Cisco Wireless Control System Configuration Guide, Release 5.0
Chapter 1: Overview
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Overview

Table Of Contents

Overview

Overview of the Cisco Unified Wireless Network Solution

Overview of WCS

WCS Versions

WCS Base

WCS Base + Location

Relationship with Cisco Location Appliances

Comparison of WCS Base and WCS Location

WCS User Interface

Cisco WCS Navigator


Overview


This chapter describes the Cisco Unified Wireless Network Solution and the Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS). It contains these sections:

Overview of the Cisco Unified Wireless Network Solution

Overview of WCS

WCS Versions

WCS User Interface

Cisco WCS Navigator

Overview of the Cisco Unified Wireless Network Solution

The Cisco Unified Wireless Network solution is designed to provide 802.11 wireless networking solutions for enterprises and service providers. It simplifies the deployment and management of large-scale wireless LANs and enables a unique best-in-class security infrastructure. The operating system manages all data client, communications, and system administration functions, performs radio resource management (RRM) functions, manages system-wide mobility policies using the operating system security solution, and coordinates all security functions using the operating system security framework.

The Cisco Unified Wireless Network Solution consists of Cisco Unified Wireless Network Controllers (hereafter called controllers) and their associated lightweight access points controlled by the operating system, all concurrently managed by any or all of the operating system user interfaces:

An HTTPS full-featured web user interface hosted by Cisco controllers can be used to configure and monitor individual controllers.

A full-featured command line interface (CLI) can be used to configure and monitor individual controllers.

The Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS) can be used to configure and monitor one or more controllers and associated access points. WCS has tools to facilitate large-system monitoring and control. It runs on Windows 2003 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES/AS 4 servers.

An industry-standard SNMP V1, V2c, and V3 interface can be used with any SNMP-compliant third-party network management system.

The Cisco Unified Wireless Network Solution supports client data services, client monitoring and control, and all rogue access point detection, monitoring, and containment functions. It uses lightweight access points, controllers, and the optional WCS to provide wireless services to enterprises and service providers.


Note This document refers to controllers throughout. Unless specified otherwise, the descriptions herein apply to all Cisco Unified Wireless Network Controllers, including but not limited to Cisco 2000 and 2100 Series Unified Wireless Network Controllers, Cisco 4100 Series Unified Wireless Network Controllers, Cisco 4400 Series Unified Wireless Network Controllers, and controllers within the Cisco Wireless Services Module (WiSM) and Cisco 26/28/37/38xx Series Integrated Services Routers.


Figure 1-1 shows the Cisco Unified Wireless Network Solution components, which can be simultaneously deployed across multiple floors and buildings.

Figure 1-1 Cisco Unified Wireless Network Solution

Overview of WCS

The Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS) is a Cisco Unified Wireless Network Solution management tool that adds to the capabilities of the web user interface and command line interface (CLI), moving from individual controllers to a network of controllers. WCS includes the same configuration, performance monitoring, security, fault management, and accounting options used at the controller level and adds a graphical view of multiple controllers and managed access points.

WCS runs on Windows 2003 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES 4.0 and AS 4.0 servers. On both Windows and Linux, WCS can run as a normal application or as a service, which runs continuously and resumes running after a reboot.

The WCS user interface enables operators to control all permitted Cisco Unified Wireless Network Solution configuration, monitoring, and control functions through Internet Explorer 6.0 or later. Operator permissions are defined by the administrator using the WCS user interface Administration menu, which enables the administrator to manage user accounts and schedule periodic maintenance tasks.

WCS simplifies controller configuration and monitoring while reducing data entry errors. WCS uses the industry-standard SNMP protocol to communicate with the controllers.

WCS Versions

You can install WCS with one of two capabilities: WCS Base or WCS Location. Regardless of whether you choose WCS Base or WCS Location, a license is required.

WCS Base

The WCS Base supports wireless client data access, rogue access point, and rogue ad hoc detection and containment functions (such as on-demand location of rogue access points that are mapped next to the detecting access point), and Cisco UWN Solution monitoring and control.

It also includes graphical views of the following:

Autodiscovery of access points as they associate with controllers

Autodiscovery and containment or notification of rogue access points

Map-based organization of access point coverage areas, which is helpful when the enterprise spans more than one geographical area

Rogue adhoc

User-supplied campus, building, and floor plan graphics, which show the following:

Locations and status of managed access points

Locations of rogue access points based on the signal strength received by the nearest managed Cisco access points

Coverage hole alarm information for access points based on the received signal strength from clients. This information appears in a tabular rather than map format.

