Compatibility 1230 AP with 5508 controller

Unanswered Question
Apr 9th, 2010

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Hi, I’m planning a wireless installation with WCS, 5508 Controller and 1140 AP’s and 1230 AP’s. Now I have autonomous AP’s 1230 and I want to migrate them 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? Do 1230 AP’s support CAPWAP? The migration tool only talks about LWAPP.


I have this problem too.
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rob.huffman Fri, 04/09/2010 - 05:50

Hi there,

Excellent question

We are thinking of adding some 5508's to our existing Wireless infrastructure

(currently using the 4400 Series of WLC's). We have many 1230's and 1100's that

were converted from autonomous as well, so this info certainly applies to our deployment.

Here is what I have found out in regards to this question.

Only the Cisco 4400 and 2006 wireless LAN controllers (WLCs) support autonomous APs that have been converted to lightweight mode. Cisco WLCs must run a minimum software version of 3.1. The Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS) must run a minimum version of 3.1. The upgrade utility is supported on the Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP platforms.From this doc;

Converted access points support 2006, 4400, and WiSM controllers only. When you convert an autonomous access point to lightweight mode, the access point can communicate with Cisco 2006 series controllers, 4400 series controllers, or the controllers on a Cisco WiSM only.

From this doc;

Lightweight Access Point FAQ



Please support CSC Helps Haiti

jmprats Fri, 04/09/2010 - 06:05

Thanks. This not sounds very well. It could be this faq
answer doesn't take into account 5500 series yet or not?

I don't know if someone is sure about that

rob.huffman Fri, 04/09/2010 - 07:16

Hey there,

No worries! I've put a call into our Cisco SE to try to shed some light

on this question. I'll post back when I receive a definitive answer



rob.huffman Fri, 04/09/2010 - 11:42

Here is the thread;


Hey xxxxx...hope today finds you well One of my peers is trying to make some
Wireless "purchase" decisions and has asked if the WLC 5508 (with no other 4400 series
on the network) can support AP's that have been upgraded from IOS to LWAPP?


Hi Rob..
Hope all is good at your side…
The short answer is yes. They may need change some DNS or DHCP entry somewhere..but that s about it.



Leo Laohoo Fri, 04/09/2010 - 15:44

It ain't the controller that has to be "compatible" to the AP but the firmware.  Yes, the 1230 is supported on the 6.X firmware.  To convert it to CAPWAP, you have to make sure the WLC and the AP are on the same VLAN and subnet and you MUST (strong emphasis on the word must) use the conversion tool.

weterry Fri, 04/09/2010 - 21:43

Let me clarify a little further.

The WLC Hardware should not be in question, it is the software of concern. However, as pointed out, the 1230 is supported in 6.0 code and therefore is supported in the 5508 as well.

The only APs that don't work as CAPWAP are 1000 series and 1510 mesh. And these don't work after 4.2 in general.

Bottom line, convert your APs to Lightweight (don't worry about LWAPP VS CAPWAP) and they can join the 5508.

But just to be a little more clear:

LWAPP refers to Light Weight Access Point Protocol (Cisco) and CAPWAP is Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points (RFC5415).

Capwap uses different ports than LWAPP but the concept is basically the same.

Specifically, CAPWAP protocol versions of WLC code (5.2+) are designed to support the discovery and join of LWAPP protocol version APs. The AP will join on the LWAPP ports, download the CAPWAP image, and then be good to go as a "LightWeight AP" (using the CAPWAP protocol).

rob.huffman Sun, 04/11/2010 - 07:00

Hey Leo and Wesley,

Thanks for weighing in on this question

+5 points each guys for clearing this up for us!



jmprats Sun, 04/11/2010 - 23:45

Great job. I think Cisco have to update their documents and Q&A.



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