I have Cisco 2500 series wireless LAN controller. I have to configure the WLC in such a way that it receives an IP address on my local LAN, and while the clients connect to the WAPs, they get the IP range of another network. In a way, I want the controller to route the traffic.

My current LAN address is, and the WLC IP address is

I want the controller to assign IP addresses from to the wireless clients.

I have tried it but could not work. I read it somewhere that controller just bridges but doesn't route. Is that true? If so, what are my options? If I let the wireless clients to get addresses from the LAN IP address, I will run short of IP addresses.

I am new here. If my way of asking is incorrect then forgive me. Thank you in advance.

  • Did any answer help you? if so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Aug 7, 2017 at 20:56

2 Answers 2


A possible setup is

1 - Have the ports on the WLC configured as a LAG / EtherChannel, in order to provide increase bandwidth and fault tolerance

This is done in the "Controller / General" page, there's a drop down menu for "LAG mode on next reboot"

Of course you must have your switch configured accordingly with a LAG / EtherChannel for the ports your WLC is connected on.

2 - On the switch configure the LAG/EtherChannel as a Trunk interface, with the native VLAN being the WLC management VLAN (i.e. in your case the VLAN in which you have the network), and allow whichever VLAN you want the Wifi clients to use. (let's say VLAN 10 for example)

3 - On the WLC configure an interface for the Wifi clients in the chosen VLAN (10), in the "Controller / Interface" Menu

4 - on your router configure the WifiClient VLAN (10) gateway. You may set on the router an IP Helper / DHCP relay to direct DHCP request to your DHCP server if you choose to not set one directly in the VLAN

5 - set the DHCP server

6 - create an WLAN and associate it with the interface created in step 3

You're done.

Note that during the LAG and management network configuration you should be connected with the serial console since it's quite easy to loose communication with the controller while you configure this.

  • There are options like DHCP scope, DHCP option 82 and so on. Can we just have the controller to NAT the IP it gets in its management and give the range of IP that is different from that of management's IP address. I asked it because there is option of NAT in the interface there.
    – de.walkar
    Mar 4, 2016 at 9:58
  • Obviously you need a DHCP scope somewhere and option 82 is... well... an option... You need a dhcp server and a way for your client to reach it... So either a DHCP server set directly in the clients VLAN or a DHCP relay.. Concerning NAT, avoid IT when you can, and I don't see what you mean... If you need 2 different networks, VLAN is the way to go.
    – JFL
    Mar 4, 2016 at 10:14
  • Well just curious if that could do. I am trying to avoid vlan as far as possible. But now there seems no way without it.
    – de.walkar
    Mar 4, 2016 at 10:17

The controller just bridges the the Wi-Fi traffic. You need to connect it to a switch which has a VLAN for the user traffic. This VLAN can have its own IP network range, be routed, and have DHCP specific to that VLAN.

Typically, I have seen multiple ports on the WLC channeled to a switch. A single port is probably insufficient for all the Wi-Fi clients. More recent Cisco WLCs have 10 Gb ports to help with that problem.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.