RF coverage maps

The WCS Base also provides system-wide control of the following:

Streamlined network, controller, and managed access point configuration using customer-defined templates

Network, controller, and managed access point status and alarm monitoring

Automated and manual data client monitoring and control functions

Automated monitoring of rogue access points, rogue ad hocs, coverage holes, security violations, controllers, and access points

Full event logs for data clients, rogue access points, coverage holes, security violations, controllers, and access points

Automatic channel and power level assignment by radio resource management (RRM)

User-defined automatic controller status audits, missed trap polling, configuration backups, and policy cleanups

Real-time location of rogue access points and rogue ad hocs to the nearest Cisco access point

Real-time and historical location of clients to the nearest Cisco access point

WCS Base + Location

The WCS Location includes all the features of the WCS Base as well as these enhancements:

On-demand location of rogue access points and rogue ad hocs to within 33 feet (10 meters)

On-demand location of clients to within 33 feet (10 meters)

Ability to use location appliances to collect and return historical location data viewable in the WCS Location user interface

Relationship with Cisco Location Appliances

When WCS Location is used, end users can also deploy Cisco 2700 Series Location Appliances. The location appliance enhances the high-accuracy built-in WCS Location capabilities by computing, collecting, and storing historical location data, which can be displayed in WCS. In this role, the location appliance acts as a server to a WCS server by collecting, storing, and passing on data from its associated controllers.

After a quick command line interface (CLI) configuration, the remaining location appliance configuration can be completed using the WCS user interface. After each location appliance is configured, it communicates directly with its associated controllers to collect operator-defined location data. The associated WCS server operators can then communicate with each location appliance to transfer and display selected data.

The location appliance can be backed up to any WCS server into an operator-defined FTP folder, and the location appliance can be restored from that server at any time and at defined intervals. Also, the location appliance database can be synchronized with the WCS server database at any time. Operators can use the location appliance features and download new application code to all associated appliances from any WCS server.

When WCS is enhanced with a location appliance, it can display historical location data for up to 2,500 laptop clients, palmtop clients, VoIP telephone clients, radio frequency identifier (RFID) asset tags, rogue access points, rogue ad hocs, and rogue clients for each location appliance in the Cisco Unified Wireless Network Solution. Operators can configure location appliances to collect this data and statistics at defined intervals.

You can also use WCS to configure location appliance event notification parameters. Event notification is a feature that enables you to define conditions that cause the location appliance to send notifications to the listeners whom you have specified in WCS.

In this way, WCS acts as a notification listener. It receives notifications from the location appliance in the form of the locationNotifyTrap trap as part of the bsnwras.my MIB file. WCS translates the traps into user interface alerts and displays the alerts in the following format:

Absence:
- Absence of Tag with MAC 00:0c:cc:5b:e4:1b, last seen at 16:19:45 13 Oct 2005. 
		
Containment: 
- Tag with MAC 00:0c:cc:5b:fa:44 is In the Area 'WNBU > WNBU > 4th Floor > wcsDevArea'

Distance:
- Tag with MAC 00:0c:cc:5b:fa:47 has moved beyond the distance configured for the marker 
'marker2'.
- Tag with MAC 00:0c:cc:5b:f9:b9 has moved beyond 46.0 ft. of marker 'marker2', located at 
a range of 136.74526528595058 ft.

Note Refer to the Cisco Location Application Configuration Guide for more detailed information about the location appliance and its use with WCS.


Comparison of WCS Base and WCS Location

Table 1-1 compares the WCS Base and WCS Location features.

Table 1-1 WCS Base and WCS Location Features  

Features
WCS
Base
WCS Location

Location and tracking

Low-resolution client location

Yes

High-resolution client location

Yes

Integration with location appliance

Yes

Low-resolution rogue access point location

Yes

High-resolution rogue access point location

Yes

Client data services, security, and monitoring

Client access via access points

Yes

Yes

Multiple wireless LANs (individual SSIDs and policies)

Yes

Yes

Rogue access point detection and containment using access points

Yes

Yes

802.11a/b/g/n bands

Yes

Yes

Radio resource management

Real-time channel assignment and rogue access point detection and containment

Yes

Yes

Real-time interference detection and avoidance, transmit power control, channel assignment, client mobility management, client load distribution, and coverage hole detection

Yes

Yes

Automated software and configuration updates

Yes

Yes

Wireless intrusion protection

Yes

Yes

Global and individual AP security policies

Yes

Yes

Controls Cisco Unified Wireless Network Controllers

Yes

Yes

Supported workstations

Windows 2003

Yes

Yes

Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES 4.0 or AS 4.0 server

Yes

Yes


WCS User Interface

The WCS user interface enables the network operator to create and configure Cisco Unified Wireless Network Solution coverage area layouts, configure system operating parameters, monitor real-time Cisco Unified Wireless Network Solution operation, and perform troubleshooting tasks using an HTTPS web browser window. The WCS user interface also enables the WCS administrator to create, modify, and delete user accounts; change passwords; assign permissions; and schedule periodic maintenance tasks. The administrator creates new usernames and passwords and assigns them to predefined permissions groups.


Note Cisco recommends Internet Explorer 6.0 or later on a Windows workstation for full access to WCS functionality.


Cisco WCS Navigator

The Cisco Wireless Control System Navigator (Cisco WCS Navigator) manages multiple Cisco WCSs (running the same version as Navigator) and provides a unified view of the network. It uses SOAP/XML over HTTPs to communicate with individual WCSs. With WCS Navigator, there is monitoring functionality and reporting capability across all WCSs. In addition, network wide searches are available. In Windows and Linux, Cisco WCS Navigator runs as a service, which runs continuously and resumes running after a reboot.

In order for the WCS Navigator to detect the regional WCSs, you must manually add them to the system using either the IP address or hostname and specify the login credentials for each of the regional WCSs. After being added, WCS Navigator provides summary information and links to the regional WCS systems.