Convert from Mobility Express to Lightweight AP (CAPWAP)

If you have an Mobility Express AP that you wan’t to connect to another ME or a WLC controller you can easily convert it to a lighweight or a CAPWAP AP.

Connect to the AP using SSH or the console port. When you are connected go to the enable mode and enter the following command.

ap-type capwap

The AP will now restart, when it’s booted it will connect to a WLC or another ME AP on the network.

Changing IP of HA WLC controller.

Today I did change IP of one of our HA Wireless Controllers. Since the company I work for got bought last year we have to change IP of our systems to fit into our new and bigger network.

Changing the IP address isn’t a big thing and you can do it without any downtime on the AP’s if you run flexconnect. If you run in local mode you will be looking at a short downtime. If you want to do it with the minimal of downtime you need a third controller that can host your AP’s while the HA cluster is down.

If you have a third controller that can host your AP’s you have to make sure that the mobility groups are configured and working to your HA. You can check this in the following menu: Controller -> Mobility Management -> Mobility Groups. In this menu all your mobility groups are listed. If the mobility group towards the controller is Up you should see it on the right side of the page. You also have to check this on the HA controller.
MobilityGroupCheck

If the mobility group is up and running then the next thing is to change primary controller for the AP’s. This is a very easy task but it’s time consuming if you don’t have Cisco Prime ( I got that luckily). From Cisco Prime you can just send out a template to all the AP’s and make them move to another primary controller. If you want to do it manually you can do it to. Then you have to first open an AP and choose High Availability. Then you configure the third controller as Primary. Within the next few minutes all the AP’s should be moved to a new controller.
HASettingAP

When there is no connected AP’s left we can start the work to re-IP the HA controller. The first thing we have to do is to break the HA cluster. We are not able to change the IP without breaking the cluster. When breaking the cluster there will also be a restart, so if you don’t have another controller for your AP’s, be ready for some downtime!

To disable the cluster you go to  Controller -> Redundancy -> Global Configuration. In the lower part of the page you have the option to Disable or Enable the cluster. Set the drop down to Disabled and press Apply in the top right corner. The controller will then ask you if you are sure about breaking the cluster and that the controller will restart. Accept this and wait for a few minutes.
DisableCluster

The WLC will after a few minutes boot up again on the same IP address as before. Then you should go to the Interface menu to change the management IP address.
InterfaceOverview1.jpg

Change the IP Address, Netmask and Gateway to the new values and press Apply. You will now loose connection and need to connect on the new IP’s It’s very important to enter the correct IP’s so you don’t loose contact (or you could use the integrated service port if you have a 550x).
ManagementInterface

The next interface you need to change is the redundancy management IP address. This IP should be in the same subnet as the management IP. So unless you change the IP to something in the same subnet as your previous IP you need to change this IP also. This IP also needs to match the Redundancy mgmt IP in Controller -> Redundancy -> Global Configuration.
2016-08-17_09-23-42.jpg

The last thing you need to do o this controller is go back to Controller -> Redundancy -> Global Configuration and change the IP’s for the Redundancy mgmt IPs and enable the cluster again.
2016-09-06_22-53-56

You should now be finished With the first Controller. The IP for the WLC HA is now active and if you want to move the AP’s to the New Controller you can do that now. You shoudl be able to Connect to the remaining Controller on the old management IP address. You should repeat the steps for changing the Redundancy mgmt IP and Redundancy port IP. When this is done you only need to enable the cluster on this Controller also and the HA should be working again as before.

When you have enable HA on the second Controller you can go to Monitor -> Redundancy -> Summary. There you will be able to see if the HA cluster is running successfully again.
2016-09-06_23-28-44

Your cluster should now be working correctly. If you got questions or feedback please leave a comment!

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

 

1121 not registering to WLC

I was converting AP’s from Autonomous to Lightweight AP’s yesterday when I ran into issues with a couple of old 1121G. I only saw the AP register to the controller for 3-4 seconds before it disconnected. While pinging the AP it responded for 1 minute before it did go into a reboot.

I then logged into the WLC to do a debug. I used the following debug command:

(Cisco Controller) >debug capwap errors enable

The output from this repeated itself every time the AP was up and running.

