Overview of Cisco's Catalyst Line of Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E Access Points
Cisco's Catalyst line of 802.11ax (referred to as Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E) wireless access points improve on previous generation 802.11ac (called Wi-Fi 5) APs by delivering lower latency and more predictable performance, supporting higher client density, providing greater security, saving energy for battery-powered mobile devices, and offering more flexibility for handling new types of Internet-of-Things (IoT) endpoints.
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified Wi-Fi experts offer online or on-premises consulting and technical support services to help businesses of any size to plan, configure, upgrade, tune, manage and troubleshoot Catalyst indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi 6 access point systems for any network architecture or site. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE network infrastructure consultants and Cisco wireless controller consultants can also assist you to integrate your Wi-Fi environment seamlessly with your local wired network and your cloud infrastructure to build a unified ecosystem with centralized management and practically unlimited expandability. Progent can also provide economical Wi-Fi site surveys to assist you to plan an efficient deployment of Wi-Fi access points that includes the selection of appropriate Catalyst AP devices and their optimal placement based on your site's physical layout and RF environment as well as your anticipated application loads, client density, and endpoint types.
Cisco's Catalyst Wi-Fi 6 access points support the performance and scale of the 802.11ax standard
Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6/6E Wireless Access Points
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 line of Wi-Fi 6 wireless access points (APs) are designed for environments ranging from home offices to enterprise campuses and crowded stadiums. Catalyst 9100 APs are based on the 802.11ax standard, which in turn builds on the previous 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) specification. Unlike 802.11ac, Wi-Fi 6 is designed to use both the 2.4-Ghz and 5-GHz bands. Headline technologies introduced by the 802.11ax standard and supported by Cisco 9100 Series APs include MU-MIMO support for uplink traffic, Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) scheduling for ultra-high density deployment scenarios, dual NAVs for improved reliability, Target Wake Time (TWT) for reduced power consumption in battery-powered endpoints, adaptive power and sensitivity thresholds for more efficient spectrum utilization, dynamic fragmentation for reduced overhead, and extended guard interval durations for improved performance in outdoor environments. All Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 wireless access points support Cisco's Embedded Wireless Controller (EWC), include a USB port, handle up to 200 clients per Wi-Fi radio, and are powered by Cisco IOS XE Software.
Cisco's Catalyst 9105AXi Series Wi-Fi access point is a low-profile Wi-Fi 6 ceiling mount or desktop AP intended for use in home offices or small to midsize enterprises. The Catalyst 9105AXi supports 802.11a/b/g/n/acW2/ax and includes dual 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios as well as an IoT radio covering Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.0 and Zigbee. The 9105AXi features 2x2:2 MU/SU-MIMO spatial streams and supports a combined maximum data rate of 1.2 Gbps. The Catalyst 9105AXi comes with one 10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet uplink interface with PoE 802.3at, an RJ-45 management console port, and two integrated 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 9105AXw can manage up to 50 APs and 1,000 clients.
Cisco's Catalyst 9105AXw Series wireless access point is designed specifically as a wall-mount appliance and is intended for hospitality, residence halls, and other multi-unit dwellings. The 9105AXw's performance is similar to the 9105AXi AP but has different antenna profiles and includes a variety of interfaces not available on the 9105AXi. These include a 100/1000/2500 Base-T (Ethernet) uplink interface, three 10/100/1000 Base-T (Ethernet) downlink interfaces, a USB 2.0 port, and a passthru port. One Ethernet downlink port supports 10.5W PSE Power Budget.
Cisco's Catalyst 9115AX Series Wi-Fi 6-certified access point is designed for small to medium networks. The Catalyst 9115AX supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax and includes three Wi-Fi radios as well as an IoT radio covering Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.0. The 9115AX features 4x4:4 + 4x4:4 spatial streams and supports a combined maximum data rate of 5 Gbps. The Catalyst 9115AX comes with one 100/1000/2500 Multigigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) uplink interface with PoE 802.3at, an RJ-45 management console port, a USB 2.0 port, integrated internal antennas, and optional external antennas. Channel width is 160 MHz. System memory includes 2048 MB DRAM and 1024 MB flash. With EWC installed, the 9115AXw can manage up to 50 APs and 1,000 clients.
