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Wireless TAC Tools: Tips and Tricks - Support Talks FAQ


This event had place on Thursday 14th, Janaury at 9:30 hrs PDT

-This Support Talk event is a special session of the “TAC Tools Explained Series”- 


This event provides a practical introduction to Cisco’s TAC Wireless tools, their features, capabilities, and usage. Wireless logs and configuration files can be tedious and verbose to consume. Wireless Debug Analyzer, Wireless Config Analyzer Express (WCAE), and Wireless Config Converter are popular tools widely adopted by a range of customers and partners today for their configuration, migration, and troubleshooting needs.

Featured Speakes
shankar.jpgShankar Ramanathan is a Technical Leader in Services for Cisco Unified Wireless Network. He is a Cisco Live distinguished speaker, author/active contributor to Cisco Property and Wireless innovations tools such as Wireless Debug Analyzer, Wireless Config Converter, and CLI Analyzer among others. Shankar has over nine years of industry experience and has delivered several training sessions on Unified solution topics to a wide range of audiences (TS, AS, Partners), Quarterly TAC TL readouts to TS management, and Partner TAC time. Prior to joining Cisco he worked as a wireless network engineer at Elan Technologies, being responsible for RF wireless networking planning and optimization of Wi-Fi mesh and WiMax networks of various industry experience. Shankar holds a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering with a specialization in communication and signal processing from the University at Buffalo, NY and a CCIE certification in Enterprise Wireless (#40548).
javier-c.jpgJavier Contreras is a Principal Engineer for the Business Enterprise Unit, for Wireless and SD-WAN, focused on the EMEAR region for the last 15 years. He has over 20 years of experience in the IT and networking industry. Previously he worked in Security consultancy and training. He has been involved mostly in high priority support cases for Wireless infrastructures, CCIE Wireless development, Maintenance Releases, Wireless security testing and in the lead of Wireless Express Applications. Javier is Cisco Live distinguished Speaker and has contributed to the Cisco Press book Deploying and Troubleshooting Wireless Networks. He lives Barcelona and practices Taichi Chuan as a hobby.

For more information, visit the Cisco Support & Downloads page.

You can download the slides of the presentation in PDF format here and the video of the session here

Live Questions

Q: Where can we get the desktop version of the tool from?

A: Please have a look here:

Q: What file do we export from the WLC to upload it to the Wireless Config Analyzer?

A: You need "sh tech wireless" for 9800 and "sh run-config" for AIreOS.

Q: What are the retention policies of the uploaded data? Restrictions on sharing? Covered by a NDA?

A: There is no data retention. Tool is certified by Cisco Infosec team, and there is no longer storage or collection of any data provided. Data is lost as soon as file is processed.

Q: Can the tool incorporate client RSSI from Apple devices (802.11v data)?

A: Currently, there is no 11v data present on sh tech wireless/sh run. In general, we avoid client individual values in those files, for scalability and privacy reason. We will check if we can incorporate summary data for analysis, thanks for your suggestion.

Q: Will graphics be coming to the IOS-XE tool? 

A: Yes, there are some plans to add graphs and graphical representations on these files. They’re not on the cloud version but on the mini version. 

Q: Does DNAC do these same type of WLC config checks or does only the Analyzer do these kinds of checks?

A: DNAC does not have the same config checks. it is a very different toolset. WCAE is oriented towards troubleshooting/problem finding, DNAC is an overall management system.

Q: Is this similar to health scores in DNA? (Wireless Configuration Analyzer Express) 

A: No, it is different. Nevertheless, we have worked together with the DNA people and there is more collaboration that's going to happen in future regarding their health scores. We are participating as well on the design of some of the initial DNA scenarios.

Q: What is the link of the Wireless Config Analyzer tool? 

A: Please use the following

Q: You mentioned large infrastructure, how is the cloud option scaled to receive large configurations which include thousands of Access Points?

