Data Sheet
Cisco Wireless Location Appliance
®
The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance is the industry’s first location solution that simultaneously tracks thousands
of devices from directly within the WLAN infrastructure—bringing the power of a cost effective, high-resolution
location solution to critical applications such as high-value asset tracking, IT management, location based security
and business policy enforcement. By providing the ability to integrate tightly with a spectrum of technology and
application partners through a rich and open application programming interface (API), this innovative appliance
facilitates the deployment of new and important business applications. These capabilities make the Cisco Wireless
Location Appliance a critical must-have for all enterprise class WLANs today.
PRODUCT OVERVIEW
The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance is an innovative, easy-to-deploy solution that uses advanced RF fingerprinting technology to
simultaneously track thousands of 802.11 wireless devices from directly within a WLAN infrastructure, increasing asset visibility and
control of the airspace. Additionally, the appliance provides location-based alerts for business policy enforcement and records rich
historical location information that can be used for location trending, rapid problem resolution and RF capacity management. By enabling
the deployment of powerful location-based applications such as Enhanced 911 (E911) services, asset management and workflow
automation through integration with the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance API, the appliance becomes a critical solution for customers
ranging from enterprises to vertical industries such as healthcare, finance, retail, manufacturing and federal organizations.
By design, the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance is directly integrated into the WLAN infrastructure to lower customers’ total cost of
ownership and extend the value and security of the existing WLAN infrastructure by making it “location aware”. As a component of the
Cisco Unified Wireless Network, the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance uses Cisco wireless LAN controllers and Cisco Aironet®
lightweight access points to track the physical location of wireless devices to within a few meters. Moreover, the centralized WLAN
management capabilities and intuitive GUI of the Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS) with location are extended for managing and
configuring the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance, making setup fast and intuitive.
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PRODUCT ARCHITECTURE
The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance uses the same Cisco lightweight access points that deliver traffic as location “readers” for 802.11
wireless clients and Wi-Fi tags. These access points collect received-signal-strength-indication (RSSI) information from all Wi-Fi devices,
including Wi-Fi enabled laptops, voice handsets, Wi-Fi tags, rogue (unauthorized) devices and rogue access points. The collected RSSI
information is then sent through the Lightweight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP) to the Cisco wireless LAN controllers or certain wireless
integrated switches or routers. The Cisco wireless LAN controllers then aggregate the RSSI information and send it to the Cisco Wireless
Location Appliance through Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).
The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance performs location computations based on the RSSI information received from the Cisco wireless
LAN controllers. The Cisco wireless LAN controllers that gather the RSSI information must be associated with the Cisco Wireless
Location Appliance (Figure 1).
Figure 1.
Overview of Integrated Location Services Architecture
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Once network maps and access points are added to the appliance, RF predictions and heatmaps can be generated to graphically display
the location of thousands of devices on the site’s floor plans. Cisco WCS Location displays its location information visually (Figure 2),
providing an immediate location application for customers who want to enhance their RF capacity management, utilize location based
security and have asset visibility for WLAN devices. This location information is also available to third-party applications through a
Simple Object Access Protocol/Extensible Markup Language (SOAP/XML) API on the appliance, creating an extensible foundation
for a host of rich location based applications.
Figure 2.
Cisco Wireless Location Appliance: Simultaneous Location Tracking for Thousands of Users, Devices, and Access Points
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Cisco WCS Location manages the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance through an intuitive and visually rich GUI providing centralized
management and configuration. For greater scalability, Cisco WCS Location can manage one or more Cisco Wireless Location Appliances.
Cisco WCS Location view filters and flexible search criteria make targeted viewing of location data easy and adaptive to user needs. Figure
3 shows a targeted view for rogue access points and devices. Targeted views can be created for a variety of selections including device
categories, logical names, time detected and physical location such as floor area. For example, in a hospital, a targeted view of the category
“all infusion pumps on floor 3” could be created.
Figure 3.
Cisco Wireless Location Appliance: Targeted Views for Rogue Access Points and Devices
Wireless Security and Rapid Troubleshooting
The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance allows IT managers to quickly and accurately locate security threats such as rogue access points
and devices. Rogue access points create potential security breaches and unsecured WLAN connections that put the entire network at risk.
