Aruba AP to IAP

mimino

Active Member
Nov 2, 2018
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Hey guys, found this interesting post while I was researching Aruba WiFi access points: Two simple words

Apparently the new ArubaOS 8.6 can convert regular AP to IAP. I have access to some 310 and 320 series APs but no controller (and these look to be pretty pricey) so they're just collecting dust. Would be really interested in converting a few. Anyone has access to Aruba VM appliance or have a controller and would be willing to rent it? Not sure how ethical/legal that might be but for a home lab should be OK I hope? Let me know your thoughts.
 

cheezehead

Active Member
Sep 23, 2012
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Midwest, US
Hey guys, found this interesting post while I was researching Aruba WiFi access points: Two simple words

Apparently the new ArubaOS 8.6 can convert regular AP to IAP. I have access to some 310 and 320 series APs but no controller (and these look to be pretty pricey) so they're just collecting dust. Would be really interested in converting a few. Anyone has access to Aruba VM appliance or have a controller and would be willing to rent it? Not sure how ethical/legal that might be but for a home lab should be OK I hope? Let me know your thoughts.
ap convert

You might be able to via TFTP and a console cable..
 

j_h_o

Active Member
Apr 21, 2015
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You can boot into apboot and flash image via tftp.

I followed the instructions on Aruba Instant – AP boot image upgrade and upgraded my AP-325 to latest, and switched to Instant firmware.

Have you attempted something similar already? What is not working for you?

(I did the flash and haven't had any other time to play with it yet -- but the upgrade appears to work, and apboot can be used to flash between images.)
 
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cheezehead

Active Member
Sep 23, 2012
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You can boot into apboot and flash image via tftp.

I followed the instructions on Aruba Instant – AP boot image upgrade and upgraded my AP-325 to latest, and switched to Instant firmware.

Have you attempted something similar already? What is not working for you?

(I did the flash and haven't had any other time to play with it yet -- but the upgrade appears to work, and apboot can be used to flash between images.)
Sounds good, have a couple of AP-224's showing up next week;)
 

zenvy

New Member
Sep 6, 2018
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You can boot into apboot and flash image via tftp.

I followed the instructions on Aruba Instant – AP boot image upgrade and upgraded my AP-325 to latest, and switched to Instant firmware.

Have you attempted something similar already? What is not working for you?

(I did the flash and haven't had any other time to play with it yet -- but the upgrade appears to work, and apboot can be used to flash between images.)
Do you know if they actually behave like normal IAPs, e.g., can they join a virtual controller with other "real" IAPs?
I suspect the hardware is actually the same, but who knows...
 

j_h_o

Active Member
Apr 21, 2015
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California, US
I haven't had time to play much with this... and I have far less time than before. I'll try again when the kids are both 10 years older :)

I got my AP-325 flashed to 8.5 (Instant) and it *seems* to work OK. I'll leave it running for a few days and test it out.
 
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j_h_o

Active Member
Apr 21, 2015
585
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California, US
Do you know if they actually behave like normal IAPs, e.g., can they join a virtual controller with other "real" IAPs?
I suspect the hardware is actually the same, but who knows...
I believe the hardware is the same. But there's a regulatory code written somewhere in NVRAM, and an AP (non-IAP) won't have that bit written, so it won't work.

the ap convert referenced above allows a 1-time write of a regulatory code, so that a non-instant device will work as instant.

If you get an non-instant AP that supports 8.6+, then we need to find someone with a controller to switch. Or we crack it open and find a way to set the bit in NVRAM/flash somewhere :)
 

mimino

Active Member
Nov 2, 2018
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You can boot into apboot and flash image via tftp.

I followed the instructions on Aruba Instant – AP boot image upgrade and upgraded my AP-325 to latest, and switched to Instant firmware.

Have you attempted something similar already? What is not working for you?

(I did the flash and haven't had any other time to play with it yet -- but the upgrade appears to work, and apboot can be used to flash between images.)
No, I have not attempted this, but I'll try! To my understanding the controller is required to set a regulatory code (it actually ties the AP code to whatever region the controller is set to). How's your converted one working so far?

I believe the hardware is the same. But there's a regulatory code written somewhere in NVRAM, and an AP (non-IAP) won't have that bit written, so it won't work.

the ap convert referenced above allows a 1-time write of a regulatory code, so that a non-instant device will work as instant.

If you get an non-instant AP that supports 8.6+, then we need to find someone with a controller to switch. Or we crack it open and find a way to set the bit in NVRAM/flash somewhere :)
I'm not completely following. If the above process works and writes a regulatory code then the controller isn't needed, no? EDIT: NOW I got it. It works until the first reboot.
 
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mimino

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Nov 2, 2018
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Here's some update.

Flashing to IAP firmware works, but only until first reboot. If you reboot all you'll be getting is the "Turn off mobility" error message. Login no longer works, SSIDs no longer broadcasting etc. There is a "Convert" in the GUI menu that's supposed to be converting between Campus AP/Standalone modes, which may seem like it works but it doesn't do anything. My guess is that it's a leftover from the real VMC and AP is running some stripped down version of Aruba OS (ap convert command doesn't exist for example).

