The design and elaboration of Extremely Large Telescopes (ELT) with primary mirror from 20m to 100m face with many challenges: mechanical, optical, computational, etc. To benefit completely of the full potentiality of such facilities, an Adaptive Optics System (AOS) have also to be designed for these telescopes. For whole field--of--view compensation and full sky coverage, the new but promising Multi--Conjugated Adaptive Optics (MCAO) technique has to be envisaged. The first step towards the design of an MCAO system is the numerical simulation. This is the first challenge we have to face. The scale of AO simulations being imposed by the ratio (D /r0 ), the simulation requirements of a MCAOS for an ELT, in terms of computing power and memory available to store the data, reach and sometimes overcome the capacity of actual computers. In ESO, we have evaluated different hardware and software strategies to achieve MCAO simulations goals. Two codes have been developed to simulate MCAOS using an analytical and an end-to-end model. The goals and advantages/limitations of both approaches is shown. The hardware requirements for both methods is also given through the size of their largest matrices. And finally, results of hardware and software tests for MCAO simulations with PC--cluster and paralleled code are presented.© (2003) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.