A playground for network planning and optimization
Net2Plan allows users to fast-prototype their own algorithms, or use the provided built-in ones, in an easy-to-use multi-platform environment
Net2Plan is a free and open-source Java tool devoted to the planning, optimization and evaluation of communication networks . It has been originally thought as a tool to assist the teaching of communication networks courses. Eventually it has converted into a powerful network optimization and planning tool for the academia and industry, together with a growing repository of network planning resources.
Net2Plan is built on top of an abstract network representation, so-called network plan, based on abstract components: nodes, links, traffic unicast and multicast demands, routes, protection segments, multicast trees, shared-risk groups, resources and network layers. The network representation is technology-agnostic, thus Net2Plan can be adapted for planning networks in any technology. Technology-specific information can be introduced in the network representation via user-defined attributes attached to any of the abstract components mentioned above. Some attribute names has been fixed to ease the adaptation in well-known technologies (e.g. IP networks, WDM networks, NFV elements).
Net2Plan is implemented as a Java library along with both command-line and graphical user interfaces (CLI and GUI, respectively). The GUI is specially useful for laboratory sessions as an educational resource, or for a visual inspection of the network. In its turn, the command-line interface is specifically devoted to in-depth research studies, making use of batch processing or large-scale simulation features. Therefore, Net2Plan is a tool intended for a broad spectrum of users: industry, research, and academia.
Regardless of the interface (CLI or GUI) selected by the user, Net2Plan currently provides four different tools:
- Offline network design: Targeted to evaluate the network designs generated by built-in or user-defined offline network design algorithms, deciding on aspects such as the network topology, the traffic routing, link capacities, protection routes and so on. If needed, those algorithms based on constrained optimization formulations (e.g. ILPs) can be fast-prototyped using the open-source Java Optimization Modeler library (JOM), to interface to a number of external solvers such as GPLK, CPLEX, XPRESS or IPOPT.
- Traffic matrix generation: Assists users in the process of generating and normalizing traffic matrices i.e. following random models found in the literature.
- Online simulation: Permits the (joint) evaluation of network recovery schemes, connection-admission-control (CAC) systems, or dynamic provisioning algorithms for time-varying traffic. At the end of the simulation, some metrics (including either predefined metrics or custom ones) are presented.
- Reporting: Net2Plan permits the generation of built-in or user-defined reports, from any network design. The report generation tool is integrated within all the previous functionalities, so that it is possible to create reports collecting performance measures in any of these aspects.
In all the features, the GUI organizes network statistics and performance estimations computed from the network design/simulation.
Algorithms in each of the features mentioned are Java .class/.jar files implementing a particular public interface (see Javadoc information). Net2Plan allows testing built-in or user-created algorithms. Creating a new algorithm for a particular Net2Plan feature, just requires programming a Java class implementing the appropriate interface.
And remember that Net2Plan is free and open-source ! It is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License Version 3 or later (the “LGPL”).