Cisco Wi-Fi controllers streamline the administration of Wi-Fi networks by unifying the deployment and administration of Wi-Fi APs, maximizing wireless performance by reducing the effects of radio congestion, improving Wi-Fi availability with fast and automatic failover, and tightening security by detecting cyber threats and filtering traffic content based on user type and location.
Cisco's Wi-Fi controllers work with Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center management solutions and can support up to 6,000 wireless access points and 64,000 clients. Cisco's family of Wi-Fi controllers are available at prices and with capabilities appropriate for networks ranging from small offices to service provider systems, multi-site enterprises, and large 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 users are accustomed to from their wired environments. Cisco's technology incorporates built-in mobility services like Voice over IP, HD video, and protected guest access. Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNAC architecture make it possible for businesses to build systems that integrate wired and wireless networks into a centrally managed ecosystem that ensures a consistent and productive user experience.
Progent's certified Wi-Fi consultants can assist you to assess the business benefits of deploying Cisco Wi-Fi controllers to administer WiFi environments of any size. Progent can help your business to maintain and troubleshoot your current Cisco-based Wi-Fi solution or assist you to design and implement a cost-effective migration from earlier generation Wi-Fi controllers to current models to get improved functionality and protection and to simplify management.
Progent's Cisco-certified network infrastructure consultants offer affordable remote consulting services throughout the U.S. and Canada to help businesses to build and refine Wi-Fi solutions. Progent also offers on-premises consulting in larger metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. and in Toronto, Canada. In addition, Progent offers online predictive and on-premises Wi-Fi Site Surveys to help you to design a Wi-Fi network with access points located and configured efficiently for your specific site environment, traffic volume, and client density.
Cisco 9800 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 family of Wi-Fi 6-compatible wireless controllers allow you to manage modern Wi-Fi environments that support 802.11ax wireless APs. The 802.11ax standard, also called Wi-Fi 6, improves on prior generation 802.11ac (referred to as Wi-Fi 5) appliances by delivering lower latency and more reliable performance, supporting higher client density, offering greater security, conserving energy for battery-powered mobile devices, and allowing more versatility for handling the latest kinds of Internet-of-Things (IoT) endpoints. Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi controllers feature always-on availability with seamless software upgrades, hot patching, and the ability to add APs without disruption of service. Advanced security technologies include Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA), image signing, and Software-Defined Access (SD-Access). Streaming telemetry permits you to monitor and analyze 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 with Cisco Prime Infrastructure management platforms. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 Series wireless network controllers can support Cisco Aironet Wi-Fi 5 Wave 1 and Wave 2 APs concurrently with Catalyst 9100 Wi-Fi 6 wireless APs.
Cisco's 9800-L 802.11ax Controller is a value-priced device with a half-width 1RU body that permits dual mounting in a standard 19-in rack. Designed for smaller organizations, the 9800-L controller delivers enhanced throughput and capacity if you purchase a Performance license option. The 9800-L supports 250 Wi-Fi access points and 5,000 clients (500 access points and 10,00 users with Cisco's Performance license). The appliance delivers 5 Gbps data rates (10 Gbps with a Performance license), and supports 4,096 VLANs. Deployment options include Centralized, FlexConnect for remote office installations, and fabric. Fixed uplinks include four 2.5G/1G ports plus 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 port and a Micro USB console interface for management, a USB 3.0 port for plugging in external RAM memory, an RJ-45 service interface, and an RJ-45 high-availability redundancy port used for stateful switchover (SSO).
Cisco's Catalyst 9800-40 802.11ax Wireless Controller, offered in a 1 rack unit enclosure, is designed to support midsize campus environments. The 9800-40 can handle 2,000 access points and 32,000 client users. The 9800-40 delivers 40 Gbps data rates 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 ports and an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy interface. Additional integrated interfaces include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console interfaces, an RJ-45 service interface, an RJ-45 redundancy port for stateful switchover, and two USB 3.0 ports for adding external memory.
The Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 802.11ax Wireless Controller, offered in a 2 rack unit form factor, is an expandable, high-end Wi-Fi controller designed to support large campus and service provider environments. The 9800-80 supports 60,00 APs and 64,000 clients. The 9800-80 offers a maximum of 80 Gbps data rates and supports 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 and two 1G ports. Optional hot swappable uplink modules provide 18 1GE interfaces, 10 10GE interfaces, a 40GE interface, two 40GE ports, or a 100GE interface. Other integrated interfaces include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console interfaces, an RJ-45 service port, an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy port used for stateful switchover, an RJ-45 redundancy interface for SSO, and two USB 3.0 ports for plugging in external RAM memory.
Cisco Wave 2 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 controllers allow realtime communication, deployment, management, monitoring and troubleshooting for Cisco wireless devices and software services. Cisco offers both physical and software-based Wi-Fi controllers for unified administration of WiFi networks, but WLANs with many Wi-Fi access points typically require physical Wi-Fi controllers. Wave 2 wireless controller devices from Cisco offer significant advantages in comparison to Wave 1 and older models including greater performance, concurrent support for both 1G and 10G interfaces, improved application visibility and control, and advanced, integrated protection.
