Cisco Wireless concepts
The Cisco Wireless Controller (WLC) devices is the Cisco solution to centrally configure, manage enterprise wireless networks, regardless of the number of access points deployed and thei location. Wireless controllers have become very popular as companies move from standalone Access Point (AP) wireless designs, complicated to configure and to secure properly, to centralized controller-based designs, reaping the enhanced visibility, functionality and redundancy benefits that come with those modern designs.
The following youtube video presents the basic concepts of how Wireless Controllers work and interact with Lightweight access points using CAPWAP protocol. A good understanding of the concepts presented in this video is mandatory before starting this Packet Tracer 7.1 wireless tutorial.
This Packet Tracer 7.1 wireless tutorial will show you how to configure the Wireless LAN controller and the associated Lightweight Access Points embeded in Cisco Pcket Tracer 7.1 including :
- WLC 2504 intial setup
- SSID and VLAN configuration on th WLC 2504
- Security configuration using 802.1x
- LightWeight Access Points 3702i automatic registration
This tutorial will be based on the following network topology :
Management IP addressing (Vlan 1 / 192.168.1.0/24)
- Cisco WLC 2504 : 192.168.1.254
- Catalyst L3 switch : 192.168.1.1 (vlan 1 default gateway / DHCP server)
- Management laptop : dynamic IP address from DHCP
- Lightweight Access Points : dynamic IP address from DHCP
Cisco WLC 2504 initial setup
Connect to the WLC 2504 using the web browser of the management laptop using http://192.168.1.254 and configure the admin username and password. The admin credentials will be login: admin, password : P@ssw0rd in this tutorial. Make sure to connect using HTTP (unsecure), not HTTPS, for this first connection.
Packet Tracer 7.1 issue : Access to the web interface can fail several times before allowing showing the following page. It works after a random number of tries.
The second step is to configure time, location, and management IP address of the WLC before creating the first protected Wireless network. Please note that the Guest Network function is not supported in Packet Tracer 7.1.
After this initial setup, reconnect to the Cisco WLC using HTTPS (https://192.168.1.254). If you try to connect using HTTP (unsecure) the WLC resets the connection but doesn't automatically redirect the connection to the HTTPS url.
SSID and VLAN configuration on the WLC
WLAN creation and SSID to VLAN mapping is configured on the WLAN tab of the WLC configuration. Each WLAN SSID is associated to a VLAN previously created and linked to a pysical interface on Controller tab. Packet Tracer 7.1 supports the following security options :
- No security
- WPA2 Personal
- WPA2 Enterprise (802.1x)
- Static WEP
- Static WEP + 802.1x
- None + EAP Passthrough
Security configuration using 802.1x
LightWeight Access Points automatic registration
Cisco Lightweight access points are directly connected to the layer 3 Catalyst 3560 switch and are PoE power supplied by the switch, making deployment quite easy. Attention is required for the access switch deployment which needs reduncdant power supplies and suffisant power budget from the closet to power up all the connected WLC.
Switch#show power inline Available:370.0(w) Used:15.0(w) Remaining:355.0(w) Interface Admin Oper Power Device Class Max (Watts) --------- ------ ---------- ------- ------------------- ----- ---- Fa0/1 auto on 5.0 Light Weight Access Point0n/a 15.4 Fa0/2 auto on 5.0 Light Weight Access Point1n/a 15.4 Fa0/3 auto on 5.0 Light Weight Access Point2n/a 15.4
Lightweight Access Points automatically discover the WLC address using DHCP option 150 configured on the DHCP which has been configured on the Catalyst switch for Vlan 1.
ip dhcp excluded-address 192.168.1.1 192.168.1.9 ! ip dhcp pool MGMT network 192.168.1.0 255.255.255.0 default-router 192.168.1.1 option 150 ip 192.168.1.254
The WLC displays thesuccessfully registered Access Points with thir IP address. detailed data is not available as this function has not been implemented in Packet Tracer 7.1
When configuring the WLC port to trunk mode and applying a static IP to the WLC, connection to the management interface of the WLC fails. The issue has been identified by Cisco and it's correction has been integrated in the next development rally of Packet Tracer 7.1.1
Video tutorial "Fundamentals of Wireless Controllers " is extracted from Youtube and subject to the following youtube terms of service :
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