QualNet - Network Simulation Software

The QualNet® network simulation software (QualNet) is a planning, testing, and training tool that “mimics” the behavior of real communication networks. Network simulation is a cost-effective method for developing, deploying, and managing network-centric systems throughout their entire lifecycle. Users can evaluate the basic behavior of a communications network, and test combinations of network features that are likely to work. Our network simulation tool provides a comprehensive environment for designing protocols, creating and animating network scenarios, and analyzing their performance.

In a simulated network, a software replica of the network, or ‘network model’, is used to analyze how different components of the network (network devices such as routers and access points, smart phones, radios, satellites, wireless channels, etc.) interact to provide end-to-end delivery of traffic from the supported applications.

Network simulation provides tools to analyze the application, communication networks, computer networks or device performance: real-time visualization and statistics display while the simulation takes place and post-simulation analysis of statistical data is collected during the simulation (for example, the number of calls dropped and the average end-to-end latency and throughput of text/video data). Such analyses may validate requirements or help identify potential problems and subsequently evaluate the effectiveness of alternative solutions.

Network simulation can also be used as a testbed by application developers. The simulator can interface with the application being tested while running on external devices. The application’s performance can be easily analyzed under different operational conditions by modifying the network model to represent the various conditions. In many cases, running comprehensive experiments to thoroughly test the application using live equipment can be very difficult and costly. For example, testing an SA application over a network consisting of thousands of ground and air-based entities as well as satellites, under different weather conditions, will be very difficult using live equipment, but can be done in a fast, cost-effective, and convenient way using a simulation testbed.

For a network simulation tool to be of practical use to network operators, planners, designers, testers, and analysts, it must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Fidelity: To have confidence in the simulation results, the network model must accurately represent the characteristics of the network in the simulated environment. Among the factors which determine the network dynamics, and hence network performance, are terrain and environmental factors, movement of communicating devices, and the bursty nature of network traffic, with potentially different quality of service requirements. The network model should have enough ‘fidelity’ or accuracy to adequately capture the effects of these factors.
  • Scalability: The network model should accurately mirror the size of the target network. This is critical because large networks behave much differently from small networks and exhibit network dynamics that are either not present or immaterial in smaller networks. Hence, it is often not possible to directly extrapolate the performance of large networks from simulations of small networks. Only ‘at-scale’ models can provide reliable results.
  • Speed: In addition to the fidelity and scalability requirements, it is important the simulations run fast in order for the results to be useful.  For at-scale models of large networks, the speed becomes even more critical because the simulation execution time can increase as a quadratic or exponential function of network size.  If the simulation takes too long, the user might need to resort to abstractions that mask significant network dynamics or rely on simulations of smaller sized networks. As discussed above, both of these will lead to erroneous conclusions. Legacy network simulators relied on sequential model execution which often ran 50x slower than real-time, i.e., it would take 50 hours for the model to simulate an hour of operation of the target network being modeled.  In contrast, network simulators that leverage parallel discrete-event simulation (PDES) can leverage multi-core processors and parallel computing technologies to ensure that these models run at or faster than real-time.


QualNet: Network Simulation Software

QualNet has been established as a network simulation tool for over 20 years, becoming a standard choice within commercial, military, and government organizations.

It allows users to simulate the behavior of complex, large scale communications networks. With this, you can reduce the time, cost, and risk of deploying new networks or technologies, whether it is across a city or a battlefield.

Simulate New Hardware and Set-Ups

A network simulation tool allows testing for a range of requirements and situations, such as:

  • Designing new architecture or operating modes, using pre-configured or user-designed models
  • Running “what-if” scenarios by varying the model, network, and traffic parameters
  • Test new radios in operationally accurate contexts
  • Simulating response and impact of planned network upgrades
  • Modeling mobile wireless equipment in ground-based, seaborne and airborne environments

This video shows the network simulator for a set of mission scenarios. Each can be tested to clarify any performance effects on the mission. This allows for any necessary modifications along with increased confidence in the deployment.

EXata+Cyber, Our Cyber Security Solution

To help clients prepare for and protect against cyber attacks, we introduced our EXata+Cyber Software. TheEXata network emulator plus the Cyber Behavior Model Library can evaluate a network design for resiliency to cyber attack

Network scenarios can be simulated for various forms of cyber attacks. The user can see how the network will respond, identifying any vulnerabilities, or test new hardware changes in a simulated environment. Here are some of the cyber attack simulations offered:

  • Eavesdropping
  • Radio jamming
  • Virus attacks
  • Distributed denial of service (DDoS)
  • Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) attack

For wired and wireless networks, mobile ad-hoc, and tactical networks.

These tests are becoming increasingly vital across a range of industries, such as telecommunications, oil & gas, IoT and building management.

Learn more about using our network simulation and network emulation software for cybersecurity.


Top of class speed and accuracy


Large Scale Simulation Quickly
Our network simulator enables highly efficient processing – run through a range of scenarios in minimal time


Model thousands of nodes
Simulate your network, no matter the size, using our parallel computation techniques

Model Fidelity

Accurate real-world behavior
Use advanced models to ensure your simulations represent true behavior


Compatible with Windows & Linux
QualNet network simulator software is portable across Windows and Linux on 64-bit multi-processor architectures


Connect other hardware & software
Use OTB, real networks, and 3rd party visualizations to enhance the network model

Extending capabilities with our model libraries

Network protocol model libraries for QualNet and EXata greatly extend the base capabilities of each tool to create a complete Network Digital Twin. The virtual network models can leverage both the included and any optionally licensed component libraries for protocols, waveforms, and propagation effects.

With a few clicks, you can add a range of situations and details to your model. Whether it’s the terrain, antennae weighting, IoT, MANET, or signal-to-noise interference, we are either likely to have an existing model or can work with you to create one.

Our model libraries currently include:

  • Wireless Library, for 802.11ac, 802.11ax, 802.11a/b/g, 802.11n, 802.11p, 802.11s and 802.11e, Bluetooth, Thread
  • Cellular Library for modeling GSM cellular networks
  • Military Radios Library for Link-11, Link-16, surrogate JTRS (WNW) radios, and other standards and models
  • Propagation Libraries,  terrain, and urban pathloss effects
  • Sensor Libraries for adding support for distributed sensor environments
  • UMTS Library for third Generation (3G) mobile broad-band networks
  • LTE Library for 4G and 5G cellular networks
  • And many more (Each of the available libraries is also available in source code
    form (C/C++) in the SCALABLE Developer’s Kit.)

SCALABLE has developed a web-based utility called “ Network Topology Conversion for Visio” (TCV).  It is the first of an expected family of tools to accelerate the creation of Virtual Network Model configuration files for both the simulation platforms and the Network Defense Trainer.

Contact us for information on operating system requirements.

A full suite of network simulation tools

QualNet Architect – This is made up of two parts. The first is design, where you set up the terrain, network, and functional parameters, along with any other details. The second is visualization, where you can see the data packet flow, dynamic graphs, and real-time statistics.

QualNet Analyzer – Get the full data for hundreds of metrics, in reports, graphs, or exports. With in-depth data, you can compare simulations and what-if scenarios with multi-experiment reports.

QualNet Packet Tracer – Learn how data moves through a protocol stack and around your network. You can do so through animated visualizations over your model or XML exports, helping you identify any interruptions.

Ongoing training and support

We are able to offer ongoing training and support to ensure you get the most out of the network simulation suite. This can be through in-person training sessions, online, or by contacting our online helpdesk.

SCALABLE also has a Professional Services Organization (PSO) whose members are experts in modeling and simulation. They are available for everything from:

  • developing custom model libraries
  • architecting and creating complete network models
  • managing complete simulation projects
  • extensive computer network modeling and simulation

To ensure you get results from your projects.

Book a demo

Contact us today if you would like a full demonstration of our network simulation tools.

With a range of premade scenarios, we can show you a model relevant to your situation, talking through all the options and possibilities.

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