I got Mobility Master 8.6.0.4 VM up and running, but as it turned out AP termination is no longer supported on MM starting with version 8.0. So that's a dead end as well. Still need the Mobility Controller, so if anyone knows where the VMC ova can be downloaded or how to get VMC trial license please share!
 

cheezehead

Active Member
Sep 23, 2012
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Midwest, US
Here's some update.

Flashing to IAP firmware works, but only until first reboot. If you reboot all you'll be getting is the "Turn off mobility" error message. Login no longer works, SSIDs no longer broadcasting etc. There is a "Convert" in the GUI menu that's supposed to be converting between Campus AP/Standalone modes, which may seem like it works but it doesn't do anything. My guess is that it's a leftover from the real VMC and AP is running some stripped down version of Aruba OS (ap convert command doesn't exist for example).

I got Mobility Master 8.6.0.4 VM up and running, but as it turned out AP termination is no longer supported on MM starting with version 8.0. So that's a dead end as well. Still need the Mobility Controller, so if anyone knows where the VMC ova can be downloaded or how to get VMC trial license please share!
What model are you using? Seeing similar issues with some AP-224's.

Also, you don't need the Mobility Master....the controllers still can run fully featured in a standalone mode.
 

mimino

Active Member
Nov 2, 2018
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What model are you using? Seeing similar issues with some AP-224's.

Also, you don't need the Mobility Master....the controllers still can run fully featured in a standalone mode.
I'm using AP-315.

The Mobility Master was needed in my case because I could not find 8.6 Controller, only 8.3, and it does not have the 'ap convert' command. It appears that now I do ;)

There was actually another update to my last one. I've tried MM 8.6 and VMC 8.3, got AP provisioned etc. and then tried to 'ap convert'. The convert-status always shows “Current Status: Converting APs” but nothing else is happening and AP never gets converted. I reached out to the guy who posted the procedure and he said that the AP must also run 8.6 firmware which was impossible for me without having VMC 8.6. So it appears that for successful conversion you need an AP that supports 8.6 firmware, but it sill to be confirmed.
 
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mimino

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Nov 2, 2018
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Last update. The conversion was a success!

So the requirements are:
- Mobility Controller 8.6
- AP capable of running 8.6
- AP must be licensed and provisioned in MC

Once the requirements are met the actual process is a breeze, and takes less than 10 minutes.
 
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mahar

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Mar 14, 2017
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Last update. The conversion was a success!

So the requirements are:
- Mobility Controller 8.6
- AP capable of running 8.6
- AP must be licensed and provisioned in MC

Once the requirements are met the actual process is a breeze, and takes less than 10 minutes.
Is there any good write ups, on how to setup the controller. I have been trying to do this with no luck. Am using ArubaOS 8.6
 

mimino

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Nov 2, 2018
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Is there any good write ups, on how to setup the controller. I have been trying to do this with no luck. Am using ArubaOS 8.6
I have not seen one but probably Aruba has it on their ASP portal. I did not use any though, just went with the typical VM installation under proxmox. What problem do you have exactly?
 

mahar

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Mar 14, 2017
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I have not seen one but probably Aruba has it on their ASP portal. I did not use any though, just went with the typical VM installation under proxmox. What problem do you have exactly?
The ap 325 won't upgrade to the 8.6 code. I have attached the console read out, and the license I have on the controller.
 

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cheezehead

Active Member
Sep 23, 2012
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Last update. The conversion was a success!

So the requirements are:
- Mobility Controller 8.6
- AP capable of running 8.6
- AP must be licensed and provisioned in MC

Once the requirements are met the actual process is a breeze, and takes less than 10 minutes.
Any idea if this can be accomplished an unlicensed MC? AP's will still connect, but afaik you just can't enable any SSIDs unless I'm thinking of 6.x days.

The ap 325 won't upgrade to the 8.6 code. I have attached the console read out, and the license I have on the controller.
Your AP is on the 6.4 code.

AP can be upgraded through the controller or via tftp.

Via TFTP and console cable .....assuming you have TFTP server running with the 8.6 code sitting on the tftp server.
1) Boot the device and press enter when it starts counting down, this will bring your to the apboot command line
2) factory_reset
3) clear os
4) dhcp
5) setenv serverip x.x.x.x ....IP address of your TFTP server
6) upgrade os ArubaInstant_Centaurus_8.6.0.5_75979
7) boot

At this point you'll be on the 8.6 code and if the dhcp options for the controllers are setup it should auto-connect. If not, you can login to the AP and convert it to managed while defining the controller address.
 

mimino

Active Member
Nov 2, 2018
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I don't think this will work. You can't flash ArubaInstant if you want to convert from the controller because AP won't join the controller if you do that.
Your controller must be running 8.6 and it will automatically update the AP and provision it. Only after that you can do the 'ap convert'.

You can do that from the MC, but you still need a controller, and they both must be 8.6. You can't terminate the AP on MC (see my comment above).
 

mahar

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Mar 14, 2017
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Well the main problem I am having is that, the ap reboot loops and says image upgrade fail.if you look at the log I uploaded you will see the error.

later on I will post the logs from the controller