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3850 for MC role and 3650s for MA role

Seng Kok

Hi there,

I was wondering if it is possible to use a 3850 for MC & MA roles and multiple 3650s for MA role only?

I have a customer that have multiple small sites.  Each site requires switching and wireless (up to 5 access points).  I was wondering whether it is possible to deploy a single 3650 with a few access points at each site and at the largest site, deploy a single stack of 3850s with access points.  The 3650 will have MA role and 3850 stack will have both MA and MC roles.

Will this arrangement work?

Thanks in advance!


1 Reply 1

Rasika Nayanajith
VIP Mentor VIP Mentor
VIP Mentor

How many branches do they have ? If it is more than 16 then you may face scalability issue in that design. With 3850 as MC you can have max of 16 MA. Refer page 30 of the given presentation for scalability matrix.

BRKCRS-2888 - Converged Access Design Options

I would configure each site 3650 as MC/MA with required AP licence. In that way all your branch communication will happen within branch without any dependancy on their HQ MC. If you require services like Guest WLAN across the sites, then consider to have a Anchor WLC at their HQ. 3850 cannot be used for that functionality. It can be either 5760/5508.

Here is some other useful references for CA design.



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