Rogue devices are installed by employees or intruders. The ability to locate these devices more accurately helps IT managers rapidly isolate
security threats and unauthorized attempts to access the network. Accurate detection of these rogue devices provides enhanced WLAN
security by helping ensure that legitimate client stations associate only with trusted access points. Additionally, IT managers can also use
features such as location-based alerting and high-resolution rogue tracking to establish a framework for location-based security—further
elevating WLAN security.
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IT staff can easily review security alarms or movement alarms by drilling down into detailed location and statistical information about
devices for isolation and containment of wireless intruders as well as for rapid troubleshooting and simplified device management (Figure 4
and Figure 5). For example, actionable data can be mined on clients, including recent and historical physical location information about
where users have been when, and client traffic analysis, as well as IP address, username, MAC Address, Service Set Identifier (SSID), and
access point association details. This feature also provides a rich audit trail of information that IT staff can archive and replay for up to 30
days or longer with easily exported log files.
Figure 4.
Cisco Wireless Location Appliance Client Details—Top of Page View
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Figure 5.
Cisco Wireless Location Appliance Client Details—Bottom of Page View
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Location Trending for RF Capacity Management and Visibility
A variety of useful information for enhanced RF capacity management can be generated. This information can be based on location
trends— where people have been and when, for example client/tag distribution across a floor; statistical location information—where
people have been and associated traffic analysis; and coverage areas—where hotspots are based on volume of people and traffic to
determine how concentrated RF resources are and how WLAN is handling the number of clients (Figure 6).
Figure 6.
Cisco Wireless Location Appliance Location Trending
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Targeted Location Searches
Targeted searches can be easily conducted across a variety of flexible parameters that can be adapted to specific user interests. These search
criteria include but are not limited to asset categories such as tags, clients, rogues as well as customized and logical asset names; physical
location parameters such as floors, campuses, buildings, associated access points; detection times; protocols, SSIDs, IP and MAC
addresses, and usernames. For instance, Figure 7 shows a search in process to list all tags in a particular asset group, but this could just as
easily be all rogues on a particular floor.
Figure 7.
Cisco Wireless Location Appliance Tag Search Parameters
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DEPLOYING WIRELESS LOCATION SERVICES
The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance includes a variety of pre and post deployment tools that simplify the deployment and management
of location services.
Pre-Deployment Tools
Planning Mode Tool—This tool provides recommendations for access point placement and density to create a WLAN deployment
that supports location accuracy within the specifications of the location appliance. (Figure 8)
Location Readiness Assessment Tool—This tool helps customers determine if their current WLAN deployment is sufficient to
support location accuracy within the specifications of the location appliance. (Figure 9)
Figure 8.
Planning Mode Tool
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Figure 9.
Location Readiness Assessment Tool
Post Deployment Tools
Calibration Tool—Customers can choose to perform a post-deployment calibration of their network if the network’s location
accuracy becomes out of specification. During this calibration, an 802.11 wireless client device is used to take RSSI measurements
in the environment. The measured RSSI is then used by the location appliance to fine tune the location accuracy of the location
device. Improvements in location accuracy can be visualized using the Location Inspector Tool.
Location Inspector Tool—This tool is used post-deployment to determine the location accuracy throughout the WLAN. It
provides a visual representation of the quality of location accuracy. It can also be used for on-going performance tuning of the
network. (Figure 10)
Location Troubleshooting—When location accuracy does not conform to specifications, the location debug feature can be
enabled. This feature displays the access points that contributed to the location calculations, the signal strength of these devices
and a time stamp of when the signal strength measurement was last received. Screenshots of this display can be sent to the Cisco
Technical Assistance Center (TAC) to help with location services troubleshooting.
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Figure 10.
Location Inspector Tool
Integration with Location Based Applications
To facilitate the deployment of location-based applications in the enterprise, the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance is equipped with a rich
and open SOAP/XML-based API. Applications can rapidly make use of location information by importing components that impact the
airspace such as entire network maps including buildings, floors, access points, coverage areas and device lists from the location appliance.
Rich and actionable data can also be imported such as recent and historical location and statistical device information. Location based
alarms and notifications can be triggered in applications through area boundary definitions, allowed areas and distances. All of these
capabilities allow the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance API to be used for tight and transparent integration with external software
applications such as E911, asset management, enterprise-resource-planning (ERP) tools, and workflow automation systems that can use
location information. This makes the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance an ideal part of any end-to-end enterprise solution.
