Controllerless Networks

Occasional Contributor I

IAP maximum Clients?

Hello Airheads, 


I know that there is no maximum of access points that can be joined to the instant controller, and my question is there a maxium number of the clients that can be connected the instant controller???


I have IAP-103 and IAP-205 and IAP-215 brands and approximately more that 100 access point in high density environment.

What is your adivce??

Re: IAP maximum Clients?

This is from the Instant VRD

“Aruba recommends that you use the validated cluster size of 128 APs and 2048 clients per cluster for your cluster design. To allow for some future growth, design a cluster at 80 to 90 % (about 110 APs) of the validated capacity.”
Thank you

Victor Fabian
Lead Mobility Architect @WEI
Guest Blogger

Re: IAP maximum Clients?

My advice: don't use IAP, but connect the AP's as campus AP's to a (redundant) Aruba Cloud Services controller.


IAP is a great feature, but if you are talking about that many AP's in conjunction with high density and maybe a lot of roaming clients I would definitely advice a controller-based architecture compared to a controller-less architecture.


I have seen and did a lot of troubleshooting in multiple environments with a controller-less architecture (not only Aruba Networks IAP solution, but also AeroHive) which had different problems. Some problems were related to the switched network, because a lot of roaming in a high-density network has serious impact on your wired network, because MAC address tables need to be updated constantly whenever a client roams to another AP. Furthermore, depending on your VLAN design, you shouldn’t forget to tag the correct VLANs on the switch port to the access point in a controller-less architecture, because all traffic is locally bridged at the AP.


I read the VRD, but experience tells me to advice a controller-based solution in these situations. "A long time" ago I wrote an article about this discussion.

@rene_booches | AMFX #26, ACMX #438, ACCX #725, ACDX #760, CCNP R&S, CEH | Co-owner/Solution Specialist@4IP / blog
Occasional Contributor I

Re: IAP maximum Clients?

Thanks a lot.

Guest Blogger

Re: IAP maximum Clients?

I typically size these type deployments at around 70 IAPs per cluster and around 1400-1500 users in a cluster.  This allows additional overhead that is needed in heavy multicast traffic environments. You can have as many clusters as you want in your network to help keep cluster size small, but I would highly recommend managing with Airwave if multiple clusters are involved.


Keep in mind that the VRD are generally provided as a guideline, but that every environment is obviously different so slight deviations in cluster size/client counts can vary.

Scott L - ACCP, ACMP, CWNE #253
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