Archive for the ‘External Training’ Category

CWAP Beta Course – Recap

If you read my latest posts, you already know that I attended the Certified Wireless Analysis Professional beta course hosted by the CWNP program in Atlanta, GA last week. 

I really enjoyed all the side bar discussions between attendees.  There were at least 3-4 vendors represented, as well as VARs/Integrators and enterprise wireless network administrators.    I  spoke about my favorite side-bar discussion, which was about locating wireless devices through spectrum analysis on my Computerworld blog.   

Attending the course also really reinforced what a big believer I am in the CWNP program.  It’s great to see a vendor neutral training and certification body in our field.   I really think that along with the IEEE and Wi-Fi Alliance, they have done a great job promoting and educating the community about wireless technology, which helps drive growth / adoption, which is good for everyone involved. 

Therefore, I wanted to take the time to interview one of the CWNP co-founders, Kevin Sandlin, to have him explain about the program and how it fits an emerging trend  in the marketplace:

CWAP Beta Course – Day 2

Today was the 2nd day in the CWAP (Certified Wireless Analysis Professional) beta course.  Today’s material was a lot more hand-on / lab type exercise in capturing and analyzing traffic.  From what I could tell, there were three main tools used by the course attendees:

They all seem to have their pros and cons, and they all seem to cost about the same amount of money (especially if you want to do multichannel packet capture on ~3 channels).  Which tool do you prefer?  Why?

The course contains an enormous amount of detail, such as the exact length (in microseconds) for slot times for each PHY type as well as a discussion on the application of that detail (i.e. how do the different slot times affect WLAN performance with and without QoS enabled).

Again, I thought one of the most valuable things were the networking opportunities with the other attendees and the sidebar conversations.  A colleague (and good friend) of mine, Ken Hall, was even inspired to sign up for a Twitter account (@wifiscubaguy) to continue the interaction outside of this course / classroom.  His account will definitely be on my next list of #WirelessWednesday mentions.

Tomorrow is the last day of the course.  From what I know, we are covering a lot of 802.11n concepts, as well as spectrum analysis, which should be a blast.

CWAP Beta Course

This week, I am at the CWNP offices in Atlanta, GA for training. If you’re unfamiliar with CWNP, they focus on vendor-neutral training and certification in the wireless networking space.

The program recently went through some changes, and they recently launched two new certifications:

I am here taking a Beta version of the CWAP course with some of the brightest minds of the WLAN world.  One of the authors of the new CWAP Study Guide, Peter MacKenzie, is teaching the course.  Two of the other authors are attending the course – Marcus Burton and David Coleman.  There are also some of my favorite wireless bloggers in attendance, including:

Today, we covered a lot of ground with regards to the Physical and Data Link Layers and what the bitwise fields look like at that those levels.  However, from my perspective, some of the most interesting discussion was not around the bits and bytes, but rather how an understanding of those fundamentals can be applied to real world wireless troubleshooting and analysis.

The afternoon consisted of some hands on work with protocol analyzers.  Peter taught this in a very dynamic way just stepping through captures we were all taking on the fly — very impressive!

If you are interested in knowing more, you can follow some of the happenings of the course by searching the #cwapbeta hashtag on Twitter.

Cantenna Workshop Followup – Pictures & Lessons Learned

I wanted to post a quick follow-up on the “Build Your Own Cantenna” workshop that I facilitated at the University of Advancing Technology as a part of their Tech Forum 2010.

While we limited the number of registrants to 15, we were able to sneak in a few others last minute because we had the available supplies and space.  All together, we made 18 cantennas.

We were building simple waveguide antennas using tin cans.  We used the instructions from Turnpoint Wireless.  I had acquired several different sizes and types of cans for the workshop.  I thought part of the fun would be the experimentation. While it says it in the instructions, cans with a diameter of less than 3.25” do not work.  This is because you need to place the antenna element at a specific point on the can related to the ¼ wavelength of the 2.4 GHz frequency.  There were a few small cans (for canned veggies) that we tried where the diameter was less than 3” – when we made the measurement of where to place the antenna connector, we found out the can was not long enough!

Also, the instructions call for #6 ¼” nuts and bolts.  I bought the N-Type connectors from Fleeman, Anderson, & Bird.  When they arrived, I took one to a Home Depot to size out the nuts and bolts.  Size #6 seemed to be a little too big, so I downsized to #4 ¼ bolts.   If I did it over again, I would have actually bought #4 ½ bolts because the connector does not sit flush, due to the curve of the can.   This was the worst with the widest cans – they seemed to have the deepest curve. Because the connector wasn’t flush, the bolts weren’t long enough to hold the connector in place.  We worked around this by cutting a much larger hole for the N-Type connector in the can.  We used a circular drill bit to accomplish this – my advice on this is to go slow and apply steady pressure, or you’ll severely warp the opening as the bit goes through the can.

Here are a few photos from the workshop:

Build Your Own “Cantenna” Workshop

Tomorrow afternoon, I will be teaching a workshop on how to build your own 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi antenna using a household can such as soup can, coffee can, or veggie can.  It is a simple waveguide antenna.

The workshop is going to be held at the University of Advancing Technology and is a part of their Tech Forum 2010.

My session is tomorrow, November 2nd, at 2:30 PM Pacific Time.  UAT is located at:

University of Advancing Technology

2625 W Baseline Road

Tempe Arizona 85283

If you want to go, please send me an email or Twitter @reply quickly and I will try to sneak you into the class.  We have a limited amount of seats because we have a limited amount of supplies (and soldering irons).

If you can not attend, but would like to undergo the project on your own, we are just following the instructions/outline from Turnpoint Wireless.

I bought my cantenna kits from Fleeman, Anderson, & Bird as suggested in the instructions.  I ordered 20 kits and had them shipped 2nd day and Fleeman, Anderson, & Bird had no issue fulfilling the order.  The neccessary nuts,bolts, and wire I picked up at a local Home Depot.

If you build one of your own, please stop back and leave me a comment to let know know how it went.  I’d love to hear about your experience!

Laura Chappell Webinars on Wireshark Certification

If you haven’t heard, there is now a Wireshark certification.  From the Wireshark University website:

The Wireshark Certification Program strives to test a candidate’s knowledge and ability to troubleshoot, optimize and secure a network based on evidence found by analyzing traffic captured with the world’s most popular and widely-deployed analyzer, Wireshark.

To that end, Laura Chappell is hosting a series of FREE Webinars over the next 3 days to discuss the exam.  Again, taken from the Wireshark University website:

These free events cover the process of preparing and registering for the Wireshark Certified Network Analyst Exam. What should you study? How should you study? What are the hot areas on the Exam? What are the Exam question formats? What should you watch for? What if you need to reschedule the Exam? What can you bring with you?

Live question and answer will follow a 20-minute presentation hosted by Laura Chappell.

All the information you need should be available on the following website:

http://www.wiresharktraining.com/certification.html

CWAP Study Guide (Book Review)

I read this book to prepare re-certify my CWNE (Certified Wireless Network Expert).

This is an *excellent* read, especially for seasoned wireless LAN engineers. It goes into a lot of the “beeps and squeaks” of wireless networking. It takes an in-depth look into the MAC and PHY layers, including all the bitwise fields of the 802.11 MAC header. A well written book that I have gone through at least 3 or 4 times.

There are not too many books that go this in-depth on Layers 1 and 2 of wireless networking.  The IEEE 802.11 Handbook is the “official” study guide for the CWNE, but I don’t think it is a clear as the CWAP Study Guide.

It isn’t a book that I would suggest for beginners.  For those folks, I would suggest either the McGraw Hill or the Sybex “CWNA Study Guide”.

Happy reading!

Sharkfest ’09

I admit it, I am getting jealous with all my colleagues Twittering about the RSA Conference this week at the Moscone Center in San Fransisco.  While the idea of heading to RSA hit me too late to make the logistics work, something that I am planning ahead for is Sharkfest 2009.   What is Sharkfest, you ask?  

