Simulation is a popular approach to obtain objective performance indicators platforms that are not at one's disposal. It may help the dimensioning of compute clusters in large computing centers. In this work we present a framework for the off-line simulation of MPI applications. Its main originality with regard to the literature is to rely on time-independent execution traces. This allows us to completely decouple the acquisition process from the actual replay of the traces in a simulation context. Then we are able to acquire traces for large application instances without being limited to an execution on a single compute cluster. Finally our framework is built on top of a scalable, fast, and validated simulation kernel. In this paper, we introduce the used time-independent trace format, investigate several acquisition strategies, detail the developed trace replay tool, and assess the quality of our simulation framework in terms of accuracy, acquisition time, simulation time, and trace size.