The Spec File submenu contains all functions related
to the specification files. From this submenu, you can choose options
to load, modify, or create new specification files. The following
selections are available:
Spec File > New Spec—Allows you to create a new specification file. This basically means
you are creating a new network from scratch. To use this option, first
close any the currently open specification files.
Spec File > Load Spec—Loads the currently highlighted specification file into the system.
Once a specification file is loaded, the network topology window also
Spec File > Modify Spec—Allows you to change the runcode, data directory, rate directory,
and network files of the specification file. After modifying the options
and clicking Finish, you can load the network.
Spec File Generation Window—Once you select the New Spec or Modify Spec option, the specification
file generation window appears. From this window you can specify properties
for the specification file, dparam file, and various other specific
input files necessary for a network to be properly loaded and displayed.
The specification file is a text file that specifies all the
network input files to be loaded for the active session as well as
the runcode (extension), data directory datadir, and rate directory ratedir.
Table 1: Spec File Generation Window General Tab Fields
This is the file extension used to distinguish different
networks and different sessions. Output files and reports are appended
with the specified runcode file extension. Runcodes
may consist of any combination of alphanumeric characters. This field
is saved with the keyword runcode in the specification file.
Specifies the name of the specification file. By default
this is spec.<runcode> where <runcode> is replaced by the network
The data directory datadir represents
the path to the default directory in which your data files are searched
for. If a particular file is located in the specified data directory,
its absolute path need not be provided when defining that file. For
example, if the data directory for a design run is specified as /user/test and the file muxloc.test is located in that directory, you can simply specify muxloc.test, rather than /user/test/muxloc.test, when prompted for the location of the muxloc file. To specify the specification file directory as the data directory,
the character “.” (period) can be used as a shortcut.
This field is saved with the keyword datadir in the specification file.
The rate directory is used to specify the path of the
directory where the tariff database files are read. In most cases,
the default path /u/wandl/db/rates/default does not need to be changed. If you want to use you own tariffs,
reference them from a directory other than /u/wandl/db/rates/default. This field is saved with the keyword ratedir in the specification file.
The dparam file specifies design
and simulation parameters, hardware vendor, link bandwidth/overhead,
size and various other network parameters.
Allows you to choose the hardware type of the network. This
field is saved with the keyword hwvendor in the dparam file.
Maximum Number of Nodes
The Maximum Number of Nodes helps the program decide
how much memory to allocate and can only be modified when the network
The Maximum Number of Nodes (saved as maxnodenumber in the dparam
file) represents the maximum number of nodes that may be entered for
a particular network. The number entered should be no smaller than
the number of nodes planned and no larger than the node_limit in your
license file. The default value is 100.
Maximum Number of Links
The Maximum Number of Links helps the program decide
how much memory to allocate and can only be modified when the network
The Maximum Number of Links (saved as maxlink in the dparam
file) represents the maximum number of links for a particular network.
Once the limit is reached during a design, the program does not continue
to add links. The number entered should be no smaller than the number
of links planned. The default value is 1500.
The default link bandwidth, link overhead and per circuit bandwidth
overhead calculations vary for different vendors. Because of device-specific
characteristics (routing algorithm, rerouting, buffer size, queueing,
etc.) the same network data may yield different results when comparing
The Network Files tab contains references to data files that
should be loaded in. Each reference are saved in the specification
file with a separate entry.
You can read in files from the Network Files tab. The files
in this tab are categorized as described in Table 3.
Network backbone files specify how the network is represented.
Backbone files include the bblink, demand, domainfile,
facilityfile, graphcoord, group, muxloc, newdemand, nodeparam, owner,
site, srvcprofile, and srvctype files.
Table 4: Spec File Generation Window Network
The bblink file contains
backbone link information for the network. Each link entry is defined
by a link name [optional], From_Location, To_Location, Vendor, number
of trunks, and trunk type. The vendor may be specified as DEF (default)
if it is not known. See BBLINK (bblink=filename) in Backbone Data.
The demand file contains
user traffic requirements. A demand is defined by an ID, From_Location,
To_Location, Bandwidth, Type, Priority, and Preempt Priority. See DEMAND (demand=filename).
The domainfile contains
the definitions for domain elements. Domain elements are defined by
ID, name, and color to be used in the Map window. If OSPF is present
in the network, this file is used to define OSPF areas. See DOMAIN (domain=filename).
A facility is a set of nodes and links likely to fail
together. The facility file defines
the links and/or nodes associated with a facility. In this file, the
first field defines the facility name. The subsequent fields specify
the node IDs or link names associated with that facility, delimited
by tabs, spaces, or commas. All elements associated with a facility
should be specified on the same line. Whenever more than one line
is needed to specify the elements, a backslash, '\', must be used
to indicate that the element list is continued on the next line.
