I am in the process of turning our autonomous wireless network into a centrally managed lwapp network. We have a new 5508 with 1140 series APs which will be distributed in three locations nationwide.
My manager saw a presentation that showed the AP just getting plugged in and all of its configurations were downloaded. Right now I am able to get basic global information to install on an AP in the local network but I feel I am missing something. If I have three locations using different IP schemes (eg: 10.0.1.0 for A, 10.0.2.0 for B and 10.0.3.0 for C), the remote locations are getting their DHCP info from the routers.
Is there a way based on location/IP that the APs associate themselves with the correct WLAN or AP group? How much can I automate once the AP discovers the controller? I am reading the manual and searching the web but information is a bit vauge on this. My plan is if an AP fails in a remote location, all I need to do is ship a new AP out to be replaced and when the AP is added to the network the firmware and other information is downloaded and is then ready to be accessed with minimal configuration on the controller end.
If you are using the term "AP Group" in the strict technical sense of the controller, then your configuration tasks should be pretty minimal. All you would need to do is ship the AP to the site, have someone plug it in, and then when you see it show up on your controller, you can add it to the appropriate AP group.
As for the DHCP part of your question, if you want to give local clients switched local access and assign them IP addresses from the local pool, then you will likely be interested in the FlexConnect (formerly called HREAP) feature of the controller. In a phrase, FlexConnect allows you to centrally manage your AP while allowing client traffic to stay local (and not pass through the controller). I guess you could say it's sort of an autonomous/lightweight hybrid.
Currently there is no automated process, By default newer AP will adopt default group, User have to manually add the new APs to AP group atleast once on WLC. If you're shipping from the WLC location then better join the AP to WLC, add the AP to AP group and ship it to remote location.
Thanks guys. I am still tinkering with this. Does anyone know of better white papers/sample configs/demos/webinars regarding implementing FlexConnect in a WAN environment? Everything I am reading makes sense but it is still limited.