Wireshark Review

Best general purpose tool for trouble shooting anything on the network.

Valuable Features:

-One of the best products that can provide the details of what is happening with an application and the full life cycle of the response time. - Using Multiple trace files can allow you to create really big trace samples. Thus not a problem to let it run for awhile to gather that hard to catch 'problem'

Room for Improvement:

Not always simple to setup and get the filtering right when capturing data. The TCPDUMP pre filter is a bit hard to get use to when you are used to using the post filter. It will help when they have the same filter for both. Of course I'm assuming that the Post filter will be the filter of choice and translate the Post Filter into what needs to be done for the Pre Filter. I use the export to CSV and also the Print Full trace to a file features to do post analysis that would otherwise be impossible to do any other way than using WireShark. An example is watching MQ Traffic through a MQ Broker. Using the MQ Token, I'm able to combine the send / receive responses together to see the final response time and also where the packets are sent/received. This has helped with the SOA analysis when you have traffic going to a MQ Broker to be sent to other servers for responses. 4 packet sets are involved when this is done. 1 Request in to the Broker, 1 Response out from the Broker to a Responder, then a response from the Responder to the Broker again, and the final response from the Broker back to the original Requestor. All of that chatter needs to be captured and seen for the full response time analysis. Using the Packet Print, I'm able to dig into the header of the MQ packet and find that information for post assembly of information into a CSV file. Using Perl, I'm able to read these files in automation and create CSV files for use in Excel to then provide the packet numbers to use again in the Post Filter process of WireShark to look at further details. This is complex, but so are the actual interactions that are taking place. This work would be impossible with out a tool like Wireshark that provides the insight and decoding of the MQ headers of the packets. This brings out the Tokens and response Tokens of the packets for analysis. The other SOA and complex Websphere interaction tools are getting better at presenting this information, but there are still times where the developors have created something that the other tools have not tackled yet. Then WireShark is the only way to really drill into those interactions.

Other Advice:

Wireshark continues to be updated and is still an alive application. Continue to explore this product.
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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1 Comment

author avatarit_user4401 (Developer at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees)

Wireshark excels in the number of protocols that it supports, over 850. Also, the Wireshark interface is one of the easiest to understand of any packet sniffing application. I would like to mention that it is free, so it's pricing can't be beat. Wireshark supports all major modern operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS and Linux-based platforms.