If you are using Cisco 9800, you know that Cisco stopped supporting Wave 1 (17xx/27xx/37xx) APs beyond 17.3.x codes. Here is a slide from a recent Ciscolieve 2023 presentation (BRKEWN-2338) that listed 9800 IOS-XE recommendations.
However, Cisco recently announced wave 1 AP support in IOS-XE 17.9.3 code (In fact I heard about it the first time in the above Ciscolive presentation). This will help customers who got wave1 APs to adopt 9800 migration faster and also move forward with their 9800 WLC firmware without stuck in 17.3.x code.
Here is the release note of 9800 in 17.9.3 which highlighted the support of Wave 1 APs. Features wise you still get 17.3.x parity with those Wave 1 APs even you with 17.9.3.
One reason for such a decision is the last day of software maintenance for 17.3.x code listed 31st March 2023. For a lot of customers who had Wave 1 APs stuck in 17.3.x code as they could not upgrade their AP fleet in time (budget constraints, supply chain issues during the pandemic, etc). Now last day of 17.3.x maintenance release approaches they have to go to different codes to get proper bug fixes, and security patches on the 9800 codes they run.
I have tested my lab 3702 to get registered & clients can connect, In your case, you have to test it in your environment and upgrade your 9800 to 17.9.3 (if you are with 17.3.x and got wave-1 APs on your 9800). That will provide a code that gets maintenance fixes for your 9800 firmware at least for the next couple of years.
When you choose a firmware version to upgrade, always go with an extended maintenance release code train. Both 17.3.x & 17.6.x EoL has been announced. In that way planning to upgrade to 17.9.x is something you should consider. As of March 2023, we got its third maintenance release (17.9.3). Typically I would start using it in production environments when you got 3rd or 4th maintenance release of a major code train.
Here are some CLI commands (from WLC & AP end) that you can use to verify
C9800-2#sh ap name AP1-3702 config general | in Ver|Model Software Version : 22.214.171.124 Boot Version : 126.96.36.199 Mini IOS Version : 188.8.131.52 AP Model : AIR-CAP3702I-Z-K9 IOS Version : 15.3(3)JPN2$ AP1-3702#sh capwap client rcb AdminState : ADMIN_ENABLED Primary SwVer : 184.108.40.206 Backup SwVer : 0.0.0.0 NumFilledSlots : 2 Name : AP1-3702 Location : default location MwarName : C9800-2 MwarApMgrIp : 192.168.100.20 MwarHwVer : 0.0.0.0 ApMode : Local ApSubMode : Not Configured OperationState : UP CAPWAP Path MTU : 1421 Link-Encryption (AP) : Disabled Link-Encryption (MWAR) : Enabled Prefer-mode : IPv4 LinkAuditing : disabled AP Rogue Detection Mode : Enabled AP Tcp MSS Adjust : Enabled AP Tcp MSS size : 1250
Hope this is good news for most of you.
Great post as always. What about recently released 17.9.3? We have quite a bit of 2700& 3700 APs that won’t be replaced until next year. They are currently running on a 8540 that we are moving off of to 9800-80.
Yes, this move from Cisco helps many customers
I moved from the EFT (beta) of 17.9.3 to production when released, and the 2700/3700’s work great. If you were on code subject to the certificate expiration issue, this build allows those IOS APs to rejoin without having to change the date on the controllers to a date prior to Dec 5th 2022.
As someone who’s been stuck on 17.3, I’m really happy to see the improvements in the dashboard as well as new features such as the site-based n+1 hitless upgrades. The n+1 hitless is an amazing way to upgrade APs with the clients not experiencing a downtime, and now it can be done on a site-by-site basis, making it even better.
I was testing this during the EFT, and from what I understand from the BU, the code for the wave 1 APs is the same as what is shipping in 17.3. I’ve moved to the production code now and I’m happy Cisco made this change as it’s allowing me to support those wave 1 APs while also deploying 9136 APs to replace them.
The 1810 aps seem to be orphaned (did not get support), and with their popularity in education, could still keep people locked to 17.3.x.
Good to hear and thank you for adding those details here.