cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
cancel
20264
Views
65
Helpful
27
Replies
Highlighted

PKC or OKC ???

What exactly is the difference between PKC and OKC?
Seems to be a lot of confusion out there. What are the cold hard facts?

The WLC FAQ says
   "PKC is a feature enabled in Cisco 2006/410x/440x ..."

The Debug Guide says
   "The WLC only supports OKC..."

Wireless LAN Controller (WLC) Design and Features FAQ

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6366/products_qanda_item09186a00808b4c61.shtml

Q. What is PKC and how does it work with the Wireless LAN Controller (WLC)?

A. PKC stands for Proactive Key Caching. It was designed as an extension to the 802.11i IEEE standard. PKC is a feature enabled in Cisco 2006/410x/440x Series Controllers which permits properly equipped wireless clients to roam without full re-authentication with an AAA server.


WLC Debug and Show Commands

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/partner/products/ps6366/products_tech_note09186a0080b3e118.shtml#pmkid

PMKID Caching Fails
Check if the client supports opportunistic key cache (OKC).
Note: OKC is not the same as proactive key cache (PKC) as specified in 802.11I. The WLC only supports OKC.

27 REPLIES 27
Highlighted

Re: PKC or OKC ???

ping?

Highlighted
Enthusiast

Re: PKC or OKC ???

Highlighted
Enthusiast

Re: PKC or OKC ???

Another nuance to this is that the client must support OKC,  in the form of a Reassociation Request with PMKID information.   For example, the iPhone/iPad does not support Opportunistic Key Caching,  which has implications for fast roaming on the Cisco infrastructure. This Aruba document that advertizes a special feature which allows them to work on their infrastructure.   http://www.arubanetworks.com/pdf/technology/whitepapers/wp_iPad-in-Enterprise.pdf   (p. 7) 8. Validate PMKID Should be Enabled for All Apple Clients  Opportunistic key caching (OKC), also called proactive key caching, can be used to restore latency and overhead in the authentication process when roaming between APs. iPad, however, does not support OKC. Instead, Pairwise Master Key ID (PMKID) is used to facilitate fast, secure roaming. With validate PKMID enabled, the AP will check if the client supports OKC. If the client doesn’t support OKC (which iPad does not), the AP will start the authentication process in the absence of the PMKID.

Re: PKC or OKC ???

Thankyou for the link, good stuff.

After re-reading the original poster's question it adds more confusion for me

Anyone want to try to explain the difference between PMK Caching and Opportunistic PMK Caching (aka Proactive Key Caching)?

The question implies that Opportunistic PMK Caching and Proactive Key Caching are the same thing.

Before I go any further I think I need to get the terminology straight; never an easy task in the wireless world

Is Opportunistic PMK Caching the same as OKC?  And is this the same as PKC or not?

Thanks for your help!

Message was edited by: GRAEME DANIELSON - spelling

Highlighted
Enthusiast

Re: PKC or OKC ???

Proactive and Opportunistic Key Caching are one and the same.  There's also pre-authentication, which is another sleight-of-handoff.  802.11r is the emerging roaming standard that will hopefully make all these nuances moot someday.  The question is when will Apple step up and roam effectively using enterprise authentication?

BTW, that Aruba PMKID-validate feature does *not* keep non-OKC clients from having to undergo a full back-end authentication.  They still have to do the full EAP/802.1X authentication.  It just eliminates any confusion in the 802.1X state machine on the client and controller.

Highlighted

Re: PKC or OKC ???

I would like to add to this and perhaps add some insight to your question. I know this thread is a bit old...

OKC / PKC  are the same thing.

OKC / PKC-- When a supplicant does its first 802.1X authentication a PMK is created. This PMK is cached on the WLC for all the APs to use on that WLC to negate the need of the supplicant having to do a 802.X auth each time a supplicant roams from AP to AP.

Example.

A supplicant and 5 aps. The client roams to the first AP and does a full 802.1X auth. This PMK is then saved on the WLC and is reused for the others APs. The client roams to another AP, the same PMK is used, but a different PTK is generated.

So you can see the client ever hits the radius server 1 time.

With autonomous APs there is PMK caching ... Not supported on the WLCs as I understand but will mention anyway.

Works differently. The supplicant would 802.1X auth to each AP, but it will create a PMKSA (PMKID) for each ap. So should that supplicant roam back to that AP (reassociate) then it would negate the supplicant from having to do a full 802.1X to that specific AP.

Example.

