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ASK THE EXPERT - WIRELESS CONTROL SYSTEM

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Mar 26th, 2010
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Welcome to the Cisco Networking Professionals Ask the Expert conversation. This is an opportunity to get an update on Wireless Control System (WCS) with Cisco expert Pushkar Sambhoos. Pushkar Sambhoos is a customer support engineer in the Cisco Technical Assistance Center. He has been with the Network Management Services team for 3 years and is currently the tech lead, supporting the Cisco Wireless Control System, Cisco Wireless Location Appliance, and Cisco Mobility Services Engine. Sambhoos holds CCIE certification in the Routing and Switching and Service Provider tracks (CCIE # 19532). He holds a bachelors degree in electronics and a master's degree in telecommunications from the University of Colorado.

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Overall Rating: 4.5 (9 ratings)
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Have a 1524 that will be used as a MAP and will connect to 1 RAP.  Just the 2 APs on the controller.  The RAP powers on fine but the one that I am using as a MAP will not power on unless I hook a computer to it to or into my network.  It will only power on if it has a wired network connection?  I am hooking 2 cameras to the MAP and shooting that back to my RAP.  How do I power it on without an ethernet connection attached?

Craig Le-Butt Mon, 03/29/2010 - 05:15
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HI


We're a NHS Hopsital in the UK.

We currently using the 4404 controllers.


Our staff are able to visit other NHS PCT Offices which they are able to log on to the lan using their network account.


Our staff are now asking for connection to the hospital Wireless network in these satalie venues.  These venues already have their own wireless network.


Is this just a matter of creating a new Wireless VLAN and and getting the settings to point to our DHCP and controller several miles away.


Cheers


Craig

Craig,


The AP's at the remote sites would have to register to your controller is use the WLAN & authentication settings. Are the AP's at the remote sites LWAPP?  Do they have WLC's at the remote sites?


What you could do is create a mobility group and link the WLC's together.


HTH>

Andrew.

Craig Le-Butt Mon, 03/29/2010 - 05:20
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Hi again


Another question I have.


Or wireless network is split into several VLANS around each hospitals.


We have a portable medical device that has to have a static IP address.

We dont want to create a new VLAN and SSID for this 1 device.


I think I remember reading something about a VMPS which will allow a mac address to be assigned to a certain vlan, this is on a wired network.  Does this also work for a wireless network?


Are switches are 3750s, ap 1240s,


Cheers


Craig

skronawithleitner Mon, 03/29/2010 - 22:27
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hi,

something that bugs me:


is it possible in WCS to rotate or even change the form of a building in the campus map?

Buildings in the U.S. may be that rectangular and in N-S or E-W direction, but here in europe we got ridiculous shapes, which makes it not only impossible to place the map exactly on the building, but because of rotation that nearby buildings overlap or there is no space left for them.


I am pretty sure, that this is not possible in WCS (unless I have really overseen such a function, but there is nothing mentioned in the manual either), so the question is more: will this be possible in WCS?

Pushkar Sambhoos Mon, 03/29/2010 - 23:45
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Hi,


As you mention, there is currently no way in WCS to change the orientation when drawing buildings. The rectangles used to represent the building are always drawn with the assumption that buildings are aligned N-S or E-W. I am not ware of any plans to change that behavior, but will put in an enhancement request to get it added in the future releases.


Having said that, the buildings shown on the Campus in WCS do not really affect the location calculation. They are more of a place-holder, to allow looking at the maps at the building level. So even if your buildings are aligned in a particular direction, you can put in a small rectangle (in it's current form and orientation) and making sure it does not overlap with the neighboring buildings. Your location calculation will not be affected by it.


--

Pushkar

ybilteryst Tue, 03/30/2010 - 04:53
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Dear Pushkar,


We have WCS up and running and we would like to use the maps for only have a view on the network but we don't want WCS recompute all AP parameters because we want to leave WLC the "master" of the wireless coverage.

For the moment, it is working as we want because WCS has SNMP read only parameter for WLC but the problem is all other functionaliites taht required read/write access are not funtioning propoerly.


Is there another way to do?


Thanks.

Yab

Pushkar Sambhoos Tue, 03/30/2010 - 10:10
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Yab,


The WCS maps pages create the heatmaps based on the power levels set on the Access Points. The Power level settings are not modified by the WCS even if you use the read/write SNMP community string.


The AP Power levels are always controlled by the WLC. They are changed automatically based on RRM which is enabled by default, or you could go in and set the power levels manually per AP.


So to answer your question, adding the read/write community string for the controller into the WCS will not cause a change in the AP power levels. So in order to use all the features of WCS, it is recommended you use a read/write community string instead of a read-only community string.


--

Pushkar

Leo Laohoo Tue, 03/30/2010 - 15:09
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One of the improvements I've enjoyed with the new WCS is the ability to track the number of users for autonomous access points.

Pushkar Sambhoos Thu, 04/01/2010 - 11:50
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Thanks for the feedback. We are glad you find the feature useful.


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Pushkar

eric nguyen Wed, 03/31/2010 - 06:13
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Any plans to expand the the mapping mode? Specifically, the ability to create wall obstacles based on an AutoCAD layer would save so much time and pain.  Why hasn't this been implemented yet?  WCS can already differentiate between CAD layers, so why can't it simply plop "thick walls" where the wall layer exists in AutoCAD?


We're running 6.0.188 and are upgrading to 6.0.196 in a few days.  With 6.0.188, we were getting DHCP issues (see here), AP "draws low power from Ethernet. Failure reason: 'The AP draws 15.4 watts  from Ethernet'." errors, and APs sporadically containing themselves for about 1 minute (see attachment). The low power errors seem to just be cosmetic; the APs (1142) work fine.  I've seen nothing in the caveats regarding these issues and I was wondering if you have.

wilsons5 Thu, 04/01/2010 - 10:57
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/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

Hello Pushkar;


I wanted to know if there are any plans to add a feature to WCS to list open SSIDs with no authentication or encryption as guest users.  At the moment, only accounts that were created on the WCS or the controller are listed as guest users. This would make it easier to users to run reports and gather information on the amount of guest who are using their wireless network.


Thank you


Sean

Pushkar Sambhoos Thu, 04/01/2010 - 11:50
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Sean,


A guest user is any user connected to a WLAN which is configured specifically to be a Guest WLAN. So client's connecting to 'Open SSIDs' with no authentication are not termed as guest. This is by design.


You can always run a client report per SSID, and get the details on the clients which are connecting to it. So in case you have a open SSID, you can run the client report for it to get the info you seek.


--

Pushkar

ahmedbishry Thu, 04/01/2010 - 14:43
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Hi Pushkar,

I have a mesh network with LAP 1522 (as Root AP) and WLC 4402 in the main site.

I add a seven LAP’s 1500 (as Mesh AP) in deferent seven remote sites, but I faced a serious problem that when I used the ping tool to ping the IP address of the LAP 1500 in the remote site I found there is big delay in the time and keep increase to about 3000ms so the link go’s down after one minute and the time was normal before about 1ms and 3ms, please I need your help, why the ping time between the LAP 1500 access pointes suddenly goes high in on randomly way until the links goes down.



Kindly Regards,


Ahmed

Pushkar Sambhoos Sat, 04/03/2010 - 11:17
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Ahmed,


Are you initiating the ping from the WCS or the Controller?


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Pushkar

ahmedbishry Sat, 04/03/2010 - 13:16
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/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

Hi Pushkar,

Thanks for your soon reply,

I use the ping tool in the controller, WLC.

--------------------

Ahmed

Pushkar Sambhoos Sat, 04/03/2010 - 13:22
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Ahmed,


As this appears to be a problem on the controller, I would suggest you post the quesiton in the controller related forums. This thread is for issues related to the Wireless Control System (WCS) which is a management application for the controllers.


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Pushkar

ahmedbishry Sat, 04/03/2010 - 13:36
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/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

Hi Pushkar,

Thanks for your reply, but where to initiate such discussion and with whom?

