Cisco Wi-Fi controllers streamline the management of Wi-Fi environments by unifying the configuration and control of wireless APs, maximizing Wi-Fi performance by reducing the impact of radio interference, enhancing Wi-Fi uptime with fast and automatic failover, and tightening security by detecting cyber threats and filtering traffic content based on user ID and location.
Cisco wireless controllers integrate with Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center (DNAC) network management solutions and are able to support as many as 6,000 Wi-Fi access points and 64,000 users. Cisco's line of wireless controllers are available at price points and with capabilities appropriate for venues ranging from small offices to service provider networks, enterprises, and large campus environments. Cisco's 802.11ax and 802.11ac controllers and Wi-Fi access points are engineered to deliver the high level of security, performance and robustness that companies expect in their wired environments. Cisco's technology includes built-in mobility services like Voice over IP, HD video, and safe guest access. Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center platforms make it possible for businesses to build environments that integrate wired and Wi-Fi networks into a centrally managed solution that ensures a consistent and productive work environment.
Progent's certified wireless consultants can help your organization to determine the business benefits of deploying Cisco wireless controllers to administer wireless environments of any size. Progent can help you to manage and debug your current Cisco wireless solution or assist you to design and carry out an efficient transition from earlier generation wireless controllers to current models to deliver enhanced functionality and security and to streamline management.
Progent's Cisco-certified network consultants offer affordable remote consulting expertise across the U.S. to assist businesses to create and enhance Wi-Fi solutions. Progent also offers on-premises support in major metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. and in Toronto, Canada. In addition, Progent can provide online predictive and onsite Wi-Fi Site Surveys to help your company to plan a Wi-Fi network with access points located and configured efficiently for your particular site environment, traffic volume, and user density.
Cisco 9800 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Catalyst 9800 family of Wi-Fi 6-compatible wireless controller appliances help you automate and manage advanced wireless environments that incorporate 802.11ax wireless APs. The 802.11ax standard, also called Wi-Fi 6, improves on prior generation 802.11ac (referred to as Wi-Fi 5) devices by providing less latency and more reliable performance, supporting higher client user density, offering greater protection, conserving energy for battery-dependent mobile devices, and allowing more flexibility for handling the latest kinds of Internet-of-Things endpoints. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 family Wi-Fi controllers feature always-on availability with seamless software upgrades, hot patching, and the ability to add wireless APs with zero service interruption. Enhanced security technologies include Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA), secure boot, and Software-Defined Access (SD-Access). Streaming telemetry permits you to monitor and analyze network and client health. All appliances 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 management platforms. Catalyst 9800 wireless network controllers can manage Cisco Aironet Wi-Fi 5 Wave 1 and Wave 2 wireless APs concurrently with Cisco Catalyst 9100 802.11ax Wi-Fi access points.
Cisco 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 controller appliances support greater scale than embedded wireless controllers (EWCs)
The Cisco 9800-L 802.11ax Controller is an entry-level device with a half-width 1RU form factor that permits dual mounting in a 19-in rack. Designed for small and medium-sized organizations, the 9800-L delivers extra speed and capacity for customers with Cisco's Performance license option. The 9800-L can handle 250 APs and 5,000 clients (500 wireless APs and 10,00 client users with Cisco's Performance license). The 9800-L controller offers 5 Gbps throughput (10 Gbps with a Performance license), and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Deployment options include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect for branch office deployments, and fabric. Integrated uplinks include four 2.5G/1G ports and two 10G/Multigigabit copper (Catalyst 9800-L-C) or two 10G/Multigigabit fiber ports (Catalyst 9800-L-F). Additional ports include an RJ-45 console interface and a Micro USB console interface for management, a USB 3.0 port for plugging in external memory, an RJ-45 management interface, and an RJ-45 high-availability redundancy interface for stateful switchover.
The Cisco Catalyst 9800-40 802.11ax Wireless Controller, offered in a 1RU package, is intended for midsize campus deployments. The 9800-40 can handle 2,000 APs and 32,000 users. The controller offers 40 Gbps data rates and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Deployment scenarios include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless. Fixed interfaces include four GE SFP/10 GE SFP+ or SFP interfaces and an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy interface. Other fixed interfaces include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console ports, an RJ-45 service port, an RJ-45 redundancy port used for SSO, and two USB 3.0 interfaces for adding external memory.
Cisco's Catalyst 9800-80 Wi-Fi 6 Controller, offered in a 2 rack unit package, is a modular, top-of-the-line wireless controller designed to manage large campus and service provider deployments. The 9800-80 can handle 60,00 access points and 64,000 users. The 9800-80 delivers a maximum of 80 Gbps data rates and supports 4,096 VLANs. Deployment options include Centralized, FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless (SD-Access). Integrated uplink ports include eight 10G SFP+ ports or six 10G interfaces and two 1G interfaces. Optional uplink add-in modules can add 18 1GE ports, 10 10GE ports, a 40GE interface, two 40GE interfaces, or one 100GE interface. Other fixed ports include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console interfaces, an RJ-45 service interface, an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy interface for stateful switchover, an RJ-45 redundancy port for stateful switchover, and two USB 3.0 ports for adding external RAM memory.
