Catalyst Wi-Fi controllers streamline the management of wireless networks by unifying the configuration and management of wireless access points, optimizing Wi-Fi performance by reducing the effects of RF congestion, improving Wi-Fi uptime with fast zero-touch failover, and tightening data protection by detecting attacks and filtering content based on client type and location.
Cisco Catalyst wireless controllers operate with Cisco's Prime Infrastructure platform, which can support up to Wi-Fi 18,000 wireless access points and 64,000 clients. Cisco Catalyst wireless controllers are available at price points and with features appropriate for environments ranging from branch offices to enterprises and campuses. Catalyst 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless controllers and access points are engineered to deliver the same degree of security, throughput and management ease that companies expect in their wired networks. Catalyst Wi-Fi controller technology includes built-in mobility services like VoIP, HD video, and secure access for guests. Cisco's Prime Infrastructure allows organizations to create environments that combine wired and Wi-Fi resources into a unified connectivity ecosystem that produces maximum business value.
Progent's Cisco-certified Wi-Fi consultants can help you to assess the benefits of adopting Catalyst wireless controllers to manage wireless deployments of any scale. Progent can help you to support and troubleshoot your existing Wi-Fi environment or help you plan and implement an efficient transition from outdated wireless controllers to modern models.
Progent's Cisco-certified Wi-Fi network consultants can provide affordable online consulting and troubleshooting across the U.S. and Canada to help you to create and refine Wi-Fi solutions. Progent can also provide on-premises support in major metro areas in the U.S. and in Toronto, Canada. In addition, Progent offers low-cost online and on-premises Wi-Fi site surveys to assist you to plan and implement a Wi-Fi environment with optimal access point selection and placement to align with your particular office environment, building materials, client density, and application workloads.
Cisco Wave 2 802.11ac Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 wireless controllers allow fast communication, provisioning, management, analysis and debugging for Cisco wireless devices and software services. Cisco offers both hardware and virtual wireless controllers for centralized administration of WiFi networks, but networks with many wireless access points typically require hardware-based Wi-Fi controllers. Current generation wireless controller devices from Cisco deliver major benefits over Wave 1 and older products including greater performance, concurrent support for both 1G and 10G interfaces, improved application visibility and control (AVC), and advanced, integrated security.
Cisco's 3504 Wireless Controller is a value-priced device with a desktop enclosure and designed for smaller businesses. You can use the 3504 model in a centralized network architecture such as in lean branch and remote offices managed across the wide-area network via FlexConnect, or in bridge deployments where wiring is sparse. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller can handle up to 150 APs and 3,000 client users, offers 4 Gbps throughput, and supports 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 wireless controller includes a Cisco Multigigabit port (up to 5 Gigabit Ethernet) and four 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports. APs can be attached directly to the WiFi controller via two Power over Ethernet ports. The 3504 wireless controller features subsecond failover for APs and users, which provides high availability for applications. Like other current Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers from Cisco, the 3504 model has the built-in capability to work with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services Engine, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WLAN controllers.
The Cisco 5520 WiFi Controller, available in a 1RU form factor, is intended to support midsize to large enterprises and campus environments and can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments. The 5520 Wi-Fi controller can handle as many as 1,500 access points and 20,000 client users, offers 20 Gbps performance, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 model controller includes two 10 GE ports and features solid-state storage, backup fans, optional dual power supplies, and subsecond failover for nonstop availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, available in a 2 rack unit (RU) enclosure, is a high-end WiFi controller designed to support large enterprises, service providers, and large campuses. The 8540 Wireless controller can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments and can handle as many as 6,000 Wi-Fi access points and 64,000 client users. The 8540 Wireless controller offers data rates as high as 40 Gbps and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 8340 comes with four 1-GB or 10GE interfaces and features SSD storage, backup power supplies, redundant fans, and rapid failover.
Wave 1 Cisco WiFi LAN Controllers
Cisco wireless controllers reduce the effort and cost needed to deploy, monitor, and operate Wi-Fi networks by centralizing control of critical functions such as setting up APs, enforcing consistent policies across converged LANs, supporting enterprise-wide QoS for voice and HD video, monitoring and optimizing network health, activating intrusion prevention tools to guard against unauthorized access and DDoS attacks, and managing IPv6 and dual-stack clients. Cisco has designed wireless LAN controllers for businesses of all sizes and can provide standalone desktop appliances, modular plug-in controllers for Cisco ISR routers and switches, and Catalyst switches with integrated wireless controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 WiFi network controllers include Cisco CleanAir tools to minimize RF interference and produce self-optimizing wireless networks for top 802.11n and 802.11ac throughput and protection. Integrated Bonjour Gateways enable discovery and policy across the enterprise for Apple applications. For fault tolerance, Cisco wireless LAN controllers support wireless access point and client stateful switchover by permitting a backup high-availability wireless controller to synch with a main controller for access point license count, CAPWAP state and roaming keys, and access point CAPWAP state. In case the primary wireless controller stops working, thousands of wireless access points and wireless clients can switchover at subsecond speeds to the backup wireless network controller.
