Jalasoft – Xian SNMP Device Simulator V5

At some point in your SCOM career you need to have quick access to a network device because you either need to show the SCOM network monitoring capabilities, develop a SNMP management pack or you might need to build some custom SNMP monitors or rules. I think it is always a pain to carry a switch / router with me 🙂 or to get access in a customer environment. For such and more reasons, companies like Jalasoft created a SNMP Device Simulator.

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This May Jalasoft released version 5 of their software and I would like to give you a short overview of this clever and mature software.

Requirements

The software requirements are very simple:

  • Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 and higher
  • .NET Framework 4.0

In addition you need free IP addresses in your network which you need for simulating the devices and make sure the SNMP ports are not blocked.

Installation

The installation of the software is straight forward and Jalasoft provides already a very good installation video…

After the installation you can start the console and simply add and configure the SNMP devices.

What’s New & Overview

Jalasoft has much improved the simulator and offers these NEW key features which I think are very cool…

Dynamic Simulation
The SNMP Device Simulator grants users the option to perform a dynamic simulation or a normal simulation (the most basic type).The simulator uses a variety of formulas and statistical operations to generate dynamic values on the selected virtual devices, resulting in more realistic behavior.

Dynamic Simulation Collecting Logs
If you select Dynamic Simulation Collecting Logs the software creates a log during the dynamic simulation. These logs can be used to have a recording of the simulation which you can use in the 4th option Historical Logs.

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The recording of the logs is fully transparent and you can view these logs (*.csv files)…

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Historical Simulation
Use the logs generated in a dynamic simulation to reproduce a precise behavior during a specific timeframe. With the Historical Simulation feature you can reproduce identical scenarios over and over again helping you to pinpoint changes that need to be made to your tools, monitoring software or network configuration. This feature is ideal for tests that depend on identical data in changing environments.

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Device Recorder
One very cool feature is the Device Recorder. You basically connect to any SNMP physical / virtual network device and capture data from real network devices and then play the recoding with the SNMP Device Simulator. This can be done in 5 easy steps which is very good explained in this PDF. The fantastic thing is, that you are able to replay the recording as many time as you want. This is a great help for analyzing and reproducing specific behaviors of network devices. The recording data is stored in XML files which can be easily viewed…

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Command Support
SNMP Device Simulator offers you also a batch command jxdevsim.exe which you can use in scripts and let’s you add / remove / start / stop devices…

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What I am missing here is a bundle of PowerShell cmdlets instead of an old fashioned batch command. Having PowerShell cmdlets would make scripting and automating in todays world much easier.

To get a complete overview of the SNMP Network Device Simulator functionality watch this recording…

 

Administration

The usage of the console is very intuitive and lets you create and simulate network devices in seconds…

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Just select the agent, click the “+” symbol and follow the wizard…

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Using IP Manager let’s you define just single IP addresses or a range of IP addresses to add in one shot for simulating SNMP devices…

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The console let’s you not only manage each simulated device but also connect to other agents and save and load the configured network devices…

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After adding the device you just need to define the simulation mode and you are all set. Easy!

Next you just need to discover the device in SCOM and voilà you are ready for testing…

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Conclusion

Jalasoft’s SNMP Network Device Simulator is a very stable and robust piece of software which helps you simulating one or hundreds SNMP devices within seconds. The new features like capturing data from real devices and replaying it any time and as often you want comes in very handy for troubleshooting, developing management packs or testing SNMP rules and monitors.  If you need an easy and comfortable way for simulating SNMP devices, I highly recommend it.

The free version has some limitations and to get a better idea about the difference between the free version and the full (paid) version here a comparison chart…

updated_version comparison chart

Have fun!

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