What are WANs
Wide Area Networks (WANs) shape the world as we know it. The internet itself is, in fact, a WAN and most of us can agree that it’s made a pretty significant dent on life here on planet Earth. Along with the Internet, private wide area networks and cloud services are some of the other setups that connect users with their apps. But more to the point: WANs transmitdata in packets. These transmissions enabled by computers, watched over by Internet Protocol (IP), and accessed through the World Wide Web, allows us to see what we see and experience what we experience when we use our phones, stream a movie, browse the web, and much more. All this to say, if it weren’t for WANs, the world as we know it would be a very different place.
What WAN Emulators Do
While it’s one thing for users to experience their apps and sports fan to watch the championship game, it’s another thing for these processes to run smoothly. As users demand more rapid response and heavier data from their applications, the WANs carrying thedata are faced with increased pressure to meet these ever-increasing high standards.In order to ensure that applications work properly and all kinks are ironed out, WAN emulators (also known as network emulators) must be used. In simplest terms, a WAN emulator or WAN emulation allows for studying the real-world effects on an application or device in the lab by emulating every wide area network condition.
Who Uses WAN Emulators?
WAN emulators are used broadly with manufacturers, service providers, and applications developers being just a few of the groups to use them in order to verify the strength of their network product or application. However, it’s not just these individuals and companies who reap the benefits of WAN emulators, but of course the user as well. Whether it’s a casual user looking for a comedy film from the 70s or a skilled professional monitoring a security database, the importance of network emulation cannot be overstated enough.
How a WAN Emulator Works
Standard features of WAN emulators include filtering, impairments, modifiers, and routing.Filtering allows theWAN emulator to separate traffic into different groups to represent different networks.Standard impairments include: delay, jitter, packet loss, fragment, and bandwidth restriction; however with most traffic becoming video, video specific impairments such as FEC, Active Video, or Over-The-Top dynamic impairments are also very important to test for as well. Modifiers corrupt certain field values and change packet delivery information such as modifying the IP header or the payload to see if an application can overcome it without getting stuck or crashing. Last but not least, routing is the WAN emulator’s way of forwarding packets out of the emulator; this can be conducted through various means including Ethernet bridging, interface mapping, and IP routing.
Using network emulators to recreate network conditions has simply become a necessity for companies who want to compete in the real world. By providing highly accurate “what-if” testing in a laboratory environment, bringing a product as close to perfection as possible isabsolutely feasible.
WAN Emulators and You
At the end of the day, WAN emulation abates and even eliminates the host of issues that arise with a faulty network structure, application, or program. As such, its work in assuring revenue, subscriptions, customers, jobs, and efficiency all stay high and grow. Given our dependence on WANS both as users and providers, a WAN emulator truly needs to be a part of any serious company’s repertoire.