Access Point Configuration on Cisco 9800 WLCs

If you’ve used the new Cisco 9800 Wireless LAN Controllers, its hard not to notice that a lot has changed. This is especially so if you’re used to the older method of creating and assigning WLANs to AP Groups on the older WLCs.

This short guide will help you understand the components that allow us to configure SSIDs and Policies required to configure an Access Point the new way.

Cisco have based their new configurational architecture around Profiles and Tags. Let’s see what they are, how they relate to each other, and how to apply those settings to an AP.

Note that this guide is both a summary and simplification of Cisco’s official Best Practise Guide and is referenced at the end.

Let’s begin:


Profiles are used to group similar features together under a unified settings page.

There are 5 types of Profile along with some example settings:

  1. WLAN Profile
    • SSID Name
    • Security Settings
  2. Policy Profile
    • Client VLAN Settings
    • AAA settings
    • ACLs
  3. RF Profile
    • RF characteristics of 2.4GHz
    • RF characteristics of 5GHz
  4. AP Join Profile
    • CAPWAP Timers
    • 802.1x Settings
    • SSH/Telnet Settings
  5. Flex Profile
    • All Flexconnect settings


Tags are the ‘glue’ used to connect the Profiles to the Wireless Access Points.

  1. Policy Tag:
    • WLAN Profile
    • Policy Profile
  2. RF Tag:
    • RF Profile
  3. Site Tag:
    • AP Join Profile (Local Mode)
    • Flex Profile (FlexConnect Mode)

Tying it all Together

This might be a little difficult to visualise, so I made this simplified diagram to illustrate how these settings are nested and attached to WAPs:

WLC Verification

To see the Tags and Profiles applied to APs on the WLC, head to Configuration -> Wireless -> Access Points:

To see and edit these Tags and Profiles on the WLC itself, head to Configuration -> Tags & Profiles:

Each of the options listed refers to the relevant Profile, if we want to view the Tag configuration, click the ‘Tags’ option (highlighted).

CLI Verification

We can use the below command on the WLC CLI to see the assigned tags for all APs:

9800-WLC#show ap tag summary
Number of APs: 1000

AP Name                 AP Mac           Site Tag Name                     Policy Tag Name                   RF Tag Name                       Misconfigured    Tag Source
AP003           683b.0000.000a   		 Site_Tag_3                        Policy_Tag                        RF_Tag                            No               Filter
AP019           683b.0000.000b           Site_Tag_3                        Policy_Tag                        RF_Tag                            No               Filter
AP012           683b.0000.000c           Site_Tag_3                        Policy_Tag                        24_18bps_67TPC_RF_Tag             No               Static

I hope that this has helped understand the new model for implementing WLANs on the 9800 Wireless LAN Controllers.


1 Comment. Leave new

  • Nice short post!
    It is definitely helpful after i have studied 9800 WLC and configured my 1st one in production. this comes in handy as a reference and summary. Thank you.



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