WLAN Express Setup and Best Practices Deployment Guide

WLAN Express Setup and Best Practices Deployment Guide
WLAN Express Setup and Best Practices Deployment Guide
WLAN Express Setup and Best Practices Deployment Guide 2
Introduction 2
Supported Controllers and APs 4
Installing WLC 5
RF Profiles Configurations 16
Monitoring Dashboards 17
Best Practices Configurations 20
Revised: April 29, 2015,
WLAN Express Setup and Best Practices Deployment Guide
In release 8.1 of Unified WLC software, Cisco introduces a new simplified first time out of box installation and configuration interface
for 2500, 5500, 7500, and 8500 wireless series controllers. The goal of this deployment guide is to provide a set of instructions to
help easily setup a WLC to operate in a small, medium, or large network wireless environment, where access point(s) can join and
together as a simple solution and provide various services, such as corporate employee or guest wireless access on the network.
With this WLAN Express setup software release, there is a new GUI simplified controller express setup in addition to two legacy
ways to configure the Unified Wireless LAN Controller:
• Traditional command line interface (CLI) via serial console
• Updated method using network connection directly to the WLC GUI setup wizard
This guide provides instruction only for using the WLAN Express GUI setup wizard. Note that the WLAN Express Setup can be
used only for the first time in out of box installations or when controller configuration is reset to factory defaults.
Configuring WLC
The general steps to configure the WLC are as follows:
Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Step 5
Step 6
Step 7
Step 8
Complete the configuration checklist.
Unpack, connect, and power on the WLC.
Connect a client machine to Service Port of the WLC with an Ethernet cable.
Open a client web browser to access the WLC startup GUI.
Enter the settings from the completed configuration checklist.
Disconnect the WLC from client machine and connect to the network switch.
Connect access point(s) to the network switch.
Access points join the WLC, and the configured wireless network become available.
Connect wireless client(s) to the available network.
Configuration Checklist
The following checklist helps you to make the installation process easier, while using the GUI wizard to configure the WLC. While
most of the information from the list is mandatory, there is some information that is optional (*). Take a moment to fill out:
• Network switch requirement (see above reference for switch configuration example):
◦WLC switch port number assigned
◦WLC assigned switch port
◦Is the switch port configured as trunk?
◦Is there a management VLAN? Management VLAN ID
◦Is there a guest VLAN? Guest VLAN ID
• WLC Settings:
◦New admin account name
◦Admin account password
◦System name for the WLC
◦The current time zone
◦Is there a NTP server available? NTP server IP address
◦WLC Management Interface:
◦IP address
◦Subnet mask
◦Default gateway
◦Management VLAN ID
• Corporate Wireless Network
• Corporate wireless name/SSID
• Is a RADIUS server required?
• Security authentication option to select:
◦WPA/WPA2 Personal
◦Corporate pass phrase (PSK)
◦WPA/WPA2 Enterprise)
◦RADIUS server IP address and shared secret
◦Is a DHCP server known? DHCP server IP address
• Guest Wireless Network - optional:
◦Guest wireless name/SSID
◦Is a password required for guest?
◦Guest pass phrase (PSK)
◦Guest VLAN id (use id)
◦Guest networking:
◦IP address
◦Subnet mask
◦Default gateway
• Advanced option—Configure RF Parameters for Client Density as Low, Medium, or High.
Supported Controllers and APs
The following controllers and APs are supported:
• Cisco 2500, 5500, 7500, 8500 series wireless LAN controller.
• Cisco WLC 8.1 supported APs; see 8.1 Release Notes for the list of supported APs.
Installing WLC
Step 1
Connect a PC laptop's wired Ethernet port directly to Service Port of the WLC ( see the following figure for Service Port
location). The port LEDs blink to indicate that both machines are properly connected.
Figure 1: Service Port Location
Figure 2: Sample of Initial Wireless Network Configuration; IP Addresses Used as an Example
It may take several minutes for the WLC to fully power on to make the GUI available to the PC. Do not auto
configure controller.
The LEDs on the front panel provide system status:
• The system is not ready – LEDs is OFF
• The controller is ready – LED is solid green
Step 2
Configure DHCP option on the Laptop that you are connecting to the Service port. This assigns an IP address to your
Laptop from the Controller service port 192.168.1.X or you can assign a static IP address 192.168.1.X to your Laptop to
access the WLC GUI; both options are supported.
The following figure shows an example of the Mac Laptop getting an IP address from the DHCP service port for the initial
configuration of the controller.
The following figure shows an example of network settings on Windows PC (Start > Run > CMD > ipconfig).
Step 3
Upon confirming that there is an IP address of 192.168.1.x assigned to your computer, open a web browser (preferably
Chrome and Safari) and open the URL:
The following screen appears in your browser.
Keep the checklist that you have prepared earlier, as this will be very helpful to proceed with the following
To create an admin account, do the following:
1 Create a new admin account name, for example, admin.
2 Provide the new admin account’s password, for example, Cisco123.
3 Confirm the password.
4 Click Start to continue.
Step 4
Once you are logged into the controller, in the Set Up Your Controller screen, with the help of the checklist, fill in the
• System name for the WLC, for example, 5508-BP
• The current time zone
• NTP Server (optional)
• Management IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway, such as,, and,
• Management VLAN ID (see checklist), if left unchanged (or 0), then the network switch port must be configured
with a native VLAN X0
The wizard will attempt to import the clock information (date and time) from the computer via JavaScript. It is
highly recommended that you confirm this before continuing. Access points rely on correct clock settings to be
able to join the WLC.
