When attending a field day event it’s a challenge to listen, take good notes, tweet and do a blog post all in a matter of 2 hours. Sorry, I’m good, just not that good!
My interest was peaked when I heard Wildpackets was a sponsor for #WFD3. Wildpackets was one of the first commercially supported wireless sniffier products available. Lets face it, most engineers didn’t understand the 802.11 frame structure back in 2002. A lot of the captures were greek to many engineers, including myself. I was an early adopter and used what was then called, Airopeek.
Wildpackets offers a suite of application software (and appliances) that focus around layer 2 packet analysis, both on wired (802.3) and wireless (802.11). Our WFD event focused on and what I believe is their most important product, OMNIPEEK.
Omnipeek can be very intimidating at first, but once you get comfortable with the interface the other bells and whistles await you. And let me just tell you, there is a wealth of bells and whistles.
The Wildpackets team shared with the WFD delegates their humble beginnings and later a video about a fiery blaze that destroy their office in 2002. We then moved on to the tech stuff!
Jay Botelho did an overview of Omnipeek. Jay shared with the delegates how to use Omnipeek, put it into sniffer mode and how to conduct a multi channel capture. We then walked through a wireless capture briefly and discussed other rich features (watch the below video to get your Omnipeek fix). Jay also shared some of the other robust features like reporting, graphs and analysis tools, which are built into Omnipeek. We also looked at our first 802.11ac capture. It was my first peek at 802.11ac.
I understand, Omnipeek support for 802.11ac will be in released in its next release in coming weeks.
You can read an article about the Wildpackets fire here: http://www.internetnews.com/wireless/article.php/1433881/WildPackets+Survives+Fire.htm
The Wildpacket advantage is simple.
Coming from my personal experience, Willpackets’ Omnipeek is the best commercially offered wireless sniffer on the market today. It is well developed, packed with features and well supported. It drives information to the wireless engineer and displays it in a manner that is intuitive and accurate. A wireless engineer can capture 2,3,4 or more channels simultaneously aiding in quicker fact gathering. To the untrained eye, Omnipeek has built reports and graphs that will bring blaring issues to the surface.
All of these features do come at a cost. And if you are a consultant or work for a large enterprise it can easily be justified.
If you ever need customer feedback and or justification for Omnipeek in a large enterprise, email me I will be happy to share my experience.
My take away
Next time you’re troubleshooting a wireless issue at the frame layer and you’re using something other than Omnipeek you’re missing out on all the other rich features that only Omnipeek offers.
Also, take notice next time you are reading a 802.11 technical book or looking at published material that displays a 802.11 capture. Pay very close attention, its very likely you are looking at a capture done in Omnipeek.
In closing, one other important take away I learned at Wildpackets is just how much they value their employees. Thats a company I want to do business with.
Wildpackets provided us 802.11ac and 802.11u captures. Links to these captures are below:
If you missed the event you can watch it here: