Introduction to of Cisco's Catalyst Family of 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E APs
The Cisco Catalyst line of 802.11ax (called Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E) access points improve on prior generation 802.11ac (aka Wi-Fi 5) APs by delivering lower latency and more consistent performance, allowing higher client density, providing tighter cybersecurity, conserving power for battery-dependent handheld devices, and providing more flexibility for handling different types of Internet-of-Things (IoT) endpoints.
Progent's Cisco CCIE wireless infrastructure consultants can provide online or on-premises integration and troubleshooting services to assist your organization to design, implement, upgrade, optimize, manage and debug Catalyst Wi-Fi AP environments of any size or topology. Progent's Cisco wireless controller consultants can also help you to integrate your Wi-Fi ecosystem with your wired network and cloud-hosted resources to build a seamless enterprise connectivity foundation that is easy to administer and expand. Progent also offers affordable Wi-Fi site surveys to help you to decide the most efficient selection, location and setup of Aironet Wi-Fi APs to work with your specific office layout, construction, and expected network traffic.
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Family of 802.11ax APs support the performance and scale of 802.11ax technology
The Catalyst 9100 line of Wi-Fi 6 access points are intended for environments ranging from home offices to high-density enterprise campuses. Cisco Catalyst 9100 access points are compliant with the 802.11ax standard, known as Wi-Fi 6, which is an evolution of the preceding 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) specification. Unlike 802.11ac, Wi-Fi 6 is able to use both the 2.4-Ghz and 5-GHz radio bands. Headline technologies incorporated in Catalyst 9100 Series APs include OFDMA scheduling for high density deployments, dual NAVs for improved reliability, increased device sleep time for conserving power consumption in battery-powered endpoints, adaptive sensitivity thresholds for better spectrum utilization, and dynamic fragmentation for reduced overhead. All Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series 802.11ax access points can run Cisco's EWC, handle as many as 200 clients per radio, and run on Cisco IOS XE Software.
Cisco's Catalyst 9105AXi Series wireless AP is a ceiling mount or desktop Wi-Fi 6 access point designed for operation by at-home workers or in small to midsize enterprises. Cisco's Catalyst 9105AXi AP supports 802.11a/b/g/n/acW2/ax and features dual 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios plus an Internet-of-Things radio covering Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.0 and Zigbee. The Catalyst 9105AXi AP supports 2x2:2 MU/SU-MIMO spatial streams and delivers a combined top data rate of 1.2 Gbps. The 9105AXi AP comes with one 10/100/1000 Base-T uplink port with Power over Ethernet 802.3at, an RJ-45 management console port, and a pair of internal antennas. Channel width for the 2.4 GHz radio is 20 MHz and 20/40/80 MHz for the 5 GHz radio. With the EWC image installed, the 9105AXi AP allows you to manage 50 APs and 1,000 client users.
Cisco's Catalyst 9105AXw Series wireless access point is a wall-mount appliance and is targeted at hospitality, dormitories, and other multi-unit living spaces. The 9105AXw's capability is like Cisco's 9105AXi access point but has special antenna options and includes a set of ports not available on the 9105AXi device. These include a 100/1000/2500 Base-T (Ethernet) uplink port, three 10/100/1000 Ethernet downlink ports, a USB 2.0 interface, and one passthru interface. A Ethernet downlink interface supports 10.5W PSE Power Budget.
The Cisco Catalyst 9115AX Series Wi-Fi 6-compliant LAN AP is intended for small to medium size organizations. The 9115AX Series AP supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax and incorporates three Wi-Fi radios as well as an Internet-of-Things (IoT) radio that supports Bluetooth Low Energy 5.0. The Cisco 9115AX Series AP includes 4x4:4 + 4x4:4 spatial streams and delivers a combined combined data speed of 5 Gbps. Cisco's Catalyst 9115AX comes with a fixed 100/1000/2500 Ethernet (RJ-45) interface with Power-over-Ethernet 802.3at, an RJ-45 management port, a USB 2.0 interface, built-in antennas, and optional external antennas. System memory includes 2048 MB DRAM and 1024 MB flash. With EWC installed, the 9115AX can manage as many as 50 access points and 1,000 clients.
