Aruba 8.X AP terminology

Each vendor has different naming convention for the AP functionality. Some of the features used by the APs might require licence or a specific mode.

This article presents the world of Aruba Networks and introduction to their naming convention and role in the network.


Picture taken from Aruba training materials

CAPCampus AP – this is a regular AP, which associates with a controller. After provisioning the AP gets configuration and operates to the mobile clients.

RAPRemote AP – this type of AP extends the WLAN to company resources. Usually it will establish a VPN tunnel to the controller or concentrator, therefore the user associating with the AP doesn’t need to establish its own VPN tunnel to the company.
This might be also combined with the Mesh functionality working as Mesh Portal.

Mesh AP – consists of:
Mesh Portal, which have Ethernet connectivity to the backbone and
Mesh Point, which doesn’t have Ethernet connectivity to the backbone.
Mesh Point after provisioning establishes a link usually on 5GHz network to the Mesh Portal and uses 2.4 GHz radio for the mobile clients. It might be used in parks, yards, etc.

AMAir Monitor – the radios are dedicated for scanning only, it doesn’t operate for mobile clients. Used for dynamic RF and WIDS operations.

SASpectrum APs – the radio(s) are dedicated for spectrum analysis purposes, which analyses Layer 1 around the AP. It is useful for remote non-Wi-Fi interference checks.

IAPInstant APs – standalone mode, in which the APs can be managed by the elected Virtual Controller (VC) for easier management, monitoring etc.
Licence-free solution. CAPs can’t be associated to the IAP cluster.