Whenever a wireless client connects to a wireless network (WLAN), the client is placed in a VLAN that is associated with the WLAN. In a large venue such as an auditorium, a stadium, or a conference where there may be numerous wireless clients, having only a single WLAN to accommodate many clients might be a challenge.
The VLAN select feature enables you to use a single WLAN that can support multiple VLANs. Clients can get assigned to one of the configured VLANs. This feature enables you to map a WLAN to a single or multiple interface VLANs using interface groups. Wireless clients that associate to the WLAN get an IP address from a pool of subnets identified by the interfaces. The IP address is derived by an algorithm based on the MAC address of the wireless client. This feature also extends the current AP group architecture where AP groups can override an interface or interface group to which the WLAN is mapped to, with multiple interfaces using the interface groups. This feature also provides the solution to auto anchor restrictions where a wireless guest user on a foreign location can get an IP address from multiple subnets based on their foreign locations or foreign controllers from the same anchor controller.
When a client roams from one controller to another, the foreign controller sends the VLAN information as part of the mobility announce message. Based on the VLAN information received, the anchor decides whether the tunnel should be created between the anchor controller and the foreign controller. If the same VLAN is available on the foreign controller, the client context is completely deleted from the anchor and the foreign controller becomes the new anchor controller for the client.
If an interface (int-1) in a subnet is untagged in one controller (Vlan ID 0) and the interface (int-2) in the same subnet is tagged to another controller (Vlan ID 1), then with the VLAN select, client joining the first controller over this interface may not undergo an L2 roam while it moves to the second controller. Hence, for L2 roaming to happen between two controllers with VLAN select, all the interfaces in the same subnet should be either tagged or untagged.
As part of the VLAN select feature, the mobility announce message carries an additional vendor payload that contains the list of VLAN interfaces in an interface group mapped to a foreign controller’s WLAN. This VLAN list enables the anchor to differentiate from a local to local or local to foreign handoff.