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two physically different wifi networks in the same space


Hello for everybody.


Perhaps my question will seem stupid, but i would like to clarify about the possibility of implementing such a solution.


In the initial data, we have a warehouse - it is depicted in principle, so that the essence is clear. It is required to build two physically separated network infrastructures with two different wifi controllers and access points, respectively. For example, one of the controllers will be responsible for the networks for the warehouse infrastructure, and the second for the SAP networks. This is the key requirement of the customer.

We plan to use access points 2802 or 1852 with internal or external antennas and controllers 3504 or 9800.


Is it possible to implement such scheme, or will two different physical networks create mutual interference for each other?

11 Replies 11

Seb Rupik
VIP Advisor VIP Advisor
VIP Advisor

Hi there,

take a look at WLAN mobility anchor configuration. Essentially a single WLC will manage all of the WAPs (controlling inference issues), but for a subset of WLANs the traffic will be tunnel to an Anchor controller in the other physical network. This design does require a Layer 3 connection between the physical networks, but it can be a tightly controlled transit link just permitting tunneled traffic between the WLCs.





Thank you for answer.


I saw this link. Unfortunately, this scheme with anchor does not suit us, Because in this moment, the main requirement is the simultaneous operation of two network and wifi infrastructures, which should not overlap in any way - this is information security requirement (in my scheme its WLC-1+core_switch-1+firewall_nat-1 and WLC-2+core_switch-2+firewall_nat-2).


Most likely, my main question lies in the area of mutual interference from adjacent points registered on two different controllers.

Maybe second scheme is more correct.





Could you now create a dedicated Layer 3 link between the two perimeter firewalls? It would be secured at both ends which should be sufficient to keep security types happy.

If not, and the anchor WLC is not feasible then you will have WLC and AP competing for the same air space. You could manually configure the WLCs such that each uses a different selection of channels for DCA from the Auto-Channel RF List. Keep in mind that different channels have different performance characteristics  so performance may not be great!




If i understood you correctly, you are talking about this.




Yes, on b/g/n you are limited to a choice of three usable channels to avoid overlap. If you are having only legacy devices connect which can only use b/g/n then one WLC can have one channel and the other WLC can have two for exclusive use. This will mean the WLC will have a hard time tuning APs and will probably reduce power levels on all the APs it controls in an attempt to reduce AP interference.

Using a/n/ac, you have a much larger channel selection to share between the two WLCs.




Unfortunately, at this moment it is not known which devices will work and in what range 2.4 or 5. This company has one site with data collection terminals that work only in 2.4.

Arshad Safrulla
VIP Advocate VIP Advocate
VIP Advocate

You don't really require a Mobility tunnel. You can make this work by configuring the RF group's and  RRM parameters. You just need the same RF group to be configured across both controllers, let the RRM do the job to select the RF group leader or you can manually configure all the parameters related RF groups so both the WLC's will share the same common RF plan. This way you can migrate the interference and all other RF related issues that may arise due to having AP's registered to 2 different WLC's (interference, noise, signal etc). Depending on the WLC platform there are certain guidelines you need to follow to make this work. Please refer the documentation for the platform you choose.


Make sure that the AP's are installed in the best place as per the site survey, RRM cannot correct errors due to bad design or lack of survey. Also I recommend to use lowest possible channel width so you have more channels available and also minimize the usage of 2.4 band.

Arshad Safrulla

VIP Advocate VIP Advocate
VIP Advocate

You already have answers to your technical question - I'll summarise by saying it's a bad idea but there are clumsy ways of making it work with a degraded service, far from best in class.  Make sure the client is aware (and explicitly accepts) that this will provide an inferior WiFi service.  Otherwise you'll install then they'll complain it doesn't work as they expect and they'll blame you.


To answer your other questions: 3504 is already end of sale  Do not base any new solution on 3504.  You should be using 9800 series WLCs.

2802 and 1852 are not EOS yet (probably not far off though) but you should be quoting on newer Catalyst 9000 series WiFi 6 APs for new designs.


Im not sure, that ap 9000 series is available for order in Russia at this moment...


I'll summarise by saying it's a bad idea but there are clumsy ways of making it work with a degraded service, far from best in class. - i know this, but the existence of two different physical infrastructures with two different controllers - is a key requirement at the moment. Before creating this question here, I found only one way of the solution - it is assigning channels manually.

Wasn't aware that this was required for Russia, or that you have problems ordering C9100 range in Russia!


According to the -R models are all compliant and when I looked up C9105AXI-R in the CCW quote/ordering tool it shows as available, no warnings for availability.

And also shows them as approved by Russian Federation.

Maybe you need to check with your Cisco distributor or with Cisco directly.

Wasn't aware that this was required for Russia, or that you have problems ordering C9100 range in Russia! - Two years ago, these access points were not supplied to Russia. But for this day, situation could change.

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