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Interpretting packet data


I hope I'm not off-topic. I am not an ethernet person and know very little. But I've used Wireshark a few times to find problems. My new problem is my mail server appears to be extremely slow in connecting to my client. There can be anywhere from 10 to 20 seconds for it to respond. Other servers such as Gmail are very fast. It's only my server.

I can see my client trying to talk to the server. Where the delay is, the client sends a TCP packet to the server at 13.07 (in this one example) but the server doesn't reply with an SMTP packet until 30.43. That's 17 seconds.

So my question is, can anyone point me to documents that I can study to determine what is in the raw packet data? I'd like to be able to identify the cause of the delay, and since my client works great with other servers I have to believe it is my server.

Thanks for any pointers.