CAPWAP Controller Discovery Process

In a controller-based architecture, CAPWAP access points are dependent on a wireless controller to provide the software image, configuration, and centralized control and optionally data forwarding functions. Therefore, it is necessary for the access point to find a list of available controllers with which it can associate.

The following layer 3 CAPWAP discovery options are supported:

  1. Broadcast on the local subnet
  2. Local NVRAM list of the previously joined controller, previous mobility group members, and administrator primed controller through the console port
  3. Over the Air Provisioning (OTAP) (subsequently removed in version code)
  4. DHCP Option 43 returned from the DHCP server
  5. DNS lookup for “CISCO-CAPWAP-CONTROLLER.localdomain

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