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Wireless Controller Redundancy with No Client Reauthentication Needed

July 12, 2013 at 5:00 am PST

Last fall, I blogged about No SSID Outage or Access Point Stateful Switchover introduced with the AireOS 7.3 release whereby if your wireless LAN Controller fails due to some hardware failure, thousands of Access Points fail over sub-second to the standby controller! This is possible due to continuous synchronization of CAPWAP states, Configuration Changes, Radio Channel and Power, Roaming Keys and Access Point licenses between the two Controllers. This means even if the administrator changes the configuration, channel plans or the clients roam and the primary controller fails; the Access Points will simply fail over in a stateful fashion to the secondary. In this blog, I will share details on the upcoming enhancements to High Availabilty with the 7.5 release.

In the upcoming AireOS 7.5 release, we take High Availability to the next level with two critical enhancements.

1. Today, after Access Points fail over from the primary to the standby controller, each client tries to re-authenticate and the standby controller then checks against its CCKM database whether the client has already authenticated. At the rate of several tens of authentications per second, it can take anywhere from zero to a few hundred seconds for the tens of thousands of clients that are connected to a controller to re-authenticate. The client stateful essentially eliminates this downtime with sub-second failover. Thus the total downtime that any user running a voice-call or Citrix session experiences is 2-3 seconds that the application requires to reconnect.

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Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Update: Capacity, Diversity and Redundancy Limit Impact to Cisco’s Network

The recent earthquakes and tsunamis have brought wide-spread devastation to Japan, including to the domestic and international telecommunications infrastructure that companies doing business in Japan rely on. (See the article, “In Japan, Many Undersea Cables are Damaged”). This impact extends to Cisco where Japan is home to numerous field offices with Tokyo the site of Cisco’s North Asia network backbone hub. This hub provides an aggregation point for regional WAN and Internet connectivity in North Asia as well as direct connectivity to four other regional CAPNet hub locations in Asia and the US.

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