Admittedly, 2008 has been a quiet year for me on the blog front. I've had an extremely busy year on the IT front, however, spending virtually all of my professional time at U.S. Bank working on large scale application problem and performance projects. It has been a challenging year in a highly varied and complex network and application environment where I've had a lot of fun learning new analysis techniques (who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?) and contributing in new ways.
And when it comes right down to it, my favorite tools continue to be those that break down packets, allowing me to study in detail the application and service behavior once I get past the mundane but important fundamentals ranging from physical layers problems to TCP retransmissions to HTTP response time. We used to call these tools that empowered us analysts "protocol analyzers." Now they have fancy names like "OmniPeek", "InfiniSteam", "Performance Manager", "Gigastor", and even "WireShark."
In the weeks and months to come, I plan to write more frequently and on topics you wont'f find anywhere else. I'll continue to offer tips and tricks but focus on industrial strength Enterprise analysis, moving off the typical client/server analysis. A sampling of topics include troubleshooting applications that utilize enterprise protocols like Message Queuing (MQ), ConnectDirect, and Distirbuted Relational Database Architecture (DRDA), challenges with 10 Gigabit analysis aside from the obvious (speed and volume), new insights into SPANs vs. TAPs, how to use packet analysis tools to study user behavior, and why even the top vendors still don't get the enterprise.
Yes, I know that that last one sounds a bit harsh. I can empathize as I was the CTO at one of those vendors for seven years. Now I can get on my soap and express an opinion or two (but not just on vendor related topics). ;-)
So fans, I'm back for 2009. I'm making it a goal to continue to make this blog informative and fun, and share knowledge based on real world experience. I hope you enjoy it.