I've been involved a few projects that have used these (or something similar) as part of pilot/FAT stages. These have mostly been focused on simulating Satellite networks, as the high latency can cause concern. Testing Interfaces and PI to PI is pretty common in these situations (for those who don't like the "suck it and see" approach)
When setting up an initial PI system for an FPSO, the client used a really cool (and probably horrendously expensive) hardware-based network simulator as they wanted to test the system under similar conditions to their satellite link. Unfortunately, they didn't let me play with it, nor do I remember too much about it (but it did have lots of blinky lights and switches and probably went "Ping!" )
The Centre Of Excellence have done some large-scale testing with our engineering teams and I do believe that network load was introduced. Again, I cannot really comment as a) the testing platform was established by a vendor b) the details are not publicly available. We are in the process of investigating advanced testing strategies/platforms internally in the CoE and will probably have some information to disseminate in the future.
Personally, I have used software to emulate network latency, WAN environments etc. It has been a while, but I think I just setup a quick Linux box (maybe even just a liveCD on a spare laptop) and used a network emulator to drop packets, increase latency etc. A quick google tells me it was probably netem (www.linuxfoundation.org/.../netem) I wasn't testing PI products (before my time @ OSI), but I think this would work quite fine. Spin up a small Linux VM, get netem setup and route your PI boxes through the linux machine/
I (and possibly others in the CoE) would be interested in any approach you (or others) take.
Those scenarios are exactly what I want to test...especially satellite links, high latency and limited bandwidth. I am giving PIBufss a real good thrashing, but I need to tune it according to network conditions, which I want to design up front before deployment.
I have heard some good feedback on Shunra, but was hoping someone had done some explicit testing with a WAN emulator with OSIsoft software to save on my time of finding any issues.
I will certainly let you and the community know what I find out. Look forward to see what you guys in the CoE come up with on the advanced testing strategies, perhaps we can compare notes soon.
we've had customers using WireShark and Network Nightmare. Look them up and see if they can do the job for you.