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Network Monitoring and Analysis Tools

What to Look For in the Wireshark Output

  • Correlate Wireshark to a P4V log:It is useful to correlate the P4V log with Wireshark. Use the P4V log as a summary of activity to list the order of commands run, then find the command in Wireshark and look at the networking details. It is easiest when both the server and the client have the same time.To turn on P4V logging:
    1. Open the P4V preferences.
    2. Select the Logging heading.
    3. Select (check) the “Show p4 reporting commands” option.
    4. Select (check) the “Show p4 command output” option.
    5. Select (check) “Enable logging to file”.
    6. Click the “Select” button to save a log file to the location of your choice.
  • Unfiltered Wireshark output might show other network activity during the periods of slow network performance:Set View | Time Display Format | Seconds Since Previous Captured Packet to look for packets with long delays. Although latency between packets does not always indicate a cause, it can narroe the focus to where delays are occurring.Check for network errors in red on black, or check for commands that are unnecessarily run repeatedly.Note: If all packets are displayed with Header checksum errors, the networking hardware is likely using “Checksum Offload“. Those errors can be safely ignored.
  • Compare Wireshark output on a problem machine to a non-problem machine:It is helpful to compare Wireshark output on a machine that has fast network access against a similar machine that runs slowly while accessing the network.Note: Look for output for particularly slow timing, such as when accessing a network drive. See if delays are caused by other traffic such NBNS (NetBIOS), printer traffic or TCP traffic to other applications.

USEFUL TIPS

This is usually needed to correlate your Wireshark trace with a P4V or Perforce server log.

In Wireshark, select “Edit | Find Packet | String | Packet bytes”. Type in the search string, such as user-sync, to find when p4 sync was run while Wireshark was monitoring the network traffic.

To do the same thing with the P4 command line client, compare the Wireshark output with the p4 command with the following global options:

p4 -v rpc=5 -v net=5 command > filename  

Note: All Perforce user commands are prefaced with “user-“. For example, a p4 sync is user-sync, a p4 submit is user-submit, and so forth.

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