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Configuration Example for Cisco AP526G Mobility Controller - Cisco 521AP and 526 Wireless Express Mobility Controller Support - Cisco Smart Business Communication Systems


Device Configuration and Administration

The Cisco 526 Wireless Express Mobility Controller is a network appliance designed to optimize the wireless network of small and medium-sized businesses. The mobility controller can be used with up to six controller-based access points per controller and up to two controllers per network. The WLC526 is a component of the Cisco Smart Business Communications System.

A core element of the Cisco Mobility Express Solution, the WLC526 works in concert with Cisco 521 Wireless Express Access Points (hereafter referred to as the AP521) and the Cisco Configuration Assistant (CCA) to provide you with the visibility and centralized control you need to optimize network performance. The CCA is GUI-based software that allows you to configure and manage all the components of the Cisco Smart Business Communications System.

The WLC526 provides:

•A cost-effective solution for small and medium-sized business environments

•Standards-based enterprise-class security

•Simplified network deployment and management with automated radio resource features

•Centralized management with the CCA

•Advanced mobility services readiness to support secure Internet guest access and optimized voice over Wi-Fi

The Cisco Smart Business Communications System is shown in the diagram below:


Configuring the Cisco Mobility Express Solution

New out of the box 526 Controller has to be initially configured as described below:

1. Directly connect Ethernet cable from a PC-1 to the Controller management port

2. PC-1 with dynamic IP configured; PC will receive IP address from DHCP server on the Controller.

3. Launch IE Web browser to controller

4. The startup wizard Web UI will be displayed (URL redirect)

5. Enter the following information from the Startup Wizard GUI

6. System (controller) name, up to 32 printable ASCII characters.

7. Administrative username and password, each up to 24 printable ASCII characters (default administrative user login and password are admin and admin, respectively)

8. Management interface IP address, netmask, default router IP address, and optional VLAN identifier (a valid VLAN identifier, or `0' for untagged).

9. AP manager interface IP address, netmask, default router IP address, optional VLAN identifier (a valid VLAN identifier, or `0' for untagged) (Note The AP manager interface IP address MUST be different than the management interface IP address)

10. The Country Code for this installation

Installing and configuring the Cisco 526 Controller using Device Setup Wizard in CCA 1.5

1. Device Setup Wizard in the CCA 1.5 will guide through device installation and setup for the first time or after reset

2. From the PC running CCA double click on the CCA icon on the desktop. The screen will come with the message to connect to community or create community. If community was already created then choose that community from the drop down menu. In our demo the community name is SBCS demo.


3. On the following screen enter the community name and do the discovery of the device by the IP address, that should be the IP address of the Controller Management Interface configured earlier.

4. Once controller is discover you will need to enter username and password as was configured during the controller priming in earlier steps


5. After controller is discovered it will be listed in the list of the CCA managed devices as shown


6. The 526 controller will also appear on the Topology map of the CCA managed devices as connected to the switch


7. Controller mode 521 APs if connected to the CE500 series switch will also appear on the topology map. In the topology view verify that all the components are present and all the devices show MAC address and IP addresses. You can change the setting of what is shown on the screen in the Topology Preference Setting.

8. Open the Monitor > Reports > Wireless Radios menu and see all the APs connected to the controller and their Channel and Transmit power assignments.

9. If the switch is not from the SMB series of switches controller mode AP will not be shown on the map but can be viewed in the Inventory report.

10. VLANs can be configured from the Configure > VLANs > interface on the left side of the CCA menu options. It is suggested VLANs to be configured prior to configuring WLANs, since SSID has to be bound to a VLAN

Note: Three kinds of VLAN can be created Data, Voice and Guest . Voice and Guest VLANs are predefined by the system


11. Once the controller is discovered from the left side menu choose “Wireless > WLANs >” to configure wireless settings such SSID, Encryption, Cipher, Broadcast Beacon, etc. Additionally VLANs can be configured from the same screen

Note: One SSID per VLAN is allowed. If the VLAN is new it will be syncronized across all the SBCS devices. Management interface, AP management interface and controller port selections and modifications can be also done from the Interface Menu selection



12. As shown on the screen shot below WLANs can be created with various 802.1x Authentication and Encryption types

13. On the left side pull down menu choose Monitor >Reports > Wireless Clients and you will see all the Wireless clients associated and authenticated to the APs.

Creating WLAN Users

1. Next step is creating WLAN User. Under Wireless > WLAN Users >  you can create a new Wireless Network Users – a Regular User with no time restrictions  or a Guest user with time restrictions


2. Under WLAN Users create a guest user; When creating a guest user add a guest SSID and create synchronized VLAN at the same time. For ease of use steps above are done from one screen and the user gets prompted for each step during the process. All the newly created VLANs get synchronized across SBCS system for configuration simplicity

Note: After Wireless point is configured an operational configure and you Wireless device

a. Please check the following settings on the Wireless Client systems:

b. Make sure your client is operating with 802.11b/g radio (802.11a radio is not supported)

c. Make sure you have appropriate user credentials configured (name, password)

d. If using EAP type of authentication the RADIUS server has to be configured ( it is suggested to initially start the test with simple configuration, i.e. open, WEP)

e. WLAN or SSID setting

f. Authentication and encryption settings

g. Make sure your Wireless Supplicants are configured properly

Monitoring and Reporting

From the Reports menu in the CCA you can get the following

1. Inventory reports on all connected Access Points

2. Report on all the connected Wireless clients

3. Report on wireless Radios being used their MAC address and on what Channel they operate


4. Wireless Controller Dashboard - Monitor > Wireless Controller Dashboard > tab - this is also a new option in the CCA 1.5. Under this option you can show System Status, AP summary, Controller and AP Statistics


5. To View System Massages - Monitor > System Messages tab - if there are any rogues AP in the surrounding environment and not configured on you network the system will display them as Rogue APs. You may also setup a Message Filter or Save/Print the system messages report.

6. From the Maintenance menu in the CCA you can get the following:

a. Software Upgrades, CCA has its own TFTP server or you can use external TFTP32 server

b. You can Archive configurations

c. Reset/Restart system

Configuring Cisco Mobility Express through device specific UI

1. If certain parameters or options are not available in the CCA configurator you can access the GUI interface of the controller by browsing to the IP address of the controller management interface

2. From controller GUI interface you can configure or modify the same settings as you did with CCA or access to additional configuration parameters as on the Enterprise controller

Note: Some options available on the Enterprise controllers are not available on the SMB controller




Why 2 controllers per network? If I have a 5 site location customer, does this mean I can only install a controller at 2 of the 5 locations? Please clarify- You can respond to me at

Michael Adler
Cisco Employee

The correct statement should be up to 2 WLC526 controllers per location; so if you have a network with 5 or more locations you can deploy 2 controllers in each location. The limitation is 2 controllers per mobility group with up to 24 APs in one mobility domain. Regards, Mike Adler