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Level 10
Level 10





What is the difference between the location capability in the Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS) and the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance?



Cisco WCS can be deployed with high accuracy location for on-demand lookups of most recent location information for a given Wi-Fi device or rogue device.

In comparison, each Cisco Wireless Location Appliance scales this location solution for up to 2500 simultaneous devices for true asset visibility, adding historical location trending and replay capabilities for detailed audit trails and enhanced RF capacity management.

The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance has a rich and robust Simple Object Access Protocol/Extensible Markup Language (SOAP/XML)-based Application Programming interface (API) for third-party application integration, greatly extending the value of important business applications. This makes the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance an ideal part of any end-to-end enterprise solution.


The Cisco 2700 series Location Appliance is a device that operates within the Cisco Unified Wireless LAN Solution infrastructure. The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance is the industry’s first location solution that simultaneously tracks thousands of devices. Location appliances compute, collect, and store historical location to track the physical location of up to 2500 wireless devices. This includes laptop clients, palmtop clients, VoIP telephone clients, active Radio Frequency Identifier (RFID) asset tags, and rogue access points and clients.


The collected location data can be viewed in GUI format in the Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS), the centralized WLAN management platform.



WCS and Location Server Compatibility Matrix









The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance uses the same Cisco lightweight access points that deliver traffic as location "readers" for 802.11 wireless clients and Wi-Fi tags. These access points collect received-signal-strength-indication (RSSI) information from all Wi-Fi devices, which include Wi-Fi enabled laptops, voice handsets, Wi-Fi tags, rogue (unauthorized) devices, and rogue access points. The collected RSSI information is then sent through the Lightweight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP) to the Cisco Wireless LAN controllers or certain wireless integrated switches or routers. The Cisco Wireless LAN controllers then aggregate the RSSI information and send it to the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance through Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).


The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance performs location computations based on the RSSI information received from the Cisco wireless LAN controllers. The Cisco wireless LAN controllers that gather the RSSI information must be associated with the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance.


Once network maps and access points are added to the appliance, RF predictions and heatmaps can be generated to graphically display the location of thousands of devices on the site's floor plans. Cisco WCS Location displays its location information visually, which provides an immediate location application for customers who want to enhance their RF capacity management, utilize location based security, and have asset visibility for WLAN devices. This location information is also available to third-party applications through a Simple Object Access Protocol/Extensible Markup Language (SOAP/XML) API on the appliance, which creates an extensible foundation for a host of rich location based applications. The Location Appliance communicates with the WCS with help from the SNMP protocol. This diagram shows where the Location Appliance fits into the network:



The Cisco Location Solution is comprised of the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance in conjunction with the Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS), Cisco wireless LAN controllers, and Cisco Aironet lightweight access points. The Cisco Wireless Location Solution uses the same Cisco lightweight access points that deliver traffic as location "readers" for 802.11 wireless clients and Wi-Fi tags


Cisco Wireless Location Appliance Features


The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance provides a wide range of features applicable to business needs and includes:


  • Chokepoint Support
  • Location Tracking
  • Intuitive Appliance Management
  • Wireless Security and Rapid Troubleshooting
  • Location Trending for RF Capacity Management and Visibility
  • Integration with Location-Based Applications



Cisco Wireless Location Appliance Benefits



The Cisco Wireless Location Appliance delivers a host of tangible benefits to enterprises running business-critical wireless LANs, including:-


• Increased location accuracy

• Location-based alerts

• Scalability

• Lowered total cost of ownership

• Transparent integration

• Flexibility

• Easy deployment of business applications

• Innovation and Investment Protection


Problem Type


Technical product specification / features




Wireless Control System

Wireless Location Appliance




For more information on the WLA, refer to Cisco Wireless Location Appliance.

For more information on how to configure the Appliance, refer to Cisco Location Appliance Configuration Guide and Cisco Location Appliance Configuration Guide, Release 2.1.

For more queries about the Wireless Location appliance, refer to FAQ's on Cisco Wireless Location Appliance.

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