Wireless Access

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EP
Occasional Contributor II

Mixed environment - Controller and Instants

I have an existing install of controllers and AP's. I'm required to add several more AP's and have been considering adding Instant's that should broadcast the same SSID's as the Controller based AP's.

 

My questions revolve around management and mobility.

  1. I assume i could manage both installs using Airwave thus providing a single management front. Is this an accurate assesment?
  2. On mobility, is it possible to roam between the Controller AP's and the Instant Cluster?
  3. Are there any caveats to extending the wireless network with instants as opposed to say purchasing a larger controller to support the additional AP's?

thanks,

El

Guru Elite

Re: Mixed environment - Controller and Instants


EP wrote:

I have an existing install of controllers and AP's. I'm required to add several more AP's and have been considering adding Instant's that should broadcast the same SSID's as the Controller based AP's.

 

My questions revolve around management and mobility.

  1. I assume i could manage both installs using Airwave thus providing a single management front. Is this an accurate assesment? - Correct.  You also have the option of whether you want to manage the actual configs of your instants and the config of the controller through airwave, as well.
  2. On mobility, is it possible to roam between the Controller AP's and the Instant Cluster? - If they are within earshot and they are bridging users on the same layer-2 VLANs, it is possible.  If you are using the "magic vlan" on instant, if that client roams to a controller-based AP it will break connectivity. 
  3. Are there any caveats to extending the wireless network with instants as opposed to say purchasing a larger controller to support the additional AP's? The config portion of the instants and the controller is not exactly the same, so you will need to understand the nuances that are different to be the most productive.  Both approaches are rarely found in the same environment. If you only need to do it with a couple access points, it makes sense.  Any more than that, it is probably worth just getting a larger controller, especially if you do not know how your network will grow over time.

thanks,

El


 



Colin Joseph
Aruba Customer Engineering

Looking for an Answer? Search the Community Knowledge Base Here: Community Knowledge Base

EP
Occasional Contributor II

Re: Mixed environment - Controller and Instants

Thanks for your response. I have some followup questions/comments

 

1) On Mobility - Not sure I understood your response. Today the current setup is Controller AP's are tunneled  back to the controller so the user VLAN is at the CORE while Instant AP's would be dropped at the local switch. This would have the users associated to Instant or Controller AP's on seperate networks. What I'm curious about is can I create an L-3 mobility domain such that If i'm on the instant SSID  and I roam to the similarly named controller SSID/AP i maintain my IP address and thus my sessions? Can they both interoprate in this way?

 

2) in terms of caveats, are there any features that I would lose by having an Instant Cluster? For instance on the Controller i can set Basic rates  which on Instant i'm unable to. Are there other caveats I should be aware of? 

 

Thanks for your time,

El

Guru Elite

Re: Mixed environment - Controller and Instants

1. If that is the case, you cannot.

2.  Just trying to put together what would be different on both platforms makes me realize  that a mixed environment is not what you should do.  Managing the differences would make it not worth doing.



Colin Joseph
Aruba Customer Engineering

Looking for an Answer? Search the Community Knowledge Base Here: Community Knowledge Base

MVP

Re: Mixed environment - Controller and Instants

Are you trying to avoid the license costs for controller deployment?

 

If so, you're on a good path.

 

If you've got licenses on the controller for all of the APs, I'd propose buying the iAP equipment and converting them to controller operation to simplify the daily operation.

 

In the future as you replace the old controller only APs, get iAPs and eventually you can convert them all back to Virtual Controller mode and retire the controller.

 

Although we're still deploying controller-based solution in some parts of our business, we're buying iAP equipment and converting it so we're staying "future-proof" as we go.

--Matthew

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if I've provided a solution, please mark the solution so others can find it
EP
Occasional Contributor II

Re: Mixed environment - Controller and Instants

The situation is as follows.

  1. I have a controller ( 2 controllers - master/local) that is close to max AP's.
  2. I have new AP's that i'm scheduled to deploy. My options as I see them are to upgrade/purchase a new controller to support ALL AP's or deploy instants at the new locations. 

Based on marketing material on Instant capabilties i don't quite see why i have to purchase a controller (which in my case would be 2 controllers for my current master local setup). I imagined that i could deploy instants at the new locations and manage both environments using Airwave for a signle management front. The Instant wireless settings would be similar to the controller settings.

As i understand however I should design to limit overlap since i cannot create an L3 mobility domain spanning both systems.

Comments?

thanks for your time,

El

MVP

Re: Mixed environment - Controller and Instants

Given your constraints, your summary plan looks good.

 

My users in iAP/Controller mixed environment are low-use, non-real-time users and don't appear to notice the re-auth as they move from iAP to Controller spaces. Planning to limit overlap is good thinking, but the need will depent on your use-case.

 

--Matthew

if I've helped, please give kudos
if I've provided a solution, please mark the solution so others can find it
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