Initial Configuration for Embedded Wireless Controller

Product overview

Official explanation

The Cisco® Embedded Wireless Controller (EWC) on Catalyst® Access Points is a software-based controller integrated into Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points. It is a simplified, low-cost, feature-rich Wi-Fi architecture with enterprise-level WLAN capability streamlined for small and midsize deployments. With this solution, small and midsize networks can enjoy the same quality user experiences as large enterprises.

Simply put

EWC is integrated into the 9100 series AP, it does not require any license, it is fewer features, low-cost solution for small businesses.

AP Conversion

EWC to CAPWAP

We need EWC image and AP image, decompress the zip file downloaded from the official website.

images:
C9800-AP-iosxe-wlc.bin: EWC image
ap1g6: C9117
ap1g6a: C9130
ap1g7: C9115, C9120

Command:

AP#ap-type ewc-ap tftp://<TFTP Server IP>/< ap image> tftp://<TFTP Server IP>/< WLC image>

Example:

AP#ap-type ewc-ap tftp://10.1.1.1/image/C9800-AP-universalk9.16.12.04a/ap1g6 tftp://10.1.1.1/image/C9800-AP-universalk9.16.12.04a/C9800-AP-iosxe-wlc.bin
CAPWAP to EWC

If necessary, we can use the following command to convert from CAPWAP to EWC.

AP#ap-type capwap

Configuration

We can use the initial configuration dialog or manual configuration. The following is the manual configuration process.

Hostname
WLC0CD0.F894.5DC4#conf t
Enter configuration commands, one per line.  End with CNTL/Z.
WLC0CD0.F894.5DC4(config)#hostname EWC-AP
EWC-AP(config)#end
EWC-AP#wr
Interfaces

EWC side:

EWC-AP(config)#ip default-gateway 10.106.63.1
EWC-AP(config)#int gigabitEthernet 0
EWC-AP(config-if)#ip add
EWC-AP(config-if)#ip address 10.106.63.8 255.255.255.0
EWC-AP(config-if)#end
EWC-AP#wr
Building configuration...
[OK]

Switch side:

Switch#sh run int gigabitEthernet 1/0/2
Building configuration...

Current configuration : 132 bytes
!
interface GigabitEthernet1/0/2
 switchport trunk native vlan 63
 switchport trunk allowed vlan 1-2000
 switchport mode trunk
end

Switch#

Internal AP:

EWC-AP#wireless ewc-ap ap shell username admin
Cisco@192.168.129.1's password: 

AP>ena
Password: 

AP#
AP#capwap ap ip 10.106.63.119 255.255.255.0 10.106.63.1
AP#exit
Credential

Add enable password:

EWC-AP(config)#enable password 0 Cisco123

Add local user:

EWC-AP(config)#username admin privilege 15 password 0 Cisco123

Or

EWC-AP#sh run | sec admin
user-name admin
 creation-time 1602285326
 privilege 15
 password 0 Cisco123
EWC-AP#

AP credential:

EWC-AP(config)#ap profile default-ap-profile
EWC-AP(config-ap-profile)#mgmtuser username admin password 0 Cisco123 secret Cisco123

Console login:

EWC-AP(config)#line console 0
EWC-AP(config-line)#login local 
Web server
EWC-AP(config)#ip http server 
EWC-AP(config)#ip http secure-server 

Upgrade

tftp
EWC-AP#sh run | sec image
wireless profile image-download default
 description "default image download profile"
 image-download-mode tftp
  tftp-image-path /image/C9800-AP-universalk9.17.03.01
  tftp-image-server 10.1.1.1
EWC-AP#
sftp
EWC-AP#sh run | sec image
wireless profile image-download default
 description "default image download profile"
 image-download-mode sftp
  sftp-image-path /image/C9800-AP-universalk9.17.03.01
  sftp-image-server 10.1.1.1
  sftp-password 0 Cisco123
  sftp-username tftpuser
EWC-AP#
Install
EWC-AP#clear ap predownload statistics
EWC-AP#install remove profile default
EWC-AP#install add profile default activate commit

Check EWC version:

EWC-AP#show install summary | include IMG
IMG   C    17.03.01.0.351
EWC-AP#

References

Cisco Embedded Wireless Controller on Catalyst Access Points Configuration Guide
Cisco Embedded Wireless Controller on Catalyst Access Points (EWC) White Paper
Embedded Wireless Controller Conversion on Catalyst 9100 Access Points
Release Notes for Cisco Embedded Wireless Controller on Catalyst Access Points, Cisco IOS XE 17.3.x

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