question concerning WiSM operation

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Aug 3rd, 2007
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I have a question concerning the operation of the wireless network and the WiSM in a 6500 that we have put in place. My customer has the following setup: On thier mainsite, they have a core 6500 with a WiSM module in place. They have 4 remote sites, with several APs at each remote site. Each remote site is setup in an all Cisco environment, where its typically AP --> cisco switch --> fiber to main site cisco switch --> core --> then on to where ever. I have an engineer telling me this, that whatever wireless data traffic (internet, anything) that hits the AP (at any site), it must go THROUGH the WiSM module. I would have thought that the WiSM module would be for ONLY management of APs, not for data traffic handling.

Again, he says that ALL traffic (internet, etc) goes through the WiSM module, then on out through the infrastructure.

I would have thought that traffic would go through the AP only, then through the infrastructure.

Can you verify wheather data traffic from any wireless device through the AP actually traverses the WiSM module or not?

Again, I thought the WiSM module would be only for management of APs. Thanks.

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francoispepin Tue, 08/07/2007 - 19:35
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The engineer is largely correct. By default, the APs will tunnel all traffic to the controller to be distributed according to VLAN/SSID. The controller and the AP work together to perform the normal wireless <-> wired bridging. This allows some flexibility in how the infrastructure handles mobile clients. There are many benefits to the Cisco Unified model (or LWAPP).

We have three hospital campuses and only a couple remote wireless sites. They are all well-connected. As all our primary app servers are on one campus, we only have controllers on that one campus. The client traffic is bridged at the main campus.

The Cisco Unified model does offer other modes of operation (H-REAP for example) that allow some local traffic to bypass the controller and be bridged by the AP to the local LAN. There are some caveats to this, however, and you'd want to read up on it before trying it:

or more specifically:


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