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Controller-based Wireless LAN Fundamentals: An end-to-end reference guide to design, deploy, manage, and secure 802.11 wireless networks

by: Jeff Smith, Jake Woodhams, Robert Marg

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Retail Price: $64.95

Publisher: CISCO PRESS,25.11.10

Category: Cisco Level:

ISBN: 1587058251
ISBN13: 9781587058257

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Features and Benefits


The first end-to-end reference guide for every network professional who wants to design, deploy, or manage next-generation wireless networks

# Covers the principles and components of next-generation wireless networks built with Cisco wireless controllers and Cisco 802.11n AP
# Contains valuable tips, insights, and best practices for designing and implementing next generation networks, direct from Cisco experts with extensive first-hand experience
# Presents configuration examples for common deployment scenarios

Table of Contents



Chapter 1 The Need for Controller-Based Wireless Networks

Why Wireless LAN Controllers Were Created

Why You Need to Use a Wireless LAN Controller

Controller-Based WLAN Functional and Elemental Architecture

Autonomous AP Issues and the WLC Remedy

  Problem: WLAN APs Are Difficult to Deploy

  Problem: WLANs Are Not Secure

  Problem: Infrastructure Device Configuration and Scaling

          Problem: Autonomous AP Costs for Configuring Each AP

          Problem: Autonomous AP Costs for Keeping Each AP's Software Up to Date

          Problem: RF Expertise and Configuration Challenges

Mobility Applications Enabled by Controller-Based WLANs

WLANs Do Not Provide the Performance and Robustness Needed for Use as a Primary Access Network


Chapter 2 Wireless LAN Protocols

Understanding the Relevant Standards

  Wi-Fi Alliance

  Cisco Compatible Extensions


The Physical Layer

  Physical Layer Concepts



  CAPWAP Protocol Fundamentals

          CAPWAP Terminology

          CAPWAP Control Messages

          CAPWAP Data Messages

          CAPWAP State Machine

          CUWN Implementation of the CAPWAP Discovery

          CAPWAP Transport


          Split MAC Mode

          Local MAC Mode

  Summary of CAPWAP

Packet Flow in the Cisco Unified Wireless Network

  CAPWAP Control

  CAPWAP Data Path: Centrally Bridged Traffic

  CAPWAP Data Path: Locally Bridged Traffic

Summary of Packet Flow



Chapter 3 802.11n

IEEE 802.11n Standard

  802.11n MAC

  Other 802.11 Standards Used with 802.11n

  Frequency Bands Supported by 802.11n

Antenna Arrays

  Transmit Beam Forming (TxBF)

  Beam Steering

  Spatial Multiplexing

  Transmit Diversity

Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO)


  MIMO Nomenclature

  Receiver Diversity

          Branch Selection Diversity

          Branch-Combining Diversity

          Diversity Antenna Array, Type, Orientation, and Spacing

  Transmit Beam-Forming Types

          Legacy Beam Forming

          Implicit Beam Forming

          Explicit Beam Forming

  MIMO Antenna Array Coverage and Placement


  Binary Convolutional Coding (BCC)

  Low-Density Parity Checking (LDPC)

HT PHY and Operation

  HT Mixed

  HT-Greenfield Format

Channel Bonding/40-MHz-Wide Channels


Power Management

Packet Aggregation

  Bursting/Block ACK (BACK)

  Short Guard Interval (GI)

  Reduced Inter-Frame Spacing (RIFS)

Reverse Direction Protocol (RDP)

Modulation and Coding Schemes (MCS)

