Introduction to of Cisco's Catalyst Line of Wi-Fi 6/6E Access Points
The Cisco Catalyst family of 802.11ax (referred to as Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E) wireless access points improve on prior version 802.11ac (aka Wi-Fi 5) access points by delivering less delay and more consistent operation, supporting higher client user density, providing greater cybersecurity, conserving power for battery-dependent handheld client devices, and offering more flexibility for handling new types of IoT endpoints.
Progent's Cisco CCIE wireless infrastructure consultants offer remote or on-premises integration and troubleshooting services to help your organization to plan, configure, upgrade, tune, manage and troubleshoot Catalyst Wi-Fi access point deployments of any scale or topology. Progent's Cisco wireless controller consultants can also help you to integrate your wireless ecosystem with your wired network and cloud-based resources to build an enterprise connectivity solution that is easy to manage and scale. Progent also offers affordable wireless site surveys to help you to determine the most appropriate selection, location and setup of Aironet wireless APs to work with your specific workplace layout, construction, and anticipated network traffic.
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Family of Wireless APs support the throughput and density of the 802.11ax standard
The Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax access points are designed for deployments ranging from telecommuter homes to high-density enterprise campuses. Cisco Catalyst 9100 APs are compliant with the 802.11ax standard, known as Wi-Fi 6, which in turn builds on the preceding 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) standard. Unlike 802.11ac, Wi-Fi 6 is able to use both the 2.4-Ghz and 5-GHz bands. Headline enhancements supported by Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series APs include OFDMA scheduling for high density deployments, dual NAVs for better dependability, Target Wake Time for reduced power consumption in battery-powered endpoints, adaptive power thresholds for more efficient spectrum utilization, and extended guard intervals for improved outdoor performance. All Catalyst 9100 Series wireless access points support Cisco's EWC, handle as many as 200 client users per Wi-Fi 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 use in home offices or in small to medium size networks. Cisco's Catalyst 9105AXi AP supports 802.11a/b/g/n/acW2/ax and features dual 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios as well as an IoT radio covering (BLE) 5.0 and Zigbee. The Catalyst 9105AXi device features 2x2:2 MU/SU-MIMO spatial streams and delivers a combined maximum data rate of 1.2 Gbps. The 9105AXi AP includes one 10/100/1000 Base-T uplink port with Power over Ethernet 802.3at, an RJ-45 management console port, and a pair of integrated antennas. Channel width for the 2.4 GHz radio is 20 MHz and 20/40/80 MHz for the 5 GHz radio. With Embedded Wireless Controller activated, the Catalyst 9105AXi can manage 50 access points and 1,000 client users.
The Cisco Catalyst 9105AXw Series Wi-Fi access point is a wall-mount device and is targeted at hospitality, residence halls, and other high-occupancy dwellings. The 9105AXw's capability is like the Cisco 9105AXi access point but has different antenna profiles and features a set of interfaces not offered on the 9105AXi device. These include a 100/1000/2500 Base-T (Ethernet) uplink, three 10/100/1000 Ethernet downlink interfaces, a USB 2.0 interface, and one passthru interface. One Ethernet downlink interface supports 10.5W PSE Power Budget.
The Cisco Catalyst 9115AX Series Wi-Fi 6-compliant wireless access point is intended for small to midsize enterprises. The 9115AX supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax and incorporates three Wi-Fi radios plus an Internet-of-Things (IoT) radio covering (BLE) 5.0. Cisco's 9115AX Series AP includes 4x4:4 + 4x4:4 spatial streams and supports a combined maximum data speed of 5 Gbps. Cisco's Catalyst 9115AX Series AP comes with a fixed 100/1000/2500 Multigigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) interface with PoE 802.3at, an RJ-45 management port, a USB 2.0 port, integrated internal antennas, plus extra-cost external antennas. System memory includes 2048 MB DRAM and 1024 MB flash. With Embedded Wireless Controller (EWC) installed, the Cisco 9115AX can manage as many as 50 APs and 1,000 clients.
Cisco's Catalyst 9117AX Series Wi-Fi AP is designed for small to medium size networks. The Wi-Fi 6 appliance works with the 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax standards and incorporates three Wi-Fi radios as well as an Internet-of-Things (IoT) radio that supports (BLE) 5.0. The Cisco Catalyst 9117AX Series AP features 8x8:8 MIMO for the 5-GHz radio and band. Max combined performance is 5 Gbps. The Catalyst 9117AX includes a 100/1000/2500/5000 Ethernet (RJ-45) uplink interface with PoE 802.3at, an RJ-45 management console port, a USB 2.0 port, and built-in internal antennas. RAM includes 2048 MB DRAM and 1024 MB flash. With Embedded Wireless Controller (EWC) activated, the Catalyst 9117AX Series AP can manage up to 50 APs and 1,000 clients.
Cisco's Catalyst 9120AX Series Wi-Fi 6 AP is designed for for medium to large enterprises. The Catalyst 9120AX supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax Wi-Fi and includes four radios. Flexible Radio Assignment technology allows radios to operate either in 2.4-GHz/5-GHz mode or in Dual 5-GHz mode. An Internet-of-Things (IoT) radio supports Bluetooth Low Energy 5.0. The Cisco 9120AX Series AP features 4x4:4 MU-MIMO and supports an aggregate max throughput of 5.2 Gbps when both radios operate in 5-GHz mode. The Cisco Catalyst 9120AX comes with 100/1000/2500 Ethernet (RJ-45). The device also supports PoE 802.3at and includes an RJ-45 management console 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 EWC installed, the 9120AX Series AP can manage up to 100 APs and 2,000 clients.
