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Cisco 4400 Series Wireless LAN Controllers

DHCP with the WLC

Document ID: 110865

Updated: Sep 10, 2009

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Introduction

Customers using Cisco Unified Wireless solutions have been reporting issues with the DHCP support provided on the Wireless LAN Controller (WLC). Some of these issues are software bugs or debugability problems. Others are due to lack of proper understanding on the DHCP implementation.

This document describes the different DHCP operations on the wireless controller, which provides consistent and accurate information to customers in an effort to reduce the related customer issues and TAC cases.

Prerequisites

Requirements

There are no specific requirements for this document.

Components Used

This document is not restricted to specific software and hardware versions.

Conventions

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

External DHCP Server

The WLC supports two modes of DHCP operations in case an external DHCP server is used:

  • DHCP proxy mode

  • DHCP bridging mode

DHCP proxy mode serves as a DHCP helper function to achieve better security and control over DHCP transaction between the DHCP server and the wireless clients. DHCP bridging mode provides an option to make controller’s role in DHCP transaction entirely transparent to the wireless clients.

Comparison of DHCP Proxy and Bridging Modes

Handling Client DHCP DHCP Proxy Mode DHCP Bridging Mode
Modify giaddr Yes No
Modify siaddr Yes No
Modify Packet Content Yes No
Redundant offers not forwarded Yes No
Option 82 Support Yes No
Broadcast to Unicast Yes No
BOOTP support No Server
RFC Non-compliant Proxy and relay agent are not exactly the same concept. DHCP bridging mode is recommended for full RFC compliance. No

DHCP Proxy Mode

The DHCP proxy is not ideal for all network environments. The controller modifies and relays all DHCP transactions to provide helper function, and address certain security issues.

The controller’s virtual IP address is normally used as the source IP address of all DHCP transactions to the client. As a result, the real DHCP server IP address is not exposed in the air. This virtual IP is displayed in debug output for DHCP transactions on the controller. However, using virtual IP address can cause issues on certain types of clients.

DHCP proxy mode operation maintains the same behavior for both symmetric and asymmetric mobility protocols.

When multiple offers are coming from external DHCP servers, the DHCP proxy normally selects the first one that comes in and sets the IP address of the server in the client data structure. As a result, all following transactions go through the same DHCP server until a transaction fails after retries. At this point, the proxy selects a different DHCP server for the client.

DHCP proxy is enabled by default. All controllers that will communicate must have the same DHCP proxy setting.

Note: DHCP proxy must be enabled in order for DHCP option 82 to operate correctly.

Proxy Packet flow

dhcp-wlc-01.gif

Proxy Packet Capture

When the controller is in DHCP proxy mode, it is not only directing DHCP packets to the DHCP server, it is actually building new DHCP packets to forward to the DHCP server. All DHCP options which are present in the client's DHCP packets are copied in the controller's DHCP packets. The next screenshot examples show this for a DHCP request packet.

Client Perspective

This screenshot is of a packet capture taken from the clients perspective. It shows a DHCP discover, DHCP offer, DHCP request, and a DHCP ACK. The DHCP request is highlighted and the bootp protocol detail is expanded showing the DHCP options.

dhcp-wlc-02.gif

Server Perspective

This screenshot is of a packet capture taken from the server’s perspective. Similar to the previous example, it shows a DHCP discover, DHCP offer, DHCP request, and a DHCP ACK. However, these are packets that the controller built as a function of DHCP proxy. Again, the DHCP request is highlighted and the bootp protocol detail is expanded showing the DHCP options. Notice that they are the same as in the clients DHCP request packet. Also note that the WLC proxy is relaying packet and highlight packet addresses.

dhcp-wlc-03.gif

Proxy Configuration Example

To use the controller as a DHCP proxy, the DHCP proxy feature must be enabled on the controller. By default, this feature is enabled. To enable DHCP proxy, the following CLI command must be used. Also, in the 4.2.x.x codes, this can only be accomplished in the CLI.

