What traffic from an AP flows through the controller?

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Nov 5th, 2009
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Does everything from a notebook such as the surfing the internet, accessing file shares, printers etc. flow through the controller. I ask this because if I have a notebook in building A but the AP in that building is actually part of the subnet of building B does the traffic from the notebook travel to the other building and back?

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dennischolmes Fri, 11/06/2009 - 05:34
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Not necessarily. It depends on the controller code. As it stands with LWAPP all the control traffic is tunneled back to the controller. Data traffic is not encrypted but does go back to the controller. In CAPWAP, all traffic is in a DTLS tunnel back to the controller.

Rob Huffman Fri, 11/06/2009 - 07:15
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Hi Dennis,

Excellent point about CAPWAP traffic. +5 points for your always great work here.



william.hostetler Fri, 11/06/2009 - 12:47
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I was reading the data sheet that if an AP is configured in the HREAP mode that the controller does the controlling across the WAN but the data stays local and does not transverse the WAN. I'm not a Cisco wireless guy and I know nothing about REAP etc. but will learn if need be.


dennischolmes Fri, 11/06/2009 - 13:34
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REAP is Remote Edge Access Point and yes you can run it in sevral modes. Local Authentication/Remote Switching. Remote Auth/Remote Switch. Local Auth/Local Switching. Lastly, Remote Auth/Local Switching. Basically, you can keep all the traffic local when in REAP mode. Im not a big fan of it however because of some management issues around auto RF and rogue location services. Read your REAP/ H-REAP guide. It pretty much explains it all.

william.hostetler Fri, 11/06/2009 - 16:24
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I have plenty of controllers so this is not an issue for me. Thanks for the tip on not being a big fan of it.


George Stefanick Sat, 11/14/2009 - 06:13
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Not a big fan of hreap either. Keep inmind there is a 300ms round trip pre req when deploying hreap.

Roundtrip latency must not exceed 300 milliseconds (ms) between the access point and the controller, and LWAPP or CAPWAP control packets must be prioritized over all other traffic.



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