I know that after reading the title of this post, your mind must be going crazy with thoughts wondering what in the world I’m talking about. Don’t worry I won’t keep you in the dark for long.
That’s right, the two simple words I wanted to share with you are AP & convert.
Now to non-Aruba users these words probably won’t mean that much to you, but for Arubans this opens up a WORLD of possibilities for all of those older non-UAP (universal APs) that you have laying around your office with nary a controller in sight. In the most recent Aruba OS code 184.108.40.206 a command (ap convert) was introduced to the controller code that allows conversion of an AP to an IAP, regardless if that AP was purchased as an IAP or not. That’s right. I can see the lightbulbs going off as you read this.
Prior to AOS 8.6, if the access point was not an IAP or a member of the newer UAP lineup, it was forever destined to be tied to a controller as either a CAP (campus AP) or a RAP (remote AP). Keep in mind that in order to do this you’ll need a valid support subscription and a controller in order to download the code you need, but the process is relatively straight forward.
- Obtain the Aruba InstantOS code version for the AP you want to convert
- Copy the code over to a FTP or TFTP server, or to the flash of the MD that the AP is connected
- open up the CLI to your controller (who uses a GUI anyway…) and enter the following commands:
- (aruba9004-lab) #ap convert add ap-name <ap name>
- (aruba9004-lab) #ap convert active specific-aps server tftp <server address A.B.C.D> <code filename>
- Once you enter this, the AP(s) will begin the conversion process and prompt you with a warning:
- WARNING: This command will permanently write a country code on the selected APs if they currently don’t have one. Once the country code is written, it cannot be modified. Do you want to proceed with the operation? [y/n]:
Also important to note is that the above command has several permutations to allow you to convert a number of ways. You can even build a list of APs to convert ahead of time, making it easier later to come back and kick off the process. The following are some of the differences in the command structure:
- specific-aps can be replaced with all-aps on the controller
- server can be replaced with activate (convert CAP from activate) or local-flash (convert CAP from MD local flash)
- tftp can be replaced with ftp, http, https, or scp to use different file transfer methods
In order to track the status of the conversion process, here are some useful commands:
- show ap convert-status
- show ap convert-status-summary
- show ap convert-status-list
As you can see from the screen shots, these are the outputs from those commands during the conversion process on an AP-214 I recently completed. I’ll add that after initially converting the AP-214 to an IAP running Aruba InstantOS 220.127.116.11, I had no problems downgrading to 18.104.22.168 and then upgrading back to 22.214.171.124.
Important Caveats to converted APs:
- AP conversion process will tie the converted AP to whatever region the controller is assigned for regulatory purposes
- Just b/c you can convert and AP doesn’t mean that you can use a US controller to create a bunch of rest of world (RW) IAPs.
- You can’t use a converted CAP in Central (UPDATE 6/10/2020: YET! You’ll need to watch the Aruba Networks ATM Digital Day 2 Keynote with Partha to find out more about why I’m now saying ‘yet’!)
- Yes, I tried. No it didn’t work. Got it?
- Only for lab and testing use (UPDATE 6/10/2020: FOR NOW! You’ll need to watch the Aruba Networks ATM Digital Day 2 Keynote with Partha to find out more about why I’m now saying ‘for now’!)
- This isn’t a supported mode of operation. If you have issues don’t call support as they won’t be able to assist
- Only supported for non UAP AP 3xx series AP (UPDATE 6/10/2020: FOR NOW! You’ll need to watch the Aruba Networks ATM Digital Day 2 Keynote with Partha to find out more about why I’m now saying ‘for now’!)
Hope that this helps you out if you need some extra IAP but only have APs laying around.
Disclaimer: All thoughts are mine alone and do not represent any official position supported or recommended by my employer, Aruba. (And no I don’t get paid to write these. I’m just a tech nerd like many of you outside of work.)
Updated 6/10/2020 @ 8:02 PM GMT to include updates in caveats section
Updated 5/8/2020 @ 2:02 AM GMT to include caveats to this mode of operation
Updated 4/29/2020 @ 1:08 AM GMT to include additional convert command syntax options