(Cisco Controller) >config dhcp proxy enable
(Cisco Controller) >show dhcp proxy

DHCP Proxy Behavior: enabled

For DHCP proxy to work, a primary DHCP server must be configured on each controller interface that requires DHCP services. A DHCP server can be configured on the management interface, ap-manager interface, and on dynamic interfaces. The following CLI commands can be used to configure a DHCP server for each interface.

(Cisco Controller) >config interface dhcp ap-manager primary <primary-server>
(Cisco Controller) >config interface dhcp management primary <primary-server>
(Cisco Controller) >config interface dhcp dynamic-interface <interface-name> primary <primary-server>

The DHCP bridging feature is a global setting, so it affects all DHCP transactions within the controller.

Troubleshooting

This is the output of the debug dhcp packet enable command. The debug shows a controller receiving a DHCP request from a client with MAC address 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1, transmitting a DHCP request to the DHCP server, receiving a reply from the DHCP server, and sending a DHCP offer to the client.

(Cisco Controller) >debug dhcp message enable

Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP received op BOOTREQUEST (1) (len 312, port 29, encap 0xec03)
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP option len (including the magic cookie) 76
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP option: message type = DHCP REQUEST
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP option: 61 (len 7) - skipping
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP option: requested ip = 50.101.2.7
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP option: 12 (len 7) - skipping
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP option: 81 (len 11) - skipping
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP option: vendor class id = MSFT 5.0 (len 8)
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP option: 55 (len 11) - skipping
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP options end, len 76, actual 68
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP selecting relay 1 - control block settings:
                        dhcpServer: 0.0.0.0, dhcpNetmask: 0.0.0.0,
                        dhcpGateway: 0.0.0.0, dhcpRelay: 0.0.0.0  VLAN: 0
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP selected relay 1 - 11.0.0.11 (local address 50.101.0.11, gateway 50.101.0.1, VLAN 101, port 29)
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP transmitting DHCP REQUEST (3)
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP   op: BOOTREQUEST, htype: Ethernet, hlen: 6, hops: 1
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP   xid: 0xfc3c9979 (4231829881), secs: 0, flags: 0
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP   chaddr: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP   ciaddr: 0.0.0.0,  yiaddr: 0.0.0.0
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP   siaddr: 0.0.0.0,  giaddr: 50.101.0.11
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP   requested ip: 50.101.2.7
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP Forwarding DHCP packet (332 octets)           -- packet received on direct-connect port requires forwarding to external DHCP server. Next-hop is 50.101.0.1
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP sending REQUEST to 50.101.0.1 (len 350, port 29, vlan 101)
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP selecting relay 2 - control block settings:
                        dhcpServer: 0.0.0.0, dhcpNetmask: 0.0.0.0,
                        dhcpGateway: 0.0.0.0, dhcpRelay: 50.101.0.11  VLAN: 101
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP selected relay 2 - NONE
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP received op BOOTREPLY (2) (len 316, port 29, encap 0xec00)
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP option len (including the magic cookie) 80
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP option: message type = DHCP ACK
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP option: 58 (len 4) - skipping
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP option: 59 (len 4) - skipping
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP option: lease time = 691200 seconds
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP option: server id = 11.0.0.11
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP option: netmask = 255.255.0.0
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP option: 15 (len 14) - skipping
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP option: gateway = 50.101.0.1
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP option: DNS server, cnt = 1, first = 11.0.0.11
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP option: WINS server, cnt = 1, first = 11.0.0.11
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP options end, len 80, actual 72
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP setting server from ACK (server 11.0.0.11, yiaddr 50.101.2.7)
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 Assigning Address 50.101.2.7 to mobile
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP sending REPLY to STA (len 424, port 29, vlan 20)
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP transmitting DHCP ACK (5)
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP   op: BOOTREPLY, htype: Ethernet, hlen: 6, hops: 0
Thu Jun 25 21:48:55 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP   xid: 0xfc3c9979 (4231829881), secs: 0, flags: 0
Thu Jun 25 21:48:59 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP   chaddr: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1
Thu Jun 25 21:48:59 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP   ciaddr: 0.0.0.0,  yiaddr: 50.101.2.7
Thu Jun 25 21:48:59 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP   siaddr: 0.0.0.0,  giaddr: 0.0.0.0
Thu Jun 25 21:48:59 2009: 00:40:96:b4:8c:e1 DHCP   server id: 1.1.1.1  rcvd server id: 11.0.0.11

Caveats

  • Interoperability issues can exist between a controller with DHCP proxy enabled and devices acting as both a firewall and DHCP server. This is most likely due to the firewall component of the device as firewalls generally do not respond to proxy requests. The workaround for this issue is to disable DHCP proxy on the controller.

