Controllerless Networks

Occasional Contributor II

Migrate from Controller to Instant/AirWave


We have a functioning instant deployment at our school sites with AirWave to manage it all. Our District office is still using an old 3200 controller with AP 125s. I'd like to move away from them, but I'm not sure how. I have a vague idea, which I'm ready to dive into, but when our vendor set up our school sites years ago, I remember them setting up the instant environment then cutting everything over.


I don't think the old controller based APs were connected at the same time as the instant APs were, but memory fades and I can't be certain, so I'd like to know if there are any issues/problems with setting up a new instant VC/instant wireless network on the same VLAN as our controller based network and if there are, what would be the proper way to transition from our controller to to IAPs managed by AirWave?


I'd like to test my new configuration before allowing users to connect, but I also don't want to cause problems for them either. Any warnings from the more experienced here?


Thanks a ton and hope everyone is staying safe and healthy,

Aruba Employee

Re: Migrate from Controller to Instant/AirWave

How are the old APs discovering the controller? Are you using option 43? You are planning to put the Instant APs in the same AP vlan?

Occasional Contributor II

Re: Migrate from Controller to Instant/AirWave



They are discovering the controller by ADP. The instant APs would eventually be placed into the same VLAN, especially once the old APs and controller are decommissioned. We use VLAN 50 as our management VLAN for wireless. For testing and learning purposes I can create a new VLAN for the first few instant APs. Get them setup and tested, stand down the old APs and controller and swing the instants over to VLAN 50. Is that possible/a good idea? I'd like to set up the new APs in parallel so as not to affect current users, if that makes sense.


Thanks for your help!


MVP Guru

Re: Migrate from Controller to Instant/AirWave

With Instant AP it is strongly recommended to use a separate VLAN, which goes untagged to the AP ports, for management and clustering traffic, including communication to Airwave. If VLAN50 now just holds your controller based campus APs, and no clients or other wired devices, you can perfectly reuse that VLAN for the Instant management.


Then your clients should go in separate VLAN/VLANs that should be tagged to the same ports that the APs connect to.


One approach that would work if you will use the same ports to connect to the APs (or even the same APs if they can be converted):

- First test with a single AP untagged VLAN 50, tagged with your client VLANs.

- If you have already separate client VLANs, you can keep it the same.

- If the single AP works, configure your AP ports to have VLAN50 untagged and your client VLANs tagged.

- Make sure that clients still can connect. Expect poor roaming behavior when you have both the controller APs and IAPs active in the same area.

- Add/replace with the new IAPs till all old APs are gone.

- Try to keep mixed areas with IAP/AP minimized, roaming will be poor.


If you can't keep the client VLANs the same, even further reduce the replacement time. Clients that are steady and connected should not so much be affected until you unplug the AP they are connected and roam to a different AP.

If you have urgent issues, please contact your Aruba partner or Aruba TAC (click for contact details).
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