The facility feature does not check the validity of the nodes
and/or links listed in the facility file. Duplicate links and/or nodes
are also duplicated in the facility. Nodes may be specified either
by their node ID or node name. If both are used in the same facility,
then that node is duplicated. Nodes which are not in the mux file and links not in the bblink file are ignored. See FACILITY (facility=filename).
The graphcoord file
is used to position nodes at coordinates different from their true
geographic location. This is often times helpful when multiple nodes
have the same NPANXX location or are located in close proximity to
each other. Nodes may be moved by first selecting them and then dragging
them to the new location. Note that pricing information is not changed
since only the graphical representation has been modified rather than
the geographical. See FACILITY (facility=filename) .
The group file defines
the grouping of nodes in the network topology. Discs are painted on
the Standard map around grouped nodes. See GROUP (group=filename).
Muxloc specifies the file containing switch information
such as name, ID, NPA, NXX, latitude, longitude, vertical, or horizontal.
This information is used to determine location placement in the map
window as well as for link pricing. See MUXLOC (muxloc=filename).
The newdemand file allows
you to specify an additional file containing user traffic requirements
besides the demand file. The purpose is to reduce your effort in manually
modifying the existing demand file, and/or having multiple versions.
In addition, the newdemand file is
often used in theoretical "What if..." situations in determining capacity
planning for the current network state. See DEMAND (demand=filename).
The nodeparam file allows
you to define specific information on a per-node basis such as the
hardware type, vendor, or model. See NODEPARAM (nodeparam=filename).
The owner file facilitates
identifying the ownership of nodes and demands. Ownership should be
specified in either the muxloc or demand files. See OWNER
The site file specifies
site information. The site file is
used to define nodes in the same physical location such as a building
The service profile file
lists the service types and the percentage that are in each service
The service type file
lists service types (for example, FTP, TELNET) and their descriptions
(for example, owner, min. and max. bandwidth, type, pri, pre).
Cost and control files are used to assign tariffs and implement
link controls. Examples of cost and control files are: custrate, usercost, admincost, fixlink, linkdist, nodeweight, and rsvbwfile.
Table 5: Cost and Control Files
The custrate file is
used to assign tariffs for links used in the network to approximate
the total cost of the network. You can specify the parameters from
which these tariffs are calculated using the modify custom rate and
custom rate class windows. See CUSTRATE (custrate=filename).
The usercost file is
used to define the cost for links according to the end nodes, vendor,
and trunk type. See USERCOST (usercost=filename).
The admincost file contains
rules to set each link default admin weight/metric according to attributes
such as trunk type, mileage, and the hardware type and sites of the
The fixlink file specifies
information for links that cannot be removed from the backbone topology.
For varying reasons, a customer might have a group of links in the
backbone that cannot be removed (even if it is optimal to do so).
In this case, during the optimization phase of the design, links from
the fixlink file are not modified.
Note that the bblink file might be
used for the fixlink file if the
current topology cannot be changed. See FIXLINK (fixlink=filename).
The linkdist file is
used to define link distance values on a node pair basis. Link distances
can be used to bias path routing by assigning either a higher or lower
weight to a node pair. If a linkdist file is not specified or a particular link’s metric is not
defined, and the Admin Weight routing method is specified in the design
options of the Path Placement tab, the default link distance value
is assigned. See LINKDIST (linkdist=filename).
The nodeweight file
is used to restrict the creation of links at particular nodes during
design by assigning to the node a penalty for adding links or the
maximum bandwidth capacity for links. This file can also be used to
restrict the transit demand bandwidth at a node if the hardware model
supports path configuration for demands.
Every entry in the nodeweight file consists of four fields: node ID or name, node weight (link
penalty for design), maximum bandwidth capacity (to carry links),
and transit demand bandwidth limit. Fields are separated by spaces
or tabs. A node weight is required if maximum link bandwidth capacity
is to be specified. See NODEWEIGHT (nodeweight=filename).
The rsvbwfile is used
to define reserved bandwidth for links between specific node pairs.
Reserved bandwidth is specified as a fixed bandwidth (fixfat) plus
a percentage of the link bandwidth (fatpct). See RSVBWFILE
(rsvbwfile=filename) for the file format.
For node pairs not defined in this file, reserved bandwidth
specification is derived from the fixfat and fatpct global parameters
defined by selecting Tools > Options > Design in the Reserved
Bandwidth options pane.
Reserved bandwidth is not used by during path assignment
and backbone design if the hardware supports path configuration. The
reservation constraints, however, are ignored by the simulation and
failure analysis routines.
In Table 5, an asterisk
(*) specifies files used for a feature that is license dependent.
For more information regarding these files, refer to the Design Menu chapter.
Access Design Files
of access design files include: chanbank, offckt,
offgraphcoord, offloc, and offsite.
Examples of traffic files include: devicedir,
egress, ingress, t_trafficload, trafdir, trafficload, and tunneltrafdir.