Cisco Wave 2 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 wireless controllers allow realtime communication, configuration, control, analysis and debugging for Cisco Wi-Fi devices and software services. Cisco offers both physical and virtual Wi-Fi controllers for unified management of wireless environments, but systems with a large number of wireless access points are better served by hardware-based Wi-Fi controllers. Wave 2 Wi-Fi controller devices from Cisco deliver significant benefits over Wave 1 and earlier products such as greater throughput, simultaneous support for 1G and 10G interfaces, enhanced application visibility and control, and hardened, integrated protection.
Cisco's Wave 2 wireless controllers can support Wi-Fi 5 APs
The Cisco 3504 WiFi Controller is an entry-level appliance available in a desktop form factor and intended for small and medium-sized organizations. You can install the 3504 model in a centralized WLAN architecture such as in lean branch and remote offices administered across the WAN with Cisco FlexConnect, or in bridge installations where Ethernet cabling is sparse. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller supports up to 150 WiFi access points and 3,000 users, delivers 4 Gbps throughput, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 controller features a Cisco Multigigabit interface (up to 5 Gigabit Ethernet) and four 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Access points can be attached to the WiFi controller through two Power over Ethernet ports. The 3504 wireless controller features fast failover for APs and users, which allows nonstop availability for applications. As with other current Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers from Cisco, the 3504 model has the integrated capability to communicate with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WiFi controllers.
The Cisco 5520 WiFi Controller, offered in a 1RU enclosure, is intended to support larger organizations and campus networks and can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments. The 5520 Wi-Fi controller can handle up to 1,500 Wi-Fi access points and 20,000 users, offers 20 Gbps throughput, and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 WiFi controller includes two 10 GE interfaces and features solid-state storage, backup fans, optional backup power supplies, and rapid failover for uninterrupted availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, offered in a 2RU enclosure, is a top-of-the-line WiFi controller intended to support enterprises, service providers, and large campuses. The 8540 WiFi 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 can deliver data rates up to 40 Gbps and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 8540 controller comes with four 1-GB or 10GE interfaces and features SSD storage, dual power supplies, redundant fans, and rapid failover.
Wave 1 Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco wireless LAN controllers reduce the time and cost needed to configure, monitor, and operate wireless networks by centralizing control of critical functions like setting up access points, applying single-point policies throughout wired/wireless LANs, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service (QoS) for IP voice and HD video, tracking and optimizing network health, implementing intrusion prevention tools to defend against cyber break-ins and Distributed Denial of Service attacks, and handling IPv6 clients. Cisco has designed wireless network controllers for organizations of any size and offers desktop or rackmount controllers, modular plug-in wireless controllers for Cisco ISR routers and switches, and switches with built-in wireless network controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 wireless controllers incorporate Cisco CleanAir technology to minimize signal interference and produce self-healing wireless LANs for maximum 802.11n and 802.11ac performance and security. Built-in Apple Bonjour Gateways permit discovery, advertisement and policy throughout WLAN, LAN and WAN for Apple-based applications. For high availability (HA), Cisco wireless controllers support access point and client stateful failover by permitting a backup HA wireless controller to synchronize with a primary controller for access point license count, CAPWAP keys, and AP CAPWAP state. If the primary controller fails, thousands of wireless access points and clients can switchover at subsecond speeds to the backup wireless network controller.
Cisco's Wireless Module for ISR G2 Routers with UCS-E provides entry-level 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for 2900 and 3900 Series routers deployed by small to medium-sized organizations and branches. This affordable and scalable module can handle up to 200 access points and up to 6000 clients. (For information concerning Progent's remote and onsite consulting support for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router deployment and management support.)
Cisco Legacy Wi-Fi LAN Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU switches intended for small to mid-size businesses and branch offices and come with an integrated wireless network controller with the ability to support 40 Gb of wireless throughput per switch and up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 clients per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU rackmount switches intended for mid-size businesses and large enterprises and feature an integrated wireless controller supporting 40 Gb of wireless capacity on each switch and the ability to handle 50 wireless access points and up to 2000 wireless clients. The WiSM2 is an add-in blade for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches that include a built-in wireless network controller designed for mid-to-large size businesses and capable of 20 Gbps throughput and able to handle up to 1000 APs and up to 15,000 wireless clients. (For information about Progent's support for Cisco switches, refer to Cisco switches deployment and management consulting.)
Cisco 2500 Wireless Controllers are value-priced desktop devices that streamline the deployment and operation of Wi-Fi LANs for SMBs and branch offices. The Cisco 2500 wireless LAN controller can handle from five to 75 access points and up to 1000 wireless clients and can deliver sustained data rates of 1 Gbps.
The Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller is a scalable 1RU unit intended for medium-sized to large organizations and campus environments and can manage 500 wireless access points and 7,000 clients while delivering 8 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 5760 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU device intended for mid-to-large campuses with the ability to manage 1000 wireless access points and 12,000 wireless clients and offering throughput of 60 Gbps to handle high client densities and high amounts of media-rich applications.
The Cisco Flex 7500 Wireless Controller is designed to manage thousands of wireless remote sites from one location, avoiding the need for a wireless controller at each branch. The 1RU Flex 7500 lets you establish a private cloud to deploy, track, maintain, and troubleshoot up to 6000 wireless access points and up to 64,000 wireless clients while supporting 1 Gbps performance. The Cisco 8500 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU rackmount device designed to monitor and manage wireless networks for large campuses or for service providers and can scale to handle up to 6000 access points and up to 64,000 wireless clients while offering 10 Gbps throughput.
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