Cisco AireOS CLI and Importance of AP Name Convention (Part 1)

Part 1 of 2

Cisco AireOS CLI is one of the many tools a Cisco-centric wireless engineer will use to help configure and tune the deployment, operation, and optimization of wireless networks. The usefulness of the CLI is dependent on consistency and naming conventions.

This blog entry is assuming you are designing or operating an enterprise wireless system. The information is still valid for small deployments as well.

TIP: Make use of UltraEdit and Linux/MAC OS when using these commands as you can redirect the output of your screen to a file and then do all kinds of editing to the text

The following list are some of the most important:

  • Wireless Lan Controller (WLC) Names
  • WLAN ID/SSIDs
  • Access Point (AP) Names
  • Access Point (AP) Group Names
  • Radio Frequency (RF) Group Names
  • Interface Names

KISS: The idea is to make the naming convention logical, consistent, and easy to remember.

Let us go through the naming convention process. I will build it out using Henry Ford Health System in Detroit Michigan as an fictional example. Please note that I do not work for Henry Ford Hospital nor have ever been at their facilities. I picked it from a google search. 😀

Henry Ford Health System has several hospitals and many off site locations.
Site IDs:
Henry Ford Hospial: hfh
Henry Ford Allegiance Health: hfa
Henry Ford Kingswood Hospital: hfk
Henry Ford Machomb Hospital: hfm
Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hosptial: hfb
Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital: hfw

WLC Name: site designation (3-4 char) – wlc#
hfh-wlc1
hfh-wlc2
hfa-wlc1
hfa-wlc2
hfk-wlc1
hfk-wlc2
hfm-wlc1
hfm-wlc2
hfb-wlc1
hfb-wlc2
hfw-wlc1
hfw-wlc2

You might also assume they have High Availability Appliances attached to the controllers in which case I use the append -ha to the end of the name.
WLC HA Name Example:
hfh-wlc1-ha
hfh-wlc2-ha
hfa-wlc1-ha
hfa-wlc2-ha
hfk-wlc1-ha
hfk-wlc2-ha
hfm-wlc1-ha
hfm-wlc2-ha
hfb-wlc1-ha
hfb-wlc2-ha
hfw-wlc1-ha
hfw-wlc2-ha

The WLAN ID/SSID Name: BuisnessNameWLANPurpose
WLAN ID/SSID Name EXAMPLE: Henry Ford Health System
HFHSCorporate
HFHSGuest
HFHSVoice
HFHSMedical
HFHSGuest_Limited

Note 1: If you profile with a system like ISE then you might only have HFHSCorporate and HFHSGuest or something similar.

Note 2: WLAN ID is also very important. Deploy the WLANs in a paritcular order so that you can run scripts via CLI on the controllers to help ensure consistency.

Example:
If HFHSCorportate is WLAN ID 1 and HFHSGuest is WLAN ID 2 on hfh-wlc1 then it should be that accross the enterprise on each WLC.

Access Point (AP) Names: SiteID-BuildingFloor-APTypeAPnumber
SiteID = the same name as the WLC SiteID.
Building = B for basement
G for ground floor
1 for 1st floor (sometimes hospitals have a 1st floor even though they have a ground floor. Go figure!)
2 for 2nd floot
3 for 3rd floor
4 for 4th floor
5 for 5th floor
and so on…

APType = i for internal antenna
e for external antenna
m for monitor mode ap
b for bridge ap

I have also added AP to the designation in case you want to see it easier in the switch CDP table.

APNumber = 001 or 01 or 1 obviously 001 would be sorted easier in my applications, but harder to read sometimes in emails or say in conversation.

AP Name Example:
hfh-ab-i001 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Basement Internal Antenna AP # 001)
hfh-ab-i002 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Basement Internal Antenna AP # 002)
hfh-ab-i003 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Basement Internal Antenna AP # 003)
hfh-ag-i001 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Ground Floor Internal Antenna AP # 001)
hfh-ag-i002 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Ground Floor Internal Antenna AP # 002)

Alternative EXAMPLE:
hfh-ab-iap001 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Basement Internal Antenna AP # 001)
hfh-ab-iap002 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Basement Internal Antenna AP # 002)
hfh-ab-iap003 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Basement Internal Antenna AP # 003)
hfh-ag-iap001 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Ground Floor Internal Antenna AP # 001)
hfh-ag-iap002 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Ground Floor Internal Antenna AP # 002)
hfh-ab-eap001 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Basement External Antenna AP # 001)
hfh-ab-eap002 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Basement External Antenna AP # 002)
hfh-ab-eap003 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Basement External Antenna AP # 003)
hfh-ag-eap001 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Ground Floor External Antenna AP # 001)
hfh-ag-eap002 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Ground Floor External Antenna AP # 002)

Alternative Example 2:
hfh-ab-ap1 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Basement Internal Antenna AP # 1)
hfh-ab-ap2 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Basement Internal Antenna AP # 2)
hfh-ab-ap3 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Basement Internal Antenna AP # 3)
hfh-ag-ap1 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Ground Floor Internal Antenna AP # 1)
hfh-ag-ap2 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Ground Floor Internal Antenna AP # 2)
hfh-ab-eap1 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Basement External Antenna AP # 1)
hfh-ab-eap2 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Basement External Antenna AP # 2)
hfh-ab-eap3 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Basement External Antenna AP # 3)
hfh-ag-eap1 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Ground Floor External Antenna AP # 1)
hfh-ag-eap2 (Henry Ford Hosptial A Building Ground Floor External Antenna AP # 2)

TIP: Keep it lower case. Keep it short. Keep it meaningful. This is really important since you will be typing it a lot over the next 4 to 5 year deployment cycle. Remember KISS Principle.

AP Group Names: SiteIDDepartmentID/Building/Floor-APG
Example:
HFHAG-APG = Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Ground Floor Access Point Group
HFHA2-APG = Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. 2nd Floor Access Point Group

Alternative Example:
HFHED-APG = Henry Ford Hospital Emergency Department Access Point Group
HFHOR-APG = Henry Ford Hospital Operating Room Department Access Point Group
HFHCAFE-APG = Henry Ford Hospital Cafeteria Area Access Point Group

If you choose to use a department designation, be advised the department might and probably will move at some point. This would create re-work. I hate re-work. But not all areas are small enough or distinct enough to be able to use the SITE ID+BUILDING+FLOOR-APG designation.

Keep it simple. Keep it meaningful. Keep it easy. Remember you might get hit by a bus, and the next wireless engineer will have a tough time to fill your shoes. Make it easy on him or her at least as much as possible.

Radio Frequncy (RF) Profile Names: SiteIDDepartmentID/Building/Floor-RFP-5GHz or 2.4GHz

TIP: Use the same designation as your AP GROUP and then add RFP-5GHz or 2.4GHz

Example:
HFHAG-RFP-5GHz = Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Ground Floor 5GHz Radio Frequency Profile
HFHAG-RFP-2.4GHz = Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. Ground Floor 2.4GHz Radio Frequency Profile
HFHA2-FRP-5GHz = Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. 2nd Floor 5GHz Radio Frequency Profile
HFHA2-FRP-2.4GHz = Henry Ford Hosptial A Bldg. 2nd Floor 2.4GHz Radio Frequency Profile

Since you have to pair the RFP to the APG it makes sense to name them with the same leading designation.

TIP: All these make it easier to use CLI in the WLCs for operation

Interface Names: Something similar to the WLAN Name
Example:
HFHSCorporate
HFHSGuest

 

Continued in Part 2

 


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