Cisco Blogs

Cisco Unified Wireless Software Release 7.3 Brings Unprecedented Scale & Reliability to WLAN

October 24, 2012 - 1 Comment

Cisco Wireless Release 7.3 delivers an expanded mobility portfolio with innovations for unprecedented scale, mission critical reliability and flexibility to help customers address and benefit from the bring-your-own-devices (BYOD) trend.

A key component of our Unified Access solution’s One Network, the new software release 7.3 delivers scale, virtualization, high resiliency, and Service Provider Wi-Fi features.  We designed the release to focus on four key areas:

  1. Scale: Industry leading scale to cost effectively manage 64000 clients and 6000 access points in a single Rack unit (1RU) with the new Cisco 8500 series wireless controller. The Flex7500 expands support for managing larger sized branches  (up to 100 AP) over the WAN.
  2. Virtualization: A virtual form-factor controller for medium-sized deployments with the Virtual Wireless Controller provides flexibility of deploying a virtual instance of the wireless controller on a Cisco UCS server or any ESXi server.
  3. Resiliency: Insuring faster network convergence is essential in mission critical networks. Access point Stateful switch over (SSO) enables network convergence in sub seconds insuring no SSID outage during controller fail-over events. Dedicated standby controllers enable cost effectively deploying 1:1 High Availability with Access point SSO.
  4. Service provider Wi-Fi innovation: WFA Passpoint (HotSpot 2.0) ensures secure public connectivity and Proxy Mobile IPv6 (PMIPv6) enables seamless IP mobility between cellular and Wi-Fi.

These 7.3 release features offer tremendous benefits across different verticals.


In healthcare settings, patient information needs to be immediate and highly available while viewing medical history at patient bedside on PDA/Tablets or while prescribing medication and recording patient information. The sub-second AP SSO feature delivers a highly available wireless infrastructure ensuring fast network convergence (no SSID outage) for wireless network events.  With 802.11n Voice call admission control, voice calls on wireless can be secure and reliable. With bi-directional rate limiting, mission critical video and traffic from medical devices can be prioritized.


Retailers are increasingly deploying larger wireless coverage and wider range of Wi-Fi enabled devices in their stores. FlexConnect innovation in 7.3 release introduces support for 100 APs per store with the ability to manage thousands of stores (2000 Flex groups) from single controller in datacenter. FlexConnect Split tunneling optimizes WAN link utilization by intelligently routing traffic locally destined to the branch without consuming precious WAN bandwidth. Customer support can be delivered reliably with Video (SIP) snooping feature for Apple Facetime. With the Mobility Services Engine (MSE), retailers can now obtain critical data such as customer (device) count and (device) dwell time information to effectively drive sales.


In a small school or mid-sized business, the virtual controller can enable a wireless controller on spare compute platform. With virtual Identity Services Engine (ISE) for policy and Virtual Cisco Prime to provide comprehensive management, you can enable a complete virtual BYOD solution.


In Service Provider environments, Mobile Spectrum is precious and growth in mobile data is expected to exceed the spectrum available. SP Wi-Fi offload offers the ability to change the economics with indoor offload at Hotspots. With Wi-Fi increasingly supported on new smart devices, WFA Passpoint (HS2.0) allows secure public access facilitating hotspot operation for mobile data offloads. With increasing mobile Wi-Fi usage comes the requirement for seamless intra-network and internetwork mobility. Proxy Mobile IPv6 (PMIPv6) on the wireless controller enabled seamless IP mobility with 3G packet core networks. With PMIPv6 implemented in the network, the host can change its point-of-attachment to the Internet without changing its IP address. The network is responsible for tracking the movements of the host and initiating the required mobility signaling on its behalf.

These 7.3 release features along with the new Unified Access Gen2 11n AP2600 with three spatial streams offer customers an uncompromised user experience and the confidence to deploy ubiquitous wireless at scale with high resiliency.

So what are you waiting for? Upgrade to Release 7.3 today!

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. Way to go Cisco; would be nice to see something in the future for the lower end markets; a all-in-one solution may be