FEATURES AND BENEFITS
The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance delivers a host of tangible benefits to enterprises running business-critical wireless LANs,
including:
Increased accuracy—The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance uses the Cisco Systems® patent-pending RF fingerprinting
technology to determine the location of wireless devices. Cisco has the only WLAN infrastructure that correlates known RF
characteristics of a building (for example, multipath or attenuation) with user information to track mobile devices to within a few
meters. The solution also supports the reduction of position jitter for a stable Wi-Fi device.
Location-based alerts—This feature provides the ability to proactively send location notifications based on device movement,
device absence, zone entry and exit of tracked devices, Wi-Fi tag battery level and Wi-Fi device position change. The Wi-Fi tag
battery level notification indicates the Wi-Fi tag’s power level. The Wi-Fi device position change notification sends an alert when
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the position of a device changes. All of these notifications can be delivered over multiple transport types: syslog, Simple Network
Management Protocol (SNMP) traps, e-mail, and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) XML API. (Figure 11).
Scalability—With the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance, thousands of wireless clients and Wi-Fi tags can be tracked
simultaneously, helping ensure that location services can be applied to an entire enterprise environment.
Lowered total cost of ownership—The Cisco solution reduces operating expenses by using the existing Cisco WLAN network
infrastructure in conjunction with the location appliance. This approach is more cost-effective than proprietary or single-purpose
location tracking solutions because it uses standard 802.11 components and does not require dedicated access points for location
tracking.
Transparent integration—Cisco is the only vendor to integrate location tracking directly into the existing WLAN infrastructure.
The same Cisco access points that deliver data traffic also are used to locate wireless devices. This minimizes capital expenditures,
helps ensure better visibility, and helps enable the WLAN to act upon location information for better security and capacity
management.
Flexibility—Cisco offers the only WLAN system that can track 802.11 clients, such as a laptop or PDA, alongside other,
non-Wi-Fi mobile devices equipped with active radio frequency identification (RFID) tags (tags supplied by Cisco partners).
This helps IT staff track any mobile item.
Easy deployment of business applications—Asset tracking, inventory management, location-based security, automated workflow
management, and other new business applications can be easily deployed with the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance.
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Figure 11.
Location-Based Alerts
Table 1.
Summary of Features and Benefits of the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance
Feature
Benefit
Scalable Location Tracking
and Asset Management
Simultaneously track thousands of wireless users and devices to within a few meters of their physical location using
advanced RF printing technology and easy visualization on network maps. Efficiently access both updated and historical
location information from the location appliance. The built-in asset template allows quick definition of Wi-Fi device
categories, groups and names. These definitions can be distributed simultaneously to multiple devices and imported into
or exported out of the location appliance.
Integrated and Cost-Effective
Location Tracking
The same Cisco lightweight access points that are delivering Wi-Fi traffic can also locate wireless devices and send
location related alerts for these devices. This minimizes TCO, and helps ensure better visibility by helping enable the
WLAN to act upon location information for better security and capacity management.
Enhanced WLAN Security
Rogue devices and rogue access points are quickly and accurately located, allowing IT managers to rapidly respond to
security threats and unauthorized attempts to access the network. Location-based alerts also notify IT managers of
rogue movement, rogue device appearance/disappearance, and rogue zone association. This allows the IT manager to
establish a solid framework for increased WLAN security through location-based security.
Intuitive Centralized
Management
IT staff can utilize the intuitive Cisco WCS Location GUI to centrally and easily add, configure, manage, and upgrade a
single or multiple location appliances from Cisco WCS Location with minimal training. Centralized and scalable
deployments are made easy through WLAN templates and out of the box RF calibration models. Cisco WCS Location
also supports access control setup; definition of content and frequency of polls; and configuration of archive parameters
as well as for logging and viewing server events and severity levels for Cisco Wireless Location Appliance.
Hierarchical Maps
Import network designs, maps, and placement of access points from Cisco WCS Location into Cisco Wireless Location
Appliance for quick and easy explorer-like browsing of devices across different geographies, campuses, buildings, floors,
and areas.