  • When a client is in DHCP REQ state on the controller, the controller drops DHCP inform packets. The client will not go into a RUN state on the controller (this is required for the client to pass traffic) until it receives a DHCP discover packet from the client. DHCP inform packets are forwarded by the controller when DHCP proxy is disabled.

  • All controllers that will communicate must have the same DHCP proxy setting.

DHCP Bridging Mode

The DHCP bridging feature is designed to make the controller’s role in the DHCP transaction entirely transparent to the client. With the exception of 802.11 to Ethernet II conversion, packets from the client are bridged unmodified from the LWAPP tunnel to the client’s VLAN (or EoIP tunnel in the L3 roaming case). Similarly, with the exception of Ethernet II to 802.11 conversion, packets to the client are bridged unmodified from the client’s VLAN (or EoIP tunnel in the L3 roaming case) to the LWAPP tunnel. Think of this as wiring a client into a switchport and the client performing a traditional DHCP transaction.

DHCP Bridging Operations - Bridging Packet flow

dhcp-wlc-04.gif

Bridging Packet Capture - Client Perspective

dhcp-wlc-05.gif

In the client side packet capture screenshot above, the main difference between the client capture in Proxy mode is the real IP of the DHCP server is seen in the Offer and Ack packets instead of the controller’s virtual IP address.

Bridging Packet Capture - Server perspective

dhcp-wlc-06.gif

In the wired packet capture screenshot above you can see that packet 40 is the bridged DHCP Request broadcast from the test client 00:40:96:b6:44:51 to the wired network.

Bridging Configuration Example

To enable the DHCP bridging functionality on the controller, you must disable the DHCP proxy feature on the controller. In the 4.2.x.x codes this can only be accomplished in the CLI using these commands:

(Cisco Controller) >config dhcp proxy disable
(Cisco Controller) >show dhcp proxy
DHCP Proxy Behaviour: disabled

If the DHCP server does not exist on the same layer 2 network as the client then the broadcast will need to be forwarded to the DHCP server at the client gateway using an ip helper. This is a sample of this configuration:

Switch#conf t
Switch(config)#interface vlan <client vlan #>
Switch(config-if)#ip helper-address <dhcp server IP>

The DHCP bridging feature is a global setting, so it affects all DHCP transactions within the controller. You need to add ip helper statements in the wired infrastructure for all necessary VLANs on the controller.

Troubleshooting

This is a sample debug output from a controller on 4.2.205.0 code. The debugs listed here were enabled on the controller CLI and the DHCP portion of the output was extracted for this document.

(Cisco Controller) >debug client 00:40:96:b6:44:51
(Cisco Controller) >debug dhcp message enable

