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New Member

Basic Question on AP

Hi all,

I would like to

1. what is difference between Autonomous and Lightweight AP.

2. what is advantage of using Lightweight AP.

3. which AP models support upgradation from Autonomous to LAP.

Thanking you,


Hall of Fame Super Red

Re: Basic Question on AP

Hi Prashanth,

Good question!

Traditional WLAN solutions using Autonomous AP's distribute all traffic handling, RF control, security, and mobility functions to the access point itself. However, this architecture limits visibility of 802.11 traffic to an individual access point only. This means:

• Individual access points, when used without a management device, must be managed individually, which can increase operations costs and staffing requirements

• Networkwide attacks and interference are not visible across a system

- Single point of enforcement for security policies across Layer 1, Layer 2, and Layer 3

- Unable to detect and mitigate denial of service (DoS) attacks across an entire WLAN

• A system cannot correlate or predict activity across an enterprise

- Limits the ability to enable optimized, real-time load balancing

- Clients cannot perform fast handoffs, which are required to support real-time applications such as voice and video

• There is an inherent security risk if an access point is stolen or compromised

You can use the Autonomous to Lightweight Mode upgrade tool to install Cisco IOS Release 12.3(11)JX on these access points:

All 1100 series access points containing MP21G (802.11g) radios

All 1130, 1230, and 1240 series access points

All modular 1200 series access points running Cisco IOS software and containing these supported radios:

802.11g: MP21G, MP31G

802.11a: AIR-RM21A-x-K9, AIR-RM22A-x-K9

All 1300 series access points in access point mode

Cisco has released a free tool called the "Autonomous to Lightweight Mode Upgrade Tool" that allows selected Cisco Aironet autonomous access point models to be configured for lightweight mode operation.

The Autonomous to Lightweight Mode Upgrade Tool supports the following models:

Cisco Aironet 1240AG Series access points

Cisco Aironet 1230AG Series access points

Cisco Aironet 1200 Series access points that contain 802.11g (AIR-MP21G-x-K9) and/or second-generation 802.11a radios (AIR-RM21A-x-K9 or AIR-RM22A-x-K9)

Cisco Aironet 1130AG Series access points

**Cisco Aironet 1100 Series Access Points that contain 802.11g radios (AIR-AP1121G-x-K9)

Cisco Aironet 1300 Series Access Points/Bridges (AIR-BR1310G-x-K9 or AIR-BR1310G-x-K9-R). A Cisco Aironet 1300 Series operating in Lightweight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP) mode only operates as an access point. This series does not support LWAPP bridging mode.

The Autonomous to Lightweight Mode Upgrade Tool supports a process to migrate an autonomous access point from autonomous mode to lightweight mode. Unlike a VxWorks to Cisco IOS Software upgrade, this process is a Cisco IOS Software upgrade to the existing Cisco IOS Software image-not an operating system "swapout". In converted access points operating in lightweight mode, Cisco IOS Software continues to run on the access point, while LWAPP is used to communicate with a wireless LAN controller. Since LWAPP supports automatic access point configuration, there is no need to retain or convert the original autonomous Cisco IOS Software access point configuration.

Hope this helps!


New Member

Re: Basic Question on AP

hi sir,

firstly thanks for responding, but the thing is I'm at just started learning wireless, and ur response is outof my scope to understand.

can u explain in simple word where i'll use above AP's.

thanking you,


Hall of Fame Super Red

Re: Basic Question on AP

Hi Prashanth,

Sorry about that :) In more simple terms, the Autonomous (or stand-alone) AP's would generally be used in smaller deployments (maybe 5 or less) liek Small Office/Home Office scenarios.

Lightweight AP's would be used in conjunction with the WLC (Wireless Lan Controller) in Medium to Large deployments (6 AP's to 1,000's of AP's)

Hope this helps!


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