What is NS2?

By Admin on

NS2 is an open-source simulation tool that runs on Linux. It is a discreet event simulator targeted at networking research and provides substantial support for simulation of routing, multicast protocols and IP protocols, such as UDP, TCP, RTP and SRM over wired and wireless (local and satellite) networks.                                  

The ARIES (Advanced Research on Internet E-Servers) Project started in 2000 as part of the Open Systems Lab research activities at the Ericsson Corporate Unit of Research. Initially, the project aimed to find and prototype the necessary technology to prove the feasibility of an internet server that had the guaranteed availability, response time and scalability using Linux and open-source software. The project was successful, and it continued in 2001 to focus on enhancing the clustering capabilities of Linux to be the operating system of choice for the Mobile Internet servers. Many enhancements were added in the areas of load balancing, traffic distribution and security, in addition to IPv6 support.

One interesting question that came up was what is the impact of supporting IPv6 on other protocols used by different applications on our Linux clusters? To answer this question, we started a study investigating the effects of IPv6 support on other protocols, such as SCTP. Part of the study is to test applications in SCTP over IPv6. However, we did not have the time and resources to set up a lab with multiple nodes and applications that use SCTP over IPv6. Instead, we chose the next best solution, network simulation.

There is a growing recognition within different internet communities of the importance of simulation tools that help design and test new internet protocols. New services and protocols present challenges for testing. For instance, quality of service and multicast delivery require large and complex environments. Protocol designers recognize the advantages of simulation when computing resources are not available or are too expensive to duplicate a real lab setup. With simulation, you can do large-scale tests that are controlled and reproducible. This was exactly what we needed to build our case scenarios; the search started primarily for an open-source tool because most of our work targets the deployment of open-source software based on Linux.

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