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  1. #1

    Moving EAP Controller to new PC?

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    So, I seem to be missing something here. I recently installed a couple of EAP245 APs. I downloaded the EAP Controller software to my laptop, went through the initial configuration, added and configured the APs just fine, and all was well!

    I used my laptop just so I could be near to the APs when I did the install and my office (and desktop) are in another part of the building. But, now that they are all set, I want to do long-term administration of them from my desktop.

    I installed the software there and I THOUGHT that it would have some option to indicate that I already have a network in place. But, it doesn't! It just starts brand new again. You can skip the initial configuration of the detected APs, but you are still forced to create a new wireless network and such.

    Is there no good way to do this? I just want to have a second/new administration point for the APs that I've already set up.

    I've even tried just matching things up and then "adopting" the existing APs, but it seems to have authentication trouble with that even when using the same username/password.

    And I worry that, even if that worked, it would then change the configuration -- which isn't what I want. They are already set up -- I just want to be able to control them from a new PC.

    Suggestions? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Since the process of discovery/adoption binds the EAPs to the IP of the system running the controller, you can't set up a second controller without removing the EAPs from the first controller.

    To move the EAPs from one controller to another, you have to forgot them on first controller, so that discovery starts again. Of course, before doing so you could make a backup of the settings and restore those on the second controller.

  3. #3
    Yeah, that's just horribly bad design.

    Is there a controller backup/restore or export/import, at least?

    Because otherwise that would mean that you are FOREVER bound to the PC that you originally configured with! That's sounds crazy to me. You configure a large, multi-WAP network and then the IT manager that did it gets a new laptop or desktop and all is lost and they have to do it all over again?

    Again, if that is accurate, that is just a horrible design/developer oversight.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGypsy View Post
    Is there a controller backup/restore or export/import, at least?
    Sure.

    Because otherwise that would mean that you are FOREVER bound to the PC that you originally configured with! That's sounds crazy to me. You configure a large, multi-WAP network and then the IT manager that did it gets a new laptop or desktop and all is lost and they have to do it all over again?
    In professional use cases, you won't run an EAP controller on a laptop, but on a dedicated server. What's more, an IP address is not owned by a PC, it's completely unrelated to the device offering services under this IP for a certain lifetime span. For example, our IPs don't change, but the underlying hardware changes often.

    Maybe you should keep managers and their laptops away from multi-WAP network design and let technicians do it right.

    If you need an enterprise-class controller with failover capabilities and more controllers controlling the same APs, consider buying two AC500 hardware controllers and CAPs rather than EAPs. But HW-controlled CAPs are not as cheap as EAPs, for which the controller is available for free.
    Last edited by R1D2; 02-16-2018 at 10:39.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by R1D2 View Post
    In professional use cases, you won't run an EAP controller on a laptop, but on a dedicated server.
    Please don't make incorrect assumptions about all "professional use cases."

    I work at an IT consulting firm. We do consulting for many other small offices. I am certainly a "professional use case" that doesn't fit the assumed mold that you have mentioned.

    I want to be able to use TP-Link WAPs at multiple clients that we do consulting for. These clients are small enough that they may not have a dedicated server to run the EAP controller on. In these situations, I am using my laptop to configure these and make changes to these WAPs -- and they simply do not need the EAP controller running all of the time because they are not using those features. They just need it when configuration changes are needed.

    Therefore, it is not unreasonable at all for me to, at some point, replace my consulting laptop with another one.

    Maybe you should keep managers and their laptops away from multi-WAP network design and let technicians do it right.
    Again, this is you making very incorrect assumptions and being rather rude about it at the same time. I am a technician. Maybe you shouldn't assume that every client using TP-Link WAPs is some stand-alone business with a dedicated server?

    If you need an enterprise-class controller with failover capabilities and more controllers controlling the same APs, consider buying two AC500 hardware controllers and CAPs rather than EAPs. But HW-controlled CAPs are not as cheap as EAPs, for which the controller is available for free.
    That is incredible overkill for the situations I am referring to (smaller offices that need an outside IT firm to help run their infrastructure).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGypsy View Post
    I work at an IT consulting firm. We do consulting for many other small offices. I am certainly a "professional use case" that doesn't fit the assumed mold that you have mentioned.
    See, I manage over 1.200 WiFi hotspots for my clients and I never ever would try to manage EAPs from my laptop. Sorry if you feel offended by my post and I don't want to sound harsh, but if you are using the EAP controller to manage multiple clients and have still not found out that EAPs can be connected to only one controller at a time and how to move the controller from one system to another, I strongly would recommend to RTFM first before deploying such a setup.

    These clients are small enough that they may not have a dedicated server to run the EAP controller on.
    The clients do not have to run a dedicated server. You would have to run a dedicated server to manage all the EAPs for different clients.That's the way the EAPC is supposed to work and it works fine this way.