Transparent Resilience to
Cisco WCS Location periodically polls the location appliance for its status and changes to maintain synchronized control
data such as network maps between the Cisco WCS Location and Cisco Wireless Location Appliance. A two-way
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Feature
Benefit
Network Changes
intelligent synchronization mechanism exists between the Cisco WCS Location and Cisco Wireless Location Appliance
to help ensure each has the most recent information.
Targeted View Lists
Customizable and targeted views using filters and flexible search parameters make viewing thousands of devices easy.
Support for logical and friendly name definitions for asset categories enhances intuitive viewing.
Enhanced RF Capacity
Management
Easily drill down into detailed client location and statistical information and generate trends for rapid troubleshooting and
enhanced RF capacity and device management.
Flexible and Easy
Deployment
Rapid deployment is facilitated with “out-of-the-box” RF models and predictive technology that correlates known RF
characteristics of buildings with user information for accurate tracking. Increased deployment flexibility is provided
through template-based RF models that can be edited to fit specific RF environments, as well as support for reusable,
custom RF calibration models.
Audit Trails and Database
Maintenance
Up to 30 days of location and statistical wireless device information can be archived and replayed. Easy exports of log
files are supported for archiving information older than 30 days. To maintain optimal location database performance,
configurable intervals for automated pruning and de-fragmentation are built in.
Robust APIs and Cisco
Location Appliance
API Program
The deployment of applications that can take advantage of location-based information such as E911, asset
management, ERP tools, and workflow and automation systems is facilitated through tight and transparent integration
with a rich and open API. The Cisco Location Appliance API Program allows Cisco customers and partners to interface
with the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance API to create customized location applications and solutions. Organizations
can join this program by accepting the Web-based license agreement. The API is available for free. Optional integration
and development support is available on a fee-basis.
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APPLICATIONS
The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance can be deployed in a wide variety of environments and situations across multiple industries. Some
of the primary usage scenarios include:
Visibility and tracking of mobile devices—Operating and capital expenses can be reduced by preventing loss or theft of valuable
mobile assets such as wheelchairs and infusion pumps in a healthcare environment and overhead projectors, laptops, and voice
handsets in an enterprise. Individuals and assets can be quickly located anywhere within a wireless environment.
Workflow automation and people tracking—Inventory use and e-workflow and dispatch processes are optimized. In a retail
environment, store layout and queue management can be optimized based on tracking customer shopping “patterns.” In amusement
parks, children can be tracked, allowing parents to know where they are at all times, and security personnel can be tracked in any
relevant facility. In healthcare facilities where caregivers are severely short-staffed, hospitals can track caregivers during normal
operations or during emergency code blue situations where the “nearest” caregiver on call is most desirable. Other healthcare
facilities with special-purpose needs may need to track infants or the elderly sick such as those suffering from Alzheimer’s who may
accidentally wander off the premises.
Telemetry—Wi-Fi tags with serial interfaces can be attached to a piece of equipment to relay important information about the
device directly to business applications. For instance, car rental businesses often want telemetric information relating to mileage
and fuel level of returned cars, whereas customers want location information that will help them find vehicles faster.
Pharmaceuticals, manufacturing plants, and retailers want information about batch numbers, expiration dates, product or serial
numbers, and out-of-specification information about components. Additionally, in healthcare, knowing the location of an infusion
pump is valuable, but knowing whether or not it is in use (on or off) is even more valuable.
WLAN security and network control—IT staff can rapidly locate security threats, such as rogue access points and rogue client
devices. IT managers also can use the appliance to establish a framework for location-based security, whereby the physical security
in a building is used to control WLAN access—enhancing WLAN security.
RF capacity management and visibility—Integrating location tracking into the WLAN allows IT staff to do more than just track
users. With this appliance they can generate location-based trend reports and drill down into usage behavior to accommodate
changes in traffic patterns, helping enable better RF capacity management.
Voice over WLAN (VoWLAN)—Many states have a regulatory requirement for E911 calls that require emergency dispatch
personnel to identify the location of a distressed caller. E911 services can be enabled through granular location tracking for wireless
voice devices.
Location tracking is a critical component of enterprise-class WLANs today. By identifying and tracking the location of wireless users,
companies can improve the accuracy of WLAN planning and deployment to optimize ongoing network performance, enhance wireless
security, and improve both the usefulness and value of important business applications. Location tracking provides visibility and control of
the air space, helping IT staff deploy wireless networks that are as easy to manage and as effective to deploy as traditional wireline
networks.
