Here are the links I have found to modeling tools, both simulation and analytic, and modeling information. Some I have used, some I have read about and others look interesting but I haven't any first hand information about them. The comments are strickly my opinions and are focused on how useful I think the tools are for modeling computer systems and applications. My main interest when looking at each tool is it's usefulness for The Simalytic Modeling Technique. Please look at each tool in view of your own situation and requirements. Many of these companies have very good academic and research programs. All information presented here was accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time I collected it, but I make NO guarantees! Comments or additions are welcome.
Developed for the manufacturing industry but very usable for other types of models, such as computer systems. Supports connections to Visual Basic and Excel (really any DDE application) and does nice on-screen animation.
Developed for the manufacturing industry. Might be usable for computer systems, but the demo I used would not allow models to be saved (check for yourself to see if that is still the case), so I did not do much with it.
Specific client/server modeling tool. Somewhat of a steep learning curve and the tool requires a "dongle" on the parallel port (caused me some problems with other applications). It allows a quick analytic solution to the same model that can be simulated, but this is not very useful because many of the most useful features are only supported in the simulation mode (and will disable the analytic solution feature). It is one of only two tools that I know of to specifically target client/server applications (see SES below).
Workbench is a general purpose simulation tool that can be used for complex models (extended using C). A Windows NT version should be out soon.
Strategizer is a specific client/server modeling tool. Very Windows "friendly" and easy to learn. Uses a scripting approach to describing application behavior that fits very well with modeling applications (not as useful for modeling the hardware view). It is one of only two tools that I know of to specifically target client/server applications (see Qase above)
Windows NT (not recommended but will run on Win95) ($$$)
Tools developed for SPE (Software Performance Engineering); understanding
performance during software design. Does both analytic (MVA) and
simulation (CSIM) for different views of an application. Very useful for modeling the early stages of software designs to insure the application will meet the required performance goals. User interface was originally developed on the Mac and it is awkward for Windows users.
Platform-centric tool that include data collection for each of the platforms for performance analysis and capacity planning. Modeling is a minor aspect of the tool. Data collection runs on host system, presentation runs on Windows NT/95. ($$$)?
Very robust platform-centric analytic tools that include data collection for each of the platforms. The Best/1 tools go beyond modeling to provide performance analysis and capacity planning, but they are focused on existing workloads and do not have very good support for modeling application not yet running.
MVS/Unix/VM/VMS/NT, each tool runs on the platform it models ($$$$)
The major difference is documentation.
ithink audience: business (BPR, Strategic Planning, Financial Analysis).
STELLA II audience: educational and research (natural and social sciences).
Downloadable demo. ($$ 2/98: Retail $599 to $1099, Student $149 to $279)
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