Cisco wireless controllers streamline the management of Wi-Fi networks by unifying the configuration and control of wireless APs, maximizing wireless performance by minimizing the effects of RF interference, enhancing Wi-Fi availability with fast and automatic failover, and tightening security by uncovering cyber threats and filtering content based on client type and location.
Cisco's wireless controllers work with Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center management solutions and are able to accommodate up to 6,000 wireless APs and 64,000 clients. Cisco's family of wireless controllers are available at price points and with capabilities suitable for venues that run from small or home offices to service provider systems, multi-site enterprises, and dense campus environments. Cisco's 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 and Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 controllers and APs are designed to provide the same standard of security, speed and reliability that companies are accustomed to from their wired network. Cisco's technology incorporates built-in mobility support like Voice over IP, HD video, and secure guest access. Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center architecture make it possible for organizations to implement systems that combine wired and Wi-Fi networks into a centrally managed ecosystem that ensures a consistent and productive user experience.
Progent's certified Wi-Fi experts can help you to assess the business value of deploying Cisco wireless controllers to manage WiFi environments of any scale. Progent can assist you to manage and debug your current Cisco Wi-Fi solution or assist you to design and carry out an efficient upgrade from earlier generation wireless controllers to modern models to deliver enhanced performance and protection and to simplify management.
Progent's Cisco-certified network infrastructure consultants can provide low-cost remote consulting and support services across the U.S. and Canada to assist you to create and refine Wi-Fi networks. Progent also offers onsite support in larger metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. and in Toronto, Canada. In addition, Progent can provide affordable online and onsite Wi-Fi Site Surveys to help you to plan a Wi-Fi network with wireless access points placed and set up optimally for your specific site environment, traffic volume, and client density.
Cisco 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6-compatible wireless LAN controllers help you automate and manage modern wireless environments that support 802.11ax access points. 802.11ax, popularly known as Wi-Fi 6, improves on prior generation 802.11ac (referred to as Wi-Fi 5) appliances by providing lower latency and more reliable performance, supporting higher client density, offering greater security, conserving energy for battery-dependent mobile devices, and allowing more flexibility for supporting the latest kinds of IoT endpoints. Catalyst 9800 family Wi-Fi controllers include always-on availability with transparent software updates, hot fixes, and the ability to connect additional APs without downtime. Advanced cybersecurity technologies include Cisco Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS), image signing, and Cisco Software-Defined Access. Streaming telemetry permits you to track and analyze infrastructure and endpoint health. All controllers in the Catalyst 9800 line are powered by Cisco's IOS XE Software and work with Cisco's DNA Center (DNAC) or Prime Infrastructure network management tools. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 Series wireless LAN controllers can manage Cisco Aironet Wi-Fi 5 Wave 1 and Wave 2 APs concurrently with Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi access points.
Cisco Wi-Fi 6 controller appliances support greater scale than Cisco's embedded wireless controllers
Cisco's 9800-L Wi-Fi 6 Controller is a value-priced device available in a half-width 1RU enclosure that permits side-by-side mounting in a 19-in rack. Intended for small and medium-sized wireless networks, the 9800-L controller provides extra speed and capacity for customers with a Performance license. The 9800-L can handle 250 access points and 5,000 client users (500 Wi-Fi access points and 10,00 users with Cisco's Performance license). The 9800-L controller delivers 5 Gbps throughput (10 Gbps with a Performance license), and supports 4,096 VLANs. Deployment options include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect for remote office deployments, 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 ports include an RJ-45 console port and a Micro USB console port for management, a USB 3.0 port for plugging in external memory, an RJ-45 management port, and an RJ-45 HA redundancy interface for stateful switchover (SSO).
Cisco's Catalyst 9800-40 Wi-Fi 6 Controller, offered in a 1 rack unit form factor, is intended to support midsize campus environments. The 9800-40 supports 2,000 Wi-Fi access points and 32,000 client users. The 9800-40 delivers 40 Gbps throughput and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Deployment modes include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless. Integrated ports include four GE SFP/10 GE SFP+ or SFP ports and an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy port. Additional fixed ports include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console interfaces, an RJ-45 service interface, an RJ-45 redundancy port used for stateful switchover (SSO), and two USB 3.0 interfaces for plugging in external RAM.
The Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 802.11ax Wireless Controller, offered in a 2 rack unit (RU) package, is a modular, high-end Wi-Fi controller designed to support large campus and service provider deployments. The 9800-80 can handle 60,00 access points and 64,000 client users. The 9800-80 offers up to 80 Gbps data rates and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Deployment modes include Centralized, FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless (SD-Access). Fixed uplink ports include eight 10G SFP+ ports or six 10G ports plus two 1G ports. Optional uplink add-in modules provide 18 1GE ports, 10 10GE interfaces, a 40GE port, two 40GE interfaces, or one 100GE interface. Additional fixed interfaces include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console interfaces, an RJ-45 service port, an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy interface for SSO, an RJ-45 redundancy interface used for SSO, and two USB 3.0 ports for plugging in external memory.
