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Difference between convert to RAP or CAP

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  • 1.  Difference between convert to RAP or CAP

    Posted Aug 12, 2016 10:06 AM

    Hi, I was wondering what exactly is the difference between converting a AP205H or a RAP3 (or any other RAP/IAP) to a RAP or a CAP.

    If it is converted to a CAP it still is possible to provision the AP as a RAP, with all RAP functionalities, right? Or is there a difference between the two modes, even after provisioning? Or is it maybe a zero-touch provisioning reason?




  • 2.  RE: Difference between convert to RAP or CAP

    Posted Aug 12, 2016 10:09 AM

    CAP means it is used in a campus setting.

    RAP means it builds an IPSec tunnel back to the controller for all data. It is designed for remote locations traversing the internet.


    You are not locking yourself to one or the other, it's just asking you what you want to convert to at that moment. If you do a CAP, you can convert it to a RAP from your controller.

  • 3.  RE: Difference between convert to RAP or CAP
    Best Answer

    Posted Aug 12, 2016 10:09 AM

    A RAP can have a split-tunneled SSID as well as work over the internet via an ipsec tunnel.  A CAP cannot do that.


    Your decision on whether you want to convert to a RAP or a CAP depends on how you want to deploy a controller-based AP.  It would be a waste of time to convert to a CAP, and then provision as a RAP.  You would convert to a RAP immediately from an IAP

  • 4.  RE: Difference between convert to RAP or CAP

    Posted Aug 12, 2016 10:54 AM

    Ok, so basically it is a matter of time efficiency more than a technical issue.

    I was asking this because converting to CAP first, as most of the time the conversion is done at the campus anyway, seems a bit more 'straight-forward'. Afterwards we configure the RAP as we would configure any other AP. But converting to RAP would save time I agree.


    Anyway, as always, thanks for the replies.

  • 5.  RE: Difference between convert to RAP or CAP

    Posted Aug 12, 2016 11:19 AM

    We have quite a few companies that have remote employees.  Using Aruba Activate, they put the AP that they have ordered  into a group.  ClearPass would synchronize the AP whitelist names and groups from   When the IAP is booted, the group instructions in Activate tell the IAP to convert to a RAP, put it into an ap-group and name the AP.  When the IAP hits a controller for conversion, it queries ClearPass for the whitelist that is synchronized from activate and configures the AP with a name and AP-Group.  It converts it, names it and groups it all in one quick step.


    The remote employee could have the IAP shipped directly to them.  They would only have to plug in the new IAP into the wired internet.  The IAP would contact Activate and get its instructions to convert to a RAP and point to a controller.  The controller would get the IAPs name and ap-group from activate and upgrade the code, all at the same time.  If anything happens to that IAP, the end-user would just hit the reset button, and the whole process would start all over again. 


    That is how many organizations that have large remote populations manage and deploy remote users.