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Idle/session timeout vs sleeping client


We will soon upgrade to WLC from 7.4.110 to 7.6.120 and find out a new feature : spleeping client.
I was wondering the purpose of the sleeping client vs idle timeout/session timeout.
In our case we have an idle client set to 14400 seconds (4H) and session timeout set to 28880 (8H) for web-auth SSID. Thus, even if a laptop is sleeping for 3H it will still be authenticated as the idle timeout has not been reached.
Based on those facts, what will be the purpose of the sleeping client feature as it must be set higher than the session timeout ?
Thanks for your support :-).
Cisco Employee

make sure that the session timeout is greater than the client idle timeout, otherwise the sleeping client entry would not be created.

After entering the appropriate login credentials for web-auth, the client get authenticated and moves to RUN state.

Now if the client configured is idle for 300 seconds (default idle timeout value) or disconnects from the WLAN it is connected to, then the client will move to sleeping clients.

Once the client is moved to the Sleeping Clients, the timeout session starts and the remaining time before the client entry is deleted/cleared is displayed.

If the client wakes up or joins back to the same WLAN, it doesn't require re-authentication.

the number of sleeping clients that are remembered has increased to 25000 from the previous 9000. A larger number of sleeping clients are remembered even after waking up, on the wireless network with high-scale Cisco WLCs. This eliminates the need for user intervention to re-enter credentials for a greater number of clients.


Thanks for the answer.


However with the idle timeout set to 14400 seconds I can already achieve the same behaviour as sleeping client.

For example my client associates and authenticates against the web portal at time X. At time X+60s the client goes to sleep.

When the client wakes up and re-associates at time X + 3600s it is still in the client database and doesn't have to authenticate.


So i was wondering if the sleeping client feature was usefull when the idle timeout can play that role.

Hi Maxime,


You will see the difference when the client wakes up and re-associates at time X + 14400s(user idle timeout), this time the client has to reauthenticate. That way you will understand the usage of sleeping client.




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