Recently I had the opportunity to attend the Ekahau Certified Survey Engineer course… do it now!
If you are running Ekahau in any capacity, this course should be required. If you are a professional WiFi engineer or want to be, this is an excellent course to take. There are rules and specifications for 802.11, Ethernet, PoE, and everything else that we deal with as WiFi engineers, yet there is nothing approaching a standard for wireless design. This course helps to create the groundwork for solid, if not standard design practices.
The course is given all around the world (find the schedule here). It is currently a four day course to provide certification on Ekahau's Site Survey (ESS) software. Unlike most such courses, the software isn’t even touched until late in the second day. A day and a half are spent making sure everyone in the room has a common understanding of RF / WiFi / modulation / protocols / survey technique / tools / antennas / etc.
Our instructor was Eddie Forero CWNE #160, he is an experienced and energetic WiFi expert. His blog is BadFi.com check it out. His energy and depth of knowledge kept the four days moving right along. For those of us who have been in the biz for a while, the review was quick and painless yet filled with new insights. The new material was presented in a way that was easy to grasp, in great part because of the extensive review.
There was plenty of time for hands on design (planning), survey, and analysis, we were even allowed to perform a site survey of the location. Picture 10 wireless engineers running around a hotel lobby with laptops sprouting multiple USB dongles. The other guests must have wondered what was going on.
Hands on demo of the new Ekahau Sidekick– “A must-have for enterprise network engineers and system integrators who design and maintain wireless networks.” Not marketing hype.
Demo of the WiFiMETRIXRF tester, this device allows you to inject 802.11 frames into an environment and visualize the effect in an RF analyzer. Use the Sidekick RF analyzer, you will be amazed.
Refresher of very valuable design metrics that may have gotten lost in the noise floor over the years.
Customized reporting. ESS has the ability to customize your reports such that you can have a few in the can and press a button to kick out a report that is presentation ready. Huge time saver.
I am now a proud Ekahau Certified Survey Engineer, and I recommend the course for anyone responsible for wireless networks in any capacity.