Deploying and Troubleshooting Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers

When you think about a wireless network, especially one involving Lightweight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP) or Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points (CAPWAP), the topology can be profoundly large. The challenge of troubleshooting a wireless issue can be intimidating to any seasoned engineer. The issue might not even be wireless, but ultimately it can […]

Wireless LAN Controller Platforms (Cisco)

Cisco access points (AP) provide a way to extend wired networks or install network components where normal physical wiring cannot be installed. APs also provide an alternative solution to networking at a fraction of the cost. Cisco wireless solutions offer secure, manageable, and reliable wireless connectivity with exceptional range and performance. Cisco wireless solutions are […]

Lightweight AP Models (Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers)

The lingo for the APs can be tricky, but overall it is simple. APs come in two types or groups. Simply put, one group requires a controller to operate, and the other group does not. The APs that do not require a controller to operate also utilize IOS as their operating system. The exception to […]

Lightweight Compared to Traditional Autonomous APs (Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers)

There are immense differences between lightweight and traditional autonomous APs. This topic touches on some of the major functionality differences, but the complete explanations are discussed in remaining topics. Although the autonomous AP is an effective solution, it does lack some of the benefits of the controller-based solution. In certain niches, autonomous systems thrive. However, […]

Defining LWAPP (Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers)

Traditional wireless LAN (WLAN) deployments used X number of access points (AP) spread across the premises that needed wireless coverage. With standalone, each AP was an individual entity that needed configuration, monitoring, provisioning, and so on. If these tasks were required for only a few devices, they would be manageable; however, when you are talking […]

LWAPP Advantages (Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers)

As mentioned in the introduction to this topic, as enterprise wireless networks grow, administration and management needs increase. You also need to keep a handle on the security of the wireless network as it grows. The infrastructure needs to be easily scalable to allow for painless, or nearly painless, growth. Because LWAPP allows the 802.11 […]

LWAPP Mechanics (Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers) Part 1

To be able to find where an LWAPP-based system is failing, it is critical to understand how the underlying protocol works, because this lets you reduce the scope of investigation when a complex problem is reported. This section covers two main parts: ■ LWAPP control path: Covers AP discovery, join, maintenance, and states in detail. […]

LWAPP Mechanics (Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers) Part 2

DNS The AP can discover controllers through your DNS. For the AP to do so, you must configure your DNS to return controller management IP addresses in response to a DNS query, nslookup, for CISCO-LWAPP-CONTROLLER.localdomain, where localdomain is the AP domain name, that is, When an AP receives DNS server information and the domain […]

Dissecting the Discovery Response (Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers)

This section takes a deeper look into what goes into a discovery response packet. This knowledge can help your understanding of what could be going wrong in an AP join process to a WLC. Keep in mind that a sniffer program cannot dissect the information in a discovery packet. The WLC dissects the packet; you […]

Overview of CAPWAP (Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers)

Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points (CAPWAP) is a standard and interoperable protocol that enables a Wireless LAN Controller (WLC) to manage access points (AP) or wireless termination points (WTP). CAPWAP is based on the Lightweight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP). This topic describes the changes in controller and AP software to enable CAPWAP support […]