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Community Member

Cisco 5500 WLC User Rate Limit

Hey all, my company has over 200 APs and we create networks in a daily basis for diff customers in our property, I wanted to get feedback from other people who have used the QOS on WLAN's to Rate Limit Users thru the WLC,


Is it effective and reliable? Good Practice? 

Thanks All!

VIP Purple

How many SSIDs you have

How many SSIDs you have already created ? Best practice is to limit number of SSID to 3-5 when possible.

Otherwise there will be too many overhead in your wifi environment & effective throughput will be drastically reduced.

Here is a Cisco best practice document stated the same.

Lower the Number of SSIDs

Cisco recommends limiting the number of service set identifiers (SSIDs) configured at the controller. You can configure 16 simultaneous SSIDs (per radio on each AP), but as each WLAN/SSID needs separate probe responses and beaconing, the RF pollution increases as more SSIDs are added. Furthermore, some smaller wireless stations like PDA, WiFi Phones, and barcode scanners cannot cope with a high number of basic SSID (BSSID) information. This results in lockups, reloads, or association failures. Also the more SSIDs, the more beaconing needed, so less RF time is available for real data transmits. For example, the recommendation is to have one to three SSIDs for corporate, and one SSID for high-density designs. AAA override can be leveraged for per user VLAN/ settings on a single SSID scenario.


If you are getting high throughput as expected then test with QoS rate limiting.




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Community Member

Normally we just have 3 SSIDs

Normally we just have 3 SSIDs broadcasting i keep that as low as possible i just, im just curious to see what people think of Rate Limiting thru the WLC, Ive had good results but some Directors in my company say that its not a good idea to use the WLC for this, im not sure why because this device is the closest to the users..

VIP Purple

If you have any other traffic

If you have any other traffic shaping devices on your network then I would use that. Typically if you want to control internet traffic /applications then you can apply the same policy to wired & wireless users without any difference.

But if you do not have any of those mechanism, but still you want to control the wireless users traffic then you can use those QoS threshold & AVC feature of WLC to achieve this.


Refer the latest config guide for the exact syntax of these if you are using different controller versions listed in the above


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If there is a (dedicated)

If there is a (dedicated) traffic engineering device in your infrastructure or something like a firewall, I would prefer using that. The reason behind is that there is no method to specify the network traffic that needs to be rate-limited, for example internet traffic. So once you configure it, local network traffic will be rate-limited as well.

However, I have had good results with the rate limiting per-SSID in conjunction with rate limiting per-user just for guest access.

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