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As you already aware Cisco has released WLC 8.0 software which is a major upgrade in recent years. People were talking about this code version for a long period of time ( I remember even in CL-2012 some of them talking about this code) though it did not come out until late August 2014. As this Cisco mobility Blog (The Summer Blockbuster-WLC 8.0) describes it has lots of new features.

So what are those new features ? If you read WLC 8.0 release notes you will find most of them listed there. Here is some of the key highlights (not the full list)

1. Supported AP & Scale features
* Cisco Aironet 1040, 1130**, 1140, 1240**, 1250, 1260, 1600, 2600, 2700, 3500, 3500p, 3600, 3700, 602-OEAP, 702, 702W, AP801, and AP802 Series indoor access points
* Cisco Aironet 1520 (1522, 1524), 1530, 1550 (1552) Series outdoor access points

**1130 & 1240 models will not support new features added in 8.0.x software code. You have to see this compatibility matrix as well for Prime/MSE/etc.

* Vlan tagging for 702W AP
* DCA for RF profiles
* Optimized Roaming – Allow client disassociation based on configured RSSI
* 1700 series AP ūüėĮ listed in the list, but I do not think support is there in (may be in 8.0MR1)
* OEAP Enhancements – Basic Firewall, Split Tunneling, Voice QoS
* Faster FlexConnect Deployment – AP won’t reboot when you change AP mode from local to Flexconnnect.

2.  Native IPv6 Support
* large feature list of IPv6 ūüôā

3.  mDNS Enchancements
* Multicast mDNS policies
* Policy Enhancements – multiple mDNS profile & override them based on a policy.

4.  AVC Enhancements
* NBAR2 protocol pack 11.0
* AVC AAA-Override
* AVC per application, per client rate limiting on a wlan
* AVC directional QoS – Packets can be mark based on direction.

5.  Ease of Management Features
* You can change SSID & Profile Names without delete & recreate it
* “show ap summary” output show AP IP information

(5508-1) >show ap summary 
Number of APs.................................... 2
Global AP User Name.............................. Not Configured
Global AP Dot1x User Name........................ Not Configured
AP Name             Slots  AP Model              Ethernet MAC       Location          Country  IP Address       Clients
------------------  -----  --------------------  -----------------  ----------------  -------  ---------------  -------
3502-1               2     AIR-CAP3502I-N-K9     cc:ef:48:72:0f:c3    Rasika-Testing  AU       x.x.13.10    0   
1131-1               2     AIR-LAP1131AG-N-K9    c4:7d:4f:ac:e4:26  default location  AU       x.x.13.15    0

*¬† “show system x ” new commands added to get useful information from WLC.

(5508-1) >show system ?            
dmesg          Displays dmesg logs
interfaces     Displays information about the configured network interfaces
interrupts     Displays the number of interrupts
iostat         Displays CPU and input/output statistics for devices
ipv6           Displays system ipv6 information
meminfo        Displays system memory information
neighbours     Displays the IPv6 Neighbor Cache
netstat        Display system network stats
process        Displays process related information
route          Displays system routing table
slabs          Displays memory usage on slab level
slabtop        Displays the slab usage
timers         Display system timer info
top            Displays the cpu usage
vmstat         Displays system virtual memory statistics

* “show run-config startup-commands” to take the startup configuration for recovery.
* Flashing LED feature to locate an AP. Specially if AP already mounted with default name  & later on if you want to find which AP is where, this is handy.

(5508-1) >config ap led-state flash ?               
<seconds>      The duration of LED flashing in seconds <1-3600>               
indefinite     Indefinite flashing of the LED               
disable        Stop flashing the LED
(5508-1) >config ap led-state flash 10 3502-1

* Alternate colour theme available for GUI. If you need to differentiate your production vs testing, it is good idea to change the colour theme for test WLC to red as shown below.

(5508-1) >config network webcolor ?              
default        Enables default web color theme.
red            Enables red web color theme.               
(5508-1) >config network webcolor red

WLC8-016.  Security/RADIUS enhancements
* HTTPS redirection for WebAuth login page

7. High Availability enhancements
* 802.11ac config in HA scenario
* Client SSO enhancements

8. Other Features
* 802.11v support – Help to battery operated Apple clients to improve battery life>
* 802.11r mixed mode support – Untill this code, if you enabel 802.11r fast secure roaming, only that feature supported clients (eg Apple iDevices) can join this SSID, all non-802.11r clients cannot join. But in 8.0 both types of clients able to join, but only 802.11r clients get fast roaming.
* Video Stream for FlexConnect-Local Switching
* Wired Guest Access in 2504

As you can see this list is so huge & unless you spend quality amount of time you won’t able to absorb all these improvement. Fortunately for most of us Cisco has organized webinar series to cover what’s new in this WLC 8.0 code. It is running on 4 days (30th Sept to 3rd Oct ) & same session will run twice a day (to suit across¬† global¬† audience).