The Cisco Catalyst 9117AX Series LAN AP is targeted at small to midsize networks. The Wi-Fi 6 device works with the 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax specifications and includes three Wi-Fi radios plus an IoT radio covering (BLE) 5.0. The Cisco Catalyst 9117AX Series AP features 8x8 MIMO with eight spatial streams for the 5-GHz band and 4x4:4 MIMO. Top aggregate data rate is 5 Gbps. The Catalyst 9117AX Series AP comes with a 100/1000/2500/5000 Ethernet (RJ-45) uplink interface with PoE 802.3at, an RJ-45 management console interface, a USB 2.0 interface, and integrated internal antennas. System memory includes 2048 MB DRAM and 1024 MB flash. With Embedded Wireless Controller (EWC) activated, the Catalyst 9117AX Series AP can manage as many as 50 access points and 1,000 clients.
Cisco's Catalyst 9120AX Series Wi-Fi 6-certified access point is designed for for medium to large enterprises. The Catalyst 9120AX complies with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax and incorporates four radios. Flexible Radio Assignment technology permits radios to operate in 2.4-GHz/5-GHz mode or in Dual 5-GHz mode. An Internet-of-Things radio supports Bluetooth Low Energy 5.0. The 9120AX features 4x4:4 MU-MIMO spatial streams and delivers an aggregate max data rate of 5.2 Gbps when both radios operate in 5-GHz client serving mode. The Catalyst 9120AX includes 100/1000/2500 Ethernet (RJ-45). The access point also supports PoE 802.3at and includes an RJ-45 management interface, a USB 2.0 interface, and built-in internal antennas. External antennas are an option. Memory includes 2048 MB DRAM and 1024 MB flash. With the EWC image activated, the 9120AX Series AP can manage up to 100 APs and 2,000 clients.
Cisco's Catalyst 9130AX Series Wi-Fi 6-certified AP is targeted at mid-size to large networks and dense public venues such as auditoriums and stadiums. The Cisco Catalyst 9130AX supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax and features 8x8:8 MU-MIMO. External antennas on the 9130AX AP can be split into two 4x4 Wi-Fi radios. An IoT radio supports Bluetooth Low Energy 5.0. The Catalyst 9130AX features a built-in 100/1000/2500/5000 Multigigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) uplink port and supports a combined top data rate of 5.38 Gbps. The device also works with PoE 802.3at and includes an RJ-45 management port, a USB 2.0 interface, and integrated internal antennas. The 9130AX AP includes a smart antenna connector that gives you the flexibility to set up an external antenna to handle challenging environments. Memory includes 2048 MB DRAM and 1024 MB flash memory. With Embedded Wireless Controller installed, the 9130AX can manage 100 APs and 2,000 clients.
Cisco's Catalyst 9136 Series represents an innovative line of APs targeted at enterprises looking for the enhanced performance, client density, and cybersecurity enabled by the 6-GHz spectrum expansion defined by the Wi-Fi 6E standard. By adding 1.2 GHz of uninterrupted and interference-free spectrum in the 6 GHz band, the Wi-Fi 6E standard supported by Cisco Catalyst 9136 Series APs more than doubles the spectrum available to earlier model Wi-Fi clients. Catalyst 9136 access points work with older generation 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax Wi-Fi devices operating in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands in addition to the modern generation of 6 GHz Wi-Fi clients. Concurrent MU-MIMO operation support up to 8x8:8 at 5 GHz and up to 4x4:4 at 2.4/6 GHz. Combined max performance rate is 10.2 Gbps. Also included are a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.0 radio for IoT and a scan radio. Internal antennas antennas support 2.4 GHz, 5-GHz, and 6 GHz operation. Catalyst 9136 APs have two integrated 5 Gbps Multigigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) Ethernet interfaces. Channel width is 20 MHz at 2.4 GHz and 20/40/80/160 MHz at 5/6 GHz. System memory consists of 2048 MB DRAM and 1024 MB flash. Power options include PoE, PoE+, and UPoE.
