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Does CAPWAP Support Layer 2 Mode?

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Introduction

Lightweight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP) communications between the controller and lightweight access points can be conducted at ISO Data Link Layer 2 or Network Layer 3.

In controller software release 5.2 or later, Cisco lightweight access points use the IETF standard Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points protocol (CAPWAP) in order to communicate between the controller and other lightweight access points on the network.

CAPWAP communications between the controller and lightweight access points are conducted only at Network Layer 3. Layer 2 mode is not supported in CAPWAP.

Layer 2 and Layer 3 Operation

Lightweight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP) communications between the controller and lightweight access points can be conducted at Layer 2 or Layer 3. Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points protocol (CAPWAP) communications between the controller and lightweight access points are conducted at Layer 3. Layer 2 mode does not support CAPWAP.
 
Note
Controller software release 5.2 or later releases support only Layer 3 CAPWAP mode, controller software releases 5.0 and 5.1 support only Layer 3 LWAPP mode, and controller software releases prior to 5.0 support Layer 2 or Layer 3 LWAPP mode.
 
Note
The IPv4 network layer protocol is supported for transport through a CAPWAP or LWAPP controller system. IPv6 (for clients only) and Appletalk are also supported but only on Cisco 5500 Series Controllers, Cisco 4400 Series Controllers, and the Cisco WiSM. Other Layer 3 protocols (such as IPX, DECnet Phase IV, OSI CLNP, and so on) and Layer 2 (bridged) protocols (such as LAT and NetBeui) are not supported.
 

More Information

Lightweight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP) communications between the controller and lightweight access points can be conducted at Layer 2 or Layer 3. Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points protocol (CAPWAP) communications between the controller and lightweight access points are conducted at Layer 3. Layer 2 mode does not support CAPWAP.
 
Note
The IPv4 network layer protocol is supported for transport through a CAPWAP or LWAPP controller system. IPv6 (for clients only) and AppleTalk are also supported but only on Cisco 5500 Series Controllers and the Cisco WiSM2. Other Layer 3 protocols (such as IPX, DECnet Phase IV, OSI CLNP, and so on) and Layer 2 (bridged) protocols (such as LAT and NetBeui) are not supported.
 
  • Operational Requirements
  • Configuration Requirements

Operational Requirements

The requirement for Layer 3 LWAPP communications is that the controller and lightweight access points can be connected through Layer 2 devices on the same subnet or connected through Layer 3 devices across subnets. Another requirement is that the IP addresses of access points should be either statically assigned or dynamically assigned through an external DHCP server.
 
The requirement for Layer 3 CAPWAP communications is that the controller and lightweight access points can be connected through Layer 2 devices on the same subnet or connected through Layer 3 devices across subnets.

Configuration Requirements

When you are operating the Cisco wireless LAN solution in Layer 2 mode, you must configure a management interface to control your Layer 2 communications.
 
When you are operating the Cisco wireless LAN solution in Layer 3 mode, you must configure an AP-manager interface to control lightweight access points and a management interface as configured for Layer 2 mode.

 

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