Can APs work on a controller being in different versions?

Hi Everyone,

I have 6 APs (AP7632) in a site of over 150 APs. I can not upgrade my controller (VX9000) above version because I have 650 APs on different sites. So I would like to individually update these APs (7632) for versions with build 5.9.2. Will I have the functionality of these APs?Will I have the functionality of these guaranteed APs?

3 replies

Userlevel 4

While technically it's possible to have APs and controllers running different versions, it's *HIGHLY* discouraged and even not supported for anything short of temporary situations. Even then, it's normally only advised to have differences in WiNG versions that are VERY small (example: controller, AP, etc.)
There is no official testing that takes place in QA that attempts to verify compatibility between different versions of WiNG. For small version differences, it's usually possible, but again, you don't want to have a large difference like 5.9.1 and 5.9.2. The odds of there being a compatibility problem get larger the bigger the difference. Again, would only be for temporary situations where you will be upgrading all devices to the same version very soon.

It sounds like in your case, you are looking for a long term solution where you run one group of APs (650's) on and the new 7632's on 5.9.2.x. If you made the changes necessary to allow this to happen, it would not be officially supported.

What you COULD do though is manually upgrade the 7632's to 5.9.2. After they adopt to the controller though, they won't be 'manageable' by the controller....meaning you cannot make any configuration changes to the APs using the controller. You'll simply see that they are online and the various stats from them. As far as I know, GTAC would not have an issue with this.
Userlevel 2

It's a shame that the AP650 no longer supports WiNG 5.9.2 (to run as Long Term in this case / "with version limitations"). The model with internal antenna has a spectacular RF performance at 5 Ghz .. The new model AP7632 is great, but Extreme left the gain of the antenna in 5 Ghz "regular" in this new model. In simulations and in real life, I could see only "regular" performance at this frequency (range / sensitivity). I simulated it on Ekahau.

The APs of the old Motorola and in the end with Zebra were known to have high-powered radios. Perhaps because of this, many customers have not "let go" of these legacy models. They work! They have been operating in our warehouse for 8 years, with plenty of heat and dust, 24 hours a day. Zero survey and maintenance. There's a whole story involved.

The way to do this is to maintain two instances of VX9000 + NSight. It will generate an extra big cost. Either do it, or change every AP park. It can be simple technically, but bureaucratically this measure, can encourage dissatisfied customers. 😞
Userlevel 4
I hear you.
There are a LOT of 650/6532's out there in the field that are going to last a LONG time.
As far as radio power though, they have the same IRP as the 7632 (can't recall the antenna gain differences right now though).
What's more important though is that the radio power and antenna gain only really matter if you also happen to have client devices that are also high powered.
You don't want to get into a asymmetric power situation. Ideally, you want to set the radio power (plus the antenna gain) to the power of the weakest wireless client. Just because an AP can talk loud enough for all clients to hear doesn't mean that a client can talk loud enough BACK to the AP.