Cisco wireless controllers simplify the management of Wi-Fi environments by centralizing the configuration and control of wireless APs, maximizing Wi-Fi performance by reducing the impact of radio interference, enhancing Wi-Fi availability with rapid auto-failover, and tightening security by detecting cyber threats and filtering content based on client ID and location.
Cisco Wi-Fi controllers integrate with Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center (DNAC) management solutions and are able to accommodate up to 6,000 wireless APs and 64,000 clients. Cisco's line of Wi-Fi controllers are offered at prices and with feature sets suitable for venues 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 same level of security, performance and reliability that companies are accustomed to from their wired environments. Cisco's technology includes integrated mobility services such as Voice over IP, HD video, and protected guest access. Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center architecture make it possible for businesses to build environments that integrate wired and Wi-Fi networks into a unified solution that ensures a consistent and productive work environment.
Progent's seasoned wireless consultants can help you to determine the business value of installing Cisco Wi-Fi controllers to manage WiFi environments of any scale. Progent can help your business to maintain and debug your existing Cisco wireless ecosystem or help you to design and carry out an efficient transition from earlier generation wireless controllers to modern products to deliver enhanced performance and protection and to simplify administration.
Progent's Cisco-certified network infrastructure consultants offer low-cost remote consulting expertise across the U.S. and Canada to assist you to build and refine Wi-Fi networks. 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 assist you to design a Wi-Fi network with access points located and set up efficiently for your particular site environment, application workloads, and client density.
Cisco 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Catalyst 9800 family of Wi-Fi 6-supported wireless LAN controller appliances allow you to manage modern wireless environments that support 802.11ax wireless APs. The 802.11ax standard, referred to as Wi-Fi 6, improves on prior generation 802.11ac (called Wi-Fi 5) devices by delivering less latency and more reliable performance, supporting higher client user density, providing enhanced protection, conserving energy for battery-powered handheld devices, and offering more flexibility for supporting the latest kinds of Internet-of-Things endpoints. Catalyst 9800 line wireless controllers include high availability with transparent software upgrades, hot patching, and the ability to add APs with zero service interruption. Advanced security features include Cisco Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS), secure boot, and Cisco Software-Defined Access. Streaming telemetry permits you to monitor and understand network and client health. All appliances in the Catalyst 9800 family are powered by Cisco's IOS XE Software and operate with Cisco's DNA Center or Prime Infrastructure network management tools. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 Series wireless LAN controllers can support Cisco Aironet 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 APs as well as Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series 802.11ax access points.
Cisco 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 controller appliances support greater scale than Cisco's embedded wireless controllers (EWCs)
The Cisco 9800-L Wi-Fi 6 Controller is a value-priced appliance available in a half-width 1RU enclosure that permits side-by-side installation in a 19-in rack. Intended for smaller businesses, the 9800-L offers extra throughput and scale if you purchase a Performance license option. The 9800-L supports 250 access points and 5,000 clients (500 Wi-Fi access points and 10,00 clients if you have a Performance license). The controller delivers 5 Gbps throughput (10 Gbps with a Performance license), and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Deployment scenarios include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect for remote 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). Other ports include an RJ-45 console port and a Micro USB console interface for out-of-band management, a USB 3.0 port for plugging in external memory, an RJ-45 management interface, and an RJ-45 HA redundancy interface for stateful switchover.
Cisco's Catalyst 9800-40 Wi-Fi 6 Controller, available in a 1 rack unit (RU) enclosure, is intended to support midsize campus environments. The 9800-40 can handle 2,000 APs and 32,000 client users. The 9800-40 delivers 40 Gbps throughput and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Deployment options include Centralized, FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless. Fixed interfaces include four GE SFP/10 GE SFP+ or SFP ports and an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy interface. Additional integrated ports include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console ports, an RJ-45 management port, an RJ-45 redundancy port used for stateful switchover (SSO), and two USB 3.0 ports for plugging in external memory.
The Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wi-Fi 6 Controller, offered in a 2 rack unit (RU) package, is a modular, high-end Wi-Fi controller designed to manage large campus and service provider deployments. The 9800-80 can handle 60,00 access points and 64,000 client users. The 9800-80 controller delivers a maximum of 80 Gbps data rates and supports 4,096 VLANs. Deployment scenarios include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless (SD-Access). Fixed uplink interfaces include eight 10G SFP+ interfaces or six 10G ports and two 1G interfaces. Available uplink modules provide 18 1GE interfaces, 10 10GE interfaces, a 40GE interface, two 40GE interfaces, or one 100GE port. Other fixed interfaces include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console ports, an RJ-45 management port, an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy port used for SSO, an RJ-45 redundancy port used for SSO, and two USB 3.0 ports for adding external memory.
Cisco Wave 2 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 Network Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 wireless controllers enable fast data exchange, provisioning, control, monitoring and troubleshooting for Cisco wireless devices and software services. Cisco has developed both physical and virtual Wi-Fi controllers for unified administration of wireless networks, but systems with many Wi-Fi access points typically require physical wireless controllers. Wave 2 wireless controller appliances from Cisco deliver major advantages over Wave 1 and older products such as higher throughput, concurrent support for 1G and 10G Ethernet, enhanced application visibility and control (AVC), and hardened, integrated protection.
