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New Member

local vs flexconnect which is better for throughput

We have 190 APs in two buildings on the same campus connected to 2 5508 controllers.  Would it be better to put these APs in flexconnect mode with local switching?  My thought is that traffic would be better to have traffic switched at either the access switches on each floor or the main switches for each building rather than traveling back to the core, through the controllers and then to its destination.

VIP Purple

Hi, You must use local mode



You must use local mode because all AP are at same place menas in one campus.


Flexconnect is good when you have a remote office and there some APs are connected.


So i will recommand to use in Local mode.



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New Member

Use flexconnect for remote

Use flexconnect for remote site where you dont have any controller available and you still want to manage it remotely.

Local switching will suit your situation as everything is in the same campus.


In local mode,is also know as

In local mode,is also know as centrally switched and trafiic is switched(bridged) from the ap to the controller where it is then routed by some routing device.

Flex Connect also known as HREAP  allows data traffic to be switched locally and not go back to the controller like an autonomous AP, but managed by the WLC.  In this mode, the AP can still function even if it looses connection with the controller anytime you want to switch traffic locally, that would be the time to use Flex Connect. 


So its depends on the deployment design as for remote deplyment flex connect takes the lead.

Hello Simmon,As I see it I

Hello Simmon,

As I see it I find your question very interesting. You just want to know which of the two deployment scenarios could lead into more performance.

Never test it in parallel the two sollutions but I believe you got to give it a go and test yourself. You can deploy all APs in local mode and leave 5 for FlexConnect mode.

From outside FlexConnect local switching seems to have the lead, but I can't wait to see your results.

New Member


SIMMONSJASOND - have you implemented this already? I would love to know what your findings were.

I am looking at campus design and can't understand 100% why it is suggested I use central switching instead of FlexConnect. Yes I have a DC here (for now) and when I won't it will still have 2 x 10Gbps link to the nearest DC but the Controller (5508) only has 8 x 1Gbps links... surely it's better performance for a 500-person campus to use FlexConnect to reduce load on the controllers.

Does FlexConnect local switching mean that I lose some roaming features?

VIP Purple

FlexConnect is not scaled for

FlexConnect is not scaled for a campus & it is designed for branch deployment. You will find certain limitations in this FlexConnect design & roaming is one of them.



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New Member

I understand that's what the

I understand that's what the documentation says (and keep hearing repeated without any clarification) but surely it all depends on your situation.

Take this example for instance:

- A 500-seat campus broken into 4 buildings

- AP's managed by a HA-pair of 5508's in two DC's (10Gbps ring < 5ms), one DC on the main campus, connected by 6 x 1Gpbs EtherChannel

- Less than 25 AP's per building

Surely the only issue then if we used FlexConnect local switching for a WLAN for Corporate PC's would be roaming. That isn't really much of a problem for PC's - who really wanders around a campus with their laptop open wanting persistent connection between sitting down?

If you have multiple 802.11ac clients connecting to 3702 AP's that 6Gbps bottleneck is going to be saturated fairly quickly.

As far as I can see FlexConnect groups are limited to 25 AP's but again that's not a huge issue given the usage case.

For mobile devices (tablets, phones) and guest access then you can still use central switching.

VIP Purple

I agreed, all depends on your

I agreed, all depends on your situations

For that sort of numbers, I would still think central switching local mode AP give simpler solution to manage. Your consumer traffic demand won't go up just because using of 802.11ac clients.

Think about wired user perspective, if you have 48x1G port what is the realistic uplink usage ? Most of time 1Gbps is sufficient for a client traffic demand. Same goes to wireless, where you have 10x3702 in the switch, it does not mean you require 10G uplink from that switch. So I would surprise if you can get traffic to saturate 6 or 8 Gbps of your WLC using the numbers you have given.

I am not saying FlexConnect won't work, but you have to choose what is the best for the requirement you have.

Unified wireless-CUWN, Unified Access - CA, FlexConnect, Autonomous are different design models targeted for certain use cases.




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