Friday, 28 February 2014

Wireless controllers and scuppered plans

As part of the wireless everywhere rollout project, we have been investigating what access points to put in to last us the next few years. As most of our AP's have had EOS and EOL notices, we started looking at the 3600 and 3700 models. These have different ways of providing 802.11ac (3600 uses a module) and have 4x4 MIMO, along with newer versions of ClientLink than our 1142's, 1262's and 3502's have.

This meant upgrading our controller software to 7.5 or 7.6 (from 7.3), which was something we wanted to do anyway as we have been having problems with Prime Infrastructure and would like to take advantage of some good new features in the later versions.

With 7.6 being released very recently, and numerous bugs reported, we deemed this too risky and was about to upgrade to 7.5. We had quotes in for the access points and PoE+ switches, totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds...

Then this morning I saw this:

All versions apart from 7.6, 7.4 and 7.0MR5 pre-release have been pulled due to a bug.

So at this stage we have two options (as 7.3 will not be supported), we upgrade to 7.6 and hope all the problems associated with are worked out soon and an update released, or we go to 7.4 and have to cancel our order for AP's and find some that work on 7.4 but won't be end-of-life soon, while at the same providing a world-class network. We could still use the 3600's on 7.4 if we upgrade to Prime Infrastructure 2.0 but this does not support any of the features we wanted to use or any future features beyond 7.5.

I'll post what decision we come to and how we came about it. For now I suggest anyone using Cisco Controllers try to be on a safe code version.

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