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Using newer access points with old WLC 4100; switching LWAPP from Layer 2 to Layer 3

Dear all

We are currently using two Wiresless LAN solutions - one based on 10 autonomous AP1230 access points (about 5 years old) and one solution based on a Cisco WLC 4100 (4112, running 3.2) with 12 AP1010 LWAPP access points.

First thing is that we are considering to replace the autonomous solution with the WLC one. However, I'm not sure whether we can use newer access points like the LAP1041N or LAP1252G with our current WLC 4100. The access points data sheets state "Cisco Unified Wireless Network Software Release 7.0 or later" as "Software". Does this mean that those access points can only be used with controllers running 7.0 or later?

If we can't use the new access points with our current WLC and need to buy a new controller: Can we use the current AP1010 access points with a new WLC like the Cisco 4402?

Second thing is that we want to extend the wireless networks configured on the WLC 4100 to another site which is connected via VPN. The wireless configuration guide states that the LWAPP mode can be changed from Layer 2 to Layer 3 so that access points can be configured with an IP address, which allows to place the access points basically anywhere as long as IP connectivity exists between the AP and the WLC.

Is there a document with describes the change from LWAPP mode from Layer 2 to Layer 3? Or ist just the following steps (if I understood correctly):

- Changing LWAPP Transport Mode on the controller from Layer 2 to Layer 3

- Creating an ap-manager interface with an IP address in the same subnet as the management interface (tried that without changing LWAPP transport mode first and wasn't possible - error)

Regarding different sites:

- Configure DHCP option 43 with the WLC's IP address or DNS with CISCO-LWAPP-CONTROLLER.localdomain

- make sure the ap-manager interface can reach access points in the different site

Is it really just that simple? Any information about this is highly appreciated!

/edit: I would also like to know whether the 1260 series access point are backward compatible to 802.11b. While this is stated in data sheets of 1040 and 1250 series for example, it is not particularly mentioned in the 1260 data sheet.


Thanks

Michael

2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Accepted Solutions

Re: Using newer access points with old WLC 4100; switching LWAPP

well, Let's start with the easy question/answer

Regarding different sites:

- Configure DHCP option 43 with the WLC's IP address or DNS with CISCO-LWAPP-CONTROLLER.localdomain

- make sure the ap-manager interface can reach access points in the different site

    Yes, it's that simple.

As for the other questions, it looks like you would be best served with a forklift upgrade.  New controllers and new AP.

Now, the AP, 1230/1240/1250 all work on 4.2 code, 1140 starts with 5.2, and the 1040/3500/1260 are 7.0

The AP 1000 series are not supported after 4.2 code.

Reference here for full list of AP and supported codes:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/wireless/controller/release/notes/crn7.0.html#wp610751

     From what I"m seeing, the 4100 is not supported after the 3.2 train.

     So it really depends on what you are looking to accomplish with the upgrade.  If you are looking for 80.211n support, you really want to be 5.2 or better, we had some issues with RRM + 40Mhz channels in 4.2, 5GHz band only.

HTH, Steve ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Please remember to rate useful posts, and mark questions as answered

Re: Using newer access points with old WLC 4100; switching LWAPP

Yes, the 2.4GHz radio has to be a MP21G or better, current is the MP31G.

For the switch from L2 to L3 transport mode, it really is that simple.  Change to L3 mode, reboot.  This will create the ap-manager interface, assign an IP.  For AP's that are remote either option 43 or DNS.

Well, REAP is a bit more limited than that.  The 1030 supports REAP.  This only gives you 1, the first, WLAN and it has to be some sort of PSK, no 802.1x/CCKM.

HREAP is a bit more robust 1130/1240/1252 support this.  It can do PSK/802.1x/CCKM.  With this method, we can locally switch any WLAN at all times, if you so desire.

HTH, Steve ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Please remember to rate useful posts, and mark questions as answered
4 REPLIES

Re: Using newer access points with old WLC 4100; switching LWAPP

well, Let's start with the easy question/answer

Regarding different sites:

- Configure DHCP option 43 with the WLC's IP address or DNS with CISCO-LWAPP-CONTROLLER.localdomain

- make sure the ap-manager interface can reach access points in the different site

    Yes, it's that simple.

As for the other questions, it looks like you would be best served with a forklift upgrade.  New controllers and new AP.

Now, the AP, 1230/1240/1250 all work on 4.2 code, 1140 starts with 5.2, and the 1040/3500/1260 are 7.0

The AP 1000 series are not supported after 4.2 code.

Reference here for full list of AP and supported codes:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/wireless/controller/release/notes/crn7.0.html#wp610751

     From what I"m seeing, the 4100 is not supported after the 3.2 train.

     So it really depends on what you are looking to accomplish with the upgrade.  If you are looking for 80.211n support, you really want to be 5.2 or better, we had some issues with RRM + 40Mhz channels in 4.2, 5GHz band only.

HTH, Steve ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Please remember to rate useful posts, and mark questions as answered
New Member

Re: Using newer access points with old WLC 4100; switching LWAPP

Thanks for your help! This really helps a lot! We actually only want to replace the autonmous access point with the controller solution and make one WLAN available at another site. From what I can see, this is possible with our current solution - we just need to switch from Layer 2 to Layer 3 and purchase the corresponding amount of supported Access Points (I think we should be able to get some refurbished ones).

Am I correct in assuming that the Access Points we want to replace (AIR-AP1230B-E-K9 with 802.11b radio only) cannot be upgraded to lightweight ones? Since if I understood document http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/wireless/access_point/conversion/lwapp/upgrade/guide/lwapnote.html correctly, this is not possible with access points that only have 802.11b radios.

Regarding the switch from Layer 2 to Layer 3: Do we really only need to perform the steps I described in my first post?

And one last question regarding REAP. As far as I understood this is only needed when local traffic needs to be maintained in case the connection to the WLC becomes unavailable. So we really don't need it if we want to access resources that are only available over the WLC?

Thanks again for your help!

Michael

Re: Using newer access points with old WLC 4100; switching LWAPP

Yes, the 2.4GHz radio has to be a MP21G or better, current is the MP31G.

For the switch from L2 to L3 transport mode, it really is that simple.  Change to L3 mode, reboot.  This will create the ap-manager interface, assign an IP.  For AP's that are remote either option 43 or DNS.

Well, REAP is a bit more limited than that.  The 1030 supports REAP.  This only gives you 1, the first, WLAN and it has to be some sort of PSK, no 802.1x/CCKM.

HREAP is a bit more robust 1130/1240/1252 support this.  It can do PSK/802.1x/CCKM.  With this method, we can locally switch any WLAN at all times, if you so desire.

HTH, Steve ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Please remember to rate useful posts, and mark questions as answered
New Member

Re: Using newer access points with old WLC 4100; switching LWAPP

Dear Stephen,

thanks a lot for your help which is very much appreciated!

Best Regards

Michael

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