Cisco vWLC – Local Mode Access Point


Earlier this morning, my neighborhood had a power outage. It was out for so long my battery backups in the house depleted and all of my gear shut off. When it came back online, my 4404 WLC was dead in the water. Would not boot and was throwing errors on startup that when I researched indicated hardware failure. Considering this is a 4404 WLC, I am not looking to start repairing it and buying parts for it. Until I find something new, I decided to get a vWLC spun up in VMWare so I could get my wireless network back online. I will at least have a bit of time until I find a new WLC.

vWLC Local Mode Access Point Issues

So I configured the vWLC the way I have always done in the past with regular hardware controllers. Interfaces were created and pinging, wlans were created, and it all looked good. I had to upgrade the LWAPP image on my 3502i’s to work with the new controller and once that was done, they registered with the controller as expected. Now let’s fast forward an hour or so to me ripping my hair out:

Turns out, I configured this, just as I said, like a regular WLC. Everything in my setup as far as my 3502i’s were configured as a local mode access point. That’s how I’ve always done it in the past. I started doing some research and stumbled onto this Cisco document: There is a key point on that article that it very clear why my issue was happening.

Q.    Does the Cisco Virtual Wireless Controller support local mode?
A.     The only mode being supported in the Cisco Virtual Wireless Controller is FlexConnect local switching.
Seeing as I configured this like every setup I’ve done in the past, the APs were all in local mode as I mentioned. I moved them to FlexConnect and there were the WLANs just as I was hoping. There were some more things to tweak that I’ll post about later such as local versus central switching too. This is the big first step though to get things working though. Hopefully, if you find yourself in the same situation I was, this will get you up and running in your wireless environment.
To change the AP over  to FlexConnect:

Wireless Tab in WLC gui -> All APs -> **Select your AP** -> General Tab -> AP Mode

Change that to FlexConnect and hit apply. You’ll be good to go!




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