Configuration Requirements to Obtain HT Rates

Predicting 802.11 Link Performance


Chapter 4 Cisco Unified Wireless LAN Security Fundamentals

Understanding WLAN Security Challenges

  Vulnerabilities Inherent to the Radio Transmission Medium

          Physical Containment Problem

          Unlicensed Radio Spectrum Problem

  Vulnerabilities Inherent to the Standards Definitions

          Authentication and Encryption Weaknesses

          Unauthenticated Management Frames

  Vulnerabilities Inherent to Mobility

  Misconfigured Wireless Devices and Clients

  Rogue Access Points and Devices

  Readily Available Profiling and Attack Tools

Addressing the WLAN Security Challenges

  Background on Strong Authentication and Privacy

          How WEP Encryption Works

          How WEP Is Broken

          802.11 Authentication

  Addressing the Strong Authentication and Privacy Challenges

          Authentication Framework

          Authentication Algorithm

          Data Privacy and Integrity

          Alternative Approaches to Authentication and Data Privacy

  Rogue Access Point Detection and Wireless Intrusion Prevention

  Secure Management and Security Policies



Chapter 5 Design Considerations

100 Percent Wireless Access Layer

  Client Device Power

  RF Vulnerability

  Volume of Network Traffic

Increased and Difficult WLAN Coverage Requirements


          External Bleed-Through

          Elevator Shaft Coverage

          Access Point Installed in Elevator Car

Continuous Availability and Outage Planning

  Power Loss

          Equipment Failures: APs, WLCs, and Backhaul Network

  RF Interference

          Denial of Service Attacks

          Business Operation Continuity in the WLAN Era

Power Conservation


WLAN Capacity


Chapter 6 Cisco Unified Wireless LAN Architectures

Cisco Unified Wireless LAN Architecture Review

Architectural Flexibility, Scalability, and Resiliency

  Architectural Flexibility

  Architectural Resiliency

          N:1 WLC Redundancy

          N:N WLC Redundancy

          N:N:1 WLC Redundancy

  Architectural Scalability


          Mobility Domains

Campus Architectures

  Enterprise Wiring Closet Deployment

  Enterprise Distribution Layer Deployment

  Data Center or Services Block Deployments

  Campus HREAP

Branch Architectures

  Distributed Branch Controller Placement

  Centralized Controller Placement with HREAP

  Office Extend AP (OEAP)


Chapter 7 Troubleshooting

Tools for Troubleshooting 802.11 Wireless Networks

  Wireless LAN Controller Command-Line Interface

  Wireless Control System (WCS)

  Wireless Protocol Analyzer

  Spectrum Analyzers

Isolating Issues on the Cisco Unified Wireless Network

  Protocol/Network Issues

          LWAPP/CAPWAP Discovery Process

          Troubleshooting the LWAPP CAPWAP Discovery Process

          Network Considerations

  Client Troubleshooting

          Troubleshooting Client Issues Using the WLC CLI

          Troubleshooting Client Issues Using WCS

          Common Client Problems and Solutions

The Wireless Medium: Troubleshooting Performance-Related Issues

  Coverage and Interference Issues

          Detecting, Isolating, and Solving Coverage Issues

          Detecting, Isolating, and Solving Interference Issues

Troubleshooting Advanced Wireless LAN Services

  Voice over WLAN

          Voice over WLAN Challenges

          Troubleshooting VoWLAN

  Location Troubleshooting

          Troubleshooting Location Accuracy


Chapter 8 Introduction to WCS

Designing Wireless Networks with WCS

  WCS Requirements

  WCS Interface

  WCS Monitoring


          Controllers and AP Monitor

          Client Monitoring

  WCS Reporting

  WCS Configuration

          Controller Configuration Templates

          WCS Configuration and Template Auditing

          AP Configuration Templates

  WCS Services

  WCS Administration

          Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

          WCS Virtual Domains

          WCS License Center

Additional Benefits of WCS: Planning and Calibration Tools

  WCS Planning

  WCS Calibration


Chapter 9 Next-Generation Advanced Topics: Multicast


  Multicast Definition

  Multicast Addressing

  Multicast Forwarding

          Multicast Distribution Trees

          Protocol Independent Multicasting (PIM)


Multicast Configuration in the CUWN

  Access Point-to-Client Delivery

  Client-to-Access Point Delivery

  Enabling Multicast on a Cisco WLAN Controller


  Multicast Mobility Messaging

  Enabling Multicast on a Cisco Router or Layer 3 Switch


  Principles of VideoStream

          Multicast Reliability


  Configuring VideoStream on the WLC

Additional Design Recommendations

  Wireless Multicast Roaming

  Wireless CAPWAP Fragmentation

  All WLCs Have the Same CAPWAP Multicast Group Address

  WLC Placement





About the Authors


Jeff Smith is a wireless consulting systems engineer in the Cisco Systems Borderless Networking Organization. His 25 years of experience include the planning, analysis, design, implementation, installation, and support of numerous wireless network-based solutions for enterprises, municipalities, hospitals, universities, airports, warehouses, mines, and product manufacturers worldwide. He has developed and instructed dozens of training courses on wireless networking topics. Prior to joining Cisco Systems, Jeff was an early employee at several wireless and security startup companies. Jeff's education includes a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's degree in telecommunications with emphasis on wireless communications. Jeff's certifications include CWNE (Certified Wireless Network Expert), IEEE WCET (Wireless Communications Engineering Technology Certification), and CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional).

Jake Woodhams is a senior manager of technical marketing in the Cisco Wireless Networking Business Unit. In this role, he is responsible for technical product definition and systems architecture, focusing on Cisco Unified Wireless LAN architecture. He hass been working with wireless technology at Cisco for seven years and has an intimate knowledge of the protocols and products in the Cisco wireless portfolio. As a writer, he's the author of numerous white papers and design and deployment guides as well as several contributed articles.

Robert Marg is a wireless consulting systems engineer in the Cisco Systems Borderless Networks Organization. As a technical leader in wireless, Robert is responsible for planning, designing, and supporting numerous wireless network-based solutions for enterprises, hospitals, universities, manufacturers, and K-12 customers. Prior to his role as a wireless consulting systems engineer, Robert spent time as a member of the federal, public sector, enterprise, and commercial sales organizations as a systems engineer, helping customers solve business challenges with technical solutions. Mr. Marg holds a bachelor's degree in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a writer, Robert has been the author of numerous white papers and a technical editor for the Cisco Press CCNA Exam Certification Guide.