Emulated IT infrastructures on the fly: simulations with “Emulated Virtual Environment”

Sebastian Kremer
Team stands in front of a whiteboard on which an EVE-NG environment is mirrored

With EVE-NG (Emulated Virtual Environment), we use enterprise-level simulation software that enables us to quickly, comprehensively and very realistically recreate demo, test and IT training environments of any kind, or to completely rebuild them. With the help of this tool, we create emulated infrastructures such as VMware (vCenter, ESXi), servers, routers, switches, firewalls, etc. on the fly.

Areas of application of IT simulations with EVE-NG

To understand a technology, you have to spend a long time on it and test and practise it in different scenarios. If problems arise in an IT infrastructure, a solution must be found as quickly as possible so that business processes are not impaired. To do this, technicians must be prepared for a wide range of failure scenarios and regularly practise processes for quick action. EVE-NG is the optimal tool for technicians to simulate these tasks.

There are three essential aspects for network simulations with EVE-NG:

1. efficient selection of new technologies
If a company wants to try out a new solution from the hardware and software sector, the corresponding equipment would have to be purchased and implemented for the first tests without EVE-NG. If the company is not satisfied with the solution and decides for another one, this results in high investments in the long run and is impractical and costly. For example, in order to be able to evaluate a new switch manufacturer with all its functions and to ensure practical analysis results, a complete company network would have to be comprehensively simulated. This includes components such as routers, VPN gateways, storage clusters, proxy systems, WLAN access points, Windows & Linux servers and various end devices.

For example, new LANCOM router versions, security-relevant VMware patches, Windows server/client edition comparisons or abstract network routing constructs are quickly made available for testing via the EVE-NG simulation software.

2. solve problems and test settings
In existing network and server infrastructures, it is often difficult to recreate problem situations or to debug or find errors. Running and productive company environments must usually not be disturbed or influenced. Nevertheless, technicians or developers must have the opportunity to test various new configuration settings or software versions before they are released for active use. If this quality assurance is not practised, it causes costly failures that also have a negative impact on business operations.

With EVE-NG, complex environments are configured in an uncomplicated and comprehensible way, whose structure and settings are to be permanently stored and reactivated at any time. Individual environments are logically mapped in so-called "labs" and can be modified or cloned. Even technical dependencies among each other are possible. These labs can be operated autonomously and self-contained or they can be coupled with the existing real environment of the company and connected to it. In most cases, the settings can be transferred from the EVE-NG environment directly to the live system via an export. The question of why three different VMware versions behave strangely with the same vCenter can probably be clarified in a very short time with the EVE-NG Labs. An extensive test setup with additional hardware is no longer necessary.

3. conduct training and education of staff with EVE-NG
If problems occur, technicians must act as quickly as possible to ensure business operations. The corresponding know-how is the basis. But without regular exercises, troubleshooting takes an unnecessarily long time and processes usually do not function smoothly. Stressful situations such as defective hardware, faulty software configurations or malicious attacks on the IT infrastructure are best mastered with clear processes that are regularly trained. Of course, this is not possible in real environments. Moreover, special failure scenarios do not occur often enough to set up detailed processes and prepare administrators for them. This is exactly where EVE-NG helps to simulate malfunction and failure scenarios in test labs and thus improve processes and reactions.

Whether it is a virtual cable break with subsequent ping loss, an incorrect VLAN configuration or a ransomware attack on a company that would make it necessary to restore entire environments. From the experienced senior admin to the trainee, this can be practised until the processes work optimally.

What is EVE-NG?

EVE-NG is the first clientless network emulation software that offers network and security professionals tremendous opportunities in the networking world. With client-side management options, technicians do not interfere with corporate security policies as changes are made in a completely isolated environment.


Technical solutions are always great

- as long as they work. Fortunately, this is usually the case. But if a problem does occur, technicians who have practised various scenarios using simulation software are more experienced and faster at troubleshooting. That is why we have been working with EVE-NG environments for a long time - from first-year trainees to senior admins.

We also test new solutions, configuration settings and software versions intensively in test labs beforehand. This enables us to implement them quickly and effectively in our customer projects.

Sebastian Kremer
Sebastian Kremer
Business Developer | Senior Consultant

As an administrator and senior consultant, it has been his passion for 20 years to identify the IT problems of our customers and partners, to derive necessary measures and to provide custom-fit solutions. The prodkurist loves new technologies, has internalised the entire software-defined stack and goes all out when it comes to virtualisation techniques and storage technologies.

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