Higher Education

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Replacing M3 Controllers with 7240s


    The Texas A&M University campus has over 200 buildings and 3700 access points mostly AP125s. The university has approximately 59,000 students over 8,000 faculty and staff. We typically see 32k users during our daily peak with 70k individual users in a 24 hour period and 1.2 million user sessions a day.
    The current network consists of two 3600s acting as master and backup and 13 M3 controllers as locals. Each M3 has vlan pool of 16 /23 networks. I will be replacing these with four 7240s. There is major road that divides our campus so my first thought was to have a separate mobility domain one for each side of campus. Each mobility domain would have two 7240s one would be a master and one a local.
    Has anyone did a similar replacement and would you mind sharing the challenges you face in redesigning your network around the 7240?


MVP Guru

Re: Replacing M3 Controllers with 7240s



We replaced our 6 M3 controllers with 3 7240s ( 1 Master and 2 Locals) we have approxiametly 2,100 APs (125,105,135) :



- You should probably upgrade your current environment to the latest 6.2.1.x 

- We decided to disable mobility and use the two 7240s to separate the campus as north/south and that way all the buildings in close proximity will be using the same VLAN pools 

- Then bring in parallel the 7240's controllers add all the required configuration which is not pushed from the master , then you could attach these locals to the current master this way those can have the same config and the one you are planning to use as the master make it a master backup to your current master.

- We decided to start our config on the 7240's from scratch and remove all the unnecessary config

- On the existing controllers do a backup flash this is a best practice for a rapid recovery

- Transfer all your licenses from the M3's using the licensing.arubanetworks.com 

- Apply the new licenses to the 7240'a

- Once your new controllers are ready can move the APs over updating the AP System-Profile (LMS IP) 

- Make sure you update all the radius Nad IPs




Most of the issues we experienced initially were fixed by Aruba.


We are now using AOS and we been testing AOS 6.3.1.x using 225APs in our Test controller to take advantage of the centralize licensing 802.11ac and Client Match its been good so far 




Thank you

Victor Fabian
Lead Mobility Architect @WEI
Frequent Contributor I

Re: Replacing M3 Controllers with 7240s

Hi Steve,


We're embarking on a similar (yet smaller) replacement.  2500 APs (105s, 124s, 125s, & 135s) averaging about 12k clients daily.  


We're looking to move from a single master w/ 8 locals (all M3s) to redundant 7210 masters & 4 x redundant 7240 locals.  Planning thus far is to implement VRRP redundancy in all instances.  

We don't use mobility (our VLANs extend to all controllers), however we are thinking of segregating our campus based on a geographical boundary.  Most of that will occur in what controller pair APs associate to.   There is talk of introducing a new AP VLAN to distinguish the boundary, but we have yet to implement that.  I may use Airwave to map the distinction further.


Just like Victor, I'm thinking of re-doing most configurations from scratch in order to clean up configurations & standardize.  


I'm slowly putting more APs onto one of our new 7240s associated in a Beta Group to allow for further testing.  Plan is to put most of our dorms on this new beta 7240.  In November, plan is to bring up the new masters & a pair of locals.  Re-do all of the configs in-use on the dorm groups & move all dorm AP Groups from the 7240 in Beta onto the new pair.  Oncethat'sdone, removethe 7240 from the betagroup & move it intoanewredundantpairunderthe7210masters.  Thenre-createacademicconfigs & APGroupsonthis7240pair & movetherestoftheacademicAPsduringwinterbreakinDec.  


So far so good.  I just updated the Beta Group from to this morning.  Beta group is currently handling some 310 APs & 2.5k clients.  Once I migrate most of the dorms, we should have some 500 APs on this group.  


Good luck,