Cisco Wi-Fi controllers streamline the management of Wi-Fi environments by unifying the deployment and management of wireless APs, optimizing Wi-Fi throughput by minimizing the impact of radio interference, improving Wi-Fi uptime with fast and automatic failover, and tightening security by detecting threats and filtering content based on client ID and location.
Cisco Wi-Fi controllers integrate with Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center management solutions and are able to accommodate as many as 6,000 Wi-Fi APs and 64,000 client users. Cisco's line of Wi-Fi controllers are available at prices and with capabilities suitable for networks ranging from small offices to service provider networks, multi-site enterprises, and dense campus environments. Cisco's Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5 controllers and APs are engineered to provide the same standard of security, performance and robustness that companies are accustomed to from their wired environments. Cisco's technology incorporates built-in mobility support such as IP voice, HD video, and safe guest access. Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center platforms make it possible for organizations to implement environments that combine wired and wireless networks into a centrally managed ecosystem that provides a seamless and productive user experience.
Progent's seasoned wireless experts can help you to determine the business value of deploying Cisco wireless controllers to administer wireless environments of any scale. Progent can assist you to maintain and troubleshoot your existing Cisco-based Wi-Fi solution or assist you to design and carry out an efficient upgrade from earlier generation wireless controllers to current products to get enhanced performance and security and to simplify administration.
Progent's Cisco-certified integration consultants can provide low-cost remote consulting and support services across the U.S. and Canada to assist you to build and enhance Wi-Fi networks. Progent can also provide onsite support in major metropolitan areas across the United States and in Toronto, Canada. In addition, Progent offers remote predictive and on-premises Wi-Fi Site Surveys to help you to design a Wi-Fi network with wireless access points located and configured optimally for your specific site layout, application workloads, and client density.
Cisco 9800 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6-supported wireless controller appliances allow you to automate and 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) devices by providing less latency and more reliable performance, supporting higher client user density, offering enhanced protection, conserving energy for battery-powered handheld devices, and offering more flexibility for handling new types of IoT endpoints. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi controllers feature always-on availability with seamless software updates, hot fixes, and the ability to connect additional Wi-Fi access points without service interruption. Advanced cybersecurity features include Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA), secure boot, and Software-Defined Access. Streaming telemetry allows you to track and analyze infrastructure and client health. All devices in the Catalyst 9800 line are powered by Cisco's IOS XE Software and work with Cisco's DNA Center (DNAC) or Cisco Prime Infrastructure network management tools. Catalyst 9800 wireless network controllers can manage Cisco Aironet Wi-Fi 5 Wave 1 and Wave 2 APs concurrently with Catalyst 9100 Series 802.11ax APs.
Cisco 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 controller appliances deliver greater scale than embedded wireless controllers
Cisco's 9800-L 802.11ax Controller is a value-priced appliance available in a half-width 1RU body that allows dual installation in a 19-in rack. Intended for smaller businesses, the controller delivers enhanced speed and capacity for customers with Cisco's Performance license. The 9800-L supports 250 access points and 5,000 users (500 access points and 10,00 users if you have Cisco's Performance license). The 9800-L offers 5 Gbps throughput (10 Gbps with a Performance license), and supports 4,096 VLANs. Deployment modes include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect for branch office deployments, and fabric. Integrated 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). Additional ports include an RJ-45 console interface and a Micro USB console interface for management, a USB 3.0 interface for plugging in external RAM memory, an RJ-45 management port, and an RJ-45 HA redundancy interface used for stateful switchover (SSO).
Cisco's Catalyst 9800-40 Wi-Fi 6 Controller, offered in a 1 rack unit (RU) package, is designed for midsize campus environments. The 9800-40 supports 2,000 Wi-Fi access points and 32,000 clients. The appliance delivers 40 Gbps throughput and supports 4,096 VLANs. Deployment modes include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless (SD-Access). Fixed interfaces include four GE SFP/10 GE SFP+ or SFP interfaces and an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy port. Other fixed ports include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console ports, an RJ-45 service interface, an RJ-45 redundancy port for stateful switchover (SSO), and two USB 3.0 ports for adding external RAM.
The Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 802.11ax Wireless Controller, offered in a 2 rack unit (RU) enclosure, is a modular, high-end Wi-Fi controller designed to manage large campus and service provider deployments. The 9800-80 can handle 60,00 wireless APs and 64,000 client users. The 9800-80 controller delivers a maximum of 80 Gbps throughput and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Deployment modes include Centralized, FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless. Fixed uplink interfaces include eight 10G SFP+ ports or six 10G interfaces and two 1G ports. Supported uplink add-in modules include 18 1GE interfaces, 10 10GE interfaces, a 40GE interface, two 40GE interfaces, or one 100GE interface. Other integrated ports include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console ports, an RJ-45 management interface, an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy interface for stateful switchover, an RJ-45 redundancy port for SSO, and two USB 3.0 interfaces for plugging in external RAM.
Cisco Wave 2 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 Network Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 wireless controllers allow realtime communication, deployment, management, monitoring and debugging for Cisco Wi-Fi appliances and services. Cisco has developed both hardware and software-based wireless controllers for centralized management of WiFi networks, but networks with a large number of wireless APs are better served by hardware-based Wi-Fi controllers. Wave 2 Wi-Fi controller appliances from Cisco deliver significant advantages over Wave 1 and earlier models including higher performance, concurrent support for 1G and 10G Ethernet, enhanced application visibility and control (AVC), and advanced, built-in protection.