00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP received op BOOTREQUEST (1) (len 308, port 1, encap 0xec03) 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option len (including the magic cookie) 72 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: message type = DHCP DISCOVER 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: 116 (len 1) - skipping 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: 61 (len 7) - skipping 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: 12 (len 12) - skipping 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: vendor class id = MSFT 5.0 (len 8)
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: 55 (len 11) - skipping 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP options end, len 72, actual 64 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP processing DHCP DISCOVER (1) 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   op: BOOTREQUEST, htype: Ethernet, hlen: 6, hops: 0 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   xid: 0x224dfab6 (575535798), secs: 0, flags: 0 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   chaddr: 00:40:96:b6:44:51 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   ciaddr: 0.0.0.0,  yiaddr: 0.0.0.0 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   siaddr: 0.0.0.0,  giaddr: 0.0.0.0 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP successfully bridged packet to DS 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP received op BOOTREPLY (2) (len 308, port 1, encap 0xec00) 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option len (including the magic cookie) 72
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: message type = DHCP OFFER 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: server id = 192.168.10.1 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: lease time = 84263 seconds 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: 58 (len 4) - skipping 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: 59 (len 4) - skipping 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: netmask = 255.255.255.0
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: gateway = 192.168.10.1 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP options end, len 72, actual 64 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP processing DHCP OFFER (2) 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   op: BOOTREPLY, htype: Ethernet, hlen: 6, hops: 0 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   xid: 0x224dfab6 (575535798), secs: 0, flags: 0 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   chaddr: 00:40:96:b6:44:51 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   ciaddr: 0.0.0.0,  yiaddr: 192.168.10.104 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   siaddr: 0.0.0.0,  giaddr: 0.0.0.0 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   server id: 192.168.10.1  rcvd server id: 192.168.10.1 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP successfully bridged packet to STA 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP received op BOOTREQUEST (1) (len 328, port 1, encap 0xec03) 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option len (including the magic cookie) 92 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: message type = DHCP REQUEST 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: 61 (len 7) - skipping 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: requested ip = 192.168.10.104 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: server id = 192.168.10.1 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: 12 (len 12) - skipping 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: 81 (len 16) - skipping 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: vendor class id = MSFT 5.0 (len 8) 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: 55 (len 11) - skipping 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP options end, len 92, actual 84 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP processing DHCP REQUEST (3) 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   op: BOOTREQUEST, htype: Ethernet, hlen: 6, hops: 0 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   xid: 0x224dfab6 (575535798), secs: 0, flags: 0 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   chaddr: 00:40:96:b6:44:51
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   ciaddr: 0.0.0.0,  yiaddr: 0.0.0.0 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   siaddr: 0.0.0.0,  giaddr: 0.0.0.0 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   requested ip: 192.168.10.104 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   server id: 192.168.10.1  rcvd server id: 192.168.10.1 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP successfully bridged packet to DS
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP received op BOOTREPLY (2) (len 308, port 1, encap 0xec00) 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option len (including the magic
cookie) 72 00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: message type = DHCP ACK 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: server id = 192.168.10.1 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: lease time = 86400 seconds 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: 58 (len 4) - skipping 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: 59 (len 4) - skipping 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: netmask = 255.255.255.0 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP option: gateway = 192.168.10.1 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP options end, len 72, actual 64 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP processing DHCP ACK (5) 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   op: BOOTREPLY, htype: Ethernet, hlen: 6, hops: 0
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   xid: 0x224dfab6 (575535798), secs: 0, flags: 0 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   chaddr: 00:40:96:b6:44:51 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   ciaddr: 0.0.0.0,  yiaddr: 192.168.10.104 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   siaddr: 0.0.0.0,  giaddr: 0.0.0.0 
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP   server id: 192.168.10.1  rcvd server id: 192.168.10.1
00:40:96:b6:44:51 Assigning Address 192.168.10.104 to mobile  
00:40:96:b6:44:51 DHCP successfully bridged packet to STA
00:40:96:b6:44:51 192.168.10.104 Added NPU entry of type 1

In this DHCP debug output, there are a few key indications that DHCP bridging is in use on the controller:

“DHCP successfully bridged packet to DS”—This means that the original DHCP packet from the client was bridged, unaltered to the distribution system (DS). The DS is the wired infrastructure.

“DHCP successfully bridged packet to STA”—This message indicates that the DHCP packet was bridged, unaltered to the station (STA). The STA is the client machine requesting DHCP.

Also, you see the actual server IP listed in the debugs, which is 192.168.10.1. If DHCP proxy was in use instead of DHCP bridging, you would see the controller’s virtual IP address listed for the server IP.

Caveats

  • By default, DHCP proxy is enabled.

  • All controllers that will communicate must have the same DHCP proxy setting.

  • DHCP proxy must be enabled for DHCP option 82 to work.

