Cisco Wi-Fi controllers simplify the administration of Wi-Fi environments by unifying the configuration and management of Wi-Fi access points, optimizing wireless performance by minimizing the impact of radio congestion, improving Wi-Fi uptime with rapid and automatic failover, and hardening security by detecting cyber threats and filtering traffic content based on client ID and location.
Cisco's Wi-Fi controllers integrate with Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center management solutions and can accommodate up to 6,000 Wi-Fi access points and 64,000 users. Cisco's line of Wi-Fi controllers are offered at prices and with feature sets appropriate for venues that run from small or home offices to service provider networks, multi-site enterprises, and large campus environments. Cisco's Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5 controllers and wireless access points are engineered to provide the high level of protection, speed and robustness that users are accustomed to in their wired network. Cisco's technology includes integrated mobility services like Voice over IP, HD video, and safe guest access. Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNAC platforms allow organizations to implement systems that combine wired and Wi-Fi networks into a centrally managed solution that provides a consistent and productive work environment.
Progent's seasoned wireless experts can help you to determine the business benefits of deploying Cisco Wi-Fi controllers to administer wireless environments of any scale. Progent can help you to maintain and debug your current Cisco wireless solution or assist you to plan and carry out an efficient transition from older wireless controllers to modern products to get enhanced performance and security and to simplify administration.
Progent's Cisco-certified network infrastructure consultants offer affordable online consulting and support expertise throughout the U.S. and Canada to assist businesses to create and enhance Wi-Fi networks. Progent also offers onsite consulting and troubleshooting in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States and in Toronto, Canada. In addition, Progent offers online predictive and onsite Wireless Site Surveys to assist your company to design a Wi-Fi network with wireless access points placed and set up efficiently for your particular office layout, traffic volume, and client density.
Cisco 9800 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Catalyst 9800 family of Wi-Fi 6-supported wireless controllers allow you to manage advanced Wi-Fi networks that incorporate 802.11ax Wi-Fi access points. 802.11ax, referred to as Wi-Fi 6, builds on prior generation 802.11ac (referred to as Wi-Fi 5) appliances by delivering lower latency and more predictable performance, supporting higher client user density, offering greater protection, conserving energy for battery-dependent mobile devices, and allowing more flexibility for supporting the latest kinds of Internet-of-Things endpoints. Catalyst 9800 line wireless controllers include high availability with transparent software updates, hot fixes, and the ability to connect additional access points with zero service interruption. Enhanced cybersecurity technologies include Cisco Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS), secure boot, and Software-Defined Access. Streaming telemetry permits you to monitor and analyze infrastructure and endpoint health. All devices in the Catalyst 9800 family are powered by Cisco's IOS XE Software and work with Cisco's DNA Center (DNAC) or Prime Infrastructure network management tools. Catalyst 9800 Series wireless network controllers can manage Cisco Aironet Wi-Fi 5 Wave 1 and Wave 2 Wi-Fi access points as well as Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi access points.
Cisco's 9800-L 802.11ax Controller is a value-priced device available in a half-width 1RU form factor that permits dual installation in a standard 19-in rack. Intended for smaller wireless networks, the 9800-L offers enhanced throughput and capacity for customers with Cisco's Performance license. The 9800-L can handle 250 wireless APs and 5,000 client users (500 wireless APs and 10,00 users with Cisco's Performance license). The controller offers 5 Gbps throughput (10 Gbps with a Performance license), and supports 4,096 VLANs. Deployment scenarios include Centralized, FlexConnect for branch office installations, and fabric. Integrated uplinks include four 2.5G/1G ports plus either two 10G/Multigigabit copper (Catalyst 9800-L-C) or two 10G/Multigigabit fiber ports (Catalyst 9800-L-F). Additional interfaces include an RJ-45 console interface and a Micro USB console interface for out-of-band management, a USB 3.0 interface for adding external RAM memory, an RJ-45 service port, and an RJ-45 high-availability redundancy interface used for SSO.
Cisco's Catalyst 9800-40 Wi-Fi 6 Controller, available in a 1 rack unit (RU) enclosure, is designed to support midsize campus deployments. The 9800-40 can handle 2,000 Wi-Fi access points and 32,000 users. The 9800-40 offers 40 Gbps throughput and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Deployment options include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless. Integrated ports include four GE SFP/10 GE SFP+ or SFP interfaces and an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy port. Additional integrated ports include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console interfaces, an RJ-45 service port, an RJ-45 redundancy port used for stateful switchover, and two USB 3.0 ports for plugging in external RAM memory.
The Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wi-Fi 6 Controller, available in a 2 rack unit enclosure, is an expandable, top-of-the-line Wi-Fi controller intended to manage large campus and service provider environments. The 9800-80 supports 60,00 access points and 64,000 clients. The appliance offers a maximum of 80 Gbps data rates and supports 4,096 VLANs. Deployment options include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless. Integrated uplink ports include eight 10G SFP+ ports or six 10G ports plus two 1G interfaces. Available hot swappable uplink modules provide 18 1GE ports, 10 10GE ports, a 40GE interface, two 40GE ports, or one 100GE port. Additional integrated ports include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console interfaces, an RJ-45 management port, an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy interface for SSO, an RJ-45 redundancy interface for SSO, and two USB 3.0 ports for adding external RAM.