Cisco's Wireless Module for ISR Routers with UCS-E provides entry-level 802.11n and 802.11ac support for Cisco 2900 and 3900 Series routers deployed by smaller businesses and satellite offices. This affordable and scalable module can support from five to 200 APs and as many as 6000 clients. (For information about Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Cisco routers, see Cisco router deployment and troubleshooting consulting.)
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU form-factor switches designed for SMBs and branch offices and features a built-in wireless controller with the ability to handle up to 40 Gb of wireless throughput for each switch and up to 25 access points and 1000 clients per switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU switches designed for mid-size businesses and large enterprises and feature a built-in wireless controller supporting 40 Gb of wireless throughput on each switch and support for 50 APs and 2000 clients. The Wireless Services Module2 (WiSM2) is an add-in blade for Catalyst 6500 Series switches that include an integrated wireless LAN controller designed for mid-to-large size businesses and able to deliver 20 Gbps performance and with support for up to 1000 access points and up to 15,000 wireless clients. (For information about Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Catalyst switches, refer to Cisco switches deployment and troubleshooting support.)
Cisco 2500 Wireless Controllers are entry-level desktop units that streamline the provisioning and operation of wireless networks for SMBs and satellite offices. The 2500 Series wireless LAN controller can manage from five to 75 wireless access points and 1000 clients and offers throughput of 1 Gbps.
Cisco's 5500 Wireless Controller is a scalable 1RU unit intended for mid-to-large sized organizations and campus environments and can manage up to 500 APs and 7,000 wireless clients while providing 8 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 5760 Wireless Controller is a 1RU device designed for mid-to-large campuses with the ability to manage up to 1000 APs and 12,000 clients and providing performance of 60 Gbps to handle high wireless client densities and high usage of media-rich applications.
Cisco's Flex 7500 Series Wireless Controller is intended to manage thousands of wireless remote sites from a single datacenter, eliminating the costs of a wireless controller at each branch. The 1RU Flex 7500 appliance lets you create a private cloud to deploy, monitor, maintain, and repair up to 6000 APs and 64,000 clients while handling 1 Gbps performance. The Cisco 8500 Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance engineered to monitor and manage Wi-Fi environments for large campuses or service providers and can scale to support 6000 APs and up to 64,000 clients while delivering 10 Gbps performance.
Legacy Cisco Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco Wireless Controllers centralize the management of wireless LANs by simplifying the handling of key technologies including intrusion prevention, real-time RF management, zero touch configuration, and N+1 redundancy. Cisco Wireless Network controllers operate with lightweight wireless access points to deliver enhanced throughput and high-end administration capabilities.
Wireless LAN Controllers provide the manageability, scalability, protection, and dependability that network managers require to create secure, large-scale wireless environments, from branch offices to small companies to headquarter campuses. Cisco's first-generation Wireless Controllers can be configured together to provide accommodation for up to 2400 access points for each roaming domain.
The Cisco WLCM or WLCM-E Controller Module for IS Routers offers small-to mid-size businesses (SMBs) and enterprises an affordable solution to implement and manage secure wireless networks at branch locations. These devices manage up to a dozen Aironet wireless access points and are installable in 2800/3800 Routers and Cisco 3700 Series IS Routers. (For information about Progent's online and on-premises consulting services for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router configuration and troubleshooting support.)
How Progent's Consultants Can Help You with Catalyst Wireless Controllers
Progent can provide access to a Cisco-certified consulting professional to help your business to design, deploy, manage and repair a converged wired/wireless environment incorporating a broad array of wireless products that provide the same protection, extensibility, and ease of management you demand from a wired environment. Progent can assist you to support early-generation Wi-Fi solutions from Cisco or upgrade seamlessly to the latest 802.11ac-comaptible products. Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can show you how to design protection into your wireless network and your company's processes. Progent's disaster recovery consultants and business continuity planners can help you to deploy the HA features built into Cisco's wireless and wired technologies so your converged network provides continuing return on investment.
Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey assists you to design and deploy a state-of-the-art wireless network customized for your environment, offering a wireless ecosystem that delivers seamless coverage, high performance and capacity, Quality of Service features to handle IP video, enterprise-class security, and easy management. Progent's Wireless Site Survey can be delivered online to reduce time and expense, or on premises to deal with more challenging situations.
For a further discussion of Progent's wireless integration capabilities, see Progent's Wireless Support Services.
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