Sysdig this week announced there is now a Wireshark Foundation that will oversee future development of the widely used open source traffic protocol analyzer.
Gerald Combs, who is now director of open source projects at Sysdig, along with Loris Degioanni, CTO of Sysdig, launched Wireshark in 2006 to enable teams to monitor network traffic, learn protocols and packet basics and troubleshoot network problems. There are more than 2,000 contributors and Wireshark has been downloaded more than 60 million times in the last five years alone.
The Wireshark Foundation will provide a framework for long-term stewardship and sustainability. The foundation will be led by Sheri Najafi as executive director, and Janice Spampinato, Hansang Bae, Najafi, Combs and Degioanni will serve on the board.
Combs said rather than donating Wireshark to an existing foundation, it was decided to set one up to formalize many of the community processes that have evolved over the past two decades.
Degioanni said the foundation will also ensure Wireshark remains relevant long after its creators eventually retire. Wireshark has a graphical user interface (GUI) that provides IT teams with an easy-to-understand traffic protocol analyzer. However, as applications become more distributed, additional types of IT professionals, including DevOps teams, are analyzing network traffic. Similarly, cybersecurity teams are using these tools to help track down the source of anomalous activity.
It’s not clear whether network operations (NetOps) and DevOps workflows are merging, but the level of collaboration has increased. As networking increasingly becomes software-defined, it’s clear that developers will employ application programming interfaces (APIs) to manage networks as code in much the same way they do infrastructure in the public cloud. Most of those networking APIs are comparatively low-level, but with the rise of services meshes, it’s clear networking services are becoming more accessible.
The biggest challenge is distinct cultures that have arisen around networking and application development. IT organizations will need to decide whether to provide development teams with the ability to programmatically invoke networking services on their own or through a self-service portal managed by a NetOps team. Regardless of who is responsible for managing the network going forward, the divide between DevOps and NetOps is already starting to narrow. The biggest challenge is simply finding a common language to express core concepts that eliminates any sense of fiefdom that might exist between them. After all, any conflict that arises can usually be attributed to a simple failure to communicate.
In the meantime, in the age of edge computing, network latency issues are becoming even more challenging. An application based on microservices architecture is especially sensitive to network latency issues that are difficult to troubleshoot over an extended network. Tools that make those issues more obvious are crucial.