Traffic in my network varies over time. Is there a way I can capture the effects of changing traffic in a Capacity Planner evaluation?
Yes. You can use the time steps to do this. For each time step, the Capacity Planner computes the intensity of the traffic in that time step and uses that to load the links and broadcast networks.
You can choose the length of the time step depending on the level of granularity you want in the results. If traffic intensity does not change much, a smaller number of time steps and larger time step duration will suffice. If traffic intensity changes a lot, then reducing the length of the time step and increasing the number of time steps will provide more accurate results.
For example, if you specified 6 time steps with 10 minutes as the duration for each step, the Capacity Planner will analyze the performance of the network for the specified 1-hour interval in 6 discrete chunks. Results are generated for each of the 6 intervals and included in the web report.
But be aware that as the number of time steps increases, the time taken to run the analysis also increases.
After the Capacity Planner completes its analysis, you can use the time controller (View > Show Time Controller) to see how the network performance changes as the traffic intensity changes.