Okay, the basics are in mind and we’re starting to deploy our WLC.
But, stop, wait and minute….- we forget to have a look on the different types of Cisco WLC and their deployment options.
As I began to deploy and manage wireless networks there where only a few controllers and only physical machines. I started with the 2100er series, later the 2500er series and today (01.2019) we’re at the 3500er series for the small to midsize controllers. Also in the past there where a lot of modules for switches and routers – they’re gone :).
The WLC is simply a computer with interfaces and a special operating system, end of story. It’s like with very other vendor: The appliances are physical devices and designed and optimized to do only “WLAN”. The older cards/modules are special processor boards to do the same job but you can put them into a big modular router. The virtual WLC, or vWLC, is a very popular version of doing WLAN – but here you’re instructed to only use H-REAP, later more. There are switches with integrated WLC-functionality, activated via license.
There are so many different versions of appliances, I don’t know if we need them all 😀 , but they are there.
Below is screenshot of the Cisco Homepage, please check out the link to see all the different types of appliances. In fact they differentiate through the interfaces, CPU power and last but not least – the maximum APs they can handle.
A difference between the WLC types, as I said before, is the amount and types of interfaces. There:
ethernet interfaces – we can configure them as trunk to access the DS, separate traffic physically, bind them to get more throughput and so on.
dedicated mgmt/OoB – these ports are only used to mange the WLC, we also can access the management via the other ethernet-ports if we like to, but this port is intend for use in a separate mgmt-network (also physically divided from the production network).
service-port/console – the normal console port you know from Cisco