Cisco Systems LAIRCTVM5K9 User Manual

2.41 Mb

Cisco Virtual Wireless Controller Deployment


Document ID: 113677



Virtual Controller Support

Virtual WLAN Controller Unsupported Features

Single Virtual Controller Resource Requirement

Suggested Hardware Recommendations for Hosting Cisco Virtual Controllers

AP Requirement

Components Used



Release Notes

Virtual Controller Installation

Virtual Controller Virtual Interfaces

Switch Interface Configuration Connected to UCS Server

VMware Promiscuous Mode Definition

Virtual Controller Settings

Virtual Controller Console Port

Start up the vWLC

Virtual Controller Management with Cisco Prime 1.2

Upgrade the Virtual Controller


AP Considerations

Time is Incorrect

SSC Hash

Related Information


Prior to release 7.3, wireless LAN (WLAN) controller software ran on dedicated hardware you were expected to purchase. The Virtual Wireless LAN Controller (vWLC) runs on general hardware under an industry standard virtualization infrastructure. The vWLC is ideal for small and mid−size deployments with a virtual infrastructure and require an on−premises controller. Distributed branch environments can also benefit with a centralized virtual controller with fewer branches required (up to 200).

vWLCs are not a replacement of shipping hardware controllers. The function and features of the vWLC offer deployment advantages and benefits of controller services where data centers with virtualization infrastructure exist or are considered.

Advantages of the vWLC:

Flexibility in hardware selection based on your requirements.

Reduced cost, space requirements, and other overheads since multiple boxes can be replaced with single hardware running multiple instances of controllers, network management devices (NCS) and other servers (ISE, MSE, VSG / firewall).

Independent and mutually exclusive instances allow administrators to use multiple virtual controllers to manage different campuses (or even to manage multiple customer sites) using the same hardware.

Enable features provided by the virtualization software, including High Availability, failover protection, and ease of migration.

VMware benefits with the vWLC:

vSphere: A virtualization infrastructure package from VMware, which includes ESX/ESXi hypervisor, vMotion, DRS, HA, Fault Tolerance, vSphere Distributed Switch, and more.

vCenter Server: The VMware vCenter Server (formerly VMware VirtualCenter) provides a scalable and extensible platform that forms the foundation for virtualization management:

Centralized control and visibility at every level of virtual infrastructure

Pro−active management with vSphere

Scalable and extensible management platform with a broad partner ecosystem


Virtual Controller Support

Platform: AIR−CTVM−K9

Hardware: Cisco UCS, UCS Express, HP and IBM servers

VMware OS: ESX/ESXi 4.x/5.x

FlexConnect Mode: central and local switching

Licensing: Node locked licenses to UDI (eval 60 days)

Maximum number of access points (APs): 200

Maximum number of Clients: 3000

Maximum number of sites up to 200

Throughput performance up to 500 Mbps per virtual controller

Management with Cisco Prime Infrastructure 1.2 and above

Virtual WLAN Controller Unsupported Features


OEAP (no data DTLS)

Rate Limiting

Internal DHCP server

Mobility/Guest Anchor

Multicast−Unicast mode


Outdoor Mesh Access Points; an Outdoor AP with FlexConnect mode will work

Single Virtual Controller Resource Requirement

CPU: 1 virtual CPU

Memory: 2 GB

Disk Space: 8 GB

Network Interfaces: 2 or more virtual Network Interface cards (vNICs)

Suggested Hardware Recommendations for Hosting Cisco Virtual Controllers

UCS R210−2121605W Rack Mount Server (2 RU):

2 * Intel Xeon CPU X5670 @ 2.93 GHz

16 G memory

IBM x3550 M3 Server:

2 * Intel Xeon 5600 series processors with 4 cores each and each core capable of doing hyper threading which gives you 16 CPUs in total @3.6 GHz

12G memory

ISR G2 Services Ready Engine (SRE) using UCS Express (Stretch goal):

SRE 700: Single Core Intel Core Duo 1.86 GHz with 4 GB memory

SRE 900: Dual Core Intel Core Duo 1.86 GHz with 4 GB memory (upgradable to 8 GB)

AP Requirement

All 802.11n APs with required software version 7.3 are supported.

APs will be operating in FlexConnect mode only.

AP autoconvert to FlexConnect is supported on controller.

New APs ordered will ship with 7.3 software from manufacturing.

Existing APs must be upgraded to 7.3 software before joining a virtual controller.

Note: The Virtual Controller in release 7.3 uses Self Signed Certificates (SSC) as against the Manufacturing Installed Certificates (MIC) in the traditional controller. The AP will be able to validate the SSC certificate provided by the virtual controller before joining. See AP Considerations in the Troubleshooting section for more details.

