Cisco Wi-Fi controllers streamline the administration of Wi-Fi networks by centralizing the configuration and management of wireless APs, maximizing wireless throughput by minimizing the effects of radio congestion, improving Wi-Fi availability with rapid auto-failover, and hardening security by uncovering cyber threats and filtering content based on client ID and location.
Cisco's Wi-Fi controllers integrate with Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center (DNAC) network management solutions and are able to accommodate as many as 6,000 wireless access points and 64,000 users. Cisco's line of wireless controllers are available at prices and with feature sets appropriate for networks that run from small offices to service provider networks, enterprises, and dense campus environments. Cisco's 802.11ax and 802.11ac controllers and APs are designed to deliver the high level of protection, speed and robustness that companies are accustomed to in their wired network. Cisco's technology includes integrated mobility support such as Voice over IP, HD video, and secure guest access. Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNAC platforms allow businesses to build systems that integrate wired and wireless networks into a unified ecosystem that delivers a seamless and productive work environment.
Progent's seasoned wireless experts can assist your organization to determine the business value of deploying Cisco wireless controllers to manage wireless environments of any scale. Progent can help your business to support and troubleshoot your current Cisco-based wireless solution or assist you to design and implement an efficient upgrade from older Wi-Fi controllers to current models to deliver enhanced functionality and security and to simplify management.
Progent's Cisco-certified integration consultants can provide low-cost remote consulting and support services throughout the U.S. to assist organizations to build and enhance Wi-Fi solutions. Progent also offers on-premises support in larger metropolitan areas across the United States and in Toronto, Canada. In addition, Progent can provide remote predictive and onsite Wireless Site Surveys to assist you to design a Wi-Fi network with access points placed and configured efficiently for your particular office layout, traffic volume, and user density.
Cisco 9800 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 family of Wi-Fi 6-compatible wireless controller appliances allow you to manage advanced wireless networks that incorporate 802.11ax wireless APs. 802.11ax, also called Wi-Fi 6, improves on previous generation 802.11ac (called Wi-Fi 5) appliances by delivering less latency and more reliable performance, supporting higher client user density, offering greater security, conserving energy for battery-powered mobile devices, and offering more flexibility for supporting the latest kinds of IoT endpoints. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 family wireless controllers include always-on availability with seamless software updates, hot patching, and the ability to add Wi-Fi access points with zero downtime. Advanced security features include Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA), image signing, and Software-Defined Access. Streaming telemetry allows you to monitor and understand infrastructure and client health. All appliances in the Catalyst 9800 family are based on Cisco's IOS XE Software and work with Cisco's DNA Center or with Cisco Prime Infrastructure network management tools. Catalyst 9800 Series wireless network controllers can support Cisco Aironet Wi-Fi 5 Wave 1 and Wave 2 wireless APs as well as Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 wireless APs.
Cisco Wi-Fi 6 controller appliances offer greater scale than Cisco's embedded wireless controllers
Cisco's 9800-L 802.11ax Controller is an entry-level appliance available in a half-width 1RU chassis that permits side-by-side mounting in a 19-in rack. Intended for smaller businesses, the controller offers enhanced throughput and scale if you purchase Cisco's Performance license option. The 9800-L supports 250 wireless APs and 5,000 clients (500 access points and 10,00 client users if you have Cisco's Performance license). The 9800-L offers 5 Gbps throughput (10 Gbps with a Performance license), and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Deployment options include Centralized, FlexConnect for remote office installations, and fabric. Fixed 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). Other interfaces include an RJ-45 console interface and a Micro USB console interface for out-of-band management, a USB 3.0 port for plugging in external RAM, an RJ-45 service port, and an RJ-45 HA redundancy interface for SSO.
Cisco's Catalyst 9800-40 802.11ax Wireless Controller, available in a 1 rack unit (RU) package, is intended for midsize campus deployments. The 9800-40 supports 2,000 Wi-Fi access points and 32,000 client users. The 9800-40 controller offers 40 Gbps data rates and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Deployment scenarios 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 interface. Additional fixed interfaces include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console ports, an RJ-45 service port, an RJ-45 redundancy port for SSO, and two USB 3.0 ports for adding external RAM memory.
The Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wi-Fi 6 Controller, available in a 2RU form factor, is an expandable, top-of-the-line wireless controller designed to manage large campus and service provider deployments. The 9800-80 can handle 60,00 APs and 64,000 clients. The 9800-80 delivers a maximum of 80 Gbps data rates and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Deployment options include Centralized, FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless (SD-Access). Integrated uplink ports include eight 10G SFP+ interfaces or six 10G ports and two 1G ports. Available uplink add-in modules can add 18 1GE ports, 10 10GE interfaces, a 40GE interface, two 40GE ports, or one 100GE interface. Additional fixed interfaces include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console interfaces, an RJ-45 service interface, an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy port for stateful switchover, an RJ-45 redundancy interface for stateful switchover (SSO), and two USB 3.0 ports for adding external RAM memory.
Cisco Wave 2 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 wireless controllers allow fast communication, configuration, management, monitoring and debugging for Cisco Wi-Fi devices and software services. Cisco has developed both hardware and software-based Wi-Fi controllers for unified management of wireless environments, but networks with a large number of wireless APs typically require hardware-based wireless controllers. Wave 2 Wi-Fi controller appliances from Cisco deliver significant advantages in comparison to Wave 1 and older models including greater performance, concurrent support for both 1G and 10G interfaces, enhanced application visibility and control (AVC), and advanced, integrated protection.
