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New Member

Data flow using a WLAN controller

Can someone explain the flow of data from wireless client to some destination in the internal network (or the Internet) using a WLAN Controller? Use a 4402 as an example.

Specifically, I am wondering if client traffic actually passes thru the WLAN Controller (4402). I am reading the configuration guide and it doesn't seem to be explicitly stated one way or the other.

Hall of Fame Super Red

Re: Data flow using a WLAN controller

Hi Ken,

This is a very common question these days.

Here is a recent thread as well as an excerpt from a good doc:

In the Cisco Centralized WLAN architecture, LWAPP-enabled access points operate in the lightweight mode (as opposed to the autonomous mode). The access points associate to a Cisco WLAN controller. The controller manages the configuration, firmware, and control transactions such as 802.1x authentication. In addition, all wireless traffic is tunneled through the controller.

LWAPP is an IETF draft protocol that defines the control messaging for setup and path authentication and run-time operations. LWAPP also defines the tunneling mechanism for data traffic.

In an LWAPP environment, a Cisco Aironet LWAPP-enabled access point discovers a controller by using LWAPP discovery mechanisms and then sends it an LWAPP join request. The controller sends the access point an LWAPP join response allowing the access point to join the controller. When the access point is joined, the controller downloads its software if the versions on the access point and controller do not match.

LWAPP secures the control communication between the access point and controller by means of a secure key distribution, utilizing X.509 certificates on both the access point and controller.

From this doc:

Hope this helps!


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New Member

Re: Data flow using a WLAN controller

Thanks for the help!

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