DHCP Bridging Before Release 4.2

Before the 4.2 code release you could disable DHCP proxy on the controller. However, this did not actually bridge the DHCP packets to the wired network. What occurred before 4.2 was that the controller still proxied the DHCP communication to the DHCP server, however the client itself was informed of the real IP address of the DHCP server instead of being sent the controller’s virtual IP address.

Internal DHCP Server

The internal DHCP server was introduced initially for branch offices where an external DHCP server is not available. It is designed to support a small wireless network with less than ten APs that are on the same subnet. The internal server provides IP addresses to wireless clients, direct-connect APs, appliance-mode APs on the management interface, and DHCP requests that are relayed from APs. It is not a full-blown general purpose DHCP server. It only supports limited functionality and will not scale in a larger deployment.

Comparison of Internal DHCP and Bridging Modes

The two main DHCP modes on the controller are either DHCP proxy or DHCP bridging. With DHCP bridging the controller acts more like a DHCP back with autonomous AP’s. A DHCP packet comes into the AP via a client association to a SSID that is linked to a VLAN. Then, the DHCP packet goes out that VLAN. If an IP helper is defined on that VLAN’s layer 3 gateway, the packet is forwarded to that DHCP server via directed unicast. The DHCP server then responds back directly to the layer 3 interface that forwarded that DHCP packet. With DHCP proxy, it is the same idea, but all of the forwarding is done directly at the controller instead of the VLAN’s layer 3 interface. For example, a DHCP request comes in to the WLAN from the client, the WLAN then will either use the DHCP server defined on the VLAN’s interface *or* will use the DHCP override function of the WLAN to forward a unicast DHCP packet to the DHCP server with the DHCP packets GIADDR field filled out to be the VLAN interface’s IP address.

Internal DHCP Server - Packet flow

dhcp-wlc-07.gif

Internal DHCP Server Configuration Example

You must enable DHCP proxy on the controller to allow the internal DHCP server to function. This can be done via the GUI under this section:

Controller->Advanced->DHCP  
(Note: Setting the DHCP proxy via the GUI is not available in all versions)

dhcp-wlc-08.gif

Or via the CLI:

Config dhcp proxy enable
Save config

To enable the internal DHCP server, complete these steps:

  1. Define a scope that you will use to pull IP addresses (Controller->Internal DHCP Server->DHCP Scope). Click New.

    dhcp-wlc-09.gif

  2. Point either your DHCP override to the management interface IP address of your controller:

    dhcp-wlc-10.gif

    Or, you can use the DHCP option of the controller interface configuration for the interface you wish to use the internal DHCP server.

    dhcp-wlc-11.gif

  3. Make sure that DHCP proxy is enabled:

    dhcp-wlc-12.gif

Troubleshooting

Debugging the internal DHCP server is typically a matter of finding a client that is having a problem getting an IP address. You need to run these debugs:

debug client <MAC ADDRESS OF CLIENT>

The debug client is a macro that enables these debugs for you while focusing the debug out only on the client MAC address that you have entered:

debug dhcp packet enable
debug dot11 mobile enable
debug dot11 state enable
debug dot1x events enable
debug pem events enable
debug pem state enable
debug cckm client debug enable

The main one for DHCP issues is the debug dhcp packet enable command that is enabled automatically by the debug client command.

