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I apologise in advance I'm about half way through CCNA so I may be using incorrect terminology.

I've been tasked with putting in a new network at work, topology as follows:

Router Cisco 887VA-M-K9 | Switch Cisco SLM2024T | WLAN AP Cisco AIR-CAP-2602i

I jumped into CLI for the air-cap and looking over the configuration guides they all seem to only mention a Cisco Wireless LAN controller as a method of config. Now being a tiny network with 20-30 hosts, we opted for this AP in the hopes of being able to keep it as we upgrade the network around it in the next year or two and so for now there is no controller etc nor do I have the knowledge of these devices.

Have we wasted a bunch of cash on something way above our level of gear? And can it be configured without one just to run as shown in the topology?

Appreciate it in advance, you'll be helping me out in a bit of a jam :)

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I'm sorry.

I'm really really sorry, but if you have the AIR-CAP2602-I.. then it's only suitable for lightweight AP mode, and requires a controller.

You have two options..

  • you can go back to your reseller, chew them out for not spotting that you'd need a controller when you bought it.. and get them to exchange them for AIR-SAP2602-I versions

  • you can go back, chew out your reseller and get them to sell you a Wireless LAN controller.

Luckily, I suspect, for you, the 2500-series Wireless Controllers aren't that expensive (in the region of 1000 AUD), and they will give you the ability for much better centralised control and management than having a whole bunch of autonomously managed Access Points, especially as you grow.

There's a 2500-series AP controller for up to 5 Cisco Access Points with the SKU of AIR-CT2504-5-K9


There might be another way.. Although how well it would work is anyone's best guess. Cisco are apparently, doing a Virtual Wireless LAN controller, which runs as a VM on ESXi.

I suspect you'd need to go direct to Cisco for this product, but it might be a better fit if you already have a VMware ESXi estate.

-- Update --

When your new AIR-SAP access points arrive, here's some starting points from Cisco as to how you configure them.

Full configuration guide for AP2600 etc

Basic WLAN configuration

Multiple SSIDs to Multiple VLAN mapping

Web authentication for guest access

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  • Thanks for your help. Really appreciate the links to other options. Sucky situation that's for sure.
    – Nobo
    Jan 28 '14 at 13:02
  • Do come back when it's all sorted for an update, eh? Jan 28 '14 at 13:13
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    So far so good, crisis averted, reordering the AIR-SAP2602I-Z-K9 to replace it. Fingers crossed configuration has less drama this time.
    – Nobo
    Jan 29 '14 at 13:44
  • If you struggle with the config for the AIR-SAP, either poke me directly (contact details on my Stack profile), or open another question. Jan 29 '14 at 14:30
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    All complete! Thanks again for your help! Config guides came in handy. I think I swore less than 100 times trying to set it up so that's not too bad in my books lol. And now we have an excellent WLAN!
    – Nobo
    Feb 9 '14 at 22:02

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