The Cisco 3504 Wireless Controller is an entry-level device with a desktop body and intended for smaller businesses. You can install the 3504 model in a centralized network architecture such as in lean branch and home-based offices managed across the wide-area network with FlexConnect, or in mesh installations where Ethernet cabling is limited. The 3504 wireless controller can handle up to 150 wireless APs and 3,000 client users, offers 4 Gbps throughput, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 wireless controller includes a Cisco Multigigabit port (up to 5 Gigabit Ethernet) and four 1-GB Ethernet connections. Access points can be connected 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 applications. Like other current Wave 2 wireless controllers available from Cisco, the 3504 model has the built-in ability to work with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services Engine, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WLAN controllers.
Cisco's 5520 Wireless Controller, available in a 1 rack unit (RU) form factor, is intended for midsize to large enterprises and campus networks and can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments. The 5520 Wi-Fi controller supports up to 1,500 APs and 20,000 client users, delivers 20 Gbps throughput, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 WiFi controller features two 10 GE interfaces and features SSD storage, backup fans, optional redundant power supplies, and subsecond failover for uninterrupted availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, offered in a 2 rack unit (RU) package, is a top-of-the-line WiFi controller intended to support enterprises, service providers, and large campus environments. The 8540 WiFi controller can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments and can handle up to 6,000 wireless APs and 64,000 client users. The 8540 Wireless controller offers data rates up to 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, backup fans, and rapid failover.
Wave 1 Cisco Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco wireless controllers cut the effort and cost needed to deploy, monitor, and troubleshoot Wi-Fi networks by offering single-point control of functions like setting up wireless access points, applying consistent policies throughout converged wired/wireless networks, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service for voice and HD video, tracking and optimizing network health, activating wireless intrusion prevention system (wIPS) tools to guard against unauthorized access and Distributed Denial of Service attacks, and handling IPv6 and dual-stack clients. Cisco has designed wireless network controllers for organizations of any size and offers desktop or rackmount controllers, modular plug-in wireless controllers for Cisco routers and switches, and Catalyst switches with built-in wireless network controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 WiFi controllers incorporate Cisco CleanAir tools to minimize RF interference and produce self-healing wireless networks for top 802.11n and 802.11ac throughput and security. Built-in Apple Bonjour Gateways permit discovery across WLAN, LAN and WAN for Apple applications. For high availability, Cisco wireless controllers support wireless access point and client stateful failover by enabling a standby high-availability controller to synch with a main controller for access point license tabulation, CAPWAP state and roaming keys, and AP CAPWAP state. In case the main wireless controller fails, thousands of wireless access points and clients can failover at subsecond speeds to the secondary wireless network controller.
Cisco's Wireless Module for ISR G2 Routers with UCS-E offers basic 802.11n and 802.11ac support for Cisco 2900 and 3900 routers used by small to medium-sized organizations and satellite offices. This affordable and scalable module can handle from five to 200 wireless access points and up to 6000 wireless clients. (To find out about Progent's remote and on-premises consulting services for Cisco routers, see Cisco router deployment and troubleshooting services.)
Cisco Legacy Wi-Fi Network Controllers
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU switches intended for small to mid-size businesses and branches and come with a built-in wireless controller with the capability to support 40 Gb of wireless throughput for each switch and 25 access points and 1000 wireless clients per switch. Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU rackmount switches designed for midsize and large organizations and include a built-in wireless LAN controller with 40 Gb of wireless capacity per switch and support for 50 wireless access points and 2000 clients. The WiSM2 is a plug-in blade for Catalyst 6500 Series switches that include an integrated wireless controller intended for mid-to-large size enterprises and capable of 20 Gbps throughput and with support for 1000 access points and as many as 15,000 wireless clients. (To learn concerning Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Catalyst switches, refer to Catalyst switches configuration and troubleshooting support.)
Cisco 2500 Series Wireless Controllers are value-priced desktop appliances that simplify the deployment and management of wireless LANs for small and midsize businesses and satellite offices. The 2500 Series wireless controller can handle from five to 75 wireless access points and up to 1000 clients and can deliver sustained performance of 1 Gbps.
Cisco's 5500 Wireless Controller is a scalable 1RU unit designed for mid-to-large sized enterprises and campuses and can support up to 500 wireless access points and 7,000 wireless clients while delivering 8 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 5760 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance designed for mid-to-large campus environments with the ability to manage up to 1000 APs and 12,000 wireless clients and providing throughput of 60 Gbps to accommodate high wireless client densities and high usage of video-intensive mobile applications.
Cisco's Flex 7500 Wireless Controller is intended to enable centralized management of thousands of wireless branches from a single datacenter, eliminating the requirement for a wireless controller at every remote site. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 appliance lets you create a private cloud to deploy, monitor, maintain, and repair up to 6000 wireless access points and 64,000 wireless clients while supporting 1 Gbps throughput. The Cisco 8500 Wireless Controller is a 1RU device engineered to monitor and manage Wi-Fi environments for very large campuses or for service providers and can scale to handle 6000 wireless points and up to 64,000 clients while offering 10 Gbps throughput.
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