Cisco's Catalyst 9160 Series Wi-Fi 6E APs are the first Cisco APs to feature the flexibility to be monitored and managed either on-premises via Cisco DNA Center or through the cloud by using Meraki management utilities. This permits businesses to move to cloud-centric or hybrid management environments on their own timetable. All Catalyst 916x APs comply with the a/b/g/n/ac/ax and 6E Wi-Fi specifications and include support for the new 6-GHz band. Each device has 5 radios and allows as many as 400 clients per radio. Every AP also features a dedicated radio for Cisco CleanAir Pro for mitigating wireless interference, has a USB 2.0 port, and offers Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). The entry-level Catalyst 9162 Series AP is meant for small businesses, incorporates three 2x2 radios, and provides 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet connectivity. The Catalyst 9164 Series access point is meant for small and middle-size enterprises, includes one 2x2 radio and two 4x4 radios, and offers 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet. The Catalyst 9166 Series AP is intended for large and mid-sized enterprises, has three 4x4 radios, and offers 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G/5G mGig Ethernet support. The 9166 also comes with environmental sensors to measure air quality, temperature, and humidity.
Cisco's Embedded Wireless Controller (EWC) on Catalyst 9100 Wireless Access Points
Cisco's Embedded Wireless Controller (EWC) is a software image running on Cisco IOS XE and offered on most Catalyst 9100 Wi-Fi 6 access points. EWC supports the majority of management functions, but not the expandability, of Catalyst 9800 family of wireless controller appliances. APs running EWC can concurrently service Wi-Fi clients. (Cisco Catalyst 9105AXW APs can participate in an EWC network and service client users but cannot provide EWC functions.) The EWC can be managed via Cisco DNA Center for multi-location deployments, or via a web browser or mobile app for a single location. All Cisco DNAC Automation and Assurance use cases are supported. Embedded Wireless Controller features include high availability by deploying active and standby controllers, software maintenance updates for live patching, auto setup, Application Visibility and Control, and Flexible Radio Assignment.
How Progent's Consultants Can Help You with Cisco Catalyst Wi-Fi 6/6E Access Points
Progent can provide a Cisco-certified CCIE consultant to assist your business to design, deploy, manage and repair a Wi-Fi solution that includes Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 APs. Progent can help you to support legacy Wi-Fi access points from Cisco or upgrade seamlessly to current 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6. Progent's Cisco Wi-Fi controller integration experts can help you to evaluate whether your Wi-Fi environment should include Cisco Wi-Fi controller appliances or can be managed using Cisco's virtual appliances and utilities such as the Embedded Wireless Controller.
Progent's CISA and ISSAP security professionals can show you how to build security into your WLAN and into your company's processes. Progent's disaster recovery consultants and business continuity planning consultants can help you to deploy the HA features built into Cisco's wired/wireless products so your converged network provides non-stop return on investment.
Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey assists you to plan and implement a state-of-the-art wireless network optimized for your facilities, providing a Wi-Fi solution that provides seamless coverage, high performance and capacity, Quality of Service to accommodate IP voice and video, advanced security, and easy management. Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey can be performed remotely to reduce time and costs, or on premises for more complex environments.
To learn more information about Progent's professional expertise for Cisco solutions, choose a topic:
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Cisco Catalyst WiFi 5 and WiFi 6/6E Access Points
To learn more about Progent's consulting services for designing, integrating, maintaining and debugging a wireless deployment based on Catalyst WiFi 5 and WiFi 6/6E APs, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.