One of our clients asked us how we handle latency, and not just a few ms across racks but 2 and even 3 digit ms latency that indicates geographically separate locations across continents, not just a country. Not only that, the “pipes” involved are 10Gbps and we had to fill them. We have the theories and made models of how it would work. We perhaps might not be able to fill a 10Gbps fully with one stream, we could fill it with multiple streams but we had to validate this conclusion.
The question now becomes, how do we test this. We’ve done our research and there are only a few commercial solutions available like the Netropy 10G2 which is a 4 port, 2 lane hardware latency simulator for $30,000 new. Not only is that outside my budget, it is still limited to simulating 2 10Gbps pipes while we need at least 3 lanes (6 ports) and possibility to expand to more as necessary. We decided it was cheaper in terms of total cost to put the research into creating our own Latency Simulator.
It is not unusual for me to find 10,000 Euro worth of networking equipment on my desk one day. It usually means that I have a long week of reading and testing ahead of me as I am the only person in the company, let alone building, that has ever seen or worked with these devices before. That means I am on my own aside from an Internet connection.
While your mileage may very, I’ve had the joy (and horror) of testing these devices as ‘drop in replacements’ to the test environment that we are using. In some instances, things just worked out of the box, however there are a few devices that needed to be poked a few times to get things moving.