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Co-existence of Aruba and Cisco WLAN

Hello Experts,


I have a requirement to completely replace Aruba outdoor deployment (around 190 APs) with Cisco (around 220 APs). 
However in order to facilitate this, the client has a requirement to facilitate smooth migration. 

It is a possible option, that while I replace Aruba with Cisco for few of the APs, the client can associate with both Aruba and Cisco WLAN while roaming. Ofcourse there will be delays introduced while the client roams between Aruba APs --> Cisco APs --> Aruba APs ...., but would it be a possible option?

With SSID(wpa2-psk) broadcast through Aruba and Cisco WLAN?

VIP Advocate

It should be possible, but you will face delays of up to a few minutes for roaming, until the client realizes it needs to do a full re-authentication. Not sure if there is a way to optimize this. Usually the re-authentication will be much faster, but a data transfer can be interrupted.
Hall of Fame Community Legend

Define "roaming". Voice-grade "roaming" or "taking a laptop from one AP to another" kind of roaming.
If voice-grade roaming, it ain't going to work. I can guarantee that crossing from one brand to another will drop calls.
Taking laptop from one brand to another will have a drop but laptops, if running the right wireless NIC drivers, should be able to re-connect quickly.

Thanks Patoberli & Leo for the valuable responses.


Even for same vendor deployment voice grade roaming will have its own set of challenges in outdoor deployment :)

I am not that optimistic to hope on voice grade roaming for an hybrid deployment :)


My requirement is to facilitate an application (JADE) to roam across Aruba and Cisco WLAN. My environment is as such that these vehicles are mobile in nature. The application could withstand 2-5 seconds of delays. Will give this a try in my testing and updating the thread. If there are any additional considerations that I can take into account to optimize it, please let me know




Testing is a very good idea.

What also might work, if the application can work with that, is to create a new SSID with different IP range and let the client switch between the two SSIDs. In that case you really need to test how fast the client will switch, this is extremely driver and OS dependent. You will probably be better with the same SSID.



The roaming won't work at all, what it going to happen is the clients are going to move from Aruba to Cisco infrastructure and viceversa causing full re-authentication on each case.


This could cause some problems on your environment that you need to take under considerations:


 - Add as trusted / friendly AP in Aruba and Cisco environment for the rogue AP to avoid any possible rogues.

 - If you are using the same SSID the client could bounce between Aruba and Cisco on the cell margins,

 - If you are using the automatic channel assignment be aware about the channels assignements ofr each infra.

 - In Cisco disable the FT option if not the clients can't join to the Aruba.


Creating another SSID could be a good solution , however it depends of your business agreement and how long it takes the configuration you need to do  :)

I hope this information will be helpfully for your to decide the best approach on your env.