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New Member

Cisco AP and Controllers

I'm familiar with Cisco routers and switches but I know very little about Cisco wireless hardware. I recently started looking into the possibility of havings wireless at my work place and discovered that I would need a wireless controller to go with a wireless AP (3700). From what I'm reading, it looks like the controller will basically determine how many AP's can be setup in a specific network.

I guess my question is that why is a controller needed? What exactly is the controller doing? Why can't I hookup the AP directly to the layer 3 device? I'm basically trying to figure out what the controller buys me.

Oh, are the controllers also license per connected devices?

Thanks in advance.

2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Accepted Solutions
VIP Purple

Cisco AP and Controllers

1. You Can use AP without Controller that normally called Standalone or Autonomous AP.

2. Yes WLC makes it much more easier ...for infra..

Regards

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Cisco AP and Controllers

Sandee he's right in other words.

If you don't have an WLC you will need to configure basic & advanced configuration (it's depends on you) ap by ap.

You will have to configure the SSID, security type, channels, transmition power levels. If you buy 10 ap's... well you will have to configure one by one.

With WLC everything it's different, you can create the SSID, securtity type, etc.etc One big advantage it's something call RRM (Radio Resource Management). The ap's & the WLC exchange some information about radio espectrum. For example if the AP is working in channel 6, but it has a lot of interference then the AP send this information to the WLC and ask for help... so the WLC say to the AP change to channel 1.

If you don't have WLC you will need to configure this one AP by AP and desing this before to configure them.

This is just an example about what can does the WLC.

Check the Sandee information too it very helpull

8 REPLIES
VIP Purple

Cisco AP and Controllers

HI,

1. What does Cisco WLC:

Simplified Operations

Cisco wireless controllers reduce operational expenses by simplifying network deployment, operations, and management. Configure wireless policy, management, or security settings at any time through centralized provisioning and management. Respond to organizational growth with the Cisco scale-as-it-grows licensing model, available with all Cisco wireless controllers.

Centralized Control

Optimize wireless network performance while lowering costs and increasing operational efficiency. Deploy wireless controllers to help centrally manage, secure, and configure access points throughout the organization.

More to check:

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/wireless/wireless-lan-controller/index.html#~Benefits

2. You can connect AP to Layer 3 device.

AP discover controller via many ways.

here are the ways:

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/docs/wireless-mobility/wireless-lan-wlan/70333-lap-registration.html

3. Controller makes you easy to deploy or manage your wireless network.

You can deploy your AP with zero touch.

4. If you have small deployment then use 2500 series controller...if you bigger then you can use 5500 series or other one.

2500 License:

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/wireless/2500-series-wireless-controllers/data_sheet_c78-645111.html

5500 License:

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/wireless/aironet-1130-ag-series/data_sheet_c78-521631.html

Hope this helps.

Regards

Dont forget to rate helpful posts

New Member

Cisco AP and Controllers

Thanks for the response. That helped answer a lot of my questions. Can the AP used without the controller?

Looks like the controller makes it easier to manage and scale up the infrastructure but can I use an AP without one?

Thanks again

VIP Purple

Cisco AP and Controllers

1. You Can use AP without Controller that normally called Standalone or Autonomous AP.

2. Yes WLC makes it much more easier ...for infra..

Regards

Dont forget to rate helpful posts and also mark as answered, it may help others.

Cisco AP and Controllers

absolutly yes...

Cisco AP and Controllers

Sandee he's right in other words.

If you don't have an WLC you will need to configure basic & advanced configuration (it's depends on you) ap by ap.

You will have to configure the SSID, security type, channels, transmition power levels. If you buy 10 ap's... well you will have to configure one by one.

With WLC everything it's different, you can create the SSID, securtity type, etc.etc One big advantage it's something call RRM (Radio Resource Management). The ap's & the WLC exchange some information about radio espectrum. For example if the AP is working in channel 6, but it has a lot of interference then the AP send this information to the WLC and ask for help... so the WLC say to the AP change to channel 1.

If you don't have WLC you will need to configure this one AP by AP and desing this before to configure them.

This is just an example about what can does the WLC.

Check the Sandee information too it very helpull

New Member

Cisco AP and Controllers

This is exactly the information I was after. Thank you both for helping. Hopefully this information will help others witth the same inquiry.

Cisco AP and Controllers

woa,  NO!.

Benso was specific in his device of choice..  3700..  There does not appear to be any autonomous code (yet?) for the 3700.  Only AIR-CAP's no AIR-SAP's

That being said, AIR-SAP1602's and 2602's are.

Otherwise everything previously stated applies.

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