Configure AP Groups on WLC

In Typical deployment, all users on a WLAN are mapped to a single interface on the controller. With the help of AP groups we can specify that which SSID will be shown by which Access Point. However, we can choose to distribute the load among several interfaces or to a group of users based on specific criteria such as individual departments (Near to meeting rooms-Only broadcast Guest WLAN) and Corporate WLAN can be broadcasted in whole building means on each and every AP.

Each access point advertises only the enabled WLANs that belong to its access point group.

We can create access point groups (AP Groups) and assign up to 16 WLANs to each group. Each access point advertises only the enabled WLANs that belong to its access point group. The access point does not advertise disabled WLANs in its access point group or WLANs that belong to another group.

AP Groups Supported on Controller Platforms

Controller Platform

AP Groups Supported

Cisco 2500 Series Wireless Controller

50

Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller

500

Cisco Virtual Wireless Controller

200

Cisco 7500 Series Wireless Controller

6000

Cisco 8500 Series Wireless Controller

6000

Cisco Wireless Services Module 2

1000

There is already an AP group is there called “default-group” means all WLAN IDs 1 to16 mapped to this group by default.

All the access points connected to WLC automatically map to this group. Mean any WLAN (ID 1-16) will be available in any of the APs belong default group. If our WLAN ID is greater than 16, then we have to create an separate AP group to advertise that WLAN. Also if we want to advertise certain WLANs on particular APs, we must have to create an AP group for this.

Note: If we clear the configuration on the controller, all of the access point groups disappear except for the default access point group “default-group,” which is created automatically.

Topology:

AP Group Topology

 

I have already created WLAN and dynamic interfaces for specific WLANs. I will just create AP groups and assign the specific AP to these Groups.

Ensure that we have DHCP pool for APs to get IP dynamically

Core Switch Config for Acess Point to get IP from DHCP pool:

SWITCH001:
ip dhcp excluded-address 10.25.80.1 10.25.80.50
ip dhcp excluded-address 10.25.80.85 10.25.80.254
!
ip dhcp pool WLAN
   network 10.25.80.0 255.255.255.0
   default-router 10.25.80.254
   option 43 ip 10.25.80.1
   lease 3

As per this Pool, we will get the IP in VLAN 80 for Access Points.

Creating AP Groups:

Via GUI:

Step1: Login to WLC, Go to WLAN > Advanced > AP Group click on Add Group

 Add AP Group

Step2: Enter the AP Group name:

IN my example it is as APG1, APG2 and APG3

 AP Groups

Step3: Click on APG1 and choose which Access Point should be in this group.

In the Green box: we will see the All Access Points connected to WLC

From the tab “Add APs” we can add specific AP to our group APG1:

In my example, I choose AP09, 19, 14,02,04,03

Note: In latest codes of WLC software, via AP Group we can control RF profiles as well. Therefore we can have different RF characteristics to certain APs in our network. Also it supports 802.11u settings via AP Group. WLC code used in this post is 7.3.112.0.

AP in AP Group

 

 

Step4: Now we can add WLANs/Interface mapping to our AP Group: Only These WLANs will be shown by above selected Access points (In red box).

WLAN in AP Group

Step5: Same procedure we can do for Group APG2 and APG3.

Via CLI:

Step 1: Create an access point group:

(WLAN1) >config  wlan  apgroup ?
 
add            Creates a new AP Group.
delete         Deletes a existing ap group.
description    Configures a description for an AP group.
hotspot        Configures Hotspot config on the AP Group
interface-mapping Adds or deletes a new apgroup/WLAN/interface mapping.
nac-snmp       Configures NAC SNMP functionality on given AP-Group.
profile-mapping Adds or deletes a new apgroup/RF Profile mapping.
wlan-radio-policy Configures WLAN Radio Policy on given AP-Group.
(WLAN1) >config wlan apgroup add ?
<apgroup name> Specify the name of the apgroup to configure.
(WLAN1) >config wlan apgroup add APG1
(WLAN1) >config wlan apgroup add APG2
(WLAN1) >config wlan apgroup add APG3

Step 2: Add a description to an access point group:

(WLAN1) >config wlan apgroup description APG1 ?
<description>  Specify the description for the AP group.
(WLAN1) >config wlan apgroup description APG1 Guest, User
(WLAN1) >config wlan apgroup description APG2 Barcoding, User
(WLAN1) >config wlan apgroup description APG3 Only User

Step3: Assign a WLAN to an access point group:

(WLAN1) >config  wlan  apgroup interface-mapping  ?
add            Adds a new apgroup/WLAN/interface mapping.
delete         Adds a new apgroup/WLAN/interface mapping.
(WLAN1) >config  wlan  apgroup interface-mapping  add ?
<apgroup name> Specify the name of the apgroup to configure.
(WLAN1) >config  wlan  apgroup interface-mapping  add APG1 2 guest
(WLAN1) >config  wlan  apgroup interface-mapping  add APG1 3 user

Step 4: Assign an access point to an access point group:

First check all Aps on WLC:

(WLAN1) >show ap summary
Number of APs.................................... 21
AP Name             Slots  AP Model              Ethernet MAC       Location          Port  Country  Priority
------------------  -----  --------------------  -----------------  ----------------  ----  -------  ------
AP020             2     AIR-CAP2602I-E-K9     4c:00:82:cb:cf:65  1       Hall          1        DE
AP009             2     AIR-CAP2602I-E-K9     4c:00:82:cb:ce:cb  1. OG / House         1        DE       1
AP011             2     AIR-CAP2602I-E-K9     f8:72:ea:d7:32:cd  1. OG / Personal      1        DE       1
AP010             2     AIR-CAP2602I-E-K9     4c:00:82:b3:fb:c6  1. OG / Buchhalt      1        DE       1
.
.
.
.

(There are total 21 APs)

(WLAN1) >config ap group-name  ?
<groupname>    Enter the group name of Cisco APs as String
(WLAN1) >config ap group-name APG1 ?
<Cisco AP>     Enter the name of the Cisco AP.
(WLAN1) >config ap group-name APG1 AP009
Changing the AP's group name will cause the AP to reboot.
Are you sure you want to continue? (y/n) y
(WLAN1) >config ap group-name APG1 AP019
Changing the AP's group name will cause the AP to reboot.
Are you sure you want to continue? (y/n) y
(WLAN1) >config ap group-name APG1 AP014
Changing the AP's group name will cause the AP to reboot.
Are you sure you want to continue? (y/n) y
(WLAN1) >config ap group-name APG1 AP002
Changing the AP's group name will cause the AP to reboot.
Are you sure you want to continue? (y/n) y
(WLAN1) >config ap group-name APG1 AP004
Changing the AP's group name will cause the AP to reboot.
Are you sure you want to continue? (y/n) y
(WLAN1) >config ap group-name APG1 AP003
Changing the AP's group name will cause the AP to reboot.
Are you sure you want to continue? (y/n) y
(WLAN1) >show client summary
 
Number of Clients................................ 5
 
MAC Address       AP Name           Status        WLAN/RLAN      Auth Protocol         Port Wired PMIPV6
----------------- ----------------- ------------- -------------- ---- ---------------- ---- ----- ------
 
74:e2:f5:ca:bc:95    AP014          Associated    3              Yes  802.11n(5 GHz)   1    N/A   No
78:e4:00:62:a7:95    AP009          Associated    3              Yes  802.11g          1    N/A   No
94:39:e5:68:69:3f    AP014          Associated    2              No   802.11n(2.4 GHz) 1    N/A   No
a0:f4:50:e8:8d:a0    AP009          Associated    2              No   802.11n(2.4 GHz) 1    N/A   No
e4:8b:7f:d3:a4:d5    AP009          Associated    3              Yes  802.11n(5 GHz)   1    N/A   No

Step 5: Check the AP is in right AP Group

(WLAN1) >show ap config general AP009
 
Cisco AP Identifier.............................. 1
Cisco AP Name.................................... AP009
Country code..................................... DE  - Germany
Regulatory Domain allowed by Country............. 802.11bg:-E     802.11a:-E
AP Country code.................................. DE  - Germany
AP Regulatory Domain............................. 802.11bg:-E    802.11a:-E
Switch Port Number .............................. 1
MAC Address...................................... 4c:00:82:cb:ce:cb
IP Address Configuration......................... Static IP assigned
IP Address....................................... 10.25.80.19
IP NetMask....................................... 255.255.255.0
Gateway IP Addr.................................. 10.25.80.254
Domain...........................................
Name Server......................................
NAT External IP Address.......................... None
CAPWAP Path MTU.................................. 1485
Telnet State..................................... Enabled
Ssh State........................................ Disabled
Cisco AP Location................................ 1. OG / Vorstand
Cisco AP Group Name.............................. APG1
Primary Cisco Switch Name........................ WLAN1
 
--More-- or (q)uit
Primary Cisco Switch IP Address.................. 10.25.80.1
Secondary Cisco Switch Name...................... WLAN2
Secondary Cisco Switch IP Address................ 10.25.80.3
Tertiary Cisco Switch Name.......................
Tertiary Cisco Switch IP Address................. Not Configured

Step 6: Save your changes by entering this command:

(WLAN1) >save config

It is important to configure AP groups in all primary, secondary & tertiary controllers in a similar manner if we want to advertise same set of WLANs, map to required dynamic interface.

 
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7 Comments

  1. Great post. Now what is best go do when you have several ap’s in one group but then you are asked to create a new ap group and move some of those ap’s to the new group.Will it be best just to configure the new group and add the ap’s. Will they be removed automatically from the other group?

  2. Can you please clarify which is the difference between AP groups and interface groups? they look the same so I would like to know the difference and when you wanto to use one feature and when the other one. Please make some exemples.
    Thanks in advance.

  3. Is there a scenario where configuring APs from a single site in both AP groups and Flex Connect groups can cause issues? IN my case I have 2 APs in AP group and the remaining in a FlexConnect group. Is this not recommended ?

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