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Campus site with multiple rf-domains under site controller


Hi, I we have a Campus site with multiple buildings. with 2 NX7500 SC in a cluster, all elements in the same subnet. Is it OK to separate the different buildings by RF-Doamin, while remain managed by the Site controllers? It will be easier to work with (Eg, separate smart-rf reports. nsight individual entities etc.)

5 replies

Userlevel 4
Daniel,

[First, if you have the topology setup in true Campus style, then all of the APs are using MiNT level-1 links for adoption and management. If you are instead using MiNT level-2 adoption, then the below does not apply]

This is supported. To avoid potential network loops though - if the same broadcast domain (VLAN) is used across the several buildings for all the APs - then you need to configure the APs within each new building-RFDomain to operate under its own unique MiNT area-id value.

If all your APs are currently using the same single AP Profile (for a hardware model type), this would mean that you will now have to create copies of the AP Profile and make them specific/apply to just the APs in each building (RFDomain). (example: AP Profile ap7632-Building-1, ap7632-Building-2, etc, each being the same except having a different/unique MiNT Area ID) This way, any APs using the Profile for that building (RFDomain) will also begin using that building's new custom MiNT area ID.

To set the custom MiNT area-id for each AP Profile, in the CLI, enter:
mint level 1 area-id
commit write

In the UI,
Configuration -> Profiles -> (AP Profile) -> Advanced -> MiNT Protocol -> (Check box for Level 1 Area ID and set value)
Commit and Save

Obviously, you'll then need to go back and complete the rest of the various settings for each new RFDomain, right?
Thank you for the fast replay!

I am using MiNT lvl 1 for all the APs at the campus with the same VLAN.

So if I'm getting it right, I should set area ID for each AP based on its building, (Eg. bldg 1 - area ID 1, etc.). Also, create a separate RF-Domain for each bldg and assign APs to its correct RF-Domain.

What RF-Domain should I assign to the Site controller? is there an area ID config that i should set on the site controller as well?

Is there a config that needs to be made on the RF-Domain config?

I do have a tunneled WLAN to the site controller, and an L2tpv tunnel with traffic source of this VLAN. Can the area ID setup affect it?

Thanks in advance
Userlevel 4
Close (or maybe you are saying this, but just in case)...you don't set a unique MiNT area-id for each AP, you setup a new unique MiNT area-id for each new building/RFDomain you want *by* creating a new AP Profile for each of those new building/RFDomains and then assigning the unique MiNT area-id as part of the new AP Profiles.

Regarding the controller itself - You should be okay with leaving the controller in whatever RFDomain it's currently in. Certainly, if you are going to leave some subset of APs functioning the original way (as they are now), you need to keep the controller populated within the same RFDomain as those APs.

*IF* you are planning on converting ALL of the APs so that they are all populated into new RFDomains, then standard practice for NOC style deployments (which this would then start to look like) would be to create a new RFDomain JUST FOR the controller cluster itself (no APs in it).

- No MiNT area-id configuration changes on the controller Profile are needed. The controller will still *see* all of the various MiNT packets...but in its default configuration, the controller will ignore the MiNT area-id value in those packets and will continue to interact with all of them. *IF* you DID specify a MiNT area ID on the controller though, it would then only interact with that SINGLE group of APs that are using that same area-id. Not good! Don't do that! 🙂

The area-ID's shouldn't affect the tunneled traffic, nor the L2TPv3 traffic.

If you are still considering doing this though, it needs to be well thought out and carefully planned. If you make a configuration mistake somewhere, you can/will cause wireless network disruption. I'd suggest opening a GTAC case and explaining what you want to accomplish...and if they're in agreement with this strategy, they can help walk you through the changes to make sure it's done correctly.
Userlevel 4
Daniel, quick update on this.

Learned late yesterday that in order to make use of the MiNT area-id option like we're discussing here, it would require changing the adoption mode for those RFDomains from level-1 to level-2 MiNT adoptions. And then it snowballs from there....because you cannot have a mixture of level-1 and level-2 MiNT adopted APs on a controller.

So if you wanted to do this, you would need to change *ALL* of your APs over to a NOC style topology (RFDomains having level-2 MiNT adoptions) - which would look like all APs would belong to some RFDomain (each RFDomain representing a building) and the controller cluster would be placed into its own separate RFDomain all by itself, and doesn't have any APs in it.

Essentially, you're talking about a major shift in the way that your system is designed. Is it possible? Absolutely! It just means that you would be changing your system from a Campus to a NOC style topology. In the end though, you would have complete segregation of the APs into their own RFDomains (buildings) and everything that comes with that.
I'll reiterate again though that you should contact GTAC to at least discuss this so that you know what all would be involved in making the transition. From there, you can decide if you still want to proceed.
Thank you Chris, i will open a GTAC case.

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