Autonomous vs lightweight ap

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Autonomous vs lightweight ap

If you use hardware from other vendors, their names may be different, but the function and operation will be similar. When Autonomous mode was fine in the beginning when wireless networking was often limited to providing network access in common areas or boardrooms, and continuous roaming was not a requirement. Wireless networks tend to grow, and that means a typical network might deploy from one to ten access points across the network environment, and an environment of that size is still easily managed with Autonomous mode APs.

Although these APs are connected to the same network, and may use the same SSID, they are all individually configured and separate from one another. In most small networks, wireless still starts out as an idea to make life a little easier in conference rooms and boardrooms, so these networks tend to start with just one AP in those locations. If you are deploying only one AP on your network, then in all cases you will choose to deploy an Autonomous mode AP. Unfortunately, after that first AP is deployed and users become used to the flexibility and functionality it offers, you will undoubtedly receive a request for another one.

If you are planning to deploy four or more APs on a new network, you should give thought to Lightweight mode APs because you will be close to the breakeven point in cost between purchasing autonomous APs, and going forward beyond that, you will have an easier infrastructure to manage using Lightweight mode APs.

A sample of how the controller and APs fits together in your network is shown. It does not matter where the AP is on your network, it will still get all of its management information from the Wireless LAN Controller. In this scenario, the access points all have their configuration managed by the WLC. You can set a single policy on that WLC, and that configuration setting can be deployed to all managed access points, reducing the workload of managing hundreds of lightweight access points when using the Cisco series Router Wireless Services Module.

As mentioned earlier, if you are deploying four or more APs, you should get a quote on a solution that includes lightweight APs and a WLC because the price will likely be similar to the solution with autonomous APs. If you already have Autonomous mode APs, you can convert them to lightweight to blend them into your new managed network, or you can deploy them elsewhere in your organization where lightweight APs will not fit the requirements.

Places that cannot use LWAPPs are locations that do not have direct and permanent network connectivity to the WLC, such as isolated segments of your network that have only periodic connections to where the WLC resides.

Many of my clients run networks on ships or ocean platforms where there they would require autonomous APs. Cisco Enterprise Infrastructure Access Points. About the Book Author Edward Tetz has worked with computers as a sales associate, support tech, trainer, and consultant.A new emergent tech trend is about to hit that will affect how consumer Wi-Fi APs are managed.

Within the next year, millions of consumers could have multiple access points in their home.

Cisco Enterprise Infrastructure Access Points

Considering most consumers have an ongoing battle with one router, this is a change from the norm. But how many access points should homes or businesses have? Also, what type of access point is best for your business? That is the question we get most often during our Cisco Wireless Fundamentals Course:.

Watch this 2-minute video for a crash course in these two types of APs. Trying to decide what wireless access points to deploy at your company or trying to win a bet about what type is best? Hey, folks! A lightweight access point is going to rely entirely upon a wireless LAN controller, where an autonomous access point is just that. But besides those key characteristics, there are really two things we want you to keep in mind when you decide autonomous versus lightweight or lightweight versus autonomous.

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The first one is switching back and forth between the two modes might not be that easy. The reason I say that is because I know a lot of folks will end up buying refurbished hardware. That hardware is typically going to come with a lightweight access point IOS.

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The second thing to keep in mind with your lightweight access point versus autonomous access point discussion is that the lightweight access point cannot function whatsoever without a wireless LAN controller. Now, once again, you want to take a look at that question, more from a 30,foot view, looking at your own deployment requirements.

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How many users, what type of applications, how many locations am I going to be supporting? Ultimately, how many access points do I want to have?

You really want to look at the functionality of each one of them. Take care.Whether a Cisco wireless access point AP was pulled from production or purchased new, it comes in one of the two operating mode: Lightweight or Autonomous Mode.

When you are deploying the AP on your network, you must decide what mode you want to run. The decision is fairly easy. If you are dealing with a single location, a small office or home network, autonomous mode is recommended. If you are setting up a wireless network for a larger office space that requires more than 3 access points locally or remotely across multiple geographic locations, deploying in Lightweight mode is recommended.

The WLC can be a physical appliance for large networks or it can be a virtual machine. Sometimes it is embedded into ISR router or a switch such as Cat Think of the AP is simply an Ethernet extension transmitting data frames between wire and wireless. The controller tells the AP who to transmit to and what to transmit and all added on security, OoS and so on. Autonomous Mode : Also known as Standalone Mode. All services are self-contained and individually managed by each AP.

