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Mini Maxwell network emulation system


Mini Maxwell is portable, easy to use network emulator for less than $2k.

Mini Maxwell network emulator Mini Maxwell, Power Connector

Technical Specifications

Multiple Bands for Better Network Emulations:

  • User-defined packet filters sort traffic into five bands in each directions (ten bands total)
  • Unfiltered packets (e.g. ARP, DHCP) go into a default band
  • Different impairments maybe imposed onto each band
  • Bands may be used for many purposes such as:
    • Traffic between one or multiple source-destination pairs
    • Protocol specific traffic (e.g. SIP, IPv4, HTTP)
  • Packets with QoS
  • Small packets
  • Different impairments may be defined for each direction
  • Impairment and filtering changes occur when submitted, no need to restart
  • Applies standard packet impairments to user defined traffic "bands", including drop/lose, duplicate, delay(latency), jitter, reorder, and corruption (single bit errors).
  • Applies Rate Limitation to emulate slow links.

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Packets into Bands

  • Operates at Layer 2 - like a "bump on the wire" or a Layer 2 bridge.  No special configuration required.
  • Creates steady state or burst impairments.
  • Selectively filters traffic into bands using pattern-matching filters.
  • Uses pre-written filters or you can create your own.
  • Alters filters and/or impairments without restarting.
  • Imports and Exports (Saves and Reloads) configuration files.
  • Provides access and control from a web-based user interface anywhere on the network.


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Packet Filters:

  • IPv4 source address
  • IPv4 destination address
  • Layer 3 (e.g. TCP/UDP) Source port (e.g. HTTP, DNS, SIP)
  • Layer 3 Destination port
  • Protocol (e.g. TCP, UDP, ICMP)
  • All packets / no packets
  • Bit Pattern
  • MAC Address
  • IP ToS
  • ICMP type
  • Several pre-defined packet filters
  • Users may create own filters
  • "nexthdr" works with IP options.
  • Filter sequence is under user control.
  • There are 23 filters that can be applied independently to both flow directions of each traffic band.

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Comprehensive Graphs of Network Flows

View graphs of network packets flowing through Maxwell from the web browser:


Remote Access and Management:

  • Web-based network emulation graphical user interface
  • Access and control from a web browser anywhere on the network.
  • Mini Maxwell supports Simple Network Management Protocol as a SNMPv1 agent
  • Note: Mini Maxwell can be a NTP client and can connect to a primary and secondary NTP server.
  • The Remote Management Interface is W3C compliant.
  • Firefox is the recommended browser. Internet Explorer 8 or above, Safari and Chrome will also work well.

Automated Operation:

  • Set up an automated network emulation controlled from a script; it can run and repeat for minutes, hours, or days
  • Run the automation as fast as five times real-time or as slow as 1% of real time.
  • Save and reload at a later date.

Layer 2 Device:

  • Mini Maxwell provides three Ethernet interfaces:
    • one for control and diagnostics
    • two for carrying the traffic to be impaired

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Mini Maxwell operates on packets arriving on the two data interfaces.  Depending on the settings, the packets may be passed to the other data interface unchanged or may undergo modifications, replications, delays, and other transformations.  Except for these transformations  Mini Maxwell is invisible at layer 2 and above.

Thus, the MAC addresses and headers, and all higher level addresses and headers are not affected by Mini Maxwell unless some configured transformation is performed. Thus Mini Maxwell may be inserted into a network at any point where one would use a simple category 5 Ethernet cable.  Typically Mini Maxwell is placed in a test network at some point where it is carrying the traffic that one wants Mini Maxwell to transform.

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