Figure 3: Sample configuration for 5508
Step 5
In the Create Your Wireless Networks screen, in the Employee Network area, with the help of the checklist, fill in the
• Network name/SSID, for example, cisco-bp
• Security, for example, WPA/WPA2 Personal
• WPA/WPA2 Personal—Provide a pass phrase (PSK /for example, Cisco123 and confirm the pass phrase)
• Provide the DHCP server address (for example, If left empty, the DHCP processing is bridged to the
management interface.
Figure 4: Example of an Employee Network Configured with WPA/WPA2 Personal Using PSK (pre-shared key / pass phrase) for
Step 6
(Optional) In the Create Your Wireless Networks screen, in the Guest Network area, with the help of the checklist, fill
in the following:
• Network name/SSID, for example, bp-guest
• Security, for example, Web Consent
• VLAN IP address (for example,, VLAN ID (for example, 76), and DHCP server IP address (for example,
Figure 5: Example of a Guest Network Configured with Web Consent for 5508-bp
Step 7
In the Advanced Setting screen, in the RF Parameter Optimization area, do the following:
1 Select the client density as Low, Typical, or High.
2 Configure the RF parameters for RF Traffic Type, such as Data and Voice.
3 Change the service port IP address and subnet mask, if necessary.
Step 8
Click Next.
The following table depicts the default values when Low, Typical, or High deployment type is selected from RF parameters.
Step 9
When the controller is configured, you can verify or change the same Best Practices RF Optimization setting via
the Controller Advanced Interface as documented in the RF Profiles Configurations, on page 16 section.
If all the settings are correct, click Apply. A message appears with a prompt 'System will reboot...Do you want to apply
these configuration?'
Step 10
Click OK to apply final settings.
The WLC reboots automatically. A confirmation page will show that 'The controller has been fully configured and will
now restart'. If this message does not appear, do the following:
1 Disconnect your computer from the WLC service port and connect it to Switch port.
2 Connect the WLC port 1 to the switch configured trunk port.
3 Connect access points to the switch if not already connected.
4 Wait until the access points join the WLC.
RF Profiles Configurations
After successful login as admin, you can verify whether the Configuration Express features are enabled by checking that the predefined
RF profiles getting created under WIRELESS > RF Profiles.
Under WIRELESS > Advanced > System Profile / Network Profile, verify the following fields:
It is recommended to use RF and Network profiles configuration even if the WLAN Express setup was
not used initially or if the controller was upgraded from the software prior to release 8.1.
Monitoring Dashboards
In release 8.1 of the Wireless LAN Controller, a new Dashboard interface is introduced when initiating a Web UI connectivity to the
controller. Previously, when connecting to the controller Management Interface, the user was able to see a summary of the controller
monitor interface. In the web browser, enter the IP address of the management interface as previously configured and enter the admin
credentials that were created earlier, that is, Login Name: admin and password Cisco123.
In release 8.1, a new interface is added to present the system administrator with additional practical at glance information. This new
Monitoring interface contains several Dashboards and monitoring options. Upon connecting to the controller management interface,
the Network Summary page is first displayed. The administrator can spend some time to explore this page, and then log into the
WLC to access web UI and dashboard.
As shown in the left pane, the Monitoring interface allows you to choose Network Summary, Wireless Dashboard, or Best Practices.
Network Summary has additional submenus to monitor the access points and clients.
The following is a screenshot from the Access Points submenu, where the monitoring page displays information about 2.4 GHz and
5 GHz access points. The information gives the administrator a Bird’s Eye view on the access point's valuable details.
While choosing AP Performance under Wireless Dashboard, charts are displayed about various AP performance statistics, such
as Channel Utilization - Top APs, Interference - Top APs, Client Load - Top APs, and Coverage Bottom APs.
Few additional icons are available in the upper right corner of the dashboard as in the following figure.
icon to view the additional options.
to view the legacy controller interface as shown in the following figure.
icon takes you back to the Dashboard Monitoring interface.
Click Home to view the information about:
• Network Summary
• Access Points
• Clients
• Wireless Dashboard
• AP Performance
• Client Performance
• Best Practices
Best Practices Configurations
Click Best Practices to view the information about:
• Infrastructure
• Security
• RF Management
Few best practices parameters are configured by default as recommended by Cisco wireless experts. The level of compliance 10/28
represents this setting.
You can click the + icon to select a recommended best practice parameter, read an expert recommendation, and click Fix it Now or
later reverse the BP configuration option by clicking Restore Default. Following is an example of BP Local Profiling configuration.
If you click Learn More, the Monitoring interface displays the Cisco Best Practices Configuration and Deployment Guide as in the
following figure.
The following table shows all best practices recommendations in release 8.1.
AVC Visibility
Yes( 2504 only)
mDNS Snooping
New MDNS Profile for printer, http
Local Profiling
Band Select
DHCP Proxy
Secure Web access
Virtual IP
Yes (configurable)
CleanAir Enabled
EDRRM Enabled
Channel Width 40 MHz
Aironet IE Disabled
Management over Wireless
2.4 Low Data Rates Disabled
Yes (network profile)
Load Balancing
Yes (network profile)
Rogue Threshold Enabled
Client Exclusion Enabled
FastSSID Enabled*
Infra MFP
Multicast Forwarding Mode
SNMPv3 (delete default)
Mobility Name
RF Group same as Mobility Name
DHCP Required on Guest WLAN
5 GHz Channel Bonding*
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