Cisco's Catalyst 9130AX Series Wi-Fi 6 access point is intended for mid-size to large networks and dense open environments such as convention centers and stadiums. The Cisco Catalyst 9130AX supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax and features 8x8:8 MU-MIMO spatial streams. External antennas on Cisco's 9130AX access point can be divided into two 4x4 Wi-Fi radios. An Internet-of-Things (IoT) radio supports Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.0. Cisco's Catalyst 9130AX includes a 100/1000/2500/5000 Ethernet (RJ-45) uplink port and supports a combined max data rate of 5.38 Gbps. The access point also supports PoE 802.3at and comes with an RJ-45 management interface, a USB 2.0 interface, and built-in internal antennas. The 9130AX Series AP includes a smart physical antenna connector that gives you the flexibility to set up an external antenna to accommodate challenging deployments. System memory includes 2048 MB DRAM and 1024 MB flash. With the EWC image installed, the 9130AX can manage 100 access points and 2,000 clients.
Cisco's Catalyst 9136 Series is an innovative line of access points targeted at enterprises who need the increased performance, capacity, and security enabled by the 6-GHz spectrum expansion introduced with the Wi-Fi 6E standard. By opening up 1.2 GHz of uninterrupted and interference-free RF spectrum in the 6 GHz band, the Wi-Fi 6E standard implemented in Cisco Catalyst 9136 Series APs more than doubles the spectrum that can be used by earlier model Wi-Fi clients. Catalyst 9136 APs support older generation 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax Wi-Fi client devices operating in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands in addition to the modern generation of 6 GHz Wi-Fi client devices. Concurrent MU-MIMO spatial streams support up to 8x8:8 at 5 GHz and 4x4:4 at 2.4/6 GHz. Combined top performance rate is 10.2 Gbps. Also featured are a Bluetooth Low Energy 5.0 radio for IoT plus 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 for the 2.4 GHz band and 20/40/80/160 MHz at 5/6 GHz. System memory includes 2048 MB DRAM and 1024 MB flash. Power options include PoE, PoE+, and UPoE.
Cisco's Catalyst 916x Series Wi-Fi 6E APs are the first Cisco access points that have the capability to be monitored and managed on-prem with Cisco DNA Center or through the cloud using Meraki Dashboard management tools. This enables businesses to transition to cloud-centric or hybrid management environments on their own schedule. 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 AP has 5 radios and allows as many as 400 clients per radio. Every model also comes with a dedicated radio for Cisco CleanAir Pro for reducing interference, has a USB 2.0 port, and offers Bluetooth Low Energy. The value-priced Catalyst 9162 Series access point is meant for small businesses, incorporates three 2x2 radios, and provides 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet support.
Cisco's Catalyst 9163E Wi-Fi 6E AP is designed to withstand harsh outdoor venues like campus environments or municipal Wi-Fi. The 9163E includes three client serving 2x2 radios, an IoT radio, and a tri-band scanning radio. Interfaces include 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet, a management console port (RJ-45), 4x N-Type Wi-Fi antenna connectors, and an RP-SMA active GPS/GNSS antenna connector. The 9163E works with Omnidirectional Dipole Self-Identifying Antennas. The Catalyst 9164 Series AP is meant for small and mid-size enterprises, incorporates 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 designed for large and medium-sized organizations, has three 4x4 radios, and features 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G/5G mGig Ethernet support. The 9166 also includes environmental sensors that detect air quality, temperature, and humidity.
Cisco's Embedded Wireless Controller (EWC) on Catalyst 9100 Wireless APs
Cisco's Embedded Wireless Controller is a software image powered by Cisco IOS XE and offered on most Catalyst 9100 Wi-Fi 6 APs. EWC includes most functions, but not the scale, of Cisco's Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi controller appliances. APs running EWC can concurrently service Wi-Fi clients. (Catalyst 9105AXW access points can be members of an EWC network and service clients but are not able to run EWC functions.) Cisco's Embedded Wireless Controller can be managed via Cisco DNA Center for multi-site networks, or by means of a browser or mobile app for a single location. All Cisco DNA Center Automation and Assurance features are available. Embedded Wireless Controller features include high availability by deploying active and standby controllers, software maintenance updates (SMUs) for live patching, automatic configuration, Application Visibility and Control (AVC), and Flexible Radio Assignment.
How Progent's Engineers Can Assist Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Wi-Fi 6/6E Wireless Access Points
Progent can provide access to a Cisco-certified consulting professional to assist you to plan, deploy, maintain and troubleshoot a wireless solution that incorporates Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Wi-Fi 6 access points. Progent can help you to maintain legacy wireless APs from Cisco or migrate efficiently to the latest 802.11ax. Progent's Cisco Wi-Fi controller integration consultants can help you to evaluate whether your Wi-Fi environment should incorporate Cisco wireless controller hardware or can be managed using Cisco's software-based management tools such as the Embedded Wireless Controller.
Progent's CISA and ISSAP security consultants can show you how to design protection into your wireless network and into your company's operations. Progent's disaster recovery consultants and business continuity planners can help you to configure the high availability technology built into Cisco's wireless and wired products so your converged infrastructure delivers significant business value.
Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey helps you to design and deploy a robust WLAN optimized for your environment, offering a Wi-Fi solution that delivers comprehensive coverage, high performance and density, Quality of Service features to support IP voice and video, advanced security and compliance, and streamlined management. Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey can be performed online to cut time and expense, or on premises to deal with more complex situations.
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Contact Progent for Expertise with Cisco Catalyst WiFi 5 and WiFi 6/6E APs
To learn more about Progent's consulting services for designing, integrating, managing and debugging a wireless solution incorporating Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series WiFi 5 and WiFi 6/6E APs, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.