Dec 03 11:26:02.616: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 Join Priority Processing status = 0, Incoming Ap's Priority 0, MaxLrads = 100,joined Aps =1
*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:12.645: Could not find BoardDataPayload
*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:14.685: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 Refusing image download to AP 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 - unable to open image file /bsn/ap//c1100
 Error:No such file or directory(2)
*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:14.685: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 Number of open file descriptors for spam process is: 97
*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:14.685: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 Decoding of Image Data failed from AP 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88
*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:15.683: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 Error decrypting packet from AP 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88
 sessionId 2367ed6d, recvNonce 2367ed6e, sendNonce 2367ed6d
 key b9.87.16.0b.97.72.4e.e8
 c4.c5.ee.e1.d4.c7.f3.62

*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:15.683: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 rxN 00.23.67.ed.6e.00.00.00
 00.00.00.00.00
 txN 00.00.00.00.00.00.00.00
 00.00.00.00.00

*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:15.683: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 Decryption of message from AP failed00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88
*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:15.683: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 Security processing of Image Data failed for AP 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88
*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:16.687: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 Error decrypting packet from AP 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88
 sessionId 2367ed6d, recvNonce 2367ed6e, sendNonce 2367ed6d
 key b9.87.16.0b.97.72.4e.e8
 c4.c5.ee.e1.d4.c7.f3.62

*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:16.687: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 rxN 00.23.67.ed.6e.00.00.00
 00.00.00.00.00
 txN 00.00.00.00.00.00.00.00
 00.00.00.00.00

*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:16.687: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 Decryption of message from AP failed00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88
*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:16.687: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 Security processing of Image Data failed for AP 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88
*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:17.686: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 Error decrypting packet from AP 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88
 sessionId 2367ed6d, recvNonce 2367ed6e, sendNonce 2367ed6d
 key b9.87.16.0b.97.72.4e.e8
 c4.c5.ee.e1.d4.c7.f3.62

*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:17.686: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 rxN 00.23.67.ed.6e.00.00.00
 00.00.00.00.00
 txN 00.00.00.00.00.00.00.00
 00.00.00.00.00

*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:17.686: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 Decryption of message from AP failed00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88
*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:17.686: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 Security processing of Image Data failed for AP 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88
*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:18.687: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 Error decrypting packet from AP 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88
 sessionId 2367ed6d, recvNonce 2367ed6e, sendNonce 2367ed6d
 key b9.87.16.0b.97.72.4e.e8
 c4.c5.ee.e1.d4.c7.f3.62

*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:18.687: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 rxN 00.23.67.ed.6e.00.00.00
 00.00.00.00.00
 txN 00.00.00.00.00.00.00.00
 00.00.00.00.00

*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:18.687: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 Decryption of message from AP failed00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88
*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:18.687: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 Security processing of Image Data failed for AP 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88
*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:19.690: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 Error decrypting packet from AP 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88
 sessionId 2367ed6d, recvNonce 2367ed6e, sendNonce 2367ed6d
 key b9.87.16.0b.97.72.4e.e8
 c4.c5.ee.e1.d4.c7.f3.62

*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:19.690: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 rxN 00.23.67.ed.6e.00.00.00
 00.00.00.00.00
 txN 00.00.00.00.00.00.00.00
 00.00.00.00.00

*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:19.690: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 Decryption of message from AP failed00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88
*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:19.690: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 Security processing of Image Data failed for AP 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88
*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:20.733: Unable to find deleted AP 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88
*spamApTask0: Dec 03 11:26:20.733: 00:1e:4a:a8:b1:88 Join Priority Processing status = 0, Incoming Ap's Priority 0, MaxLrads = 100,joined Aps =1
*spamReceiveTask: Dec 03 11:26:32.658: b4:b6:76:c3:56:db Unable to get RadId. Sending of PMK cache entry to all APs in flexconnect group failed :: bssid 00:00:00:00:00:00

Security processing of Image Data failed for AP was a message in the output that I thought was strange and also other references to the image. I then checked the Cisco Wireless Controller Compability Matrix, to my dissapointment the AP was no longer supported. It ended up with a long and slow process of having one of the local guys in Chile downgrading from Controllerbased AP to a Standalone….