This article applies to Aruba Instant APs connected to controller running ArubaOS version 6.2 or later.
Yes. Instant AP gets converted to RAP, when it is directly connected to controller. Having said that, one important point to make note is that the controller and Instant AP should be on same country code. If the country codes are not same, the IAP would form an IPSec connection with the controller but fails to retrieve the image.
Controller need to be configured with IAP's mac address in the RAP Whitlelist-DB and with the VPDN L2TP Pool. As shown below:
Below are series of screenshots on Instant AP that show the conversion process:
Below listed are the command outputs captured when IAP talks to controller as VPN clinet and forms IPSec:
Once the IAP conversion is successful, the AP boots and comes up on controller a Remote-AP: