Back in 2000, Ekahau originated out of the University of Helsinki as a location tracking company utilizing wireless networks to track assets and people. In the very beginning, the company was tracking GSM phones, but very quickly pivoted to tracking laptops and PDAs using Wi-Fi. A couple of years later Ekahau released Wi-Fi tags, too.
After RTLS customers started using the calibration software to design and test their Wi-Fi networks in addition to calibrating their RTLS solutions it became apparent that there was a market for Wi-Fi design and testing tools. There were no Wi-Fi site survey tools available at that time.
This was the genesis of Wi-Fi site survey tools, and what would become Ekahau Site Survey (ESS). Ekahau Site Survey was the first ever enterprise-grade site survey tool; later adding features such as reporting, network planning, and many more advanced features over the years.
Aruba and Ekahau have been working together since the very early days of Aruba, and have hundreds of common customers.
“Aruba's Systems Engineers have a broad range of survey tools at their disposal, and they choose to use Ekahau Site Survey (ESS). ESS is an essential tool for any field engineer who is serious about Wi-Fi.
Michael Tennefoss, Vice President of Strategic Partnership, Aruba Networks an HP Company
Check out the history time line of Ekahau Site Survey 2002-2015 »
But where did the name Ekahau come from? In Mayan mythology Ekahau (Pronunciation: [eck-uh-how]) is the god of travelers and merchants. Fitting, given that Ekahau is a location tracking company from the start.
Ekahau Inc. is headquartered in Reston, VA (20 miles west of Washington, D.C.) with R&D and Product Management out of the Helsinki, Finland office.
Today, Ekahau has two business units:
- Wi-Fi Design Tools
- RTLS (Real-Time Location Systems)
What products does Ekahau Wi-Fi Design Tools offer?
- Ekahau Site Survey Pro & Planner is the flagship product for laptops including planning, surveying, capacity analysis, reporting, GPS Surveys, etc.
- Ekahau Site Survey Standard is like Pro; but without planning, capacity, reporting, or GPS enabled outdoor surveys.
- Ekahau Mobile Survey is the Android tablet/phone tool, with site survey features, coverage mapping, on-the-spot analysis, and client-side monitoring.
- Ekahau Spectrum Analyzer is what you need for in-depth interference analysis. The Spectrum Analyzer provides a detailed look at interference sources such as Bluetooth devices, cordless phones, and other 2.4/5 GHz interferers.
- Ekahau Premium Pack has it all (ESS-Pro, NIC Hub, 2x NIC-300-USBs, Mobile Survey, Spectrum Analyzer).
What sets Ekahau apart from other Site Survey and Planner tools?
- Wall Outling Wizard (WOW) – Automatic wall detection from CAD files.
- Advanced 3D planning – Directional antennas (elevation and azimuth), floor-to-floor prediction, height of walls, hole in floor (for atriums).
- Reporting – One-click reporting, template-based reports for full customization.
- Site Surveying – Full integration with site survey functionality.
- Scalability to huge sites – ESS is used on stadiums, shopping centers, universities, and many other very large scale deployments.
- Capacity Planning – Today’s networks are not planned for only coverage, but capacity as well.
- AP Availability – Every Aruba AP available, as well as hundreds of external antennas
- Ease and quickness of use – Can be learned in minutes, not days or weeks.
- Product updates – Ekahau releases updates once a month with a major release approximately every 3 months. In the past 3 years there has been over 500 additions to the product.
- Innovation – Ekahau releases new features and capabilities ahead of the market. Direct customer feedback is collected via twitter using #ESSRequest or tweeting @ekahau, @jussikivinemi, @WiFiAndrew, and/or @ekamikko. Feedback is given directly to Ekahau’s R&D team for review.
This is the first of a series of blog posts about Ekahau Wi-Fi Tools, future posts will cover designing Aruba Wi-Fi networks using ESS and Site Surveying. Until then, please check out the Ekahau website and hope you find this series educational.
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