    If there is only a small number of clients and you are visiting their place to administrate the APs, I would recommend to not use the EAPC, but the web UI of the EAPs instead. Alternatively, if you insist to use the EAPC, you could run several EAPC instances (but only one at the same time) designated for each client on your laptop. That's really not too difficult to plan beforehand.

    That is incredible overkill for the situations I am referring to (smaller offices that need an outside IT firm to help run their infrastructure).
    See above comment. As for being rude, how about:

    Yeah, that's just horribly bad design.


    No, it's not, it just doesn't fit the use case you want to use it for.



  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by R1D2 View Post
    See, I manage over 1.200 WiFi hotspots for my clients and I never ever would try to manage EAPs from my laptop.
    That's fine that YOU do it that way. As I said, if the client doesn't have a dedicated server for this because they don't need those features and just have a few WAPs, then it makes sense to manage them from a laptop. You may do it differently -- doesn't make my way wrong.

    Sorry if you feel offended by my post and I don't want to sound harsh, but if you are using the EAP controller to manage multiple clients and have still not found out that EAPs can be connected to only one controller at a time
    I didn't expect to be able have more than one controller at a time -- don't put words into my mouth. What I expect was that it would be easier to move the controller to another system. Or, actually, that they should be able to easily keep their config during a move to a new controller.


    The clients do not have to run a dedicated server. You would have to run a dedicated server to manage all the EAPs for different clients.That's the way the EAPC is supposed to work and it works fine this way.
    I do have a dedicated server -- a laptop that I take onsite. Some of these clients cannot be configured for outside access to allow it from off-site. The issue was that, sometimes, I want to move to another machine. I still don't think that is unreasonable.

    If there is only a small number of clients and you are visiting their place to administrate the APs, I would recommend to not use the EAPC, but the web UI of the EAPs instead.
    Yes, of course, and that is what I'm doing when there is just one AP or two. I still still think it is reasonable that the EAP controller software should better support this.

    Alternatively, if you insist to use the EAPC, you could run several EAPC instances (but only one at the same time) designated for each client on your laptop. That's really not too difficult to plan beforehand.
    My point is simply that that shouldn't be necessary. We can agree to disagree on that if you'd like.

    No, it's not, it just doesn't fit the use case you want to use it for.


    Right, right -- because I wasn't doing a "professional" use case. I remember now.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGypsy View Post
    I do have a dedicated server -- a laptop that I take onsite. Some of these clients cannot be configured for outside access to allow it from off-site. The issue was that, sometimes, I want to move to another machine. I still don't think that is unreasonable.
    Okay, if you want to take your server onsite, you could do so. But then you will have to set up different EAP controllers on your laptop "server", one for each network using different IP ranges. The disadvantages of doing so are a) to have the EAPs hardwired to this laptop's IP(s), b) adopting EAPs again when moving mgmt to another PC (or using the laptop's IP on this PC) and c) adopting all EAPs again if the client decides to change its IPs in his network.

    Maybe a picture can show better how the EAP controller is supposed to work as intended by its developers:

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    - Your server can be located at your office, at a data center or at your home. It could even be a single-board system smaller than your laptop.

    - All EAPs can be easily managed from everywhere, even with your smartphone or desktop PC or laptop or whatever device.
    Exactly what you asked for: management can be moved from laptop to desktop to smartphone to tablet without any hassle.
    What's more, even several users can access the controller at the same time.

    - You still can sit beside the EAPs while adopting/configuring them! Next requirement you had as an argument for carrying around a server.

    - Your laptop can have any IP you wish while still being able to access all EAPs of the site you are visiting. No hardwired EAPs anymore.

    - All EAPs on each site use a per-site config independent of other configs meaning you actually use a multi-site controller instead of one controller per site on a laptop or a desktop.

    - You could not only manage the onsite's EAPs, but also the EAPs at other sites, should the need arise to respond quickly on demand of a client.

    - Your client can also access the EAP controller using his PC as an unprivileged user (or as an operator or even as an admin) to see fancy statistics.

    - You could manage the EAPs even from the office, thus saving lot of time traveling around (but can enjoy a beer with the client after work is done).

    - You could adopt new EAPs using the laptop while onsite, but also change something later using the PC in your office.

    - You could log into an EAP using ssh when visiting a site. ← And this is the only action you would need to set the same IP of the network the EAPs are in!


    That's the way AP controllers (no matter from which vendor) are supposed to work. Now tell me one good reason for a task, which would require to deploy the controller on a laptop. There is none if you are honest.

    What you need if you want to physically connect an Ethernet cable from your laptop to an EAP network to configure the EAPs is a Configuration Utility, but the EAP controller isn't such a utility. That's why EAPs have a stand-alone mode and a web UI for direct physical access.
    Last edited by R1D2; 02-17-2018 at 00:53.


 

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