telecom • networking • design

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Visualize and Diagnose Wireshark PCAP Files with Sequence Diagrams

Introducing VisualEther Protocol Analyzer 6.1. Diagnose and debug Wireshark logs with sequence diagrams. Convert PCAP files into sequence diagrams and call flow diagrams by just defining the message fields that should be included in the diagrams. VisualEther takes of the rest, generating a well formatted sequence diagram. You can click on individual messages in the sequence diagram to see field level details.

VisualEther 6.1 adds the following features:

  • Full IPv6 Support
  • Convert any custom protocol to sequence diagrams. Fully customize the diagram generation.
  • Display message details as an expandable list.
  • Added support for Wifi and Ethernet frames

Wireshark to sequence diagrams

Visually debug protocol interactions

sequence-diagram-wireshark

Generate sequence diagrams and call flow diagrams from Wireshark output. The sequence diagrams provide a visual trace of the packet flow between different nodes.

Use regular expressions to identify and flag error scenarios. Messages reporting session failure can be bookmarked in a PDF file, thus giving you quick access to the cause of failure. Protocol experts can identify the error scenarios upfront to speed up protocol debugging.

Summarize Wireshark output…

Wireshark Extraction Template

Define templates to select messages and the fields to be included in the generated diagrams. VisualEther analyzes the Wireshark output to generate documents that match the defined template. The template is defined as a simple XML file.

Support for IPv4, IPv6, Ethernet and Wifi is built in. TCP, UDP and SCTP transport layer support is also available out of the box.

You can customize the templates for any protocol that has an Wireshark dissector. Any custom source and destination addresses can be used to define the sequence diagram instance axes.

…while maintaining full message detail

Wireshark message shown in full detail.

Click on any message in PDF sequence diagrams. VisualEther shows you complete field level details of that message in a browser window.

The message nodes can be expanded and collapsed. This way you can focus on the part of the message that interests you.

Reverse engineer system design

Reverse engineer design from Wireshark

Reverse engineering system design by analyzing the message flow in an operational system. Design documents are generated from the Wireshark traces. The generated documents can be edited and reformatted using EventStudio System Designer.

Automate diagram generation from Wireshark PCAP Files

Wireshark to sequence diagram generation script

Automate capture of Wireshark logs with tshark and then use the VisualEther command-line mode to generate sequence diagrams and context diagrams.

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SCTP connection setup, reconfiguration and release

Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) connection setup, reconfiguration and release

Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) connection setup, reconfiguration and release

Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) is a relatively new transport layer in the IP Protocol Stack. In an LTE network, SCTP is used to provide guaranteed message delivery between the MME and eNodeB.

SCTP belongs to the SIGTRAN protocol family and has been used as the transport layer for carrying telecom signaling over IP. SCTP provides a reliable transport service that operates at message level (unlike TCP that provides a byte stream
interface with no message boundaries).

SCTP allows multiple message streams to be exchanged on a single SCTP connection. Data from multiple streams can be sent in a single SCTP message as chunks. Selective acknowledgements are supported at individual chunk level.

SCTP protocol allows dynamic configuration of the IP addresses. Similar to SS7, SCTP can be switched over from one link to another. SCTP supports a make-before-break changeover, i.e. the packet stream is moved before removing the link that needs to be taken out of service.

In this sequence diagram we will be examining some of the features of SCTP.

  1. SCTP Connection establishment.
  2. SCTP data exchange and selective acknowledgement.
  3. Addition of a new IP address to an SCTP connection.
  4. Switching over to the new IP address.
  5. Removing the old IP address.
  6. SCTP connection release

SCTP Connection Setup, Reconfiguration and Release