Cisco's Wave 2 wireless controllers can manage Wi-Fi 5 APs
Cisco's 3504 Wireless Controller is a value-priced appliance with a desktop form factor and intended for smaller organizations. You can install the 3504 model in a centralized WLAN environment such as in lean branch and home-based offices managed over the WAN with FlexConnect, or in mesh installations where wiring is sparse. The 3504 wireless controller can handle as many as 150 APs and 3,000 users, delivers 4 Gbps performance, and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 3504 controller features a multi-gigabit Ethernet port (up to 5 Gigabit Ethernet) and four 1-GB Ethernet connections. APs can be connected to the WiFi controller via two Power over Ethernet ports. The 3504 wireless controller offers subsecond failover for access points and users, which allows high 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, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 wireless controllers.
Cisco's 5520 Wireless Controller, offered in a 1 rack unit (RU) enclosure, is designed to support midsize to large organizations 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, delivers 20 Gbps performance, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 model controller includes two 10 GE interfaces and features solid-state storage, redundant fans, optional redundant power supplies, and subsecond failover for uninterrupted availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, available in a 2RU enclosure, is a top-of-the-line wireless controller intended to support enterprises, service providers, and large campuses. The 8540 Wireless controller can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures and can handle as many as 6,000 Wi-Fi access points and 64,000 clients. The 8540 WiFi controller can deliver data rates as high as 40 Gbps and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 8340 includes four 1-GB or 10GE interfaces and features solid-state storage, redundant power supplies, redundant fans, and subsecond failover.
Wave 1 Cisco Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco wireless LAN controllers reduce the effort and expense required to deploy, monitor, and operate Wi-Fi networks by centralizing control of critical functions such as setting up APs, enforcing consistent policies across converged wired and wireless networks, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service for IP voice and HD video, monitoring and troubleshooting network performance, implementing wireless intrusion prevention system (wIPS) tools to defend against unauthorized access and DDoS threats, and handling IPv6 and dual-stack clients. Cisco has designed wireless network controllers for businesses of any size and can provide desktop or rackmount controllers, modular plug-in controllers for Cisco routers and Catalyst switches, and Catalyst switches with integrated wireless controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 WiFi controllers incorporate Cisco CleanAir technology to minimize RF interference and produce self-healing and self-optimizing wireless LANs for maximum 802.11n and 802.11ac throughput and security. Built-in Bonjour Gateways permit discovery, advertisement and policy across the enterprise for Apple-based applications. For fault tolerance, Cisco wireless network controllers support AP and client stateful failover by enabling a backup high-availability controller to synch with a primary wireless controller for AP license count, CAPWAP keys, and access point CAPWAP state. If the main wireless controller stops working, thousands of APs and clients can failover immediately to the secondary controller.
Cisco's Wireless Controller Module for ISR G2 Routers with UCS-E offers basic 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for 2900 and 3900 Series routers used by small to medium-sized organizations and branches. This affordable and scalable solution can handle from five to 200 wireless access points and as many as 6000 wireless clients. (To find out concerning Progent's remote and on-premises consulting services for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router configuration and troubleshooting support.)
Cisco Legacy Wi-Fi Network Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU form-factor switches designed for small to mid-size businesses and branch offices and come with an integrated wireless network controller with the ability to handle up to 40 Gb of wireless throughput per switch and up to 25 APs and 1000 clients per switch. Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU switches designed for mid-size and large organizations and feature an integrated wireless LAN controller with up to 40 Gb of wireless capacity on each switch and support for 50 wireless access points and up to 2000 wireless clients. The WiSM2 is a plug-in blade for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches with an integrated wireless network controller intended for mid-to-large size enterprises and able to deliver 20 Gbps throughput and with support for 1000 access points and 15,000 wireless clients. (To find out about Progent's support for Cisco Catalyst switches, refer to Cisco switches configuration and troubleshooting support.)
Cisco 2500 Series Wireless Controllers are entry-level desktop devices that streamline the deployment and operation of wireless networks for small to medium-sized enterprises and branches. The Cisco 2500 wireless LAN controller can handle from five to 75 APs and up to 1000 clients and offers sustained performance of up to 1 Gbps.
The Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller is a scalable 1RU unit intended for medium-sized to large businesses and campuses and can manage up to 500 APs and 7,000 clients while providing 8 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 5760 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU device designed for mid-to-large campus environments with the ability to manage up to 1000 APs and 12,000 clients and providing performance of 60 Gbps to accommodate high client densities and high usage of media-rich mobile applications.
Cisco's Flex 7500 Series Wireless Controller is designed to manage massive collections of wireless remote sites from a single location, avoiding the requirement for a Wi-Fi controller at every branch. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 allows you to create a private cloud to configure, track, manage, and repair up to 6000 APs and up to 64,000 wireless clients while handling 1 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 8500 Wireless Controller is a 1RU rackmount device engineered to monitor and control Wi-Fi networks for very large campuses or service providers and can be expanded to support 6000 APs and 64,000 clients while offering 10 Gbps throughput.
To see more information about Progent's professional assistance for Cisco technology, pick a subject:
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Cisco Wi-Fi Controllers
To learn more about Progent's consulting services for Cisco wireless controllers, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.