When Cisco acquired Airespace inthey sponsored an effort to standardized this protocol. Got confused? My recommendation is that always upgrade the code to a recent software release and it most likely will work in your environment. There are a few signs you can find to determine whether your AP was configured in Lightweight or Autonomous mode.

With an AP running in Lightweight mode, configuration using CLI is not available keep reading for tricks that enables you to do since all the configuration is done at the Controller level and pushed to the AP. First of all, pick the right image for your access point model and make sure you download the image for autonomous mode.

You need to enter a special debug command to be able to enter the configuration mode. Otherwise use the second command. It enables you to enter configuration mode. Configure an IP address on the AP and verify network connectivity to the computer. In my case I used the follow IP address:. Next, configure your computer with an IP in the same subnet You should be able to ping each other and make sure the network connectivity is working between the AP and your computer that will be used for code transfer.

Transfer and install the image on the AP. The AP will reboot after the new code has been installed.Included are detailed steps, commands, full text logs of the conversion process and screenshots to ensure an easy and successful upgrade - WLC registration. Converting an Autonomous AP to Lightweight Mode is a straight forward process however it is important to keep a few things in mind before performing the conversion procedure as there are some restrictions users should be aware of.

For sake of simplicity we are presenting them in bullet format:. Alternatively, a search on the web might reveal other sources from which they can be downloaded. Regardless of the type of image loaded during the conversion process, the AP will always download the full image from the WLC as soon as it joins.

In our example we will be converting a Cisco AP and decided to download the appropriate recovery mode file : ap3g1-rcvk9w8-tar. Since the AP will automatically download the full image from the WLC once it joins, using the recovery mode file will speed up the conversion process.

Cisco LAP (Lightweight Access Point), Some Questions

Note: BVI interface indicates that the Radio interface e. Console cable can be used for the conversion process of local APs. As soon as the AP successfully registers with the WLC it will compare its image with that of the controller and if found different begin to download and install it.

The following screenshot was taken after the AP joined the WLC and begun automatically downloading the new image:.

autonomous vs lightweight ap

As soon as the AP downloads and installs the new image, it will automatically reload and register with the WLC again. At this point the AP is ready to be configured and used as required.

Back to the Cisco Wireless Section. Deal with bandwidth spikes Free Download. Web Vulnerability Scanner Free Download. Reload Reason: Reason unspecified.

Articles To Read Next:.This tutorial explains the functionalities of the Access points and the Wireless LAN controllers in detail.

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Learn what the Access points and the Wireless LAN controllers are and how they work in the wireless network. An access point is the device that allows multiple wireless devices to connect with each other.

Just like a HUB or switch connects multiple devices together in a single or multiple wired LAN networks, an access point connects multiple wireless devices together in a single wireless or multiple wireless networks.

Converting Cisco Wireless Access Point from Lightweight to Autonomous Mode

An access point can also be used to extend the wired network to the wireless devices. Based on the functionalities, we can categorize the access point in three types; standalone access point, multifunction access point and controlled access point. A standalone access point provides the same functionality in wireless network which a switch or hub provides in the wired network.

It provides connectivity between the different wireless devices. It accepts frame from the connected device and, based on its physical address, forwards it to the destination device. Both the wired network and the wireless network use the different networking standards. A device which only understands and supports the one type of standards from the Ethernet standards and the Wi-Fi standards cannot process the frame that is formatted in the other type of standards.

For example a regular Ethernet switch neither understands the frame formatted in Wi-Fi standards nor processes it. Access point supports both standards. Based on the destination device, it converts the received frame before forwarding it.

For example if it receives a frame that is formatted with the Wi-Fi standards and have a destination address that uses Ethernet standards, it formats that frame with Ethernet standards before forwarding it to the destination.

Access point uses radio signals for connectivity. Any device which falls in its signal range can connect with it. This feature makes it more flexible but less secure in comparison with the regular Ethernet switch. To enhance the security and stop the unauthorized access, the Access point uses authorization feature.

Based on the security and the flexibility requirements, it can be configured to allow all users or to the selected users. A multifunction access point is the combination of two or more devices.