SUMMARY
Customers need a cost-effective, easy-to-deploy solution for tracking and managing Wi-Fi devices and tags across a variety of business
environments. They also need to deploy advanced services that enhance their business applications and meet regulatory requirements for
enhanced security, asset visibility, and E911 calls.
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The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance, a component of the Cisco Unified Wireless Network, meets these needs by delivering accurate and
scalable location services with device tracking. This easy-to-deploy solution provides asset visibility for Wi-Fi enabled devices and tags,
enhanced capacity management, location-based business policy enforcement, and increased WLAN security for the Wi-Fi environment.
This innovative appliance also facilitates the deployment of new applications that take advantage of wireless location information.
PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS
Cisco WCS Location must be installed to support the deployment of a Cisco Wireless Location Appliance.
Table 2.
Product Specifications: 1-Rack-Unit Mountable Appliance
Specification
Description
Memory
1-GB memory
Ports
Serial: One 9-pin connector
RJ-45: Two RJ-45 connectors for connection to two 10/100/1000 Ethernet controllers
2 USB ports: One USB connector in front and one in back
2 PS2 ports: One mouse and one keyboard
2 VGA ports: One in front and one in back
Connectivity
Network: Two 10/100/1000 (RJ-45) ports
Management
SNMP v1, v2c, and v3
Network Management
Cisco WCS Location v.3.0 or greater running Internet Explorer 6.0/Service Pack 1 or later
Network and Client
Devices
Cisco 2000, 4100 and 4400 Series Wireless LAN Controllers; Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Wireless Services Module (WiSM),
Cisco Catalyst 3750G Integrated Wireless LAN Controller, Cisco Wireless LAN Controller Module (WLCM) for Integrated
Services Routers; Cisco Aironet lightweight access points
Wi-Fi enabled laptops, PDAs, voice handsets, Wi-Fi tags, Cisco Compatible client devices, Cisco client devices, and non-Wi-Fi
mobile devices equipped with active RFID tags (tags supplied by Cisco partners)
Programming
Interfaces
SOAP/XML APIs
Physical Dimensions
Height: 1.68 in. (4.27cm)
Width: 16.8 in. (42.7cm)
Depth: 23 in. (58.4cm)
Weight: 28.6lbs (13kg) maximum
Power
AC power supply wattage: 230W
AC power supply voltage: 100-120V at 50-60Hz; 200-240V at 50-60Hz
Environmental
Operating Temperature: 50 to 95°F (10-35°C)
Storage Temperature: 32–104°F (0–40°C)
Approvals and
Compliance
Safety UL 60950
CAN/CSA -C22.2 No. 60950
EN60950
IEC 60950: EMC FCC Part 15 (CFR 47) Class A
ICES-003 Class A
EN 55022 Class A
CISPR22 Class A
AS/NZS 3548 Class A
VCCI Class A
EN 55024
EN 50082-1
ORDERING INFORMATION
Table 3 lists ordering information for the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance. To place an order, visit the Cisco Ordering Home Page or
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/ordering/index.shtml.
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The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance 2710 (AIR-LOC2710-L-K9) model is the successor to the 2700 (AIR-LOC2700-L-K9) model.
There is no functional difference between the 2700 and 2710 models. Both models support the same features and functionality.
Table 3.
Ordering Information
Part Number
Product Name
AIR-LOC2710-L-K9
Cisco 2700 Series Wireless Location Appliance (May 2006 Model Release)
AIR-LOC2700-L-K9
Cisco 2700 Series Wireless Location Appliance
SERVICE AND SUPPORT
Cisco offers a wide range of services programs to accelerate customer success. These innovative services programs are delivered through
a unique combination of people, processes, tools, and partners, resulting in high levels of customer satisfaction. Cisco services help you to
protect your network investment, optimize network operations, and prepare your network for new applications to extend network
intelligence and the power of your business. For more information about Cisco Services, refer to Cisco Technical Support Services or
Cisco Advanced Services.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information about the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance, visit http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6386/index.html or
contact your local Cisco account representative.
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Printed in USA
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C78-60042-05
09/06
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