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3802i AP and Migration from 5508 to v9800-CL

Level 1
Level 1

Hi All,

Thank you for taking the time to look at this post.  I've got a bit of a situation where as I am tasked with Migrating all of our AP's (3802i) site-by-site from a pair of Physical WLC's at the Datacenter to a Pair of Virtual WLCs in the Cloud.

So a bit about the setup: 

  • All sites are connected via Cisco SDWAN.  There are 2 Cloud vWLC 9800s running 17.9.4a (Cisco Recommended). 
  • At the Datacenter, there are 2x Physical 5508 WLCs.  These Physical WLCs are running
  • AP's at each site are Cisco 3802i running a primary version of

Now these sites on SDWAN are on 300+Mbps links, many are provided 1Gig DIA.  

The challenge I am having is that the first 3 sites took 1 Hour to download their image from the new vWLC in the cloud.  The last site I did had 2 AP's and it took 2hours 11 minutes per AP.  This is CRAZY!!  Tomorrow I have to migrate a site with 7 APs and if the time is similar to yesterday, It could surpass 15 hours to migrate the 7 APs from Physical on-prem to vWLCs.

The upgrade path I am taking is as follows. (Had a tac case to get to this):

  1. Update DHCP Option 43 at Site L3 Switch
  2. Login to 5508 WLC, Navigate to AP, Click "Clear All Config"
  3. AP Reboots, Gets Option 43, Reaches out to Cloud vWLC
  4. Sits in "Downloading" state for 1-2 hours
  5. Reboots
  6. Registers awaiting assignment of Join Profile

In doing some googling, I found something about being able to use a TFTP server at the site to pre-stage/download the AP software ahead of moving to the new controller.  So, I've ssh'd into the AP and found the commands, but I can not find the software that the AP should be running.  Looking at the Cisco site,  I only find "ap3g3-k9w8-tar.153-3.JPS.tar" Maybe I am missing something here, because 15 < 17.  AP's that have been migrated show that they are running code.  I've looked on the vWLC and I do not find this code.

I am kinda at a loss here as I feel that there has to be a better way to do this migration.  The 5508 WLCs are EoL and we are trying to get off of them before they die on us.  We are not intending to make any sort of configuration change on the 5508 ahead of powering these devices off.  During each change window, we are migrating ALL of the APs at the site to the new vWLC and not planning on having any sort of roaming between the APs during the migration. 


Any help, suggestions, comments would be greatly helpful.  I've seen a few other posts on here, but they were lacking information such as versions, model numbers, etc...  I've tried to paint a good picture to help understand the current situation and the end goal.

Tac case mentioned above was due to the AP NOT registering with the cloud vWLC. The details there are that the AP did not trust the new vWLC's Certificate and thus the AP (not WLC) halted registration and went back and registered to the 5508 WLCs.  With TAC on the call, we did a factory reset of the AP and this allowed it to join and download (1hr) the upgrade.  This is what has led me to the procedure that I've outlined above.


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