Components Used

The information in this document is based on these software and hardware versions:

Cisco Catalyst Switch

Wireless LAN Controllers Virtual Appliance

Wireless LAN Controller 7.3 Software

Cisco Prime Infrastructure 1.2

802.11n Access Points in FlexConnect Mode

DHCP server

DNS Server


Wireless Client Laptop, Smartphone, and Tablets (Apple iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac)

The information in this document was created from the devices in a specific lab environment. All of the devices used in this document started with a cleared (default) configuration. If your network is live, make sure that you understand the potential impact of any command.


In order to properly implement and test the Cisco vWLC, a minimal network setup is required, similar to the diagram shown in this section. You need to simulate a location with a FlexConnect AP in a centrally switched deployment, and/or with the addition of local and remote sites with local DHCP (better if there is also a DNS

and local access to Internet).


Refer to Cisco Technical Tips Conventions for more information on document conventions.

Release Notes

Cisco Unified Wireless Network (CUWN) 7.3 Release Notes contain important information about this release. Log in to for the latest release notes before loading and testing software.

Virtual Controller Installation

For deployment and management of the vWLC, you will need to download any of these VMware suites to the workstation:

Single ESXi server management − Use VMware vSphere Client.

Multiple ESXi servers requires vCenter − Advance features are also tied with vCenter which needs separate licenses (vMotion, and so on).

Start the VMware vSphere Client, and log in to the ESXi server.

Virtual Controller Virtual Interfaces

Management Interface

Virtual Interface

Dynamic Interface

AP Manager Interface

Switch Interface Configuration Connected to UCS Server

This section provides a sample configuration of the Cisco Catalyst interface connection to the ESXi server for the virtual switch as trunk interface. The management interface can be connected to an access port on the switch.

interface GigabitEthernet1/1/2 description ESXi Management switchport access vlan 10 switchport mode access


interface GigabitEthernet1/1/3 description ESXi Trunk

switchport trunk encapsulation dot1q switchport mode trunk


Complete these steps:

1.Create two separate virtual switches in order to map to the virtual controller Service and Data Port. Go to ESX >Configuration >Networking, and clickAdd Networking.

2. Select Virtual Machine, and clickNext.

3.Create a vSwitch and assign a physical NIC in order to connect the vWLC service port. The service port does not have to be connected to any part of the network (typically disconnected/unused). As a result, any NIC (even disconnected) can be used for this vSwitch.

4.Click Next.

5.Provide a label (in this example, vWLC Service Port).

6.Select None (0) for VLAN ID as the service port is typically an access port.

7.Click Next.

8.Here, you see vSwitch1 is created for vWLC Service Port. Click Add Networking in order to repeat for the Data Port.

9.For the new vSwitch, select the physical NIC(s) connected on a trunk port if there are multiple NICs / portgroup assigned to an etherchannel on the switch.

10.Add the NIC.

11.Click Next.

12.Provide a label (in this example, vWLC Data Port).

13.For VLAN ID, select ALL(4095) since this is connected to a switch trunk port.

14. Click Next until you complete the steps to add the vSwitch.

VMware Promiscuous Mode Definition

Promiscuous mode is a security policy which can be defined at the virtual switch or portgroup level in vSphere ESX/ESXi. A virtual machine, Service Console, or VMkernel network interface in a portgroup which allows the use of promiscuous mode can see all network traffic traversing the virtual switch.

By default, a guest operating system's virtual network adapter only receives frames that are meant for it. Placing the guest's network adapter in promiscuous mode causes it to receive all frames passed on the virtual switch that are allowed under the VLAN policy for the associated portgroup. This can be useful for intrusion detection monitoring or if a sniffer needs to analyze all traffic on the network segment.

The vWLC Data Port requires the assigned vSwitch to accept Promiscuous mode for proper operations.

Complete these steps:

1. Locate vSwitch2 (assigned for vWLC Data Port), and click Properties.

2.Select the VMNet assigned to the vWLC Data Port (note that the default Security Promiscuous Mode is set to Reject), and click Edit.

3. In the Properties window, select the Security tab.

4. Check the box for Promiscuous Mode, chooseAccept from the drop−down list, and clickOK.

5. Confirm the change, and click Close.

The virtual controller software is posted as an .ovf package in the Cisco software center. You can download the .ova/.ovf package and install to any other virtual application. The software comes with a free 60−day evaluation license. After the VM is started, the evaluation license can be activated and a purchased license can be automatically installed and activated later.

6. Download the virtual controller OVA image to the local disk.

7. Go to ESX >File >Deploy OVF Template in order to start the installation.

8. Browse to the location of the OVA file (downloaded from Cisco site), and click Next.

9. Click Next.