Cisco Wi-Fi controllers streamline the administration of Wi-Fi networks by unifying the configuration and management of Wi-Fi APs, maximizing Wi-Fi throughput by minimizing the effects of radio interference, improving Wi-Fi uptime with fast and automatic failover, and tightening protection by detecting threats and filtering traffic content based on user ID and location.
Cisco wireless controllers integrate with Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center (DNAC) management solutions and can support as many as 6,000 wireless access points and 64,000 users. Cisco's line of Wi-Fi controllers are offered at prices and with capabilities suitable for networks that run from small or home offices to service provider systems, multi-site enterprises, and large campus deployments. Cisco's 802.11ax and 802.11ac controllers and wireless access points are engineered to deliver the high standard of protection, speed and robustness that users expect in their wired environments. Cisco's technology includes built-in mobility services like IP voice, HD video, and protected guest access. Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center platforms make it possible for businesses to build environments that combine wired and Wi-Fi networks into a unified solution that provides a seamless and productive user experience.
Progent's seasoned Wi-Fi experts can help you to determine the business value of installing Cisco wireless controllers to manage WiFi networks of any size. Progent can help your business to support and troubleshoot your existing Cisco Wi-Fi solution or help you to plan and implement a cost-effective migration from earlier generation Wi-Fi controllers to current models to deliver enhanced performance and protection and to streamline management.
Progent's Cisco-certified network consultants can provide affordable remote consulting and support expertise across the U.S. to assist businesses to build and refine Wi-Fi solutions. Progent can also provide onsite support in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States and in Toronto, Canada. In addition, Progent offers remote predictive and on-premises Wireless Site Surveys to help your company to design a Wi-Fi network with wireless access points placed and set up efficiently for your particular site layout, application workloads, and user density.
Cisco 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Catalyst 9800 line of Wi-Fi 6-compatible wireless controller appliances help you manage advanced Wi-Fi networks that support 802.11ax access points. 802.11ax, referred to as Wi-Fi 6, builds on previous generation 802.11ac (referred to as Wi-Fi 5) devices by delivering less latency and more predictable performance, supporting higher client user density, offering greater protection, saving energy for battery-powered handheld devices, and offering more versatility for supporting the latest types of Internet-of-Things (IoT) endpoints. Catalyst 9800 line wireless controllers feature high availability with seamless software upgrades, hot fixes, and the ability to connect additional wireless APs with zero disruption of service. Advanced security technologies include Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA), image signing, and Cisco Software-Defined Access. Streaming telemetry allows you to track and understand network and endpoint health. All controllers in the Catalyst 9800 line are powered by Cisco's IOS XE Software and work with Cisco's DNA Center (DNAC) or with Prime Infrastructure network management platforms. Catalyst 9800 Series wireless LAN controllers can support Cisco Aironet Wi-Fi 5 Wave 1 and Wave 2 access points concurrently with Catalyst 9100 802.11ax Wi-Fi access points.
Cisco Wi-Fi 6 wireless controller appliances offer greater scale than embedded wireless controllers
Cisco's 9800-L 802.11ax Controller is an entry-level device available in a half-width 1RU chassis that allows side-by-side installation in a standard 19-in rack. Designed for smaller wireless networks, the controller delivers extra speed and scale if you purchase a Performance license. The 9800-L can handle 250 Wi-Fi access points and 5,000 client users (500 Wi-Fi access points and 10,00 users with Cisco's Performance license). The 9800-L controller offers 5 Gbps data rates (10 Gbps with a Performance license), and supports 4,096 VLANs. Deployment scenarios include Centralized, FlexConnect for branch office deployments, and fabric. Fixed uplinks include four 2.5G/1G ports and either two 10G/Multigigabit copper (Catalyst 9800-L-C) or two 10G/Multigigabit fiber ports (Catalyst 9800-L-F). Other interfaces include an RJ-45 console interface and a Micro USB console port for management, a USB 3.0 interface for plugging in external memory, an RJ-45 service interface, and an RJ-45 high-availability redundancy port used for SSO.
Cisco's Catalyst 9800-40 802.11ax Wireless Controller, offered in a 1RU form factor, is intended for midsize campus environments. The 9800-40 can handle 2,000 wireless APs and 32,000 clients. The 9800-40 offers 40 Gbps data rates and supports 4,096 VLANs. Deployment options include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless. Fixed interfaces include four GE SFP/10 GE SFP+ or SFP ports and an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy port. Additional fixed ports include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console ports, an RJ-45 management interface, an RJ-45 redundancy interface for stateful switchover, and two USB 3.0 interfaces for adding external memory.
The Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 802.11ax Wireless Controller, offered in a 2 rack unit form factor, is a modular, high-end wireless controller intended to support large campus and service provider environments. The 9800-80 can handle 60,00 access points and 64,000 clients. The 9800-80 controller delivers a maximum of 80 Gbps throughput and supports 4,096 VLANs. Deployment options include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless. Integrated uplink ports include eight 10G SFP+ interfaces or six 10G ports and two 1G interfaces. Optional hot swappable uplink modules can add 18 1GE ports, 10 10GE ports, a 40GE interface, two 40GE interfaces, or a 100GE port. Additional integrated interfaces include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console interfaces, an RJ-45 service interface, an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy interface used for stateful switchover, an RJ-45 redundancy port used for stateful switchover (SSO), and two USB 3.0 ports for plugging in external memory.
