As packet-heads, we all enjoy digging through trace files and finding the hidden gems that lead to resolving a problem. If most of our capturing experience is from a single network or enterprise, it can be hard to grow in new areas and pick up new tricks in packet analysis. Sharkfest is an excellent way to hone our skills and bring our art of analysis to a new level.
The group packet challenge at Sharkfest is designed to bring together Wireshark users from all skill levels in a timed team event. Participants are given several trace files and a question sheet, then as a team they race to find the answers. Typically, the packet challenge will require them to use areas of Wireshark that they may not be as familiar with, which can teach them new things about the analyzer in a fun setting.
Why Garland was the Right Fit for the Event
To answer the questions in the packet challenge, participants need to have the confidence that the trace files represent the truth of the network event. If a trace file is not captured well, it can show missing data and inaccurate timers which make the data harder to read. Precious time can be spent in chasing down false alarms rather than focusing on the real problem.
In many ways, the packet challenge represents the scenario that many engineers face every day. The network has problems, answers need to be found, and time is of the essence. Accurate data can mean the difference between getting to root cause, or spinning our wheels on a false symptom. This blog article covers several of these symptoms and shows how poor capture methods impact the data in the trace file.
Going to Sharkfest? We will see you at the packet challenge, along with Chris Bihary, CEO/Co-Founder of Garland Technology. It will be a great time!
Not going to Sharkfest? We will get some of the session videos out on LoveMyTool. Maybe next year you can join us for another packet challenge!