Cisco's Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers can manage 802.11ac Wi-Fi APs
Cisco's 3504 WiFi Controller is an entry-level appliance with a desktop form factor and designed for smaller businesses. You can install the 3504 in a centralized WLAN environment such as in lean branch and remote offices administered across the wide-area network with FlexConnect, or in mesh deployments where wiring is limited. The 3504 wireless controller can handle up to 150 access points and 3,000 clients, delivers 4 Gbps throughput, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 3504 WiFi controller includes a multi-gigabit Ethernet interface and four 1-Gigabit Ethernet interfaces. Access points can be connected directly to the WiFi controller through two Power over Ethernet ports. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller offers subsecond failover for APs and users, which allows high availability for apps. Like other current Wave 2 wireless controllers available from Cisco, the 3504 device has the built-in capability to communicate with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WiFi controllers.
Cisco's 5520 WiFi Controller, available in a 1 rack unit form factor, is designed to support larger organizations and campus environments and can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures. The 5520 Wi-Fi controller can handle as many as 1,500 wireless APs and 20,000 client users, delivers 20 Gbps throughput, and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 wireless controller includes two 10 GE interfaces and features SSD storage, backup fans, optional dual power supplies, and rapid failover for high availability.
Cisco's 8540 Wireless Controller, available in a 2 rack unit (RU) package, is a top-of-the-line wireless controller designed to support large enterprises, service providers, and large campuses. The 8540 WiFi controller can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures and supports up to 6,000 wireless APs and 64,000 client users. The 8540 Wireless controller can deliver throughput as high as 40 Gbps and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 8540 controller includes four 1-GB or 10GE interfaces and features solid-state storage, redundant power supplies, backup fans, and rapid failover.
Wave 1 Cisco WiFi Network Controllers
Cisco wireless controllers cut the time and cost required to configure, monitor, and operate wireless networks by centralizing control of critical functions like setting up access points, enforcing single-point policies throughout converged wired and wireless LANs, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service (QoS) for voice and video, monitoring and optimizing system health, activating intrusion prevention capabilities to guard against cyber break-ins and DDoS attacks, and managing IPv6 and dual-stack clients. Cisco has designed wireless LAN controllers for organizations of all sizes and offers desktop or rackmount controllers, modular add-on controllers for Cisco ISR routers and switches, and switches with built-in wireless LAN controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 wireless LAN controllers include Cisco CleanAir technology to avoid RF interference and produce self-healing wireless LANs for top 802.11n and 802.11ac throughput and security. Integrated Apple Bonjour Gateways allow discovery, advertisement and policy throughout WLAN, LAN and WAN for Apple-based applications. For high availability (HA), Cisco wireless controllers allow AP and client stateful switchover by enabling a backup high-availability wireless controller to synch with a main wireless controller for AP license count, CAPWAP keys, and access point CAPWAP state. In case the main wireless controller fails, thousands of access points and clients can failover in less than a second to the secondary wireless LAN controller.
Cisco's Wireless Module for ISR 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 satellite offices. This affordable and expandable module can support up to 200 wireless access points and up to 6000 wireless clients. (To find out concerning Progent's online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router configuration and management consulting.)
Cisco Legacy Wi-Fi LAN Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU switches intended for SMBs and branch offices and features a built-in wireless controller with the capability to support 40 Gb of wireless capacity for each switch and up to 25 APs and 1000 wireless clients per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU switches intended for midsize businesses and large enterprises and include an integrated wireless LAN controller with up to 40 Gb of wireless capacity per switch and support for up to 50 APs and 2000 clients. The Wireless Services Module2 is an add-in blade for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches with a built-in wireless controller intended for mid-to-large size enterprises and capable of 20 Gbps performance and able to handle up to 1000 access points and up to 15,000 wireless clients. (To find out concerning Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Cisco Catalyst switches, refer to Cisco Catalyst switches deployment and troubleshooting support.)
Cisco 2500 Wireless Controllers are value-priced desktop units that simplify the provisioning and operation of Wi-Fi LANs for small to medium-sized enterprises and branch offices. The Cisco 2500 wireless network controller supports from five to 75 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients and can deliver sustained performance of up to 1 Gbps.
Cisco's 5500 Series Wireless Controller is an expandable 1RU appliance designed for medium-sized to large organizations and campus environments and can manage up to 500 access points and 7,000 wireless clients while providing 8 Gbps performance. The Cisco 5760 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU device intended for mid-to-large campuses with support for 1000 access points and 12,000 wireless clients and offering performance of 60 Gbps to accommodate high client densities and high amounts of video-intensive mobile applications.
The Cisco Flex 7500 Series Wireless Controller is intended to enable centralized management of massive collections of wireless branches from one location, avoiding the costs of a wireless controller at each branch. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 appliance allows you to create a private cloud to deploy, monitor, manage, and repair up to 6000 access points and up to 64,000 clients while supporting 1 Gbps throughput. The Cisco 8500 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance designed to monitor and control wireless networks for large campuses or for service providers and can scale to support up to 6000 APs and up to 64,000 clients while delivering 10 Gbps performance.
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