The musings of an IT Consultant

Dec 9 2009   2:21PM GMT

Wan Emulation

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks! One of the great things about my job is I always get to experiment with all sorts of technology. Whether it be hardware or software, I’m always running into somethineg new. Well, here I was looking for a way to slow down (yes you are correct, I said slow down) my users connection to a VMware server.Now why would I want to do that you may ask?

I wanted to emulate the WAN. You see I had virtualized some servers on site at a client office of off some old hardware onto a brand new ESX server. This understandably added a huge performance increase. However the servers were being centralized to a central location off site and that would be over a WAN link. I didn’t want the users to have the lightning fast gigabit speeds of the local network, and instead wanted them to have the speeds they would experience once the project was done over the WAN network. Otherwise the users would have experienced first an upgrade in performance during the first step, and then a degrade in performance over the second step when the virtual servers got centralized. So my dilemma¬† was to find a way to mimic the speeds of the WAN on the local network.

Enter WANEM! WANEM is a piece of open source software that you can get as a VMware virtual appliance and then route all traffic through it. After you route all the traffic through it you can set latency times, jitter, and other cool WAN type settings. This way I was able to simulate the WAN and after we centralized the servers the users experienced no degrade in performance, everything was consistent!

You can download WANEM here.

-RP

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