What is the wireless network controller

IT service and support from the IT service provider in Stuttgart

What is a WLAN controller?

With a wireless LAN controller, regardless of the device in which it is located, you can manage and configure a number of access points (APs) centrally in a simplified manner. In this way, a WLAN controller enables efficient management of WLAN networks and their access points - especially when there are numerous access points.

WLAN is a wireless architecture that aims to meet changing network requirements. A WLAN controller manages wireless network access points through which wireless devices can connect to the network.

WLAN controllers are mostly physical devices that are rack-mounted in the central data room and communicate with each AP at the same time. This enables the easy and quick configuration of multiple APs without IT experts have to configure each one manually.


WLAN controllers can currently control several thousand APs. This allows organizations to control and provision SSIDs, dynamic channel assignment, broadcast performance, security type, VLAN assignment, channel policy, and everything else related to wireless communications from a single management interface.

The WLAN controller is also responsible for sending firmware and configuration codes to the access points. In addition, it manages roaming in Layer 2 and Layer 3 modes and keeps track of all connected clients, including MAC address information and the associated AP. It's also the part of the network that connects your wireless traffic to your wired network.

The system also handles radio resource management. It collects all information from the APs and gives both the administrator and the wireless network itself a full 3D view of the network. By taking over radio resource management, the WLAN controller also controls which channels the APs are switched to, how much transmission power they have and what to do in the event of malfunctions.

The WLAN controller is a real application of the concept of a separate administration and data level. The WLAN controller is the management level and the APs work on the data level. With this separation, companies whose WiFi has numerous access points achieve the greatest possible efficiency.

Management and operations
These are the tasks that enable the wireless LAN network to be deployed and operated in a uniform and simple manner, without the same operations in each of the APs within the local network to have to repeat. You can use these features to configure, monitor, and diagnose problems on the network, and to send and receive alerts when problems are detected. In order to achieve homogeneous network performance, the operating system update of the APs is also included in this group so that they all have the same version.

Aggregation and processing of data traffic from wireless devices such as tablets and smartphones
Such functions are not always carried out in the WLC, which mainly depends on the network architecture used. If the all traffic is routed through the controller by wireless devices, this traffic can be used to do “things”, such as: For example, the encryption and the separation of the data traffic for sending to different networks or the filtering according to priorities predefined quality guidelines.

Local wireless functions
The specific characteristics of radio technology make the use of coordination and protection mechanisms within a certain radio spectrum advisable for more efficient use in a certain local area. The mechanisms are grouped here so that each AP uses a different part of the electrical spectrum (channel) than the surrounding ones. A WLAN controller offers Mechanisms for Optimization distributing traffic between wireless devices and APs, detecting interference, and even geographically positioning the devices using radio triangulation mechanisms.

Other “non-Wi-Fi” functions
Many controllers also have features that have little or nothing to do with Wi-Fi technology, such as: For example, they serve as a printer server, as a NAS (Network Attached Storage) or as a conventional fixed LAN switch.

As you might guess, adding a WLAN controller greatly improves scalability by allowing more access points to be easily installed on the network and reducing the complexity of deployment and management.

Who needs a WLAN controller?

For all companies in their Buildings / on their premises 2 or more access points to your WLAN network is a WLAN controller recommended. By managing all access points as a complete WLAN system, the use of a WLAN controller not only offers maximum scalability, Performance and WiFi control. Nowadays, modern WLAN controllers are equipped with efficient embedded software as standard and, as already mentioned in the section above, use Radio Resource Management (RRM) algorithms to detect changes at an early stage and to make necessary adjustments.
Companies, whether small, medium or large, benefit from creating a self-configuring, self-optimizing and self-correcting WLAN environment. These adjustments create the optimal topology for wireless networks in the same way as routing protocols.

A WLAN controller takes on so many work steps and processes that IT departments can be relieved noticeably. In a world that would not function the way successful companies need today without efficient WLAN use, WLAN controllers are of great importance for the optimal use of existing technologies.

/ by Daniel FaustKeywords:Data security, internet, IT, IT security, network, data center, what is actually ..., web, web hosting