-----------------------

Ahmed

yusuf.ujjainwala Sat, 04/03/2010 - 04:53
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Dear Pushkar,


I wanted to know  how we can configure High Availability for WCS , also is seperate license reqd for the standby server.

jason-underwood Tue, 04/06/2010 - 13:39
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Hi,


I have recently been put in charge of our wireless network and have noticed that for a long time we have been getting critical alarms on the WCS. The alarms are "MFP Anomaly Detected - 5,444,015 'No MIC' violations......" and "MFP Anomaly Detected - 5,850 'Invalid MIC' violations......". Of course the number changes, but the No MIC is usually that high and so is the Invalid MIC. Currently we get about 700 messages a day. Most of these are the MIC messages. I know what a MIC is, but why am I getting so many and is there something I need to do to stop this? I have WCS version 4.2.110.0 and four controllers and 150 APs.

Thanks.

Pushkar Sambhoos Tue, 04/06/2010 - 13:55
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Jason,


Can you try acknowledging a new few alarms. Once an alarm is acknowledged, it will not show up in one of the three severity categories.


--

Pushkar

jason-underwood Tue, 04/06/2010 - 14:16
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Pushkar,


Thanks for the quick response. I acknowledged some of the alarms and they did go away, but is this what I should be doing or is there a problem with the network? I have over 11600 critical messages in the log and it would take me a while to acknowledge them all.


Thanks again,

Jason

sschmidt Wed, 04/07/2010 - 17:32
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Are the offending devices APs that are attached to the other controllers?  What version are you running on the controllers?  There were some bugs in the 4.2 code related to this issue and I seem to remember 4.2.112.0 for the controllers had a fix.

jason-underwood Thu, 04/08/2010 - 06:47
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The offending APs do not seem to be attached to other controllers. I am not sure if this means anything, but some of the alarm creation dates go back to last year, some are two years ago. The one I am looking at now was created on Jul 23, 2009 and of course, modified today. The software version on the controllers is 4.2.130.0


Thanks for the help

Jason

imuratov Thu, 04/08/2010 - 08:48
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Hi,

We have recently switch over to use the NGS for creating our guest user accounts. Since then we have lost the ability to see on the WCS the following things Latest 5 logged in Guest Users and Recent 5 Guest User Accounts, but we do see the Guest Users Count.

Please let me know if there something that i can configure to see the info again on my dashboard. (I have attached a snap shot of the dashboard.)


thanks

Attachment: 
jmprats Fri, 04/09/2010 - 04:07
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/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Tabla normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

HI, I’m planning a wireless installation with for Guest Access with WCS, 5508 Controller and 1140 AP’s and 1230 AP’s. Now I have autonomous AP’s 1230 and I want to migrate to LWAPP. But, I’ve read that 5508 only supports CAPWAP (so not LWAPP?), so my question is can I use AP 1230 migrated to LWAPP with 5508 or not? Do 1230 AP’s support CAPWAP?

Thanks

See the below notes on converting an AP


http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/wireless/ps430/products_qanda_item09186a00806a4da3.shtml


In a CAPWAP environment, a lightweight access point discovers a controller by using CAPWAP discovery mechanisms and then sends the controller a CAPWAP join request. The controller sends the access point a CAPWAP join response allowing the access point to join the controller. When the access point joins the controller, the controller manages its configuration, firmware, control transactions, and data transactions.


Upgrade and downgrade paths from LWAPP to CAPWAP or from CAPWAP to LWAPP are supported. An access point with an LWAPP image starts the discovery process in LWAPP. If it finds an LWAPP controller, it starts the LWAPP discovery process to join the controller. If it does not find a LWAPP controller, it starts the discovery in CAPWAP. If the number of times that the discovery process starts with one discovery type (CAPWAP or LWAPP) exceeds the maximum discovery count and the access point does not receive a discovery response, the discovery type changes to the other type. For example, if the access point does not discover the controller in LWAPP, it starts the discovery process in CAPWAP.


HTH>

Andrew.

jmprats Fri, 04/09/2010 - 04:27
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So, I can use my 1230 AP's with the 5508 controller? I don't know if I understand enough. The upgrade tool from autonomous to LWAPP, not talks about CAPWAP (only LWAPP). I have 20 1230 AP's and I'm afraid to buy 5508 controller and have problems with them.

Thanks

Do you currently have a controller?


CAPWAP was bundled into the WLC software from 5.1 onwards, before that there was only LWAPP.  Cisco have to provide backwards compatibility.


I upgraded by 4402 from 4.2 to 6.0 my LWAPP AP's found the controller with no issues and auto upgraded them selves.