Cisco Wave 2 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 controllers enable fast data exchange, deployment, control, analysis and troubleshooting for Cisco wireless devices and services. Cisco has developed both physical and virtual Wi-Fi controllers for unified management of wireless networks, but networks with many Wi-Fi access points are better served by hardware-based wireless controllers. Wave 2 Wi-Fi controller devices from Cisco offer significant advantages in comparison to Wave 1 and earlier models including higher performance, simultaneous support for 1G and 10G interfaces, enhanced application visibility and control, and hardened, integrated security.
Cisco's Wave 2 wireless controllers can support 802.11ac Wi-Fi APs
The Cisco 3504 WiFi Controller is an entry-level appliance with a desktop form factor and intended for small and medium-sized organizations. You can install the 3504 in a centralized WLAN environment such as in lean branch and remote offices administered over the wide-area network via FlexConnect, or in mesh installations where Ethernet cabling is limited. The 3504 wireless controller can handle up to 150 access points and 3,000 clients, delivers 4 Gbps performance, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 3504 wireless controller includes a Cisco Multigigabit interface and four 1-GB Ethernet interfaces. APs can be connected to the WiFi controller through two PoE ports. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller offers subsecond failover for access points and users, which provides high availability for applications. As with other current Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers available from Cisco, the 3504 device has the integrated ability to work with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 wireless controllers.
Cisco's 5520 Wireless Controller, offered in a 1 rack unit enclosure, is designed to support larger enterprises and campus networks and can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures. The 5520 Wi-Fi controller supports up to 1,500 access points and 20,000 client users, offers 20 Gbps performance, and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 WiFi controller includes two 10 GE ports and features SSD storage, backup fans, optional backup power supplies, and rapid failover for high availability.
Cisco's 8540 Wireless Controller, available in a 2 rack unit enclosure, is a high-end wireless controller intended to support large enterprises, service providers, and large campuses. The 8540 Wireless controller can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments and can handle up to 6,000 Wi-Fi access points and 64,000 users. The 8540 Wireless controller offers throughput as high as 40 Gbps and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 8340 includes four 1-GB or 10GE interfaces and features SSD storage, backup power supplies, redundant fans, and rapid failover.
Wave 1 Cisco Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco wireless network controllers reduce the effort and expense needed to deploy, monitor, and troubleshoot wireless networks by offering single-point control of tasks such as provisioning wireless access points, applying single-point policies across wired/wireless LANs, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service for voice and video, monitoring and optimizing system health, implementing intrusion prevention capabilities to guard against cyber break-ins and Distributed Denial of Service attacks, and handling IPv6 clients. Cisco has designed wireless LAN controllers for organizations of any size and offers standalone desktop appliances, modular plug-in controllers for Cisco ISR routers and Catalyst switches, and Catalyst switches with integrated wireless LAN controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 wireless controllers include Cisco CleanAir tools to avoid signal interference and create self-healing and self-optimizing wireless LANs for top 802.11n and 802.11ac performance and security. Integrated Apple Bonjour Gateways enable discovery and policy throughout the enterprise for Apple-based applications. For fault tolerance, Cisco wireless LAN controllers allow wireless access point and client stateful failover by enabling a backup HA wireless controller to synchronize with a main controller for AP license tabulation, CAPWAP state and roaming keys, and access point CAPWAP state. In case the primary controller stops working, thousands of APs and wireless clients can failover immediately to the backup wireless LAN controller.
Cisco's Wireless Module for ISR G2 Routers with UCS-E provides basic 802.11n and 802.11ac support for 2900 and 3900 Series routers used by smaller organizations and branch offices. This affordable and scalable solution can handle from five to 200 wireless access points and as many as 6000 clients. (To learn concerning Progent's remote and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting support for Cisco routers, see Cisco router deployment and troubleshooting services.)
Cisco Legacy Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU switches designed for SMBs and branches and features an integrated wireless controller with the ability to handle up to 40 Gb of wireless capacity for each switch and 25 access points and 1000 clients on each switch. Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU rackmount switches intended for mid-size and large organizations and feature a built-in wireless controller with 40 Gb of wireless capacity on each switch and the ability to handle up to 50 access points and 2000 wireless clients. The Wireless Services Module2 (WiSM2) is an add-in blade for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches that include a built-in wireless network controller intended for mid-to-large size businesses and able to deliver 20 Gbps throughput and with support for up to 1000 APs and up to 15,000 wireless clients. (To learn concerning Progent's support for Cisco switches, see Cisco switches configuration and troubleshooting consulting.)
Cisco 2500 Wireless Controllers are economical desktop devices that simplify the deployment and operation of wireless networks for SMBs and branches. The Cisco 2500 Series wireless network controller can manage 5 to 75 wireless access points and up to 1000 clients and can deliver sustained data rates of up to 1 Gbps.
Cisco's 5500 Wireless Controller is a scalable 1RU unit intended for medium-sized to large enterprises and campuses and can manage up to 500 access points and 7,000 clients while providing 8 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 5760 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU device intended for mid-to-large campus environments with support for up to 1000 access points and 12,000 wireless clients and providing performance of 60 Gbps to handle high client densities and high amounts of video-intensive applications.
The Cisco Flex 7500 Series Wireless Controller is designed to enable centralized management of thousands of wireless branches from one datacenter, eliminating the costs of a Wi-Fi controller at every remote site. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 allows you to create a private cloud to deploy, monitor, maintain, and repair as many as 6000 wireless access points and 64,000 wireless clients while handling 1 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 8500 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance designed to monitor and control Wi-Fi networks for very large campuses or service providers and can scale to handle 6000 APs and 64,000 clients while offering 10 Gbps performance.
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