Upgrading to Unified Wireless Network

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Mar 28th, 2008
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We just began looking into the process and hardware requirements to move our existing WLAN (WLSE, ACS, Standalone APs) to the Cisco Unified Wireless Network. Our APs consist of a majority of 1200 series APs (AIR-AP1231G-A-9) along with one 1300 series AP. Can anyone confirm that this 1200 series model is upgradable to lightweight mode? I believe it is but am not positive after reading the documentation.


We currently have a WLSE appliance running release 2.7.1. Is this upgradable to the WCS? If not, what hardware is required to make this work (in addition to the 4400 controller). Thanks!

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Rob Huffman Sat, 03/29/2008 - 07:32
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Hi Darin,


I can confirm that the AP 1231G can be converted from Autonomous to LWAPP :) When we first switched to Lightweight we converted about 25 of these exact models using the Upgrade Tool.


The Autonomous to Lightweight Mode Upgrade Tool supports the following models:


Cisco Aironet 1240AG Series access points


**Cisco Aironet 1230AG Series access points


Cisco Aironet 1200 Series access points that contain 802.11g (AIR-MP21G-x-K9) and/or second-generation 802.11a radios (AIR-RM21A-x-K9 or AIR-RM22A-x-K9)


Cisco Aironet 1130AG Series access points


Cisco Aironet 1100 Series Access Points that contain 802.11g radios (AIR-AP1121G-x-K9)


Cisco Aironet 1300 Series Access Points/Bridges (AIR-BR1310G-x-K9 or AIR-BR1310G-x-K9-R). A Cisco Aironet 1300 Series operating in Lightweight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP) mode only operates as an access point. This series does not support LWAPP bridging mode.


The Autonomous to Lightweight Mode Upgrade Tool supports a process to migrate an autonomous access point from autonomous mode to lightweight mode. Unlike a VxWorks to Cisco IOS Software upgrade, this process is a Cisco IOS Software upgrade to the existing Cisco IOS Software image-not an operating system "swapout". In converted access points operating in lightweight mode, Cisco IOS Software continues to run on the access point, while LWAPP is used to communicate with a wireless LAN controller. Since LWAPP supports automatic access point configuration, there is no need to retain or convert the original autonomous Cisco IOS Software access point configuration.


Cisco Aironet Access Point Support for Lightweight Access Point Protocol


http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6521/prod_bulletin0900aecd80321a2c.html


Upgrading Autonomous Cisco Aironet Access Points to Lightweight Mode


http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/wireless/ps430/prod_technical_reference09186a00804fc3dc.html#wp157147




Guidelines and Tools for Migrating to the Cisco Unified Wireless Network


http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/wireless/ps5679/ps5861/prod_white_paper0900aecd804f1a23_ns337_Networking_Solutions_White_Paper.html



For the WLSE to WCS conversion the important factor is what the current WLSE Model is. Have a look;


Customers can use the CiscoWorks WLSE to Cisco WCS conversion CDs (Cisco WCS SKU Family WCS-WLSE-UPG-K9) to convert an existing CiscoWorks WLSE (Model 1130-19 and 1133) to operate as a Cisco WCS server. This SKU family is price adjusted to make transitioning from CiscoWorks WLSE to Cisco WCS cost-effective.


WCS-WLSE-UPG-K9


- Supports deployment of Cisco WCS on a single server only.


- For CiscoWorks WLSE customers migrating from CiscoWorks WLSE (Models 1130-19 or 1133) to Cisco WCS


- Available as Cisco WCS base or Cisco WCS location in increments of 50, 100, 500, 1000, or 2500 lightweight access points.


- CiscoWorks WLSE Express (Model 1030) and CiscoWorks WLSE (Model 1105) are not supported with this SKU. Do not install the CiscoWorks WLSE CDs on to the CiscoWorks WLSE Express (Model 1030) appliance or CiscoWorks WLSE (Model 1105). This conversion is not supported and will not work.


http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/wireless/ps5755/ps6301/ps6305/product_data_sheet0900aecd804b4646_ps3915_Products_Data_Sheet.html


Hope this helps and best of luck on the migration. This is a very good change :)


Rob

daringatto Mon, 03/31/2008 - 16:44
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Rob, thanks so much for providing all the info and for answering my question. Looks like we are good with the migration of the APs. It looks like all we require is the 4400 controller as the WCS component is optional. Thanks!

Rob Huffman Mon, 03/31/2008 - 18:23
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Hi Darin,


You are most welcome :) One thing to keep in mind is that the WLC cannot be re-sized (ie: from a 25 to 50 AP support #) so think about future expansion when purchasing and also give some thought to Fail-over. So if you lose one WLC the other one can pick up the slack.


Hope this helps!

Rob

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