These sessions are done by experts Jerome Henry and James Noxon . You should not miss this series if you are planning to move onto this code any time soon. Here are the details of the training sessions & please go ahead & register in advanced.

Day 1 (Tue, Sept 30) ‚ÄstAP features:¬† CleanAir Express, Office Extend AP enhancements (firewall, split tunneling), 702W VLAN support, FlexConnect (VideoStream enhancement, faster time to deploy, proxy ARP, Flex on mesh), mesh fast convergence, Autonomous code (IOS 15.3.3) enhancements.

Day 2 (Wed, Oct 1) ‚ÄstMSE/CMX enhancements:¬† FastLocate (Packet RSSI Location), Presence Analytics, Visitor Connect Updates, Facebook for Wi-Fi, CMX SDK overview.

5:00-7:00 a.m. pst:  https://cisco.webex.com/ciscosales/k2/j.php?MTID=t190ff997c7eabbe41266a9a9f9447966
4:00-6:00 p.m. pst:  https://cisco.webex.com/ciscosales/k2/j.php?MTID=t50bae200d58f1e2314ca95fa2143c348

Day 3 (Thu, 2 Oct) ‚ÄstWLC new features:¬† vWLC scale enhancements, CAPWAP data keepalive, PPoE on Flex, wired guest support on 2500, RADIUS accounting VSAs, HTTPS support for WebAuth, ease of management enhancements, local profiling OUI update list, 802.11v support, 802.11r enhancement, DHCP relay enhancement, IPv6 support on WLCs and APs.

Day 4 (Fri, 3 Oct) ‚ÄstRF and client support enhancements:¬† DCA in RF Profiles, RX_SOP, Optimized Roaming, HA enhancements, Qinq Tagging support, Bonjour, AVC phases 3

5:00-7:00 a.m. pst:  https://cisco.webex.com/ciscosales/k2/j.php?MTID=t95c8a6ea435953739676ccd6d19b5834
4:00-6:00 p.m. pst:  https://cisco.webex.com/ciscosales/k2/j.php?MTID=tbee7a0766216bee31753d780de655637

So When I am going to 8.0 ?
As you can see, this code introduced large number of features, so unless customers deploy this code in productions, Cisco may not known all the bugs. Here is the complete list of Open Caveats in this code. Here is the list of Resolved Caveats in this release. So it is bit risky to move onto this code straight away, if you have a large wireless environment. At the same time, unless you deploy it in your environment, you may not know the implications specific to your environment.

So I will upgrade my Anchor WLC to this code (also manage some OEAP & few local mode AP) to see how good it is.  Then once the MR1 released (hopefully by end of the year) thinking about moving to that code.

Update@13th September
It seems like 8.0MR1 come sooner than I originally thought ūüėĮ . I have noticed 8.0MR1 (8.0.102.x) Beta availability published on Cisco mobility forum. You can get it via TAC & it is good idea to go for this if you hit by a critical bugs like crashing WLC. As of today below bugs listed as fixed in this 8.0MR1

CSCuq14453-Memory leak on WLC when using PMIPv6 clients
CSCuq18402-Slave AP not connecting over daisy chain
CSCuq55372-8.0 – WLC crash with Flex AP and Local Switching Enabled
CSCup43052-WLC crashes after starting client roaming

Update @9th October
If you missed the WLC 8.0 Webinars here are the links for recorded sessions. These were extremely useful & recommended to go through them prior to move on to 8.0.

Day1 : Clean AirExpress, OEAP, 702W , FlexConnect, Mesh, Autonomous
Day 2 : MSE 8.0/CMX
Day 3: vWLC improvment, 802.11v, 802.11r, IPv6, DHCP relay enhancement
Day 4 :RX_SOP, Optimised Roaming, HA, AVC Phase 3

Here is the PDF of the slides
Day1: 8-0_Delta_DAY1_AP_28-AUG-2014
Day2: 8-0_Delta_DAY2_MSE_PART_26-AUG-2014
Day3: 8-0_Delta_DAY3_WLC_IPv6_28-AUG-2014
Day4: 8-0_Delta_DAY4_RRM_HDX_HA_QinQ_Bonjour_AVC_28-AUG-2014

1. Release Notes for Cisco WLC
2. WLC Configuration Guide, Release 8.0

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