A: Yes, there is no problem. The tool has sufficient time, maximum 10 minutes, and we have tested the tool with files of 220 megabytes and the compress goes about 10 something megabytes. But you can go outside, the tool itself it doesn’t have a limit and will run as much family as possible and get them executed. Unless you have something extremely large it will take longer, so make sure you use files in ZIP it will make things easier. 

Q: Does this tool works with WLC 2504?

A: Yes it does. 

Q: When using the Problem Finder, what does the RF Index represent?

A: RF Index is an older version of the RF Health. it is a way to highlight APs that have metrics which are a lot worse than other APs around. There is no upper limit, and basically you would use to see if one or more APs have some very high value, when compared to their neighbors, as it would indicate something is wrong. In general, it is better to use the RF Health indicator, as it would highlight "why" something is wrong. RF index is kept for historical reasons.

Q: I use Cisco Prime Infrastructure 3.4 . It will be interesting to have this information integrated in Prime, any thoughts?

A: It is a different approach. We have shared the feedback to DNAC team, and there will be some interesting surprises in future.

Q: What steps are done in the cloud side to handle the large files, I don't want to wait 30 minutes for the analyzer to process the config, what is done on the cloud side for large file processing?

A: There is a 600 sec processing timeout in the back end script (AFAIK). This includes the upload/processing. So, the script should technically error out in 10 min post a processing error. 

Q: Can you share the link of the Wireless Analyzer Express?

A: Please use the following: 

Q: We just ran the config while watching video, on a 8510 runnin 8.5.160 and got the error msg recommend to monitor all channels for rough on 2.4 and 5. The WLCs are monitoring, is this a bug?

A: Maybe it’s related to the setting is on "country channels", so the check is reporting to move to all. Anyway, if you see it is not matching, please write me email with the zip of the file, and I will be happy to test and correct if there is a defect on the detection code.

Q: Will there be a Wireless Debug Analzyer with 9800 support?

A: Yes, it is planned.

Q: So the normal client debug on C9800 has alot of statemachine entries wich makes it hard to read. So the debug analyzer will make each state more clear for each connection or roam?

A: The idea for the initial phase is to split connection attempts into logical sequence (L1, L2, L3) . Interpreting state machine is part of the process. But we are planning to print simplified summary and not the verbose length of the logs.

Q: Is there config migration possible from AireOS to C9300 [SDA]

A: So, what the conflict converter helps convert is the wireless portion of the configuration, per se if you have an arrow part of or fabric, we use the converter tool. Those mappings will get directly translated but in terms of the mapping list, please check the unmapped or unsupported section in case anything gets listed there. The primary goal is the wireless confing conversion, that is where most of the 9800 was. Nevertheless, you will personally need to validate the fabric piece alone. 

Q: Is Cat9800 the same as Converged Access (or perhaps the next iteration of CA)?

A: Coverged access are older versions (3.x) running over 3700 or similar switches. It is not the same.
They are not supported on the tools. The tool supports eCA (4000 switches, running wireless over 16.x/17.x IOS-XE).

Q: Why did you remove the 3504 wireless controller from selling?

A: You can find more details here

Q: Is there a way for us to see how one AP is viewing the others? So, looking at CCI and ACI for example?

A: So, the way we see each other is through the NDP, then the network discovery protocol sends frames in a regular basis which are detected by the other AP.
In the normal way, a piece is doing a channel scan every X number of milliseconds which depends on which band and how many channels you set to scan and the period you configure for the RMS scan timer. They’re going to move into an X channel that’s going to send the NDP frame there, which is going to be received by the APs that are resigning on that channel because we know of which channel the NDP was sent. And we know what the pass loss is, it gave us an understanding of how far is that AP from us and which channel is operating, and if it is an unknown AP in my RF domain or well my mobility network. So, that so the way they see each other. 

Q:As we are more and more moving to XE based platforms, I wonder if we will have an XE based version of the wireless debug analyzer too in the future - referring to :  

A: Find the answer at the Ask Me Anything forum session of this event, here.

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