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Trying to join AP32t to existing IAP315 network

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  • 1.  Trying to join AP32t to existing IAP315 network

    Posted 25 days ago
    First of all I have never used aruba before.  There is an existing cluster of about 40 IAP-315s, auto join is enabled.  There are 6 new AP325s (NOT the IAP-325 which I have read might be the issue...).  The new AP is configured with a static IP, in correct subnet and console shows it connects to the master when it starts up and the AP is pingable on the network.

    One of the 315s is the master AP everything is running 8.3.x which is above the 6.4.4 minimum spec required though I know we have some updates to do.   I read earlier that there is a massive difference between the IAP and the AP and the lack of 'instant' whatever that means. Instant what?  There is very limited information on the aruba site about compatibility and the differences between these models.

    The short version is the new AP never makes it into the existing cluster and doesn't give any sort of clue as to why. Are we trying to achieve something that doesn't work?


    Martin Macdonald

  • 2.  RE: Trying to join AP32t to existing IAP315 network

    Posted 24 days ago
    You can only cluster IAP together. AP type Access Points require an external controller and can't be part of an Instant cluster.

    Herman Robers
    If you have urgent issues, always contact your Aruba partner, distributor, or Aruba TAC Support. Check for how to contact Aruba TAC. Any opinions expressed here are solely my own and not necessarily that of Hewlett Packard Enterprise or Aruba Networks.

  • 3.  RE: Trying to join AP32t to existing IAP315 network

    Posted 24 days ago
    To elaborate, the Instant AP firmware implements a "virtual controller" which both manages the cluster/swarm, and permits "hive mind" redundancy.  If the virtual controller fails, another member of the swarm is quickly elected to replace it, and operation of the rest of the swarm continues seamlessly.

    It's possible to configure a preferred virtual controller, though I haven't done so.  In several years of implementing Instant APs, I've preferred to use DHCP to assign the individual AP addresses, and designate a virtual controller IP address (static, reserved) to permit me to connect to the current VC at any point.

    Newer APs, I believe starting with the AP345, are referred to as "Unified APs" (not to be confused with the legacy Comware Unified Wired/Wireless family offered by 3COM and briefly by HP after the acquisition of 3Com).  These APs can operate as an IAP, Campus AP, or Remote AP out of the box - no separate SKUs anymore.

    Earlier Campus APs did not have the virtual controller function as part of their firmware, and were locked to maintain them as controller-based.  There was a measurable cost difference between the AP325 and IAP325, for example.  Without that added functionality, the Campus AP could not function as a virtual controller, thus could not be a full member of a swarm.  As some swarms are quite small, this would be a disadvantage on its face.

    Another issue with earlier IAPs is that the firmware is hardware platform specific.  In my home network, I run IAP 315 and IAP 205h models.  While the same firmware revision runs on both (though the IAP 205h limits it to 6.x), when an AP joins the swarm an attempt is made to upgrade firmware to the latest revision present on any member.  

    Thus, if I have an AP join the swarm with an older release, it will attempt to download the new release from the existing members.  If the existing members are IAP 205 and the new member is an IAP 225, the IAP 225 will go offline due to inability to download from the IAP 205 platform.  

    There is a trick to make this work - upgrade the new member to the existing firmware offline, before joining the swarm.  You can do this by placing it in an isolated VLAN, joining the setmeup or instant SSID that is presented by the new IAP, and using the GUI to upgrade firmware through the GUI.  The different hardware platform, running the same firmware revision, can now be placed in the same VLAN as the other members and will join.

    Hope this helps

    Timothy Leadbetter