Archive for the ‘CWAP’ Tag

The Packets Never Lie

OK.  If you have been following my blog (here or over at Computerworld), you’ll notice that I am really starting to incorporate a lot of video into my posts.  So far, I have found that one of the easiest & most effective ways to include video is to interview someone else.  However, I now realize that turn-about is fair play.

The fine folks at CWNP had a little fun by asking me what I though about their recent Certified Wireless Analysis Professional (CWAP) beta course.

I told them about one mantra I hold about wireless networking… that the packets never lie.  Then they took some liberties with my response.  🙂

See for yourself:

Oh, it’s all in good natured fun.  That is, if you can stand seeing & hearing me more than 10 times in under 5 minutes…  In all seriousness though, I had a great time at the CWAP beta course and learned a ton from all the real brains in the room.

If you want to read CWNP’s original post with the video montage, you can view it here: https://www.cwnp.com/index/cwnp_wifi_blog/cwapbeta-round-up-the-packets-never-lie

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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.

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!