Celebrating 2,000 Years of Computing History at SharkFest 2015
As our industry prepares for the 8th annual SharkFest Conference, Datacom Systems is gearing up for our first ever sponsorship of the event, taking place June 22-25. SharkFest is one of the foremost educational conferences in the network monitoring industry, offering network engineers, architects, and other professionals the chance to exchange Wireshark tips and best practices. In addition to collaborative problem solving and lab projects, attendees and sponsors benefit from expert-led sessions and mentoring.
We are excited to participate in this year’s event, not only for the exchange of knowledge among the foremost Wireshark and network experts, but for the opportunity to explore some of the rich history that has defined our industry as a whole. For the first time, SharkFest will be held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA, currently showcasing the last 2,000 years of computing history including the 1959 IBM 1401 Demo Lab and a timeline of the last half century of wearable technology. Exploring the advancements in computing within the past 25 years alone is astounding, and it’s giving us the chance to reflect on our own recent history at Datacom Systems.
In 1991, seven years before Wireshark was initiated, Datacom Systems was incorporated. Datacom Systems then became a successful Manufacturer's Representative for Network General Corporation (NGC), not only representing NGC to customers and prospects in the New York State area, but using NGC’s Distributed Sniffer System technology ourselves.
When NGC’s proposal for a total coverage solution was rejected by a large IBM branch in New York, Datacom stepped in with an unconventional idea. "Sharing" Network General Distributed Sniffer Servers between multiple rings would give IBM the cost and time savings they needed without compromising the network. IBM accepted, and Datacom got to work defining a custom switching system that was completely non-obtrusive to the network, generating zero injection and zero loss. The entire system controllable by simple yet robust software that was easily integrated into a centralized controller.
In keeping with the philosophy of Harry Saul, then president and CEO of Network General Corporation, the switch must be part of the solution, not a source of the problem. This remains one of Datacom’s core principles today, as we continue to develop products that put the customer and their business first.
While we won’t see this particular story told on the walls of the Computer History Museum, Datacom’s early accomplishments echo those of Wireshark’s in its beginning stages: create a solution for the customer that is easy to use and enables full network visibility without compromise. It’s a priority we still stand by today, and why we will continue using and recommending Wireshark for years to come.