Best way to configure a network comprising WLSE and many APs ?

Answered Question
Jun 30th, 2008

Hi the Cisco NetPro community,

I would like to have a discussion with you on the best way to configure a network containing a WLSE and a large amount of Access Points.

The network I want to configure comprises some subnetnorks, each comprising about 10 access points (with some advanced settings for security). It might be a quite long and boring process to set the configuration for all those, so I am looking for the quickest and easiest solution to do so.

First of all, the configuration of IP addresses have to be done on each Access Point after unpacking it. The configuration of my network comprises 1 WDS active AP, 1 WDS backup AP and the rest of infrastructure APs, that for each developement site.

I thought about several solutions :

- 1st solution could be to apply a configuration file (i.e. load the config.txt file) to each AP manually, changing some values (IP, local radius...).

But problem is that passwords can't be changed with text editor because of the passwords written in "hash".

- 2nd solution could be to configure each AP (after IP is set) using its web interface.

No more problem for hash written passwords, but this method is quite boring when surfing on menu pages of the AP web interface...

- 3rd solution, which could appear as the best solution, is to create a template on the WLSE, and to apply it to all APs.

No more boring connection to each AP, but problem are : we need to create as many templates as APs (or change some parameters each time), and we still need to set parameters directly to APs before (SNMP, SSH, WDS configuration...), in order the WLSE to manage the APs.

So, what do you think could be the best solution in order to deploy such a network with many APs ?

How is it possible to avoid (so far as we can) the configuration of APs one by one ?

Thanks a lot in advance for your consideration and your ideas !

Alexis.

I have this problem too.
0 votes
Correct Answer by Scott Fella about 8 years 6 months ago

Well for one of my clients that had over 60 sites, we actually created a couple of templates. We created a basic template and a template for each site. You can have the ap's obtain the configuration from the WLSE, but you need to configure a DHCP option. My client did mac address reservations, but of course you need the mac address first. I guess you can also let the ap get an address and change it later. They tried doing different things, first let the ap obtain a default config and then pushing out the configuration for that site.

As for the hash, you can set the password in ascii... when you do a show run, then of cours it will be hash'd.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/wireless/wlse/2.12/user/guide/deploywz.html#wp1936755

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Correct Answer
Scott Fella Fri, 07/04/2008 - 07:33

Well for one of my clients that had over 60 sites, we actually created a couple of templates. We created a basic template and a template for each site. You can have the ap's obtain the configuration from the WLSE, but you need to configure a DHCP option. My client did mac address reservations, but of course you need the mac address first. I guess you can also let the ap get an address and change it later. They tried doing different things, first let the ap obtain a default config and then pushing out the configuration for that site.

As for the hash, you can set the password in ascii... when you do a show run, then of cours it will be hash'd.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/wireless/wlse/2.12/user/guide/deploywz.html#wp1936755

AlexisGodinot Mon, 07/07/2008 - 05:27

Thanks for answering fella5 !

Following what you say, I should first set the DHCP option in the switches for the initialization process of my APs ; Then remove DHCP and set the desired IPs into the APs of each deployement site.

I hope there will be no problem doing things like that. (duplicated IP...)

For the templates, I guess I should create 3 of them :

- 1 for the active WDS of each site

- 1 for the backup WDS of each site

- 1 for the other APs

... or create one template per site, like you said, changing settings manually for WDS configurations...

Thanks !

ps : for hash, we can not cut & paste passwords directly in ascii everywhere, because some of them (like WDS password) appear to be calculated in function of the Mac address of the AP.

Scott Fella Mon, 07/07/2008 - 06:53

First make sure your switch can have that option configure. My client used a Windows DHCP server they had at each site, in which they also used reservations. You are correct with the templates, one for each..... Once you get going, you might change it up depending on how different the configs are between sites. You can always create a template for the wds password and push that out to the primary and backup also.

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