CAPWAP, where is it?

I’m experienced with Cisco LWAPP enough to know it works pretty nicely.  There are some quirks to be sure but for almost every wireless implementation it’s the preferred solution.  It’s unfortunate then that both Cisco’s LWAPP and Aruba’s protocol (whatever that’s called) are closed protocols.  CAPWAP’s in the works and does seem to be making some progress as an open standard, despite some concerns about hidden patent coverage in some of the standard.

Still, you’d think the standard had progressed enough to start seeing some products.  Nope.  I just read that Cisco’s new Mobility product supports some portion of CAPWAP, which is interesting by itself.  But where are the open source controllers?  Controllers are really expensive!  It sure would be nice to have a cheaper solution for home, for instance.  This is one of those times I wish I was more of a programmer so I could just build it for myself.

5 thoughts on “CAPWAP, where is it?

  1. We are developing an open source implementation of capwap… It’s not yet production ready (actually is quite buggy), but you can give it a try…
    ps it only works with atheros equipped wtps

  2. Am I missing something here MTY?  The sourceforge site you have there looks like it has absolutely nothing in it except the file download.  No description, no documentation…

    What is the download?  The AP code or the controller code?  Or both?  That’s the problem with open source, no one puts effort into PR.  🙂

    I’d be interested to try something but I need a little more than “download this software”.

  3. I worked at Airespace and then Cisco and am now at Aerohive. CAPWAP is not about controllers, Aerohive supports CAPWAP for management functions but is a controller-less architecture. There are many advantages I have seen having been at both companies but a key one is that you can build small (from one AP) networks and still get a good centrally manged solution.
    BTW – CAPWAP has now been ratified (I appreciate this post is a year old now)

  4. Matt, thanks for the update and I’m going to look more into Aerohive. A quick glance looked interesting.

    As for updates, I saw a reference on CCO the other day for CAPWAP support in the new WLC code, I think. At least, it popped out at me when I was looking for something else. Knowing Cisco their implementation is probably only partially baked, so long as it doesn’t immediately supplant LWAPP.

    I haven’t really explored commercial CAPWAP solutions recently but I have occasionally looked up Open Source options and there seems to be very little out there. This seems like something that would be ripe for development in the OS community. I don’t know enough about the nitty gritty of the specification but I would think the folks doing stuff on the WRT54G might be able to hack something together. In theory, the AP level code should be lighter, right?

    Also, regarding the controller. Perhaps you don’t need an appliance controller in the traditional sense but isn’t the whole idea with CAPWAP that much of the intelligence is removed from the AP? That would imply some sort of intelligent management platform would be required. Even if you have a single AP you would still need something to manage it or if it’s self managed then it’s more like a traditional AP.

    I think I’ll throw a new post up with a link to your company. Not that I know anything about them but it looks interesting!

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