Intro to Wireshark – Sharkweek Teaser! (by Chris Greer)
How TCP Works - The Receive Window (by Chris Greer)

Sharkfest 17 EU - First Thoughts (by Paul Offord)

That's it - another Sharkfest event done and dusted.  Janice and her team did a fantastic job, as always, and the venue was truly spectacular - think of 1930's opulence with a high tech twist and fantastic food.


I was a bit of a late comer - I didn't arrive until midday on the penultimate day - but even so, I could tell it had been a good one.  With attendees from more than 30 countries it was a truly international event.  I was lucky enough to catch several good sessions, and here's a quick summary of some important points I learned.

First up was Kary Rogers.  I think his US session should be compulsory viewing ( see ), and the EU session was another tour de force.  He presents straightforward systematic ways of looking at TCP performance, using some Wireshark features I've never thought to use, all mixed in with a dose of comedy.  The EU session had some new stuff and if it becomes available on the Sharkfest Retrospective area, you are going to want to watch it.

Then I sat in on a session called Developer Bytes Lightning Talks–Development Track, hosted by Roland Knall.  There was some real nitty gritty dev stuff in the session, but

two gems:

  1. Want to decrypt SSL?  Why not just get Chrome or Firefox to give you the keys?  Peter Wu showed just how simple it is to get SSL keys directly from these browsers.  What's more, the browser will write them into a file, you point Wireshark at the file and, hey presto, everything appears in the clear.  Nice!

  2. Wireshark 3.  Yep, really - I'm not kidding.  They are working on it now and it should be out next year.  Lot's of clever stuff under-the-hood, but the things I picked up on were dockable windows (e.g. packet list on one monitor, decodes on another, etc.) and a hint that you'll be able to open multiple traces.

On Friday morning, I delivered a killer session - of course - and then Jasper stepped up.  Jasper is always good value for money.  He did a pretty advanced session on TCP analysis and entertained the crowd by ripping through packets at quite a rate.  His session was recorded, so get onto that as soon as it becomes available.

Next year we will have Sharkfest in the US (back to Mountain View), Sharkfest Europe and Sharkfest Asia (in Singapore).  Looks like Janice is about to have another busy year.

Best regards...Paul


Picture of Paul OffordAuthor Profile - Paul Offord has had a 39-year career in the IT industry that includes roles in hardware engineering, software engineering and network management. Prior to founding Advance7, he worked for IBM, National Semiconductor and Hitachi Data Systems.

Paul is currently leading the TribeLab project to explore new ways to help IT support people troubleshoot performance and stability problems.