What is the max number of WLANs in a WLC?

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Feb 12th, 2010
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We are going to deploy centralized wireless with WiSM WLCs in our datacenter controlling LAP for all our locations (around 600 locations). We would need to create a common WLAN for all locations but also, we need to create unique WLANs at each location so that we can control access to user groups (users from location A cannot log on to unique WLAN at location B).

My question is: what is the maximum number of WLANs I can create in a WLC?

Even though controllers will have 150 AP (maximum) we want to implement n + 1 redundancy, thus, back up controllers would need all 600+ WLANs configured. Is this possible?

Is there a better way to accomplish this?



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George Stefanick Fri, 02/12/2010 - 10:46
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Hello, looks like you have a fun porject ahead. To anwser your question the MAX per WLC is 512 WLANs. You can find this in the CFG document. Simply do a seach on "512" and you will have the reading you need.

I have a few questions.

1) How are your 600+ sites connected to your datacenter, circuit, vpn ?

2) How many APs per location will you be looking to deploy?

If you aren't fimilar with HREAP. You may want to read up on HREAP technology. You have a number of design considerations.


efgarciap Fri, 02/12/2010 - 11:04
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Hi George, Thanks for your quick response.

1)     All our locations are in the same metropolitan area and are connected through 1G fiber links. (School Board)

2)     Some locations are smaller than others, so the number of APs will vary. I guess we will have 4 to 30 APs per site.

I read documentation about HREAP and did some tests in our lab. At the beginning it looked like this was the way to go for us but we found out that to enable roaming on HREAP we needed to create groups and the number of HREAP groups per controller is very low (I think it was 20), this made us discard the idea.

Any other suggestion?

George Stefanick Fri, 02/12/2010 - 11:24
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No problem... I enjoy brain storming. I feel your pain on the HREAP issue. With that many locations i think you will hit limits

Have you looked at AP groups?

Leo Laohoo Fri, 02/12/2010 - 14:07
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Previous models (1230 I think), current (1130, 1240) and new models (1140 and 1250) of AP can support up to 512 SSIDs but you can use 24 SSID at any one time.

I'm currently managing wireless AP (autonomous and LWAP) with Cisco CP-7921/7925 VoIP wireless phones and I'd recommend you look at WCS as well.  If you are in America and Canada, Cisco's got a number of promos such as trading in your old APs (Cisco or non-Cisco) for credits and some AP-&-WLC bundles.  If you have your own dedicated f/o then HREAP really defeats the purpose.  HREAP has a number of significant limitations, in our case is 802.1x, that we just dropped it.  Otherwise, it sure is a very useful function if the developers can just improve.

I agree with George, in your particular case, AP Groups is the way to go.


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