Cisco's Wave 2 wireless controllers can manage Wi-Fi 5 APs
Cisco's 3504 WiFi Controller is a value-priced device with a desktop enclosure and intended for small and medium-sized organizations. You can use the 3504 in a centralized WLAN environment such as in lean branch and remote offices administered across the WAN with Cisco FlexConnect, or in mesh installations where wiring is sparse. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller supports up to 150 wireless APs and 3,000 users, delivers 4 Gbps performance, and supports 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 wireless controller includes a multi-gigabit Ethernet interface and four 1-GB Ethernet interfaces. Access points can be connected directly to the WiFi controller via two Power over Ethernet ports. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller offers subsecond failover for access points and clients, which provides high availability for apps. Like other current Wave 2 wireless controllers available from Cisco, the 3504 device has the built-in ability to communicate with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WLAN controllers.
Cisco's 5520 WiFi Controller, offered in a 1RU enclosure, is intended to support larger enterprises and campus environments and can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments. The 5520 wireless controller supports up to 1,500 access points and 20,000 users, delivers 20 Gbps throughput, and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 model controller includes two 10 GE interfaces and incorporates solid-state storage, backup fans, optional dual power supplies, and rapid failover for nonstop availability.
Cisco's 8540 Wireless Controller, available in a 2 rack unit package, is a top-of-the-line wireless controller intended to support enterprises, service providers, and large campuses. The 8540 WiFi controller can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments and supports as many as 6,000 Wi-Fi access points and 64,000 clients. The 8540 WiFi controller offers data rates as high as 40 Gbps and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 8340 includes four 1-GB or 10GE interfaces and features solid-state storage, backup power supplies, redundant fans, and subsecond failover.
Wave 1 Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco wireless controllers cut the time and cost needed to configure, manage, and operate wireless networks by centralizing control of tasks like provisioning wireless access points, enforcing consistent policies across converged wired and wireless networks, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service (QoS) for voice and video, tracking and troubleshooting network performance, implementing security tools to defend against unauthorized access and DDoS attacks, and handling IPv6 clients. Cisco has developed wireless LAN controllers for businesses of all sizes and offers desktop or rackmount controllers, modular plug-in wireless controllers for Cisco routers and Catalyst switches, and switches with built-in wireless controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 wireless network controllers incorporate Cisco CleanAir technology to minimize signal interference and create self-healing and self-optimizing wireless LANs for maximum 802.11n and 802.11ac throughput and security. Built-in Apple Bonjour Gateways allow discovery and policy across the enterprise for Apple-based applications. For high availability (HA), Cisco wireless network controllers support wireless access point and client stateful switchover by permitting a standby high-availability wireless controller to synchronize with a main controller for access point license tabulation, CAPWAP keys, and access point CAPWAP state. If the main wireless controller goes down, thousands of access points and clients can switchover immediately to the backup controller.
Cisco's Wireless Controller Module for ISR Routers with UCS-E offers entry-level 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for Cisco 2900 and 3900 routers used by smaller organizations and satellite offices. This value-priced and expandable module can support up to 200 access points and up to 6000 wireless clients. (To learn concerning Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Cisco routers, see Cisco router configuration and troubleshooting services.)
Cisco Legacy Wi-Fi LAN Controllers
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU switches intended for SMBs and branch offices and features an integrated wireless LAN controller with the ability to handle 40 Gb of wireless capacity for each switch and up to 25 APs and 1000 wireless clients on each switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU rackmount switches intended for mid-size businesses and large enterprises and feature an integrated wireless LAN controller supporting 40 Gb of wireless throughput on each switch and support for 50 wireless access points and 2000 clients. The Wireless Services Module2 is a plug-in blade for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches with an integrated wireless controller intended for mid-to-large size businesses and capable of 20 Gbps throughput and with support for up to 1000 access points and 15,000 clients. (For information about Progent's support for Catalyst switches, see Catalyst switches deployment and management consulting.)
Cisco 2500 Wireless Controllers are entry-level desktop appliances that simplify the deployment and operation of Wi-Fi networks for small to medium-sized enterprises and branches. The Cisco 2500 Series wireless LAN controller can manage from five to 75 APs and up to 1000 wireless clients and offers sustained performance of up to 1 Gbps.
The Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller is an expandable 1RU unit intended for mid-to-large sized organizations and campus environments and can support 500 wireless access points and 7,000 wireless clients while delivering 8 Gbps performance. Cisco's 5760 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance designed for mid-to-large campuses with the ability to manage 1000 access points and 12,000 clients and delivering performance of 60 Gbps to accommodate high wireless client densities and high usage of video-intensive applications.
Cisco's Flex 7500 Series Wireless Controller is intended to manage massive collections of wireless branches from one datacenter, avoiding the need for a Wi-Fi controller at every remote site. The 1RU Flex 7500 appliance lets you create a private cloud to deploy, monitor, manage, and repair as many as 6000 access points and 64,000 wireless clients while handling 1 Gbps performance. The Cisco 8500 Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance engineered to monitor and manage wireless environments for very large campuses or for service providers and can be expanded to support up to 6000 APs and 64,000 clients while delivering 10 Gbps throughput.
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