Clarification "semi-autonomous."

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I am seeking clarification on what is meant by "semi-autonomous" with regards to the specifications for the IdentiFi access points (particularly the AP3825i, but a more general answer would be appreciated for future reference).

The website only offers "equally adept for both distributed and centralized deployment models." which leaves much room for interpretation.

Are there particular models that can be set up in a controller-less environment?  Does it depend on the firmware installed (Cisco-style)?  What features are blocked or limited when in autonomous mode?  When controller-less is console/telnet/web configuration possible or is an external app needed to access all the features?

I have successfully used Cisco 1600 & 2600 APs in the past for this usage scenario and am looking for a comparable Extreme solution, supporting ac, for single/small numbers of APs.

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Mike Walker

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Posted 4 years ago

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Aguilar, William, Employee

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Semi-autonomous is how we describe the relationship between the access points and the wireless virtual/hardware appliances. The IdentiFi Wireless 3700/3800 Series "phone home" to the wireless appliance at boot up to download firmware and/or its configuration parameters. Depending on the configuration, once the AP is running most of the non-management services (authentication, access control, QoS, rate limiting, client load balancing, band preferencing, Dynamic Radio Management, Radar, meshing, etc.) run and are enforceable at the AP without a dependency on the wireless appliances. There only two dependencies that the AP has on the appliance: NAC/BYOD and the initial Guest Portal redirection. Guest service redirection is done at the wireless appliances, but after the initial redirection the data path can go directly from the AP to the switch (not centralized). NAC integration requires centralized communication because NAC is more than an authentication service; it needs to map the user -> IP -> MAC which normally requires SNMP access which is not available on the APs. Once the user is placed in the proper profile by NAC, the data path can be centralized or distributed. In summary, you always have to configure the AP with a wireless appliance but depending on your deployment the APs can run autonomously after the initial boot up.

Good luck,

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Mike Walker

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Thanks Will, that helps.  The 3610AP is also listed as semi-autonomous in its specs but you don't mention it in your post.  Which side of the 'does it need a controller' fence does it fall on?

Along those same lines: Cisco is offering the 2700 as an 802.11ac autonomous option (pending a firmware update).  Can Extreme currently offer anything competitive?
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Thiago Almeida

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The 3705 can be configured as standalone device, just to broadcast signal on both bands (2.4 and 5) for site survey purposes?

Thanks and regards,

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Does any of the new models can work as standalone/thick APs?

Thank you.
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James A, Embassador

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There is an unsupported method to convert even the new models into thick APs, but having done it as a test I don't see what you'd gain over just using a Site with the controller.
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Ronald Dvorak, Embassador

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Sorry but the answer is no, there is no standalone AP available.