Demystifying the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Configuration Model

Design Validation
June 26, 2020

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Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers

The purpose of this insight is to educate wireless network administrators who are considering deploying or migrating a wireless network about the similarities and differences between the Cisco Catalyst 9800 and AireOS wireless solutions. We have provided an overview of the Cisco Catalyst solution, details about why the configuration model was revamped, and instructions for how to correlate configuration constructs between the legacy and new configuration model, simplifying adoption of the new solution.

In this design validation lab, WWT Solutions and Mobility Discipline Lead, Chris Radford (CCIE #59150 [Wireless], CWNE #144, ECSE #162, ACMP), performed a migration from the Cisco AireOS to the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Wireless LAN Controller, tackling challenges associated with the new operating system and configuration model.

After examining and comparing the components of the AireOS configuration model against that of the new Catalyst 9800, we found many similarities that should make migration and management smoother; however, the Catalyst configuration model provides more flexibility and modularity once properly understood. Plus, the Catalyst 9800 solution design is based on the familiar IOS XE operating system, which will allow for a more uniform device interface across the network.

This validation exercise gave us a deeper comprehension of the Catalyst 9800 functionalities and helped us understand how to best approach the new configuration model; as a result, we are now able to simplify adoption, reduce error and downtime during the transition, and more quickly take advantage of the enhanced capabilities offered by the Catalyst 9800 Wireless LAN Controller

You will find a step-by-step guide, with shortcuts and advice, on how to migrate a Catalyst 9800 Wireless LAN Controller from AireOS in the ATC Insight section of this page.

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