Sharkfest is a conference dedicated to the optimization of the Wireshark Protocol Analyzer, which is now owned and managed by CACE Technologies. It is a 3 day conference being held near San Fransisco at Stanford University. The official dates for the conference are June 15th – 18th, 2009.  

sharkfest_banner

The conference has three tracks – one for basic users, one for advanced users, and one for developers.  I am pretty sure that you can mix and match sessions from all three tracks.  The cost of the conference is only $695 per person, and each paid attendee gets a free AirPcap Classic adapter ($198 value), which lets you do 802.11 b/g packet capture in Windows, directly through Wireshark. Groups of 3 or more are also eligible for a 10% discount.  

If you have been following my blog, you know that I am a wireless packet junkie.  I am attending Sharkfest with a couple other Principal Technologists from Xirrus.  It looks like they have a great speaker lineup with Mike Kershaw (Kismet creator), Fyodor, Laura Chapell, etc.  Of course, they will have Wireshark engineers and developers on-hand as well.  

If you are interested in registering for Sharkfest, I would suggest doing it soon.  This is the second year for the conference and the conference organizers told me that they are limiting the number of attendees so that it doesn’t grow out of hand too quickly.  As someone who attended the first several Shmoocon conferences, I can tell you that you want to get in on the ground floor.   

Related Posts: 

Insider’s Guide to a SANS Conference – Day 5

This was the last day for the Management 512 “Security Leadership Essentials for Manager’s” course.  Day 5 was a Management Practicum.  

The Day 5 material was the most focused on pure management with less attention on technical information.  The topics included understanding legal liability and managing technical employees.

As a management “practicum”, I was hoping for more scenarios, role-play, or exercises.  That being said, the class did have an outstanding discussion on the topics at hand. 

MGMT 512 uses a trademarked feature called “Knowledge Compression”. Most of the full length courses are 6 days.  There are also a handful of one day courses that are being offered, so the conference runs throughout this weekend.

I had a GREAT time participating in the SANS work-study program.  One of the most memorable moments was when the hotel staff asked if we wanted to jump in a bounce house they set up.  Apparently they had it set up to model to a different group and thought someone should get some use out of it before they deflated it.  

We collectively thought it would be a good idea to get a picture of us all jumping around with and post it on the website with a caption of “Volunteering at SANS is fun!”.  Well, the bounce house had a “structural failure”.  To make a long story short, I ended up folded like a taco in a corner of the bounce house with everything collapsing around me.  Needless to say, we were all laughing pretty hard.  Hopefully, I can get a copy of one of the pictures taken.  Check out the SANS website if you are interested in their work-study program I highly recommend it! 

Related Posts: 

Insider’s Guide to a SANS Conference – Day 4

Insider’s Guide to a SANS Conference – Day 3

Insider’s Guide to a SANS Conference – Day 2

Insider’s Guide to a SANS Conference – Day 1

Insider’s Guide to a SANS Conference – Setup

Insider’s Guide to a SANS Conference – Day 4

In today’s MGMT 512 course, we discussed “the value of information”.   My favorite part of the course material was a discussion about intellectual property.  I will have to write a full length blog post on the topic in coming weeks – the topic and discussion were simply fascinating!

We also had a session on IT ethics.  I really like the printed course material for that section because there were a number of different ethical scenarios, along with a conservative opinion and a liberal opinion (not using conservative/liberal in the political sense).  I thought it offered a lot of value to look at both sides of the issue.  

As you may have seen in a previous post, I have been planning a short interview with Stephen Northcutt about the state of wireless networking, social media, etc.  We were able to conduct that interview after class, and I will have it posted to my blog as quickly as I can get it transcribed.  

Tomorrow is the end of the MGMT 512 course.  I believe it ends with a Management Practicum, although I am not sure.  Check back tomorrow to hear all about it!   🙂