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Optical/IP Networks

The LWAPP Comeback

It turns out the lightweight access point protocol (LWAPP) -- a methodology for controlling so-called dumb access points from a switch -- is alive and well at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

In fact, an IETF group is recommending LWAPP as the protocol of choice for CAPWAP, the umbrella specification for the control and provisioning of WiFi access points.

You can read all about it in deep -- and tedious -- detail here.

But the crux of the biscuit is:

"LWAPP has the most complete base protocol and is flexible enough to be extended or modified by the working group. We therefore recommend LWAPP be used as the basis for the CAPWAP protocol."

Unstrung predicted that LWAPP might get just such a shot in the arm after Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) bought Airespace, as the protocol was originally that startup's baby. (See The Switch Fix Is In.)

But it's still not particularly clear when this work might result in a standardized control mechanism for APs. Best not to hold your breath!

— DanWAP JonesWAP, Site Editor, Unstrung

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