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WLC Local Mode best scenarios ?



I can't understand why if I have a WLC locally in the site , so it is better to make APs in  this site in local mode, while I can see the if even the local APs are in flex connect-locally switching modes so this will give more availability to the service if  the WLC fails 

Is there a clear benefit for running local mode?


If the WLC is onsite, I would not run anything but local mode. Flexconnect will not provide you any added benefits, It will complicate the config and troubleshooting time.


Flexconnect  was created for a Central WLC and APs located at remote offices





Can you define some benefits of local mode rather than the flex connect, I believe that if WLC fails , the local mode APs will be isolated while the flex connect ones will keep running 

Features not supported depends on version, for example take a look at


Most pains are

- missing rate-limiting, cause an AP only knows about the traffic of himeself, but not of overall

- client traffic is switched on AP, so you need to add all used WLAN VLAN on your switches

- you can't isolate WLAN traffic in your network, client traffic is everywhere in the LAN

- you can't use MAC based security on your switch to allow only an AP to be connected, cause all client MAC also pass the switchport

- all switches need to keep the MAC of WLAN client (access switch may reach it's MAC limit depending on number of clients)


On the other hand, a local AP will go to "search for WLC" mode once the WLC is gone: all SSID down, all clients disconnected, LED blinking like a christmas tree.


Hi mina,


The main difference between local AP mode and flexconnect mode is that in local mode, client traffic has to go through the WLC, while in flexconnect local switching it runs locally.

Be carefull, if your AP's are in flexconnect, and your SSID in central switching, when your WLC fails, your clients get disconnected.



I am still having the same doubts when I must install a controller on a site, for example, I have a remote branch that is having 100 APs now and they are still connected to the Regional WLCs in a flex connect mode , so anyone could tell me the main reason to install  another controller in this remote site  or I can still run the 100 AP in flex connect to the regional WLc with no problem ?

Hello Mina,


You can have your 100 AP's in flexconnect mode on your remote site without a dedicated WLC on that remote site.

Be sure to have the good requirements regarding your WAN link, see the following link :


It’s your design the dictates if you should use local or FlexConnect to be honest. You decide if the features that are not supported in FlexConnect are important to you. Then you look at traffic flow and then redundancy during failure. The main thing that folks choose local mode is the limitations when using FlexConnect. For simple designs and if you want traffic to flow from AP to switch and the infrastructure takes over, FlexConnect is your choice. Money also is important. Local mode, many will have two controllers for redundancy. If you don’t have the money to have controller(s) in your large site, well FlexConnect is your only answer.
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