Table 6: Traffic Files
The egress file contains
egress traffic of the network interfaces load. Egress traffic specifies
traffic that is going out of the network interfaces. This data is
used for calculating link utilization and load.
The ingress file contains
ingress traffic of the network interfaces load. Ingress traffic specifies
traffic that is going into the network interfaces. This data is used
for calculating link utilization and load.
The trafdir file identifies
the location of the interface traffic daily directories repository.
The tunneltrafdir file identifies
the location of the tunnel traffic daily directories repository.
The trafficload file
allows you to import measured bandwidth utilizations based on data
collected from the network. Traffic loads for each PVC can be specified
over the time intervals for which the data was collected.
The t_trafficload file (IP/MPLS only) is similar to the trafficload
file, but for LSP tunnels (layer 2 instead of layer 3)
Examples of the discrete event simulation files include: tfxdata,
Table 7: Discrete Event Simulation
For discrete event simulation only. The trafficdata file allows you to define each demand
by specifying multiple packets and packet sizes. Although this requires
you to have a reasonable knowledge of the traffic, more accurate network
simulation results can be obtained in this manner. Refer to TRAFFICDATA (TRAFFICDATA=filename) for further details.
For discrete event simulation only. The trafficpattern file allows you to define several
class types based on traffic characteristics. Each traffic type may
be specified in terms of four parameters: number of messages, duration
(seconds), message size (bits), and frame size (bytes). Refer to TRAFFICPATTERN (TRAFFICPATTERN=filename) for further details.
Device specific files contain the definitions for various types
of devices. Examples of device specific files include: aclist, bgplink, bgpnode, bgpobj, intfmap, policymap, tbit, tunnel, and vpn.
Table 8: Device-Specific Files
The aclist file (Router
only) contains information about access rules such as access lists,
distribute lists, and filter lists.
The bgplink file (Router
only) contains the definitions for BGP neighbors. See note for bgpobj.
See note for bgpobj.
The bgpnode file (Router
only) contains the definitions for BGP speakers. See note for bgpobj.
The bgpobj file (Router
only)contains information about BGP neighbors and is stored in binary
format to speed up performance. Note: If you want to manually edit
bgpnode and bgplink, comment out this entry before reloading the network.
The intfmap file (Router
only) contains information about router interfaces, including the
node, interface, IP address, status, bandwidth, VPN-list, and other
The policymap file (Router
only) contains information about CoS Policies on each router
The tbit file (Router
only) stores names for the tunnel attributes (otherwise referred to
as admin group for Juniper Networks).
The tunnel file (Router
only) contains information about LSP tunnels.
The vpn file (Router only) contains information about
Virtual Private Network details such as vrf, route distinguisher,
route target, and protocols.
The routing table descriptor (rtd) file (ATM/PNNI only)
is used for PNNI networks to read routing table descriptor information.
This file is generated by NorthStar Planner after you saved the network’s
The hpnni file (ATM/PNNI only) is used for PNNI networks
to describe PNNI information for nodes and logical group nodes in
the network. It also contains hierarchical information which allows
NorthStar Planner to group the network’s nodes accordingly.
The Report Viewer allows you to view reports that are generated
by the system. The report viewer provides quick access and a uniformed
and organized way of viewing these reports. To view a report, you
must select a file that is in NorthStar Planner report format. To
customize the columns displayed, right-click on the column header
and select the Select Columns... option.
Due to the length of some reports, the Report Viewer only displays
a portion of the report in the viewer window. You may set how many
lines to display in the Page Setup. With the jump-to buttons, you
can jump to the beginning and end of the report. You can also move
forward or back. Clicking the Search button searches the
current table for the queried text. Clicking the Advanced Search button opens a new window for more complex searches. The query is
entered in the text field at the top of the window. The panels on
the bottom are provided for convenience in selecting keys, relations,
and boolean operators.
The Report Master allows you to view multiple reports in the
Report Master window. The Report Master is similar to the Report Manager
which provides quick access and a uniformed and organized way of viewing
multiple reports without having to open a network first. To open a
report master, you must select a file that is in report master format.
The Report Master files do not contain any actual reports. Instead,
the Report Master files reference existing reports and place them
into an organized tree structure. The format of a Report Master file
is described below.
The Report Editor allows you to perform basic editing functionality
on csv files. Click on a cell to edit the value. Right-click on a
cell to for more options to edit rows and columns.
Table 9: Report Editor Window File Manager View
Show Hidden Files
This option displays all hidden files in the directory
This option displays files and directories listed in
the File Manager’s right pane as large icons in columns.
This option displays files and directories listed in
the File Manager’s as small icons in columns.
This option displays files and directories listed in
the File Manager’s in list form.
This option gives a detailed view of the files displayed
in File Manager including information such as file permission, file
owner, file size, and last modified date. (Note: Each column can be
sorted by clicking on the column header.)
This toggles the left pane between the Directories view
and Common Actions / Favorite Link view.