We’ve got good news for all you network sniffing enthusiasts and Windows Server admins out there: Microsoft has just rolled out the final stable version of Network Monitor 3.4. Oddly, there hasn’t been a peep about the new release over at the TechNet blog since April, when they announced the beta version of Microsoft Network Monitor 3.4. Since then, Microsoft has been accepting feedback on their latest and greatest protocol analyzer before finalizing it, and it appears that they are satisfied. Likewise, many of the changes and updates that made it into Network Monitor 3.4 were by popular demand.
Highlighted new features include:
- User Interface Refresh. “Refreshed”—that’s Microsoft’s language, as in the UI isn’t quite revamped, rather, it’s more like it got a good night’s rest and now looks a lot friendlier. For example, there are now three preset Window layouts—simple, diagnostic and developer—plus the option to customize the layout to suit your needs. They’ve also streamlined how Color Rules are handled, bringing them more upfront and making them more accessible.
- Parser Profiles. The one thing that Microsoft has been drumming up over at the Technet blog is the addition of Parser Profiles. Parser Profiles are meant to make switching between more complete (and thus slower) parser sets and simpler (i.e. faster) parser sets accessible to “mere mortals.” You can read Paul Long’s in-depth explanation of Parser Profiles for more info.
- “Live” Experts. The Experts feature has been given its own menu for quicker access and now you can run experts during “Live” captures. Previously, you could only run experts on saved traces.
- Various Performance Tweaks. Network Monitor 3.4 also touts a few performance enhancements, including High-Performance Filtering, High-precision Timestamps, UTC Timestamps and 802.11n & Raw IP Frame Support (for Windows 7).
We could go on and on about the latest Network Monitor 3.4 release, but the best way to experience what’s new is to try it out for yourself—especially since it’s free. You can hop on over to the Microsoft Network Monitor 3.4 download page and grab a copy for your IA64, x64 or x86 machine. Also, keep an eye out on the Technet blog for more articles about the new features (you may have to sign up for a Microsoft Connect account to get the latest updates.)