00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 dhcpd: received DISCOVER 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 dhcpd: Sending DHCP packet (giaddr:192.168.100.254)to 127.0.0.1:67  from 127.0.0.1:1067 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 sendto (548 bytes) returned 548
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option len (including the magic cookie) 312 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option: message type = DHCP OFFER 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option: server id = 192.168.100.254 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option: lease time = 86400 seconds 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option: gateway = 192.168.100.1 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option: 15 (len 13) - skipping 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option: netmask = 255.255.255.0 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP options end, len 312, actual 64 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option len (including the magic cookie) 81 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option: message type = DHCP REQUEST 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option: 61 (len 7) - skipping 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option: requested ip = 192.168.100.100 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option: server id = 1.1.1.1 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option: 12 (len 14) - skipping 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option: vendor class id = MSFT 5.0 (len 8) 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option: 55 (len 11) - skipping 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option: 43 (len 3) - skipping 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP options end, len 81, actual 73 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP Forwarding packet locally (340 octets) from 192.168.100.254 to 192.168.100.254
dhcpd: Received 340 byte dhcp packet from 0xfe64a8c0 192.168.100.254:68
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 dhcpd: packet 192.168.100.254 -> 192.168.100.254 using scope "User Scope" 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 dhcpd: received REQUEST 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 Checking node 192.168.100.100  Allocated 1246985143, Expires 1247071543 (now: 1246985143) 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 dhcpd: server_id = c0a864fe 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 dhcpd: server_id = c0a864fe adding option 0x35 adding option 0x36 adding option 0x33 adding option 0x03 adding option 0x0f adding option 0x01 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 dhcpd: Sending DHCP packet (giaddr:192.168.100.254)to 127.0.0.1:67  from 127.0.0.1:1067 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 sendto (548 bytes) returned 548
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option len (including the magic cookie) 312 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option: message type = DHCP ACK 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option: server id = 192.168.100.254 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option: lease time = 86400 seconds 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option: gateway = 192.168.100.1 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option: 15 (len 13) - skipping 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP option: netmask = 255.255.255.0 
00:1b:77:2b:cf:75 DHCP options end, len 312, actual 64 

Clearing the DHCP Leases on the WLC's Internal DHCP Server

With Wireless LAN Controller version 7.0.98, you can issue this command in order to clear the DHCP leases on the Internal DHCP server of the WLC:

config dhcp clear-lease <all/IP Address>

Here is an example:

config dhcp clear-lease all

Caveats

  • DHCP proxy must be enabled for the Internal DHCP server to function.

  • Use of DHCP to port 1067 when using the Internal DHCP server, which is affected by the CPU ACL.

  • The Internal DHCP server listens on the controller loopback interface via 127.0.0.1 udp port 67.

End User Interface

  • The config dhcp proxy disable command implies the use of the DHCP bridging function. This is a global command (not a per-WLAN command).

  • In order for customers to experience consistent behavior with existing deployments, the DHCP proxy will remain enabled by default.

  • When the DHCP proxy is disabled, the Internal DHCP server cannot be used by local WLANs. The bridging operation is not consistent with the operations required to redirect a packet to the internal server. Bridging really does mean bridging, with the exception of 802.11 to Ethernet II conversion, DHCP packets are passed unmodified from the LWAPP tunnel to the client’s VLAN (and vice-versa).

  • When the proxy is enabled, a DHCP server must be configured on the WLAN’s interface (or in the WLAN itself) in order for the WLAN to be enabled. No server needs to be configured when the proxy is disabled as these servers are not used.

  • When a user attempts to enable the DHCP proxy, you internally verify that all WLANs (or associated interfaces) have a DHCP server configured. If not, the enable operation fails.

DHCP Required

The WLAN advance configuration has an option that requires users to pass DHCP before going into the RUN state (a state where the client will be able to pass traffic through the controller). This option requires the client to do a full or half DHCP request. The main thing the controller is looking from the client is a DHCP request and an ACK coming back from the DHCP server. As long as the client does these steps, the client will pass the DHCP required step and move to the RUN state.

dhcp-wlc-13.gif

L2 and L3 Roaming

L2 - Roam—If the client has a valid DHCP lease and performs a L2 roam between two different controllers on the same L2 network, the client should not need to re-dhcp and the client entry should be completely moved to the new controller from the original controller. Then, if the client does need to DHCP again, the DHCP bridging or proxy process on the current controller would transparently bridge the packet again.

L3 – Roam—In a L3 roam scenario the client is moving between 2 different controllers in different L3 networks. In this situation the client is anchored to the original controller and listed in the client table on the new foreign controller. During the anchoring scenario the client’s DHCP is handled by the anchor controller as the client data is tunneled within an EoIP tunnel between the foreign and anchor controllers.

Related Information

Updated: Sep 10, 2009
Document ID: 110865