Organizations need a WLAN that supports current business applications as well as future technology developments and applications. They want a WLAN architecture that delivers low operational costs, requires minimal training, and supports reduced capital investments. They need assurance that investments made today will carry them forward for years to follow.
To meet these needs, many organizations are migrating from their existing Cisco® Aironet® standalone (autonomous) access points to the Cisco Unified Wireless Network. The benefits of migrating to the Cisco Unified Wireless Network include simplified WLAN management, enhanced scalability, advanced feature velocity, lower total cost of ownership, and cost-effective, built-in mobility services for voice, guest access, location, and security. In addition, the Cisco Unified Wireless Network's innovative RF capabilities optimize real-time access to core business applications and provide proven enterprise-class secure connectivity.
Cisco Unified Wireless Network Software Release 4.2 simplifies the process of migrating standalone access points to operate as lightweight access points and interface with a Cisco wireless LAN controller and Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS). This release includes a new Cisco WCS standalone access point migration tool and capabilities to monitor standalone Cisco Aironet access points and selected Cisco integrated services routers access points. Now, organizations can easily monitor their existing standalone access points from a Cisco WCS console in preparation for migration.
Migrating standalone access points to operate as lightweight access points and run the lightweight access point protocol (LWAPP) is the first step in moving to the Cisco Unified Wireless Network. To learn more about the five simple steps organizations can take to migrate to the Cisco Unified Wireless Network, please read the Guidelines and Tools for Migrating to the Cisco Unified Wireless Network white paper.
Once a standalone access point has been migrated, it can operate with a Cisco wireless LAN controller to deliver the rich features and diverse mobility services available with the Cisco Unified Wireless Network architecture.
Cisco Unified Wireless Network Software Release 4.2 provides the following new features which enable Cisco WCS to support the simplified migration of standalone access points.
Standalone Access Point Migration Tool
Cisco WCS now includes an easy-to-use migration tool that supports the simultaneous upgrading of up to 10 Cisco Aironet standalone access points of the same model number. Using this tool reduces the time required to migrate standalone access points. This migration tool uses Cisco's free standalone access point migration software available on Cisco.com. A status notice (success or failure) is displayed throughout the migration process and an output log is available. Figure 1 displays a screenshot of the Cisco WCS standalone access point migration tool.
Figure 1. Cisco WCS Standalone Access Point Migration Tool
Standalone Access Point Monitoring
With Cisco Unified Wireless Network Software Release 4.2, standalone access points can be viewed on Cisco WCS heat maps. Cisco WCS receives basic status and alarm information and categorizes monitored standalone access points as authorized access points on Cisco WCS heat maps. This helps optimize the WLAN and increase WLAN security. Cisco Aironet standalone access points and selected Cisco integrated services routers access points can be monitored. Figure 2 displays a screenshot of several standalone access points displayed on a Cisco WCS heat map as noted with the large letter "A".
Benefits of using the new Cisco WCS migration tool and standalone access point monitoring feature include:
• Reduced labor costs for the unified migration process, because multiple standalone access points can be upgraded simultaneously.
• Increased flexibility for managing the migration process as a roll out or a one-time event.
• Increased WLAN visibility through monitoring Cisco Aironet standalone access points, selected Cisco integrated services routers access points, and lightweight access points from a single Cisco WCS management console.
• Enhanced WLAN security because all standalone access points can be labeled and displayed as authorized access points by Cisco WCS.
• 30 day free trial of Cisco WCS1 to assist with migration. This free Cisco WCS demonstration license allows organizations to directly experience how Cisco WCS allows IT managers to design, control, and monitor enterprise wireless networks from a centralized location, simplifying operations and reducing the total cost of ownership.
• Cisco Unified Wireless Network
• Cisco Aironet Access Points
• Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
• Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS)
Cisco Wireless LAN Services
To assist with your organization's migration to the unified wireless network, Cisco and our Wireless LAN Specialized Partners offer a broad portfolio of end-to-end services based on proven methodologies for planning, designing, implementing, operating, and optimizing the performance of a variety of secure voice and data wireless network solutions, technologies, and strategies. Cisco Wireless LAN Specialized Partners bring application expertise to help deliver a secure enterprise mobility solution with a low total cost of ownership. Please talk with your account manager to see if these services are right for your organization.
Cisco Unified Wireless Network Software Release 4.2 supports a new Cisco WCS standalone access point migration tool and built-in monitoring of standalone access points. Now, organizations that are migrating their existing Cisco Aironet standalone access points to the Cisco Unified Wireless Network have simple, time-efficient, cost-effective tools to assist them with their access point migration.