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Cisco WLC 5508 Proper Design For The Topology

Posted on 2016-09-21
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Last Modified: 2016-09-27
We lost the configuration we had on our WLC 5508 controller and had to start from scratch. Now we are trying to figure out how to properly configure everything. Right now we are on software version 8.3.102.0.

Here is our topology:
- We have 7 sites with APs.
- Each site uses the same vlans, but different subnets.
Example:
Site 1
VLAN 100 - DATA - 10.1.100.0/24
VLAN 200 - VOICE - 10.1.200.0/24
VLAN 300 - WIRELESS APs - 10.1.300.0/24
VLAN 400 - GUEST NETWORK - 10.1.400.0/24
Site 2
VLAN 100 - DATA - 10.2.100.0/24
VLAN 200 - VOICE - 10.2.200.0/24
VLAN 300 - WIRELESS APs - 10.2.300.0/24
VLAN 400 - GUEST NETWORK - 10.2.400.0/24

All subnets default gateway to a router local at each site which handles DHCP for all local VLANs, and those routers talk via MetroEthernet to Site 1 where the WLC resides. The WLC has a management address outside the 10.x.x.x range and everything is routed accordingly.

I know we had FlexConnect groups configured before for each site, but from my reading, it sounds like having the same VLAN numbers at each site will hinder the FlexConnect configuration and cause confusion if multiple FlexConnect groups are configured with the same VLAN numbers but use different subnets. Is this true?

Given this topology, what is the best way to configure the WLC? Is FlexConnect the way to go? If so, Should the FlexConnect Group WLAN VLAN Mappings be configured a certain way?
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Question by:Andrew Watson
2 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

by:
Craig Beck earned 500 total points
ID: 41810804
Using the same VLAN ID at each site is fine.  The WLC uses the VLAN ID to tell the AP which VLAN to put client traffic on.  You don't have to put different VLAN IDs at each site, so there's no reason why it'll cause any issues for you.

If the APs are at sites which are remotely connected to the WLC, via WAN link for example, you want to use FlexConnect to ensure that traffic doesn't go over the WAN to get to clients in the same office.

So, configure the WLANs you need, configure AP Groups and FlexConnect groups for each site.  Put the APs in the right groups and that should be that.

Here's a good guide...
https://supportforums.cisco.com/document/98646/wireless-lan-flexconnect-configuration-example
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Author Closing Comment

by:Andrew Watson
ID: 41819000
Very helpful. In fact, I found that putting the APs in AP groups actually fixed a lot of weird problems we were having. Evidently all the APs being in the default ap group causes certain settings not to be used properly. We had a Cisco 7925 wireless phone that just wouldn't stay connected to the wireless for more than a few seconds at locations with multiple APs, but at the location with only one AP, it stayed connected for minutes at a time before disconnecting and reconnecting just long enough to drop calls. Very weird. But as soon as I moved each site's APs to their own AP groups (not flexconnect groups), the phone started working perfectly. We had been changing all kinds of global setting to get the phone to work but none of it did until the AP groups.
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