Real Estate is a Great Investment!

Jim Thor - WildPackets Professional Services

This month's tip is about real estate, but probably not the type you are thinking of. No, we are not trying to sell you land. If you have been reading our tips over the past many months and years, you are probably having a problem doing all the things that we have shown you. Why? Because you don't have enough real estate... 'display' real estate that is. And with the 'Peeks' not having any limitations on the number of concurrent captures that you can run, plus the new capability in OmniPeek to undock windows (which we will cover in next month's tip), available screen real estate is becoming a huge limitation.

The solution is fairly easy and inexpensive, for the extreme value that it will provide you. The solution is to use multiple monitors. With the prices of LCD screens dropping over the past year or so, it is no longer a huge investment to get double, if not triple, the amount of screen real estate that you have today. For a desktop system, you may need to get a new video card, but even those can be purchased for much less than $100. For a laptop, most of them already provide the ability to use dual monitors.

Once you have the dual monitors set up, you can open the primary OmniPeek window to 'spread' across both windows (various manufacturers refer to this technique using different terms). Now, you can open multiple captures, or additional views, and place them in various locations within the primary window as shown below.


I know this may be hard to see, but when you have it on your screen, you can resize each window to fit your personal needs. I generally use this for running multiple security related captures, with filters to capture only specific traffic that I know I should never see in my environment. If I ever look at one of these capture windows, and it has any packets in it, I know I have a problem. While I am doing this, I can also monitor several other segments, and the details related to them.

You can now have many windows open, run as many concurrent captures as you need, limited only by your system's horsepower, and no longer be extremely limited by the amount of real estate you own! Screen real estate that is!