Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

AP 1815i mobility express

Hello. I'm having a little problem configuring/discovering 12 ap's 1815i with mobility express. The scenario is the following: the controller ap has an ip for management and a single ssid that is on a different network and vlan from the management network . Vlan 13 (management) is native on the controller ap and the ssid/service vlan 10 is tagged. No guest vlan. All switch ports that connect to ap's are configured with: switchport mode trunk switchport trunk native vlan 13 switchport trunk allowed vlan 10, 13 There is no dhcp server for vlan 13. But there is an external dhcp server for vlan 10. I can connect to the ssid on the controller ap and have internet, but the other ap's don't connect/provision to the controller ap. My question is: since there is no dhcp server for the network on vlan13 (all switches and router have static management vlan 13 ip's configured) is it mandatory to have a dhcp server for the management network, or is there any other way for the other ap's to connect/provision with the controller ap? And if the management network dhcp server is a must for this to work do you advise it to be configured on the controller ap or on another network node (for instance the router)? all ap's have correct mobility express firmware. Thanks.

10 Replies 10


Hi Mederios,


In my humble opinion, If you have 12 APs, you can config static IP for them.( no mandatory to set up DHCP server )

You should check both the Wired network setting and Wireless setting. (for example: config "int vlan 13", ping test to controller & dhcp, Mobility Express software for your AP.... )

By the way, setting native for management vlan is not a good idea.


Hope this help.


do you know any good, detailed tutorial for configuring mobility express controller ; discovering the aps ; and configuring the network? thnks

Hi ,
You can use this link:

Are you using the default image (CAPWAP image) or Cisco Mobility Express Software ?
If CAPWAP, you need to convert to Cisco Mobility Express Software.
Cisco FAQ:

Hope this help.

I'm using mobility express. thanks for your help but i already have taken a look at these documents. And it didn't helped much.
honestly, i'm a little disappointed with these solution. i think ubiquiti has a much affordable and better solution for these kind of market segment. also the support is much better; you have tons of videos with several different configs. the videos and tutorials for the ME that are on the internet are all for the same kind of scenario: management network is the same network as the employee ssid. and always showing just the controller wizard part (airprovision). desapointing. thanks anyway.


I configured Unifi, Meraki, Ruckus, Cisco in a small wireless system (~10 APs) and I think that all configuration is basic, just try harder I believe that you can do it within 3-4 days. :)
If you have a service number so you can request for TAC support.
Btw, Unifi is cheap and easy for setting, so It is a good choice for small market segment.

hello, again. and thanks for your patience and availability.
my main problem is with the provisioning and discovery of the subordinated ap's, since i don't have a dhcp server for the management vlan (and unfortunately i'm not supposed to have one!) how can the ap's be discovered? it's enough to have them be discovered on the wlan1/vlan 10 network? they don't have to be discovered on the management network/vlan 13, because only the controller function from ME has to be on management network/vlan 13??
As i said the switch ports are configured this way:
switchport mode trunk
switchport trunk native vlan 13
switchport trunk allowed vlan 10, 13
The Controller ap was configured with:
management ip (since the router is; switch #1; switch #2; switch #3 - all with static ip (no dhcp pool));
(employee) wlan 1 with vlan 10 tagged;
Now, how can i put static ip adresses (from the management network on the ap's if they don't get provisioned on the controller (since they dont gain ip on vlan 13 because there's no dhcp available).
i only see 2 options:
either i configure a dhcp server for management network/vlan 13, on the controller or on the router;
or the ap's will be provisioned on a different network from the management ( wlan 1 network - vlan 10) ???
I think option 2 will work since only the controller function will be on management vlan/network!?!? all the ap's will be on wlan 1 network/vlan10, and get provisioned on it; but would't there be a problem if the controller ap get's "broken" and another one as to assume the controller role?

can you tell me if option 2 will work? unfortunately can only test tomorrow. can you help me?? thanks again

Hi there,

- It's not about the DHCP server and you can use any VLANs you want.
- For example: In one of my offices, I have a Core switch (layer 3), 3 access switches and 6 APs. I set up trunk ports, config interface vlan 100 on all switches, assign static ip address for int vlan 100 on all switches and set static IP address for all APs. All APs are in the same VLAN 100 so they can auto-discover. This solution is convenient.
- I guess that in your case, APs and controller are not in the same subnet. If you do not tell the AP where the controller is via DHCP option 43, DNS resolution of "Cisco-lwapp-controller@local_domain", or statically configure it, the APs don't know where in the network to find the management interface of the controller.
- To auto-elect another controller in Mobility Express Solution, you need to have at least 2 or more APs using Mobility Express image NOT CAPWAP image (Cisco recommended that all APs run the Mobility Express image)
- You can set up your router to become DHCP Server if your router performance is low. ("show process cpu history" to know it)
- As I remember, this case is the same with Unifi APs, they cannot discover the controller in another subnet until you SSH to the APs and set static controller IP.


Finally I found this:

Manually Configuring Controller Information Using the Access Point CLI

In a new installation, when your access point is unable to reach a DHCP server, you can manually configure needed controller information using the access point CLI. For information on how to connect to the console port, see the "Connecting to the Access Point Locally" section.

Note: The CLI commands in this section can be used only on an access point that is not associated to a controller.

The static information configured with the CLI commands are used by the access point to connect with a controller. After connecting with the controller, the controller reconfigures the access point with new controller settings, but the static IP addresses for the access point and the default gateway are not changed.
Configuring Controller Information

To manually configure controller information on a new (out-of -the-box) access point using the access point CLI interface, you can use these EXEC mode CLI commands:

AP# lwapp ap ip address <IP address> <subnet mask>
AP# lwapp ip default-gateway IP-address
AP# lwapp controller ip address IP-address
AP# lwapp ap hostname name

Where name is the access point name on the controller.

Note: The default (out-of-box) Enable password is Cisco.

Hi. but if the gateway for the 2 different vlan/networks ( and is the same node/router, and this router has in it's routing table  a directly connected route, one for each network. shouldn't there be an entry on it's arp table for the controller on subnet and shoudn't ap's on network be able to reach the controller thanks to it's gateway that has the 2 networks directly connected??

the ap's are all running mobility express image, will the lwapp commands will also apply to this image?

if so, since all ap´s are on the same vlan i just need to connect via console port to each one and:

AP# lwapp ap ip address <IP address> <subnet mask>
AP# lwapp ip default-gateway IP-address

this way i will setup a static ip address for each one of them enabling them to be on the same subnet as the controller and to provision to the controller ap?



1/ The controller and other APs are in the same subnet/vlan or not ?
If not, just do a test.
If yes, hmmm... Never see that so I have no idea about it.
2/ Actually, i'm not sure about lwapp command. :)
Getting Started

Find answers to your questions by entering keywords or phrases in the Search bar above. New here? Use these resources to familiarize yourself with the community:

Recognize Your Peers