Cisco's Catalyst 9117AX Series Wi-Fi access point is targeted at small to medium size networks. The Wi-Fi 6 compatible appliance complies with the 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax standards and includes three Wi-Fi radios as well as an IoT radio covering Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.0. The 9117AX features 8x8 MIMO with eight spatial streams for the 5-GHz band and 4x4 MIMO with four spatial streams for the 2.4-GHz band. Maximum combined data rate is 5 Gbps. The Catalyst 9117AX comes with one 100/1000/2500/5000 Multigigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) uplink interface with PoE 802.3at, an RJ-45 management console port, a USB 2.0 port, and integrated internal antennas. Channel width is 160 MHz. System memory includes 2048 MB DRAM and 1024 MB flash. With the Embedded Wireless Controller image installed, the 9117AX can manage up to 50 APs and 1,000 clients.
Cisco's Catalyst 9120AX Series Wi-Fi 6-certified access point is designed for medium to large enterprises. The Catalyst 9120AX supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax and includes four radios. Flexible Radio Assignment technology allows radios to run either in 2.4-GHz/5-GHz mode or in Dual 5-GHz mode. An IoT radio supports Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.0. The 9120AX features 4x4:4 MU-MIMO spatial streams and supports a combined maximum data rate of 5.2 Gbps when both radios operate in 5-GHz client serving mode. The Catalyst 9120AX supports multigigabit Ethernet with uplink speeds of 2.5 Gbps, in addition to 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps Ethernet. The device also works with PoE 802.3at and comes with an RJ-45 management console port, a USB 2.0 port, and integrated internal antennas. External antennas are optional. Channel width is 20 MHz for the 2.4GHz band and 20/40/80/160 MHz for the 5GHz band. System memory includes 2048 MB DRAM and 1024 MB flash. With Embedded Wireless Controller activated, the 9120AX can manage up to 100 APs and 2,000 clients.
Cisco's Catalyst 9130AX Series Wi-Fi 6-certified access point is designed for medium to large enterprises and high-density open venues like auditoriums, convention centers, and arenas. The Catalyst 9130AX supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax and features 8x8:8 MU-MIMO spatial streams. External antennas on the 9130AX AP may be divided into two 4x4 radios. An IoT radio supports Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.0. The Catalyst 9130AX features multigigabit 100/1000/2500/5000 Ethernet and supports a top data rate of 5.38 Gbps. The 9130AX can be powered with PoE 802.3at and comes with an RJ-45 management console port, a USB 2.0 port, and integrated internal antennas. The 9130AX Series AP includes an intelligent physical antenna connector that gives you the flexibility to configure a smart external antenna to handle special environments. Channel width is 20 MHz for the 2.4GHz band and 20/40/80/160 MHz for the 5GHz band. System memory includes 2048 MB DRAM and 1024 MB flash. EWC allows the 9130AXw to manage up to 100 access points and 2,000 clients.
Cisco's Catalyst 9136 Series is a breakthrough line of access points designed for enterprises looking for the enhanced performance, capacity, and security enabled by the 6-GHz spectrum expansion introduced with the Wi-Fi 6E standard. By adding 1.2 GHz of contiguous and interference-free RF spectrum in the 6 GHz band, the Wi-Fi 6E standard supported by Catalyst 9136 Series access points more than doubles the bandwidth available to Wi-Fi client devices. Catalyst 9136 APs support legacy 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax Wi-Fi client devices operating in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands as well as the newer generation of 6 GHz Wi-Fi devices. Concurrent MU-MIMO operation supports up to 8x8:8 at 5 GHz and 4x4:4 at 2.4 GHz and 6 GHz. Combined max data rate is 10.2 Gbps. Also included are a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.0 radio for IoT plus a scan radio. Internal omnidirectional antennas support 2.4 GHz, 5-GHz, and 6 GHz operation. The access points have two integrated 5 Gbps mGig (RJ-45) Ethernet interfaces. Channel width is 20 MHz for the 2.4 GHz band and 20/40/80/160 MHz for the 5 GHz and 6 GHz bands. System memory consists of 2048 MB DRAM and 1024 MB flash. Power options include PoE, PoE+, and UPoE.
Catalyst 916x Series access points are the first Wi-Fi 6E APs from CISCO that can be monitored and managed either on premises via Cisco DNA Center or from the cloud using Meraki Dashboard management tools. This allows organizations to transition to cloud-based or hybrid management environments at their own pace. All Catalyst 916x APs meet the a/b/g/n/ac/ax and 6E Wi-Fi standards and fully support the new 6-GHz band. Each device includes 5 radios and supports up to 400 clients per radio. Each AP model also features a dedicated radio for Cisco CleanAir Pro to reduce wireless interference, comes with a USB 2.0 port, and supports Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Cisco's entry-level Catalyst 9162 Series AP is intended for small organizations, has three 2x2 radios, and includes 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet support. Cisco's Catalyst 9164 Series AP is designed for small and mid-size organizations, has one 2x2 radio and two 4x4 radios, and features 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet. The Catalyst 9166 Series Wi-Fi access point is intended for large and medium-sized enterprises, has three 4x4 radios, and offers 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G/5G mGig Ethernet support. The 9166 also has environmental sensors for measuring air quality, temperature, and humidity.
Cisco's Embedded Wireless Controller on Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 Access Points
Cisco's Embedded Wireless Controller (EWC) is a software image powered by Cisco IOS XE and available for most Catalyst 9100 access points. EWC supports most management functions, but not the scale, of Cisco's Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller appliances. APs running EWC can simultaneously service Wi-Fi clients. (Catalyst 9105AXW APs can join an EWC network and service clients but are not able to run EWC functions.) The EWC can be managed using Cisco DNA Center for multisite networks, or via a browser or mobile app for single-site environments. All Cisco DNA Center Automation and Assurance use cases are supported. EWC features include high availability with active and standby controllers, software maintenance updates (SMUs) for hot patching, automatic configuration, Application Visibility and Control (AVC), Flexible Radio Assignment, and Site Survey.
How Progent Can Help You with Cisco Catalyst Wi-Fi 6 Access Points
Progent can provide cost-effective online or onsite expertise from a Cisco-certified CCIE consultant to assist your business to design, deploy, manage, tune, upgrade, or troubleshoot a Wi-Fi solution that includes Cisco's Catalyst Wi-Fi 6 access points. Progent can help you maintain and debug legacy APs or transition smoothly to the latest generation of Catalyst Wi-Fi 6 APs. Progent's Cisco wireless controller consultants can help you assess whether your Wi-Fi network should include Cisco Wi-Fi controller hardware or can be managed with Cisco's virtual appliances and software-based management tools such as Cisco's Mobility Express.
Progent's remote and on-premises Wi-Fi site surveys can help you identify the right Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 APs for your environment and determine where to place access points so they deliver the RF coverage you require and support your application workloads and user density. Progent's network security and compliance consultants can help you plan and test a comprehensive security solution that covers work processes, policy definition and enforcement, network monitoring, data leakage protection, threat defense and mitigation, and security management automation. Progent's disaster recovery preparedness consultants and business continuity planning experts can help you design fault tolerance and recoverability into your converged Wi-Fi and wired ecosystem to minimize downtime.
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Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Cisco Catalyst Wi-Fi 6 Access Points
To find out more about Progent's consulting services for integrating, managing and troubleshooting Cisco Catalyst Wi-Fi 6 access points, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.