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Automation for Efficient Network Monitoring and Performance Analysis

OmniPeek is a tool, like a hammer, but not just any hammer.   It is like Thor’s hammer, and when you wield the OmniPeek hammer, you are like Thor, the God of Thunder.    You save mortal men every day.  You monitor and troubleshoot their networks, you solve their problems.   You make life better for everyone.  Yes, with OmniPeek, you are a superhero.

And if you are like me, you probably use OmniPeek in some form or another every day for network monitoring, VoIP analysis, network performance analysis, network security, or any of the other capabilities of this analyzer.   And before that, you used EtherPeek, and probably AiroPeek as well.   These products have always been easy to use, provided you with powerful analysis capabilities, and of course the UI looks great.    But as a superhero, you have a lot to do these days.   You either have to many products to test, or more than one network to monitor at the same time.

As a result, you may find yourself performing the same functions over and over again.   And you may ask yourself, how do I work this?   And you may ask yourself, where is that large automobile?   ;-)   Ok, maybe not, but although you may have the test or monitoring process down to an exact science, and a precise number of clicks, you are still not making the best use of your time.

Sometimes it can be difficult to recognize this, or admit that it is true.  But that is ok, and that is why we are here.   We want to help you help yourself, by introducing you to the amazing world of automation.   Through automation, you can save lots of time and money.   ‘Nuff said, it is worth it.    To take advantage of automation, you do not have to be a programmer either.   It can definitely help, but we have developed some command line utilities that do the scripting for you.

But, there is a catch.   In order to get the most out of automation, you first need to upgrade your OmniPeek Console to an OmniEngine, if you have not already.    That is the ante, and you will be pleasantly surprised by how little it costs to upgrade.    Yes, you can automate the OmniPeek Console, and if that is your only option, I would highly recommend it.   There are lots of benefits.

However, if you can upgrade to an OmniEngine, then do it.   Do it for all of the right reasons.   Do it for your girlfriend, or wife and children, who would like to see more of you.   Do it for your boss, who would like to save money.   But mostly, do it for yourself because you are not just a button pusher.   You are smart enough to know that if you put in a little time and effort up front, you can have a better life because of it.   And finally, do it because you can.   The fact is that the OmniEngine is the best platform for automating network monitoring and analysis processes.

The OmniEngine is extensible in a number of ways, and that is why we call it a platform.  But today, we are focusing on automation.    At a high level, automating an OmniEngine consists of creating a capture, and analyzing the results.   But wow, talk about making a long story short.  Captures have lots of settings, and filters, and adapters, and statistics, and on and on.   And then there are the results; fast vs. slow, up vs. down, pass vs. fail, and all of the analysis required to come to that conclusion.    But for for the processes you perform over and over again, you probably know the exact set of steps required to create the capture, configure the capture, how long to run the capture, and what analysis is required to determine the result.    With OmniScript and the OmniEngine command line utilities, you can automate most, if not at all, of these steps.

So what is OmniScript?   OmniScript is the remote API used by the OmniEngine Command Line Utilities.   With OmniScript you can write scripts that control the OmniEngine, and  can virtually anything that the OmniPeek Console can do.    But with OmniScript, you can write these scripts in such a way that they can run by themselves from start to finish.    What we do here at WildPackets, is write command line utilities that can automate the OmniEngine in different ways, so you don’t have to.   You just configure the utilities with all the right parameters, and integrate them right into your work flow.

The most important thing to understand about automation, is that it is not all or nothing .   Automation is something that you can add a little bit at a time, and every time you add some, your life gets better.   So go ahead, take the next step.   It’s easy, just read more about automation, in our Automation Primer on MyPeek.   And then, when you are ready to take the red pill, download OmniScript and the OmniEngine Command Line.

spacepacket_chris_bloom.pngMy name is Chris Bloom (aka spacepacket), and I do wild and crazy things with OmniPeek.   If you have any questions about automation, or any other questions about the extensibility of WildPackets products in general, please email me at bloom@wildpackets.com

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