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bulk import ap with name



I am currently working on a project with new WLC catalyst 9800 series.


I am wondering what is the correct workflow to bulk import and configure access points.

It looks like most of the ap config is done in policy profiles, which are assigned to the AP through policy tags.

My understanding is that bulk configuring APs is done through filters on AP name in config > tags and profiles > tags > ap > filter.


However this will only work if i am able to import my APs with custom names, otherwise they will just be named APxxxx.xxxx.xxxx and the tag assignement filter feature does not make sense.


In this case how can i import a named list of access points ? If i go to the wireless basic setup i am able to import a list of mac addresses as csv, but i get "invalid mac address" error if i try to input the AP name in a second column, for instance.


I also looked at the cli on the wlc but it looks like there is no ap name command anymore and that the AP name is only loaded in memory (because it appears in sho ap summ) but not inside the config (because it does not appear in sho run).


Theoretically i could write a script that bulk configures access points in CLI and assigns tags based only on mac addresses. However, i still need to be able to rename my access points after that, otherwise it is a nightmare just to know in which building an AP is.


I understand that i can rename manually but in this case i have just under 1500 AP to deal with so there is no way i am doing that manually.


Therefore : how can i bulk name access points in new platforms ?



Any help is appreciated, maybe i am missing something and the workflow is actually completely different.


Scott Fella
Hall of Fame Master

You can do it from the cli. After you have defined all your policies and tags, add one ap and then look at the show run. The commands to tag the ap to the profile is there. Then you can script it.
I think when you do it from the basic template, play around with the removing the dot or adding the “:”, I think I played with that also but cli to me is easier because I’m use to that.
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As i said scripting the tag assignement is not really an issue here, and i can indeed see the tag assignement in the running config when one AP is added. But the tag assignement is based on the AP's MAC address not on the name.

So the real issue is bulk naming AP.


I am not sure what you are refering to with the template because when i go into the basic wireless setup screen, where you can import APs MAC addresses, i don't see any option to download a template file (like i would for ISE network devices for instance).

As a result i had to guess the format, and the only thing that does not produce an error on import is a csv with only one column, no headers, and one MAC address per line.

If you think there is a way to bulk name AP in this step, could you share the csv file format that worked for you ?



Have a nice day.

Okay okay I understand… you can script the ap name by having the ap’s join or gathering the Mac address from the box. Default name is AP0000.0000.0000 just like in AireOS. You can build your commands to rename the ap’s using the default name.

ap name name
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Thank you,


Just to clarify the answer if someone has the same question :

the new command to rename access points is `ap name $CURRENT_NAME name $NEW_NAME`.

Therefore it is possible to script the renaming of APs, which is what i wanted.


It would probably be a good idea to document this command here: .

I guess technically this piece of documentation is not incorrect because it does say "configuration commands" and `ap name` is an exec command, but it is definitely incomplete from my point of view.


A follow up question though :

when renaming an AP in CLI after the AP has joined the wlc, will the wlc apply the tag assignement filter workflow and change policies based on the new name, or is this workflow only running when the AP joins the controller for the first time ?


Thank you,

Have a nice day



Interesting that my command didn’t post:). Yes that is the command you were looking for.
Rename of the AP’s can only happen when the AP’s have joined the controller. So you can have a separate command script to apply your tags to an ap MAC address and then when the AP’s join, you can rename them. So if your are brining you a new sure and have a few or hundreds of AP’s, you can just paste the cli commands to the controller no matter if all the AP’s are joined or not. AP’s that seems not joined will just error out. This workflow is simple because only connected AP’s will change names, AP’s that are not joined will error out and AP’s that have been already renamed will also error out.
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my question is rather : if all the APs join (with their default name APxxxx.xxxx.xxxx) and i have tag assignment filters already configured, and then i rename my APs in CLI, giving them names that match the filters, will the tags be assigned ?


Or is it : the AP will not be assigned new tags if you rename it AFTER it is already joined ? like if the tag filters are only processed when the AP joins, but never at any other time ?


Thank you.

I’m not in front of my controller at the moment by you can test your own theory. When you compare this to AireOS for example, my workflow would always rename the ap first and then apply any other commands. This would be my workflow on XE unless I can get away with configurations that is displayed on the show run which you can enter at any time. Things that use MAC address to define will not change due to ap name change.
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