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
* Vlan tagging for 702W AP
* DCA for RF profiles
* Optimized Roaming – Allow client disassociation based on configured RSSI
* 1700 series AP 😯 listed in the list, but I do not think support is there in 18.104.22.168 (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 🙂
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
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) – AP 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.
5:00-7:00 a.m. pst: https://cisco.webex.com/ciscosales/k2/j.php?MTID=t00476d68f32a5e7a1cc4aa0a6f7bab42
4:00-6:00 p.m. pst: https://cisco.webex.com/ciscosales/k2/j.php?MTID=te8da931cdaf6cf34f62e333bf3c073d7
Day 2 (Wed, Oct 1) – MSE/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) – WLC 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.
5:00-7:00 a.m. pst: https://cisco.webex.com/ciscosales/k2/j.php?MTID=t5782923ed210288617e3b89a25fdb25c
4:00-6:00 p.m. pst: https://cisco.webex.com/ciscosales/k2/j.php?MTID=t5d8f8389af88df8df3d33fcde2df1a41
Day 4 (Fri, 3 Oct) – RF 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 22.214.171.124 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.
It seems like 8.0MR1 come sooner than I originally thought 😯 . 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