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The field of modeling and simulation was long-time seen as a viable alternative to develop new algorithms and technologies and to enable the development of large-scale distributed systems, where analytical validations are prohibited by the nature of the encountered problems. The use of discrete-event simulators in the design and development of large scale distributed systems is appealing due to their efficiency and scalability. In this paper we focus on the challenge to enable scalable, high-level, online simulation of applications, middleware, resources and networks to support scientific and systematic study of Grid and P2P applications and environments. We describe alternatives to designing and implementing simulators to be used in the validation of distributed systems, particularly Grid and P2Ps.