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In this combination an additional device or devices are merged with the access point to provide the additional functionalities along with existing functionality of the access point. A wireless router which ISP uses to provide to the Internet connection is the perfect example of the multifunction access point. It consist of three devices; an access point, a regular Ethernet switch and a router.There are all kinds of news and information related to Cisco and Cisco network equipment, such as release of Cisco equipment, news of Cisco's new networking solution, and Cisco hardware and software upgrading What are they?

Each WTP can be independently managed as a separate network entity on the network. The access point in such a network is often called a Fat AP.

During the past few years, centralized architectures discussed next with ACs and WTPs have gained popularity. The primary advantage of the centralized architecture is that it provides network administrators with a structured and hierarchical mode of control for multiple WTPs in the enterprise. Centralized Architecture. The centralized architecture is a hierarchical architecture that involves a WLAN controller that is responsible for configuration, control, and management of several WTPs.

The Because the WTPs in this model have a reduced function as compared to the autonomous architecture, they are also known as Thin APs.

autonomous vs lightweight ap

Some of the functions on the APs are variable, as discussed in the following section. Distributed Architecture. In the distributed architecture, the various WTPs can form distributed networks with other WTPs through wired or wireless connections. A mesh network of WTPs is one example of such an architecture. The WTPs in the mesh can be linked with This architecture is often used in municipal networks and other deployments where an outdoor component is involved.

This article does not address the distributed architecture. To understand the autonomous and centralized architecture, it is useful to look at the functions performed by the APs.

autonomous vs lightweight ap

We start with the Fat APs, which form the core of the autonomous architecture, followed by the Thin APs, which were specified as part of the WLAN switch- or controller-based centralized architecture. The article will then outline the functions of a new variant called the Fit AP, an optimized version of the AP for centralized architectures.

Fat Access Points. Figure1 shows an example of an autonomous network with a fat access point. The AP is an addressable node in the network with its own IP address on its interfaces.

It can forward traffic between the wired and wireless interfaces. It can also have more than one wired interface and can forward traffic between the wired interfaces similar to a Layer 2 or Layer 3 switch. Connectivity to the wired enterprise can be through a Layer 2 or Layer 3 network.

It is important to understand that there is no backhauling of traffic from the Fat AP to another device through tunnels. This aspect is important and is addressed when discussing the other AP types.

To manage multiple APs, the network manager has to connect to each AP through one of these management schemes. Each AP shows up on the network map as a separate node. Another significant capability of these devices is configuration and enforcement of Quality of Service QoS -related functions.There are all kinds of news and information related to Cisco and Cisco network equipment, such as release of Cisco equipment, news of Cisco's new networking solution, and Cisco hardware and software upgrading The reason is that the WLC provides all the configuration parameters and firmware that the LAP needs in the registration process.

LWAPP also defines the tunneling mechanism for data traffic. Subsequently, the LAP is completely under the control of the controller. The secure key distribution requires already provisioned X. Factory-installed certificates are referenced with the term "MIC", which is an acronym for Manufacturing Installed Certificate. So these APs create a self-signed certificate SSC when they are upgraded in order to operate in lightweight mode. In controller software release 5.

Controller software releases prior to 5. For more information, refer to the Access Point Communication Protocols section of the configuration guide. The part numbers of the series LAPs are:. Note: The part numbers can vary, which depends on the country and regulatory domain. The part numbers that this list provides are just examples.

Here are examples:. Home Contact. It's currently available in a 6, 8 or 12 AP version. The WLC's backplane connections appear as 2-Gig Ethernet ports that can be configured separately as dot1q trunks to provide connection into the Or the Gig ports can be link aggregated to provide a single EtherChannel connection to the Because the WLC is integrated directly, it has access to all of the advanced routing and switching features available in the stackable switch.

This WLC is ideal for medium-sized offices or buildings. It supports up to APs per module. Depending on the platform, multiple WISMs can be installed to offer significant scaling capabilities. The WiSM appears as a single aggregated link interface on the that can be configured as a dot1 trunk to provide connection into the backplane. This module is ideal for large buildings or campuses. Share this post. Repost 0. Subscribe to newsletter To be informed of the latest articles, subscribe:.

You might also like: More Reliable Wi-Fi When to Upgrade to Back to home page. Comment on this post. Newsletter Subscribe to be notified of future posts.


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