Convert Cisco Lightweight AP to Mobility Express

Hi all

Today I’m going to write a short post on how to convert a lightweight AP to an Mobility Express AP. It’s a very simple process and only takes a few minutes to complete.

First you need to download the ME image from the Cisco webpage. Extract the compressed file to a TFTP server.

Login to the AP with console access using Cisco / Cisco as username and password (this is offcourse only if you haven’t changed the password on the AP.

ap-type mobility-express tftp://<TFTP Server IP>/<filename>

When the file is uploaded the AP will reboot and load the new image. The AP will use 2 IP’s. 1 for the ME and 1 for the AP.

During my upgrade I had one issue. It failed repeatedly and I worked a while before I discovered the reason.

Image transfer complete.
Image downloaded, writing to flash...
do CHECK_ME, part1 is active part
upgrade.sh: Error: image not found.
+ do_upgrade CHECK_ME
+ [ ! -r /tmp/part.tar ]
+ loudlog Error: image not found.
+ logger -p 0 -t upgrade Error: image not found.
+ echo upgrade.sh: Error: image not found.
upgrade.sh: Error: image not found.
+ return 1
+ status=1
+ set +x
Error: Image update failed.

I read on the internet that this error could be caused due to lack of space. I had free space left so I could quickly rule that issue out. I have another ME in the same network, it seems that the ME image can’t be uploaded when there is an ME of the same L2 network as the ME you are trying to install. The issue I had dissapeared when I disconnected the other ME.

After the upgrade has been completed the ME will reboot and start a setup wizard.

Enter Administrative User Name (24 characters max): admin
Enter Administrative Password (3 to 127 characters): ********
Re-enter Administrative Password                 : ********
System Name [Cisco-dcf7.193e.4c00] (24 characters max): hostname
Enter Country Code list (enter 'help' for a list of countries) [US]: NO
Configure a NTP server now? [YES][no]: yes
Use default NTP servers [YES][no]:
Enter timezone location index (enter 'help' for a list of timezones): 14
Management Interface IP Address Configuration [STATIC][dhcp]: dhcp
Create Management DHCP Scope? [yes][NO]:
Employee Network Name (SSID)?: SSIDName
Employee Network Security? [PSK][enterprise]:PSK
Employee PSK Passphrase (8-63 characters)?: ***********
Re-enter Employee PSK Passphrase: ***********
Enable RF Parameter Optimization? [YES][no]:
Client Density [TYPICAL][Low][High]:
Traffic with Voice [NO][Yes]:

Configuration correct? If yes, system will save it and reset. [yes][NO]: yes

Configuration saved!

There is a few things that you need to get correct when going trough the options. The first one is country code. This is important to have correct freqency since it need to meet the local regulations. Since my AP’s are in Norway I choose NO as the country code.

The second one is the management interface. You can choose to have it set to static or dhcp. I normally set these ME’s up for clients and configure them with DHCP. If you choose DHCP it’s important to note the correct DHCP address when the ME boots up. As previously mentioned the AP will request 2 IP’s. 1 for the ME and 1 for the CAPWAP AP.. After the bootup you should see the following output

[*08/01/2019 17:24:33.6830] ethernet_port wired0, ip 192.168.50.108, netmask 255.255.255.0, gw 192.168.50.1, mtu 1500, bcast 192.168.50.255, dns1 195.159.0.100, dns2 8.8.8.8, domain hjortsenter.internal, vid 0, static_ip_failover false, dhcp_vlan_failover false
[*08/01/2019 17:24:33.6930] chatter: MeshNat: config_ip IP=192.168.50.108 mask=255.255.255.0 GW=192.168.50.1
[*08/01/2019 17:24:38.7614] ethernet_port wired0, ip 192.168.50.110, netmask 255.255.255.0, gw 192.168.50.1, mtu 1500, bcast 192.168.50.255, dns1 195.159.0.100, dns2 8.8.8.8, domain test.internal, vid 0, static_ip_failover false, dhcp_vlan_failover false
[*08/01/2019 17:24:38.7814] chatter: MeshNat: config_ip IP=192.168.50.110 mask=255.255.255.0 GW=192.168.50.1
[*08/01/2019 17:24:41.8004] AP IPv4 Address updated from 0.0.0.0 to 192.168.50.110

