Wireless Access

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Access network design for branch, remote, outdoor and campus locations with Aruba access points, and mobility controllers.
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Cisco to Aruba Migration

  • 1.  Cisco to Aruba Migration

    Posted Mar 05, 2020 08:36 AM

    Hi All,


    Hope I could get your expert advise.

    I have Cisco WLC with 100 APs and I have mobility master and mobility controller (both standlone) with 20 APs in another DC, we want to get rid of  Cisco WLC and APs and move to Aruba.


    Can someone please share migration plan which they have used for there migration to give an idea of steps involved.


    I tried searching for migration steps from Cisco to Aruba but could not find it.

  • 2.  RE: Cisco to Aruba Migration

    Posted Mar 05, 2020 08:51 AM

    To make things work a little smoother, you could pre-provision the APs. Get them to power up, join the controller, upgrade, and be put into the right group. Then you would want to pick a day/time to replace the APs if your doing a one-for-one swap, and do it a building at a time assuming that the RF space does not overlap with another building. If your doing new drops, you could put the APs in an AP Group that puts them into Air Monitor mode so it does not interfere with your Cisco WLC environment. Then at time of cut over, turn off the Cisco WLC and APs, and move the Aruba APs into the appropriate group.

  • 3.  RE: Cisco to Aruba Migration

    Posted Mar 05, 2020 09:31 AM

    Hi Dustin,


    Thanks for your help as always


    The idea which business has proposed is that we use the same cabling and mount the APs in the same location as the old cisco APs are currently installed to avoid cost for extra cabling and to configure an extra port on the switch , VLAN etc.


    So what they want is to unplug the old cisco AP and connect the new Aruba in each location (10 different sites).


    The business wants to keep the same IP for the AP, if cisco AP was, they would like to get the same on Aruba AP , I am not sure why anyone would want this but if we have to do it, is it possible?


    Not sure which option would be easy in this situation.


    xx Jess

  • 4.  RE: Cisco to Aruba Migration

    Posted Mar 05, 2020 10:04 AM

    If you have any generic runbook which you would have used for a similar kind of migration it would help

  • 5.  RE: Cisco to Aruba Migration

    Posted Mar 11, 2020 08:05 AM

    You could per-provision them in DHCP then make a list of what IP's are assigned to which Cisco AP label the Aruba AP's the same. Once you deploy the AP's go back and provision them again set the IP to static from your notes.


    I use static IP's in a process control network where there is no DHCP. I provision the AP verify it's working then go back re-provision to static IP box the AP up give it to field tech who installs it at the remote site.



  • 6.  RE: Cisco to Aruba Migration

    Posted Mar 11, 2020 12:24 PM

    Thanks for your reply, much appreciate it.


    I have few questions


    1) As you advised, to pre-provision the new aruba APs in DHCP

    (do you advise to dhcp option 60/43 for Aruba APs?)


    2) To make a list of Cisco IP's 

    (for this I can login to Cisco WLC right?)


    3) Label the Aruba AP's same as Cisco APs.

    ( Could you please advise which labels are you referring to? is it hostname on the AP? Do you advise to keep the same hostname)


    4) Decommission the old cisco AP and deploy the new Aruba AP , then provision them again with same IP as Cisco AP


    (So you mean first provision the AP with DHCP and once on the network after I have decomissioned the Cisco AP, then change the Aruba AP with Cisco. I have lot of APs and changing it from DHCP to Static IPs on all the aruba APs will be lot of work as I will have to console into them. would there be problem if I keep the Aruba APs on DHCP and have them different IP address, i.e no static IP address ?)


  • 7.  RE: Cisco to Aruba Migration

    Posted Mar 11, 2020 12:37 PM

    1.  We use DNS entry aruba-master set to the IP of one of our MD clusters members. If that isn't possible you could use DHCP 60/43 to configure the controllers IP. 

    2. Yes you would get that from Cisco I'm assuming

    3. Label means printing a label on a label maker I usually print 2 labels put one on the AP, and one on the box we use a naming convention that indicates the building the AP's are in. You would use that label name in the Aruba controller as the AP name. 

    4. Go into those buildings and replace all the cisco with Aruba. Then you go back to controller provisioning page and select static IP fill in the IP you want for each one of those AP's you do not need a console cable you can configure the static IP from the provisioning page. Once it reboots it will be statically assigned if the IP, subnet, gateway, dns incorrect require you to remove the AP and console into it factory reset and provision again. I would advise them to use DHCP for the Aruba AP's at least ask them the reason for it. Another option would be use the DHCP server reservation function you can configure a mac address so it always gets the same IP address after the fact and leave the aruba set to DHCP.  Statically assigning is kind of an older way to secure the device so if someone were to remove the WAP could not use it somewhere else. You can white list AP's or even monitor them with SNMP send an alert if they are unplugged. 

  • 8.  RE: Cisco to Aruba Migration

    Posted Mar 09, 2020 12:43 PM

    I tried looking up on Aruba support portal and documentation, but could not find any docs related to cisco > migration strategies.


  • 9.  RE: Cisco to Aruba Migration

    Posted 18 days ago
    Nothing is available, we should keep Cisco while waiting for Aruba documentation :) or just make a new document by the community. I'm currently busy with a similar project. 
    I should migrate to Aruba for a large campus, we should replace the AP zone by zone for at least  1 year, Both Cisco and Aruba should coexist and advertise the same SSID (BYOD model) the main issues:
    1. The users may be asked for authentication when switching from one vendor to another (Captive portal pop up and EAP for certificate)
    2. The client may need to click on the SSID when roaming between vendors
    3. Roaming is not possible
    4. A high number of Rogues detected by both vendors, which may cause high channel utilisation
    5. Sticky clients could cause some issues
    6. No single point for client management

    Please add any other possible issues. Thanks for your input

    Amin Amor