WiSM Design Questions

Answered Question
Aug 13th, 2009
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I am considering moving my WLAN off of the 4400 controller infrastructure and onto a WiSM architecture. I have to pretty much double my AP density for our RFid initiative.


I have a couple questions as I am thinking this through.


1 - Can I slot these WiSM modules into a 6500 distribution switch with other non-wireless modules in it. Our distribution 6500s serve our wired access switches. Is there a requirement to have WiSMs in their own chassis? Any best practice advice is appreciated.


2 - Can the WiSM form EoIP tunnels and Guest Tunnels with 4400 series controllers? I have two 4402 guest anchor controllers that I would like to continue to use for our wifi guest solution. If I go to the WiSM will these need to be replaced? Or can I use them exactly as I am now by just having them form Guest Tunnels with the WiSMs.


Thanks

Chuck

Correct Answer by Lucien Avramov about 7 years 10 months ago

1 - You can slot the WiSM with other blades in the same chassis, no requirement to have their own chassis, that would be a way far expensive wireless controller solution.


2- See the WiSM as 2 WLC controllers, you can do anything you'd like it doing the same functionalities pretty much as other controllers

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Correct Answer
Lucien Avramov Thu, 08/13/2009 - 08:30
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1 - You can slot the WiSM with other blades in the same chassis, no requirement to have their own chassis, that would be a way far expensive wireless controller solution.


2- See the WiSM as 2 WLC controllers, you can do anything you'd like it doing the same functionalities pretty much as other controllers

c.fuller Thu, 08/13/2009 - 10:57
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Thank you for the response. I have a few more questions.


What are the pros/cons of centralizing all WiSMs in one physical location. Right now my controllers are distributed across the various distribution switches on the network. With the WiSM would it be sufficient to place them in the data center within a few different chassis for redundancy? Or is it best to keep the WiSMs as close to the APs as possible (i.e @ distribution layer) like we have now with the 4404s.


Is there a maximum module limit in each chassis? For example if I put two WiSMs in a 6506-E chassis that also has a SUP720 and three 48 port gig modules supporting access switches will that be ok?


Are WiSMs ever placed on core 6500s? Probably not right?


Is there a minimum code set the WiSM can run? For example would it run 4.2.130 controller code?

Lucien Avramov Thu, 08/13/2009 - 11:11
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the controller on a design standpoint should be on the distribution layer. Access layer is OK, but it may involve some more troubleshooting when an AP can not join the controller, in my opinion. It may make sense, according to what your design is.


It can be convenient to have wism in cat6k. I have seen setups with for example 6 WiSM blades in the same switch, that is 12 controllers.


You can run any code you would like that is available on CCO:

http://tools.cisco.com/support/downloads/go/PlatformList.x?sftType=Wireless+Services+Modules+%28WiSM%29+Software&mdfid=280103774&treeName=Wireless&mdfLevel=SERIES&url=null&modelName=Cisco+Catalyst+6500+Series%2F7600+Series+Wireless+Services+Module+%28WiSM%29&isPlatform=N&treeMdfId=278875243&modifmdfid=null&imname=&hybrid=Y&imst=N


Codes from 3.2 to 6.0 are posted there. Make sure to go over the release notes, when deciding on a version of controller, as this will list new features and caveats. I dont recommend you to run anything below 4.2.130.0 code.


As far as why to choose WiSM or WLC, there quite a few white papers and deployment guides, that will give you a good picture of the environments:


WiSM:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6526/index.html

4404:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6366/index.html

Q&A on WISM:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/modules/ps2706/ps6526/prod_qas0900aecd8036434e.html

Release notes:

http://cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6366/prod_release_notes_list.html

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