If you are not comfortbable with this - then purchase a 4402 with a 25 AP license.  The 4402/4404 will runs all versions of code.


HTH>

Andrew.

jmprats Fri, 04/09/2010 - 04:48
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Now, I don't have a controller, I only have 1230 autonomous AP's. I would prefer the 5508 controller (more performance, 11n optimized, buy the 4402 is like buying an old product with danger of EoL announce) but I need to be sure I won't have problems with my AP's

Thanks

OK for clarification


In controller software release 5.2 or later, Cisco lightweight access points use the IETF standard Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points Protocol (CAPWAP) to communicate with the controller and other lightweight access points on the network. Controller software releases prior to 5.2 use the Lightweight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP) for these communications. CAPWAP, which is based on LWAPP, is a standard, interoperable protocol that enables a controller to manage a collection of wireless access points. CAPWAP is being implemented in controller software release 5.2 and later for these reasons:

•To provide an upgrade path from Cisco products that use LWAPP to next-generation Cisco products that use CAPWAP

•To manage RFID readers and similar devices

•To enable controllers to interoperate with third-party access points in the future

LWAPP-enabled access points can discover and join a CAPWAP controller, and conversion to a CAPWAP controller is seamless. For example, the controller discovery process and the firmware downloading process when using CAPWAP are the same as when using LWAPP. The one exception is for Layer 2 deployments, which are not supported by CAPWAP.


You can deploy CAPWAP controllers and LWAPP controllers on the same network. The CAPWAP-enabled software allows access points to join either a controller running CAPWAP or LWAPP. The only exception is the Cisco Aironet 1140 Series Access Point, which supports only CAPWAP and therefore joins only controllers running CAPWAP. For example, an 1130 series access point can join a controller running either CAPWAP or LWAPP whereas an 1140 series access point can join only a controller running CAPWAP.


NoteThe 5500 series controllers only support CAPWAP because 6.0 is the first software release for these controllers.

DEENA SLOAN Fri, 04/09/2010 - 07:01
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I have a question on WCS 4400,

We have a customer that needs to have broadcast forwarding turned on for his application to find a

scanning device on the same Vlan (broadcast domain) and they are getting IP's from the

DHCP server. Do you have any feedback on any ramifications on turning Broadcast forwarding on?

I have searched through Cisco and cannot find anything relating to that command being turned on.

They just recommend it being off. It appears that the configuration guides go from turning on

multicasting then skip right over the Turning on broadcast forwarding.

Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks Deena Sloan

Network Engineer

DEENA SLOAN Fri, 04/09/2010 - 08:41
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I have a question on WCS 4400,

We have a customer that needs to have broadcast forwarding turned on for his application to find a

scanning device on the same Vlan (broadcast domain) and they are getting IP's from the

DHCP server. Do you have any feedback on any ramifications on turning Broadcast forwarding on?

I have searched through Cisco and cannot find anything relating to that command being turned on.

They just recommend it being off. It appears that the configuration guides go from turning on

multicasting then skip right over the Turning on broadcast forwarding.

Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks Deena Sloan

Network Engineer

ringmaster217 Fri, 04/09/2010 - 08:57
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I am trying to configure 3 Aironet 1200 series wireless APs.  I have been using the web management interface to set an encryption cypher on the APs, but every time i do, i can no longer access the web management interface.  any help on the subject would be greatly appreciated.  thank you.

huangedmc Fri, 04/09/2010 - 15:24
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Where do you find the serial when opening a case w/ TAC?


We're trying to upgrade our WCS from 5.2.130.0 to 6.0.181.
We first tried w/ the upgrade option, but encountered an error saying there's not enough space in C:\Program Files\WCS5.2.130.0\webnms\Temp.
So we were to manually upgrade using the "install" option.
During the attempt to back up our current WCS to the D: partition, where there's no space, we're still getting the same error about not having enough space in C:\Program Files\WCS5.2.130.0\webnms\Temp.
We have free space of 20GB & 53GB for C: & D: partitions.


Please advise what we can do to upgrade.


==

Edit:

This seems to be caused by lack of disk space.

Installation program says we only need total of 10GB of free space, but it keeps crapping out until we cleaned up some old files.

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