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CLI-based Configuration Guide - WLAN-AC

AR100, AR120, AR150, AR160, AR200, AR1200, AR2200, AR3200, and AR3600 V200R010

This document provides the concepts, configuration procedures, and configuration examples of WLAN-AC features.
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Data Forwarding Mode

Data Forwarding Mode

Packets transmitted on a WLAN include control packets (management packets) and data packets. Control packets are forwarded through CAPWAP control tunnels. Data packets are forwarded through tunnel forwarding (centralized forwarding) or direct forwarding (local forwarding) according to whether data packets are forwarded through CAPWAP data tunnels.


AR3670 does not support tunnel forwarding.

Tunnel Forwarding

In tunnel forwarding mode, APs encapsulate service data packets over a CAPWAP data tunnel and sends them to an AC, which then forwards these packets to an upper-layer network, as shown in Figure 4-16.
Figure 4-16  Tunnel forwarding

Direct Forwarding

In direct forwarding mode, an AP directly forwards service data packets to an upper-layer network without encapsulating them over a CAPWAP data tunnel, as shown in Figure 4-17.
Figure 4-17  Direct forwarding

Comparison Between Tunnel Forwarding and Direct Forwarding

Table 4-3 lists the advantages and disadvantages of tunnel forwarding and direct forwarding.
Table 4-3  Comparison between tunnel forwarding and direct forwarding
Data Forwarding Mode Advantage Disadvantage
Tunnel forwarding

An AC forwards all data packets, ensuring security and facilitating centralized management and control.

Service data must be forwarded by an AC, reducing packet forwarding efficiency and burdening the AC.

Direct forwarding

Service data does not need to be forwarded by an AC, improving packet forwarding efficiency and reducing the burden on the AC.

Service data is difficult to manage and control in a centralized manner.

Centralized Authentication in Direct Forwarding Mode

If direct forwarding is used, service data does not need to be forwarded by an AC. When user access authentication (for example, 802.1X authentication) is required on a wireless user access network and the access control point is deployed on an AC, user authentication packets cannot be managed by the AC in a centralized manner. This makes in controlling users in a uniform manner difficult.

Centralized authentication can be enabled in direct forwarding mode so that user authentication packets can be forwarded over CAPWAP tunnels to the AC, while common data packets do not need to be forwarded by the AC. Figure 4-18 shows a network using centralized authentication in direct forwarding mode.

Figure 4-18  Centralized authentication in direct forwarding mode

Updated: 2019-08-07

Document ID: EDOC1100033726

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