Cisco Wave 2 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 controllers enable realtime communication, deployment, management, monitoring and troubleshooting for Cisco wireless devices and software services. Cisco offers both hardware and virtual wireless controllers for centralized management of wireless networks, but networks with many Wi-Fi access points typically require physical Wi-Fi controllers. Wave 2 Wi-Fi controller devices from Cisco offer major benefits in comparison to Wave 1 and earlier models including higher throughput, concurrent support for 1G and 10G Ethernet, enhanced application visibility and control, and advanced, built-in security.
Cisco's Wave 2 wireless controllers can support 802.11ac Wi-Fi APs
Cisco's 3504 Wireless Controller is an entry-level appliance with a desktop form factor and intended for small and medium-sized organizations. You can use the 3504 model in a centralized network architecture such as in small branch and remote offices administered across the WAN with FlexConnect, or in mesh installations where Ethernet cabling is limited. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller supports up to 150 APs and 3,000 users, delivers 4 Gbps performance, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 WiFi controller includes a Cisco Multigigabit interface and four 1-GB Ethernet interfaces. APs can be attached to the WiFi controller through two Power over Ethernet ports. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller features fast failover for APs and users, which allows uninterrupted availability for applications. As with other current Wave 2 wireless controllers available from Cisco, the 3504 model has the integrated capability to work with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services Engine, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WLAN controllers.
The Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller, offered in a 1RU form factor, is designed to support larger organizations and campus environments and can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments. The 5520 wireless controller can handle up to 1,500 wireless APs and 20,000 client users, offers 20 Gbps throughput, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 model controller includes two 10 GE interfaces and incorporates SSD storage, backup fans, optional backup power supplies, and subsecond failover for uninterrupted availability.
Cisco's 8540 Wireless Controller, offered in a 2RU enclosure, is a top-of-the-line wireless controller intended to support large enterprises, service providers, and large campus environments. The 8540 Wireless controller can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments and can handle up to 6,000 access points and 64,000 users. The 8540 WiFi controller can deliver throughput as high as 40 Gbps and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 8340 comes with four 1-GB or 10GE interfaces and features SSD storage, dual power supplies, backup fans, and rapid failover.
Wave 1 Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco wireless LAN controllers cut the effort and expense required to configure, monitor, and operate wireless networks by offering single-point control of critical tasks like provisioning wireless access points, enforcing single-point policies across converged wired and wireless LANs, supporting enterprise-wide QoS for voice and HD video, tracking and optimizing system performance, activating security tools to defend against cyber break-ins and DDoS attacks, and handling IPv6 and dual-stack clients. Cisco has designed wireless network controllers for businesses of all sizes and can provide desktop or rackmount appliances, modular plug-in controllers for Cisco routers and Catalyst switches, and switches with integrated wireless network controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 WiFi controllers include Cisco CleanAir tools to avoid RF interference and create self-healing and self-optimizing wireless networks for top 802.11n and 802.11ac performance and protection. Integrated Bonjour Gateways allow discovery across WLAN, LAN and WAN for Apple applications. For fault tolerance, Cisco wireless controllers support AP and client stateful failover by enabling a standby HA controller to synchronize with a primary controller for AP license tabulation, CAPWAP keys, and AP CAPWAP state. In case the primary controller fails, thousands of wireless access points and wireless clients can switchover immediately to the backup wireless LAN controller.
Cisco's Wireless Controller Module for ISR G2 Routers with UCS-E offers entry-level 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for Cisco 2900 and 3900 Series routers used by small to medium-sized organizations and branch offices. This value-priced and expandable solution can handle from five to 200 access points and as many as 6000 wireless clients. (To find out concerning Progent's remote and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router deployment and troubleshooting consulting.)
Cisco Legacy Wireless Network Controllers
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU switches intended for small to mid-size businesses and branches and come with an integrated wireless controller with the ability to handle up to 40 Gb of wireless capacity per switch and 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients on each switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU rackmount switches designed for mid-size and large organizations and feature a built-in wireless controller with up to 40 Gb of wireless capacity per switch and support for 50 access points and 2000 clients. The Wireless Services Module2 (WiSM2) is an add-in blade for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches with a built-in wireless LAN controller intended for mid-to-large size enterprises and capable of 20 Gbps throughput and able to handle 1000 APs and as many as 15,000 wireless clients. (To learn concerning Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Cisco Catalyst switches, refer to Catalyst switches configuration and troubleshooting support.)
Cisco 2500 Wireless Controllers are economical desktop appliances that simplify the deployment and operation of wireless LANs for SMBs and branches. The 2500 Series wireless LAN controller can handle 5 to 75 APs and 1000 clients and offers throughput of up to 1 Gbps.
Cisco's 5500 Wireless Controller is an expandable 1RU unit designed for medium-sized to large enterprises and campus environments and can support up to 500 APs and 7,000 wireless clients while delivering 8 Gbps performance. 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 wireless 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 a single datacenter, avoiding the costs of a Wi-Fi controller at each branch. The 1RU Flex 7500 appliance allows you to establish a private cloud to configure, monitor, manage, and troubleshoot up to 6000 access points and up to 64,000 clients while supporting 1 Gbps performance. The Cisco 8500 Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance engineered to manage wireless networks for large campuses or service providers and can be expanded to support up to 6000 access points and up to 64,000 clients while delivering 10 Gbps performance.
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