to emulate realistic network conditions that vary over time. The effect of each deviation on the Quality of Experience can be tested empirically. 

 

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