Control And Provisioning of Wireless Access Points (CAPWAP) Protocol Specification, March Canonical URL: txt; File. RFC (part 1 of 6): Control And Provisioning of Wireless Access Points ( CAPWAP) Protocol Specification. Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points (CAPWAP) is a standard and interoperable RFC defines the actual CAPWAP protocol specifications.

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They are responsible for discovering, authenticating, and registration of APs, as well as maintaining a service channel to communicate over.

Current Status and Overview of the CAPWAP Protocol

Finally configuration takes place, and the AP is set into active mode. A unified CAPWAP standard aims to be a protocol that could enable centralized wireless hardware utilize a simple, streamlined method of communicating between access points and controllers.

Both the AP and controller must be either loaded with PSKs or certificate files to enable encrypted communication. However, the header does not warrant any particular attention, and as such, will not be covered by this paper.

And finally, ensuring network security, both from 3rd party hardware, such as rogue access points being connected to the network, as well as preventing the loss of network secrets from the physical theft of access points is also critical. Primary Discovery Request Message A single Receiver thread receives and processes any requests from APs. Thin APs may be found in AP-controller style deployments.

AC Name with Priority There are two types of threads that may be instantiated on the controller: The AP typically contains some amount of logic, however, that amount is governed by the MAC architecture that the AP implements, which will be covered in [Section 2]. The only duties that the controller is responsible for under this scheme is wireless key management and authentication proxying.


Receiver and Session Manager [fig7]. The Receiver-From-STA thread can pass along messages through the Principal thread, which are sent back to the controller for processing.

CAPWAP – Wikipedia

To provide an extensible protocol that is not bound to a specific wireless technology. Major vendors have also expressed doubt over the demand from customers for interoperable WLAN infrastructure. Ideally controllers of any vendor could provision access points from any other vendor, provided they implement a common CAPWAP protocol.

Thus, OpenCAPWAP is only a proof of concept, as they are limited in the hardware that they may support, by a lack of common target hardware, as well as differencing In the typical centralized architecture, one or more controllers manage a set number of deployed access points.

Currently, their WLAN controllers can only interface with Meru brand access points, utilizing a proprietary protocol. The AP forwards packets to the controller, and maintains normal operation.

Current Status and Overview of the CAPWAP Protocol

It claims that the physical security of the LAN prevents most attackers from accessing the stream between controller and AP, but does not guarantee against traffic sniffing beyond the scope of LWAPP, and suggests that in the requirement of full end to end encryption, IPsec be used.

However, this simplicity does not come at the expense of flexibility. This leaves the time-critical applications of wireless control and access in the WTP, making efficient use of the computing power available in WTPs, which are subject to severe cost pressure. This lack of customer mobility leads to less innovative product offerings from the wireless vendors. Consult [RFC] for a full overview. Otherwise it moves back to the Discovery state. Contributing Authors This section lists and acknowledges the authors of significant text and concepts included in this specification.


The protocol must enable centralized management of the components of a WLAN, allow for transparent support of different vendor’s hardware, be able to provide monitoring of hardware and software configuration and status, and finally ensure network security. Local MAC refers to the location of the As mentioned in [Section caowap. However, the implementations are proprietary and have different views on where functionality in cappwap network should be.

Overview of CAPWAP (Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers)

These 3 MAC layer 515 will be discussed in greater detail in [Section 2. The size of many wireless networks in large companies and universities also introduces many problems of maintaining a consistent configuration across many similar devices, with potentially different hardware capabilities and physical locations. The exception is 6.

There are 6 main portions of a controller’s duties. Acquiring – This state represents both devices connecting to each other, to begin encrypting their communications.

Fit APs are a combination of the Thin and Thick metaphors. Not all access points are alike, as they fall into 3 categories. Discovery – New APs must seek out a controller with which to associate. A typical diagram of a WLAN network is in [fig1]. With the typical usage case, data from an access point is tunneled back to the controller for processing, and sending onto the back haul network.