A supplicant roams to 5 access points. For the first time when the client roams to each of the 5 APs the client will do a full 802.1X auth. So thats a total of 5 802.1X auths. Should that client roam back to the otehr APS. There is no full 802.1X auth. Because it is cached in the PMKID.

So you can see the client has to hit the radius server 5 times (atleast once) for each ap.

OKC/PKC needs to be supported by the client as well. 80211.r is a close reletiave to OKC. I understand Apple will support 802.11r in ios5. The WLC will support 802.11r fully in 7.2 code.

I hope this helps ...

"Satisfaction does not come from knowing the solution, it comes from knowing why." - Rosalind Franklin
___________________________________________________________
Highlighted

Re: PKC or OKC ???

I want to add, I am not sure if cisco supports PMK cache on autonmous access points. I heard yes and no so dont know for 100%.

We do know, Cisco supports CCKM. If you have an autonmous network and you use a WDS you can take advanctage of CCKM.

Thank you for the rating ... Im glad this helped!

"Satisfaction does not come from knowing the solution, it comes from knowing why." - Rosalind Franklin
___________________________________________________________
Highlighted
Cisco Employee

Re: PKC or OKC ???

I rated :-)

To add the precision. The autonomous access points support the PMK caching but not the opportunistic one.

Blackberries for example just simply remember the keys they were using with previously associated APs and will reuse those if roaming back to the APs. So it only provide smooth roaming to APs where you previously associated to.

WLc doesn't support that version.

Highlighted

Re: PKC or OKC ???

What version of autonomous code support PMK cache  and does it require to be part of a WDS?

"Satisfaction does not come from knowing the solution, it comes from knowing why." - Rosalind Franklin
___________________________________________________________
Highlighted
Beginner

Re: PKC or OKC ???

Hello,

Is the OKC an hardware feature ?

In fact we have Dell Laptops compliant CCX V4, but we have serious issues with fast-roaming.

We opened a case an Cisco said us:

"

W"hen the client roam between two AP he need to provide his PMKID to the new AP in order to have fast roaming without disconnect the client and repeat the dot1x process again .

We called the client that provide his PMKID to the new AP  ( support for OPPORTUNISTIC KEY CACHING ) , but your client type is ( sticky key caching ) which mean that he “ stick “ the PMKID for himself and he will not provide it to another AP .so he will disconnect until he complete the dot1x process again and generate a new PMKID .

It’s your client nature it’s not related to the configuration on the client side , the WLC support only client which support OPPORTUNISTIC KEY CACHING  and that is why you have some types of client that disconnect while are connecting to the wireless network .""


So is there a way to set up fast-roaming on this client ?

Thanks a lot,

regards,

Highlighted
Cisco Employee

Re: PKC or OKC ???

I can't comment on your particular adapter but what is said is true.

The fact is that the WPA2 standard is vague about fast roaming.

The original implementation was caching keys of APs you associated with in the past. The new implementation that cisco is promoting with the WLC is a dynamic computation of what the key will be with the new AP (OKC) which has the great advantage to work for 100% of aps, not only the one you associated with in the past.

Surprisingly, clients like blackberries or Iphones (I don't know for IOS 5 though) don't support that either so no fast roaming there.

CCKM is a very strict way of roaming, very standardized, so if a clietn supports CCKM, that will always happen fine.

802.11r is coming to give a final and good way of fast roaming standardized for all clients. but for now, there are 2 implementations (incompatible between each other) of WPA2 fast roaming and if your clients don't do the right one ... bad luck.

Highlighted

Re: PKC or OKC ???

Yup, you best way is to capture the association reassocation frames and collect radius logs and you can see what the client actually does.

Or if you use the new cisco anyconnect 3.x client with Win Xp it will support OKC. If you win 7, it does not and will do a full auth each roam.

"Satisfaction does not come from knowing the solution, it comes from knowing why." - Rosalind Franklin
___________________________________________________________
Highlighted
Beginner

Re: PKC or OKC ???

Hello,

Thanks for your replies, do you think that if we set up Open Authentification (WPA2-PSK), we could get better fast roaming (as for the moment, in EAP-FAST, we experience full auth each time the clients roam).

Thanks to you,

Regards,

Highlighted
Cisco Employee

Re: PKC or OKC ???

Full exchange of the keys will still occur but it's much much faster than eap authentication and you'll probably won't notice the roaming time so that can be a workaround for you indeed.

CreatePlease to create content
Content for Community-Ad

August's Community Spotlight Awards