Earlier this week, two companies joined forces to make one product to better serve wireless LAN administrators. The new InterpretAir WLAN Survey software from Fluke Networks integrates that company’s analysis equipment with the site survey tool from Ekahau.
“They’ve made our site survey tool part of their analysis family,” says Tuomo Rutanen, Vice President of Business Development for Ekahau. “We’ve added features for Fluke — the silver bullet is the ability to visualize your WLAN for voice over Wi-Fi. You do a survey for performance, get your basic visualization, and an enterprise IT manager who may not be as radio-educated as a hardcore Wi-Fi installer, he can look at the red/green pass/fail visuals to work out placement [of equipment] for voice.”
The visualization is overlayed on top of a map, such a building floor plan, which can indicate changes needed to adjust Wi-Fi signals.
“Obviously, voice is happening in a big way in a lot of places,” says Rutanen. “There’s a lot of network performance issues that have to be addressed, and this tool with site survey and Flukes’ software suite gives users the complete package to end-to-end analyze and troubleshoot.”
The software will tie in with the Fluke Networks EtherScope Network Assistant, a portable unit supporting 802.11a/b/g and 10/100/1000 Ethernet as well, which can exchange data with heavier traffic in real time — doing, in short, intensive network analysis. Ekahau’s software by itself can by used for a site survey while walking around with a laptop.
The Ekahau Site Survey tool will still be sold separately by the company, and will see some updates based on the work they’ve done to integrate it with InterpretAir. Rutanen says Ekahau has thousands of units of the Site Survey sold. Over the last couple of years, the company has concentrated on the business of Wi-Fi-based RFID using small, inexpensive tags working with its Ekahau Positioning Engine.
The InterpretAir WLAN Survey Software is available now from Fluke sales channels — CDW carries it for $3,460 for a one-user package. Fluke also provides a downloadable 14-day free trial version if you register.