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Why do APs rely on the ZD to be up to function?

jamie_lidster_6
New Contributor II
Hi,

I'm wondering why APs break if they lose contact to the Zonedirector? I would have thought they'd be able to run independently, perhaps minus some features if a problem with the Zonedirector occurred?

Can anyone explain the tech reasons an AP relies on the ZD?

Thanks
Jamie
2 REPLIES 2

keith_redfield
Valued Contributor II
The Autonomous WLAN feature in 9.7 provides exactly that (ability to provide limited WLAN service in a controller outage) but as you expect - features are limited.

A controller-based WLAN network operates as a distributed processing network - AP's handling what they do best, and controllers coordinating among them.

The reason the AP's "fail closed" instead of "fail open" is due to both technology and policy. The controller has the full state information for the network (like DPSK's in use) - and the APs do not - they have to "ask" the controller what is allowed and what is not. So the options to provide security in such situations are limited. You wouldn't want your carefully protected enterprise network to suddenly switch to open access in such an event.

Note that you can also increase the time before the AP's will re-boot and try to re-connect to the controller. During that time they will preserve existing connections but not allow any new ones. But this also delays the recovery time for transient outages.

jamie_lidster_6
New Contributor II
Hi Keith,

Thanks very much for the information. I'll look into the autonomous WLAN feature and the reboot time.

Thanks
Jamie
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