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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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Controller Upgrade from OS 6.x to 8.x

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  • 1.  Controller Upgrade from OS 6.x to 8.x

    Posted Aug 15, 2019 05:54 AM

    Good day to all.

     

    Can somebody advise me on upgrading the Aruba WLC from 6.5 to 8.3?

     

    We have an operational site with more than 1300 Aruba APs terminated on Master-Local setup.
    The master controller is Aruba 7030 serving 1000 APs and 300 APs are being served by local controller 7010.

    Currently, both the controllers are on OS 6.5. The main reason for the upgrade is to facilitate AP-345 which need a minimum os 8.3.

     

    What will be the best suitable setup (controller mode) for our network without adding extra elements!!!

     

    I have a lab setup where I tested the upgrading tool. I converted the master controller to stand alone but it is not that smooth. sometimes I lost the configuration and sometimes it says I don't have privileges to make changes or re-provision the AP.



  • 2.  RE: Controller Upgrade from OS 6.x to 8.x

    Posted Aug 15, 2019 06:00 AM

    Are all of the access points at the same site?

    Do you want the new network to have an MM so that you can leverage Centralized Airgroup, Airmatch and Clustering?

    How many AP-345s do you plan to add?

    Did you contact your local Aruba SE first to get advice to plan the migration?

     

    The migration tool is not always intuitive.  It can be advantageous to configure a network from scratch on 8.x  and migrate your access points over group by group, so that you can understand how to configure and manage the 8.x system.



  • 3.  RE: Controller Upgrade from OS 6.x to 8.x

    Posted Aug 15, 2019 06:13 AM

    Thanks cjoseph for fast reply.

     

    "Are all of the access points at the same site"?

    yes they are, it is a tower where we have distributed APs from Ground level to 33rd floor.

    "Do you want the new network to have an MM so that you can leverage Centralized Airgroup, Airmatch and Clustering?" 

     As of now we just need to terminate AP-345 on existing controller. 

    "How many AP-345s do you plan to add?"

     The Hotel IT team has deployed 25 APs alredy on on floor.

    "Did you contact your local Aruba SE first to get advice to plan the migration?"

    Not yet..



  • 4.  RE: Controller Upgrade from OS 6.x to 8.x

    Posted Aug 15, 2019 06:26 AM

    My bad, we have migrated many sites by following the best practices from Aruba BU. 


    The recommendation was to have a MM under one cluster to make use of best available options and features on both existing WLCs.


    The client is not in the situation to invest in hardware or software.
    We have got new licenses for AP-345. They need to have these APs up and running on existing hardware.



  • 5.  RE: Controller Upgrade from OS 6.x to 8.x

    Posted Aug 15, 2019 06:40 AM

    The best thing is to contact your ArubaSE, because there are probably things that will  greatly affect your deployment that you did not outline in your post.

     

    The AP 345 is dual 5ghz radio and if the customer's main goal is to leverage that, feature it is best to deploy an MM in the new environment so that the Airmatch algorithm can calculate where dual radio APs can be leveraged automatically. The dual radio capability might not be optimized in a network without MMs (MCM).

     

    Migrating from 6.x to 8.x is a good opportunity to start from scratch and have a cleaner deployment, but if you have a business that cannot tolerate much downtime, it is best to migrate to a parallel (loaner?) 8.x deployment that is already operational.  That way, if everything does not work out, you have to option of migrating back.



  • 6.  RE: Controller Upgrade from OS 6.x to 8.x

    Posted Aug 15, 2019 07:24 AM

    will contact our sales and Aruba SE to discuss  further.

     

    However, as far as I remember from my experience and case study, we need to have minimus one MM in a cluster. On which we can have MC with required controller modes. Correct me if i am wrong.

     

    But for this site, we have a restriction.

    I have two workarounds until my sales team get back to me on the new design. Please suggest if the below will fly or no, and which one is less complicated.

     

    1. If a use a new controller 7010 or 7020 and load it with 8.3 in standalone mode. The new APs will register on it, but their won't be roaming between clients moving from this zone to another zone. I believe clients need to reauthenticate when they move between zones.

    I'm not sure of configuration exchange and client roaming between controllers. Will go through the docs to get more clarity. As of now, we can compromise with roaming/configuration exchange until we finalize the new design.

     

    2. Could you please let me know if I configure the existing controllers from the search after loading 8.3, and keeping it in standalone without MM. Will it be possible to exchange configuration and user database between two standalone by any means? I know this is not recommended and this is just a workaround until we finalize the new design? Downtime is not an issue ...

     

    Thanks for quick response.