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 wireless controllers enable realtime communication, deployment, administration, analysis and debugging for Cisco wireless appliances and software services. Cisco offers both physical and software-based wireless controllers for centralized management of wireless environments, but systems with a large number of wireless APs typically require physical Wi-Fi controllers. Wave 2 wireless controller devices from Cisco offer significant benefits over Wave 1 and earlier products including higher performance, simultaneous support for both 1G and 10G interfaces, enhanced application visibility and control, and hardened, built-in protection.
The Cisco 3504 WiFi Controller is a value-priced device with a desktop body and designed for smaller businesses. You can install the 3504 in a centralized network architecture such as in small branch and home-based offices managed across the WAN via Cisco FlexConnect, or in mesh deployments where Ethernet cabling is limited. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller can handle up to 150 access points and 3,000 clients, offers 4 Gbps throughput, and supports 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 controller features a multi-gigabit Ethernet port (up to 5 Gigabit Ethernet) and four 1-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Access points can be attached to the controller through two Power over Ethernet ports. The 3504 wireless controller offers fast failover for access points and clients, which allows uninterrupted availability for apps. As with other Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers from Cisco, the 3504 device has the built-in ability to communicate with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services Engine, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 wireless controllers.
Cisco's 5520 WiFi Controller, available in a 1 rack unit package, is intended for midsize to large enterprises and campus networks and can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments. The 5520 wireless controller supports up to 1,500 APs and 20,000 client users, offers 20 Gbps performance, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 WiFi controller features two 10 GE interfaces and features solid-state storage, redundant fans, optional backup power supplies, and subsecond failover for uninterrupted availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, available in a 2 rack unit (RU) form factor, is a high-end WiFi controller intended to support enterprises, service providers, and large campuses. The 8540 Wireless controller can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures 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 4,096 VLANs. The 8540 controller comes with 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 time and cost needed to configure, monitor, and operate wireless networks by centralizing control of critical functions such as provisioning access points, applying single-point policies across converged wired and wireless LANs, supporting enterprise-wide QoS for IP voice and video, tracking and optimizing network performance, activating security tools to defend against unauthorized access and DDoS attacks, and managing IPv6 clients. Cisco has designed wireless LAN controllers for businesses of all sizes and offers standalone desktop appliances, modular plug-in controllers for Cisco ISR routers and Catalyst switches, and Catalyst switches with built-in wireless LAN controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 wireless LAN controllers incorporate Cisco CleanAir technology to minimize RF interference and create self-optimizing wireless networks for top 802.11n and 802.11ac performance and protection. Integrated Bonjour Gateways enable discovery and policy across WLAN, LAN and WAN for Apple-based applications. For high availability (HA), Cisco wireless LAN controllers allow access point and client stateful switchover by enabling a standby high-availability controller to synchronize with a primary wireless controller for access point license count, CAPWAP state and roaming keys, and access point CAPWAP state. In case the main wireless controller stops working, thousands of access points and wireless clients can switchover immediately to the backup wireless controller.
Cisco's Wireless Module for ISR G2 Routers with UCS-E offers basic 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for 2900 and 3900 Series routers deployed by small to medium-sized businesses and branches. This value-priced and expandable module can handle from five to 200 access points and as many as 6000 wireless clients. (For information concerning Progent's online and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting support for Cisco routers, see Cisco router deployment and management services.)
Cisco Legacy Wireless LAN Controllers
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU form-factor switches designed for small to mid-size businesses and branch offices and features an integrated wireless controller with the capability to handle 40 Gb of wireless capacity for each switch and 25 APs and 1000 wireless clients per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU switches designed for mid-size and large organizations and include a built-in wireless LAN controller supporting 40 Gb of wireless capacity on each switch and support for up to 50 APs and up to 2000 wireless clients. The WiSM2 is an add-in blade for Catalyst 6500 Series switches with a built-in wireless LAN controller intended for mid-to-large size enterprises and able to deliver 20 Gbps performance and with support for 1000 access points and up to 15,000 clients. (For information concerning Progent's support for Catalyst switches, see Catalyst switches deployment and troubleshooting services.)
Cisco 2500 Series Wireless Controllers are entry-level desktop appliances that simplify the deployment and management of Wi-Fi networks for small and midsize businesses and branches. The Cisco 2500 Series wireless network controller can manage 5 to 75 wireless access points and 1000 clients and offers throughput of 1 Gbps.
Cisco's 5500 Series Wireless Controller is a scalable 1RU appliance intended for mid-to-large sized businesses and campus environments and can support 500 wireless access points and 7,000 clients while delivering 8 Gbps performance. Cisco's 5760 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU device designed for mid-to-large campuses with support for 1000 access points and 12,000 wireless clients and providing throughput of 60 Gbps to handle high client densities and high usage of video-intensive mobile applications.
Cisco's Flex 7500 Wireless Controller is intended to manage thousands of wireless remote sites from one datacenter, eliminating the need for a Wi-Fi controller at every branch. The 1RU Flex 7500 lets you build a private cloud to deploy, track, maintain, and troubleshoot up to 6000 APs and up to 64,000 clients while handling 1 Gbps performance. The Cisco 8500 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU rackmount appliance designed to manage wireless environments for very large campuses or for service providers and can scale to support 6000 APs and up to 64,000 wireless clients while delivering 10 Gbps performance.
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