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Sharkfest 2015 Retrospective – Another Great Year! (by Chris Greer)


Instructor Selfie 2015_Sharpened

LMTV SharkfestInstructor Selfie at Sharkfest 2015 - Sorry for the grainy pic. 

Sharkfest 2015 has come to a close, and what a fantastic conference it was. Three full days of capture tips, packet shredding, case studies, and analysis methods from some of the best analysts in the business. If you are excited about packet analysis and troubleshooting with Wireshark, this conference should be on your must-attend list for next year. There really is nothing like it. Within the next few weeks, recorded sessions will be made available on the official Sharkfest retrospective page, located here - http://sharkfest.wireshark.org/retrospective.html

Some of the highlights from Sharkfest 2015:

Packet Capture Challenge

The capture challenge has long been a fixture of Sharkfest. A collection of trace files are shared with attendees, along with a question sheet to test the skills of the analyst. Throughout Sharkfest, attendees have pockets of time to work on solving these trace files, filling out and submitting the answer sheet when they are finished. At the conclusion of Sharkfest, the winners of the Packet Capture challenge are named and prizes given. Within a few weeks, Laura Chappell of Wireshark University will go over the answers from the capture challenge, making this public on Youtube.

The Reef
This year, an area at Sharkfest was made available where attendees could drop in and ask the experts questions about their trace files. Whiteboards were at the ready for experts to explain protocols, Wireshark features, application behavior, or any other subject attendees had on their minds.

Advanced TCP Sessions
Jasper Bongertz delivered a great session on Wednesday morning entitled – Advanced TCP Stuff: We aren’t in RFC 793 anymore! This session covered some of the TCP options that have been introduced into the TCP protocol to make it more efficient in today’s networks, including the behavior of TCP in high speed networks experiencing packet loss. TCP Multipath was explained and demonstrated, showing the importance of understanding this feature as user mobility continues to increase.

Hansang Bae spoke on Wireshark and the Art of Packet Analysis, demonstrating the steps involved in approaching packet analysis. Attendees were shown how they can refine and develop their own individual art of analysis, and why fully understanding the basics is so critical.
These sessions, as well as all other recorded sessions will soon be available on sharkfest.wireshark.org.

Social Events
Sharkfest also offers several opportunities to meet and mingle with other like-minded packetheads. These are great times to chat about war-stories, as well as gain insight into lingering problems that still may be affecting attendees on their networks. Wireshark Core Developers are also on hand for answering questions about current and future features, as well as for considering suggestions that could make Wireshark an even more useful tool.

Thank you to Janice Spampinato and the Riverbed team for hosting this event once again. Thank you LoveMyTool and all other sponsors for helping to make this conference possible year after year. Sharkfest 2015 was a wonderful experience for Wireshark enthusiasts around the world. We look forward to next year! Until then, enjoy the recorded sessions, and keep on capturing.