  • 7.  RE: Controller Upgrade from OS 6.x to 8.x
    Best Answer

    Posted Aug 15, 2019 07:42 AM

    Hi,

     

    1. Will be much easier, and you have time for a proper design.

     

    2.

    I cant recommend a WLC only deployment of 8.x to.

     

    BUT if you want to setup one, you use VRRP.
    But this will be a Master-Standby structure.

     

    For example have a look at this:

    https://www.flomain.de/2017/11/master-standby-arubaos-8/

     

    Here are two screenshots I like to share to you

    1.JPG2.JPG

     

    If you deploy a MM + WLC structure, be sure about the clustering.

    As long as the two controller are in the same cluster profile, all load from all APs will be shared across them.

     

    If you want the APs to be more sticky to one (because of different locations, bandwith between them, whatever), you have to configure them as standalone and set LMS/Backup LMS like before in the AP Groups.

     

    But then, on the other hand, you have no seamless roaming...

     

     



  • 8.  RE: Controller Upgrade from OS 6.x to 8.x

    Posted Aug 15, 2019 07:44 AM

    Ah yeah, thats kinda weird.

    BUT what about this: deploying the 345 as instant APs ?

     

    For a time, till you have a final design...

     

    The Image of the 345 should be the unified image.

    Maybe that is also an possibility ? Dont know about the config on your controllers....



  • 9.  RE: Controller Upgrade from OS 6.x to 8.x

    Posted Aug 15, 2019 07:54 AM

    Understood. Thank you so much.

     

    I will go with a Master-Standby structure, Looks much easier.


    I will use a new 7030 first as a backup controller to terminate APs then will upgrade the old controllers.

     

    Thanks again.



  • 10.  RE: Controller Upgrade from OS 6.x to 8.x

    Posted Aug 15, 2019 08:00 AM

    @MuhammedsabShiakh wrote:

    will contact our sales and Aruba SE to discuss  further.

     

    However, as far as I remember from my experience and case study, we need to have minimus one MM in a cluster. On which we can have MC with required controller modes. Correct me if i am wrong.

     

    But for this site, we have a restriction.

    I have two workarounds until my sales team get back to me on the new design. Please suggest if the below will fly or no, and which one is less complicated.

     

    1. If a use a new controller 7010 or 7020 and load it with 8.3 in standalone mode. The new APs will register on it, but their won't be roaming between clients moving from this zone to another zone. I believe clients need to reauthenticate when they move between zones.

    I'm not sure of configuration exchange and client roaming between controllers. Will go through the docs to get more clarity. As of now, we can compromise with roaming/configuration exchange until we finalize the new design.

     

    2. Could you please let me know if I configure the existing controllers from the search after loading 8.3, and keeping it in standalone without MM. Will it be possible to exchange configuration and user database between two standalone by any means? I know this is not recommended and this is just a workaround until we finalize the new design? Downtime is not an issue ...

     

    Thanks for quick response.


    I am not in sales, and I don't understand the sales process, but if you ordered an AP that is forcing  you to upgrade, I would just order a different AP.

     

    1.  You will have a problem if you are using captive portal, definitely, as clients will have to reauthenticate when they roam to a new controller, unless the New APs are confined to a specific zone, where users are expected to reauthenticate.  If you are using 802.1x or preshared key, you can try to place users in the same user subnet between the two deployments to make things smoother.  With Captive Portal, unfortunately, users will have to reauthenticate.

    2.  It depends on the user database.  It is recommended that at that network size, you should have your user database externally so that it is not dependent on one controller or another to authenticate users.  What users are you authenticating and how?

     



  • 11.  RE: Controller Upgrade from OS 6.x to 8.x

    Posted Aug 15, 2019 08:28 AM

    The issue started when the customer ordered AP-345 by themselves.
    Now they as seeking our support to terminate them in the existing network.

     

    They wanted us to upgrade the controller without much downtime. Even they don't want to invest further on infrastructure.

     

    I was thinking of upgrading the existing master local setup from OS 6.5 to 8.3. I was using the upgrade tool which gives me a new error every time. Upgrading the controller without downtime was impossible cz i got to know todya that its recommended to configure the MM from the scratch instead of migration tool (i dont have a shortcut now).

     

    So after explaining MM concept to client, I got a temporary controller  from customer a while ago just to terminate APs temporarily. Now we will test the same in LAB for roaming, client database exchange, and other related issues.

    My plan was to go with stand-alone but master-redundancy look pretty easy and less complicated where we have only two controllers.

     

    I planned to find an easy and less complicated way to upgrade but now I have to do the configuration by myself because upgrading tool is not useful (in my situation).
    I was thinking of saving some time however it's nice my situation brought me to this platform where I can meet techies.

     

    Basicly 

    Thanks