The first IP in my example is the IP for the ME (192.168.50.108)
The last IP is for the CAPWAP (192.168.50.110)

Advertisements

Downgrading from Lightweight AP to Autonomous AP

Hi all

Today I did something new to me. I did a downgrade from a lightweight AP to an standalone AP remotely. I have previously used the old method with the console cable and TFTP server at a local network (until yesterday I only knew about this method). Today I did not have that possibilty and I then took advantage of the following command:

config ap tftp-downgrade tftp-server-ip-address filename access-point-name

You enter the command into the controller and it then starts the downgrade. But there is one thing that bothers me, you can’t monitor the process. My AP’s are located on boats with an controller in the datacenter. They have been running flexconnect but I wan’t to turn them into standalone AP’s since that works better for the solution I have on the boats. The problems is that the boats has low bandwidth and they loose the connection ¬†from time to time. For the TFTP downgrade it seemed fine with a 30 sec downtime for the transfer but I got some issues when it was above that. So how do I monitor the downgrade of the AP?

The solution was to log into the AP by SSH and check that the AP contained an upgrade folder in the flash. The command to do this is:

dir flash:

If the folder upgrade shows up in the list it should be working on an upgrade, normally if the upgrade fails the folder is autmaticly deleted. But I have seen this does not always happen. You could the check the files inside the upgrade folder and look for a change in the filesize. If you type “dir flash:update/<version-folder>” you should see the filesize of normally the last file change every second. I have added an example below where you can see the filesize of ¬†8005.img is 627200.

boat-wl-01#dir flash:update/ap1g2-k9w7-mx.153-3.JC
Directory of flash:update/ap1g2-k9w7-mx.153-3.JC/

22 -rwx 123464 May 12 2016 10:14:52 +00:00 ap1g2-k9w7-mx.153-3.JC
 24 drwx 64 May 12 2016 10:14:52 +00:00 html
 253 -rwx 9029888 May 12 2016 10:45:05 +00:00 ap1g2-k9w7-xx.153-3.JC
 254 -rwx 627200 May 12 2016 10:46:58 +00:00 8005.img

31808000 bytes total (8753152 bytes free)

If you look at the text below you can also see that the size is changing for the file 8005.img. In the example below the filesize is 833536.

boat-wl-01#dir flash:update/ap1g2-k9w7-mx.153-3.JC
Directory of flash:update/ap1g2-k9w7-mx.153-3.JC/

22 -rwx 123464 May 12 2016 10:14:52 +00:00 ap1g2-k9w7-mx.153-3.JC
 24 drwx 64 May 12 2016 10:14:52 +00:00 html
 253 -rwx 9029888 May 12 2016 10:45:05 +00:00 ap1g2-k9w7-xx.153-3.JC
 254 -rwx 833536 May 12 2016 10:47:39 +00:00 8005.img

31808000 bytes total (8546816 bytes free)

 

Examples of issues I got when testing other ways of downgrading:

I tried to do the downgrade directly from the AP while downgrading from the WLC at the same time ( I thought the downgrade from the WLC failed). It then gave me the following error:

boat-wl-01#archive download-sw tftp://172.17.76.231/ap1g2-k9w7-tar.153-3.JC.tar
Unable to create temp dir "flash:/update"
Download image failed, notify controller!!! From:8.0.121.0 to 8.2.100.0, FailureCode:7

Obviously that won’t work but the command itself should work, but I liked more doing it from the controller. I just found it easier that way.

If you try several times to downgrade from the controller you will see the following message in the event log of the lightweight AP:

*May 12 10:18:09.351: lwapp_image_proc: encounter flash problem, retry here
*May 12 10:18:09.351: lwapp_image_proc: encounter flash problem, retry here
*May 12 10:18:09.351: lwapp_image_proc: encounter flash problem, retry here