Cisco Wi-Fi controllers simplify the administration of Wi-Fi environments by unifying the configuration and control of Wi-Fi access points, optimizing wireless performance by reducing the impact of RF interference, enhancing Wi-Fi uptime with rapid and automatic failover, and hardening security by detecting threats and filtering traffic content based on client type and location.
Cisco wireless controllers integrate with Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center (DNAC) management tools and are able to support as many as 6,000 wireless APs and 64,000 clients. Cisco's family of Wi-Fi controllers are offered at price points and with feature sets appropriate for venues ranging from small or home offices to service provider networks, enterprises, and dense campus environments. Cisco's Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5 controllers and access points are designed to provide the same level of protection, speed and reliability that companies expect from their wired environments. Cisco's technology incorporates built-in mobility support such as Voice over IP, HD video, and secure guest access. Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center platforms allow businesses to build systems that combine wired and Wi-Fi networks into a centrally managed solution that ensures a consistent and productive user experience.
Progent's seasoned Wi-Fi consultants can help your organization to determine the business benefits of deploying Cisco Wi-Fi controllers to administer wireless networks of any scale. Progent can help you to manage and debug your existing Cisco Wi-Fi solution or assist you to plan and carry out a cost-effective transition from older wireless controllers to current products to deliver improved functionality and security and to streamline management.
Progent's Cisco-certified network infrastructure consultants offer affordable remote consulting services throughout the U.S. to assist you to build and enhance Wi-Fi solutions. Progent also offers on-premises consulting and troubleshooting in major metropolitan areas across the U.S. and in Toronto, Canada. In addition, Progent offers affordable remote and on-premises wireless Site Surveys to help you to design a Wi-Fi network with access points placed and configured efficiently for your specific office layout, application workloads, and client density.
Cisco 9800 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 line of Wi-Fi 6-supported wireless LAN controllers help you automate and manage modern wireless networks that incorporate 802.11ax wireless APs. The 802.11ax standard, aka Wi-Fi 6, builds on previous generation 802.11ac (referred to as Wi-Fi 5) devices by delivering lower latency and more predictable performance, supporting higher client user density, offering greater security, saving energy for battery-dependent mobile devices, and offering more flexibility for handling the latest kinds of Internet-of-Things (IoT) endpoints. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 family wireless controllers feature always-on availability with seamless software updates, hot patching, and the ability to connect additional wireless APs without downtime. Advanced security technologies include Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA), image signing, and Software-Defined Access (SD-Access). Streaming telemetry permits you to track and analyze infrastructure and client health. All controllers in the Catalyst 9800 line are powered by Cisco's IOS XE Software and work with Cisco's DNA Center or with Prime Infrastructure network management platforms. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 wireless network controllers can support Cisco Aironet Wi-Fi 5 Wave 1 and Wave 2 APs as well as Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 Wi-Fi access points.
Cisco Wi-Fi 6 wireless controller appliances offer greater scale than Cisco's embedded wireless controllers
The Cisco 9800-L Wi-Fi 6 Controller is an entry-level device with a half-width 1RU form factor that allows side-by-side mounting in a 19-in rack. Designed for small and medium-sized businesses, the 9800-L controller delivers extra throughput and capacity if you purchase a Performance license option. The 9800-L can handle 250 APs and 5,000 client users (500 Wi-Fi access points and 10,00 clients if you have Cisco's Performance license). The appliance delivers 5 Gbps throughput (10 Gbps with a Performance license), and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Deployment options include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect for branch office deployments, and fabric. Integrated uplinks include four 2.5G/1G ports and 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 out-of-band management, a USB 3.0 interface for adding external RAM memory, an RJ-45 service interface, and an RJ-45 HA redundancy port for stateful switchover (SSO).
The Cisco Catalyst 9800-40 802.11ax Wireless Controller, available in a 1RU enclosure, is intended to support midsize campus deployments. The 9800-40 supports 2,000 Wi-Fi access points and 32,000 client users. The 9800-40 controller delivers 40 Gbps throughput and supports 4,096 VLANs. Deployment scenarios include Centralized, FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless (SD-Access). Fixed ports include four GE SFP/10 GE SFP+ or SFP interfaces and an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy interface. Other fixed interfaces include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console ports, an RJ-45 service port, an RJ-45 redundancy port used for stateful switchover, and two USB 3.0 interfaces for plugging in external memory.
The Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 802.11ax Wireless Controller, offered in a 2 rack unit form factor, is a modular, top-of-the-line Wi-Fi controller intended to support large campus and service provider deployments. The 9800-80 supports 60,00 APs and 64,000 clients. The appliance delivers up to 80 Gbps throughput and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Deployment modes include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless (SD-Access). Fixed uplink ports include eight 10G SFP+ interfaces or six 10G ports and two 1G interfaces. Supported uplink add-in modules include 18 1GE ports, 10 10GE ports, a 40GE port, two 40GE ports, or one 100GE interface. Other integrated interfaces include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console ports, an RJ-45 management port, an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy port for stateful switchover, an RJ-45 redundancy interface used for stateful switchover, and two USB 3.0 ports for plugging in external RAM.
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 controllers allow fast data exchange, configuration, control, monitoring and troubleshooting for Cisco wireless appliances and software services. Cisco has developed both hardware and software-based Wi-Fi controllers for unified management of wireless environments, but networks with many wireless APs are better served by physical Wi-Fi controllers. Wave 2 wireless controller appliances from Cisco offer significant advantages over Wave 1 and earlier models including greater performance, concurrent support for 1G and 10G Ethernet, improved application visibility and control (AVC), and advanced, built-in security.
Cisco's Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers can support 802.11ac Wi-Fi APs
The Cisco 3504 WiFi Controller is a value-priced appliance with a desktop form factor and intended for small and medium-sized businesses. You can use the 3504 in a centralized WLAN environment such as in small branch and remote offices managed across the WAN via Cisco FlexConnect, or in mesh installations where wiring is limited. The 3504 wireless controller supports as many as 150 APs and 3,000 users, delivers 4 Gbps performance, and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 3504 wireless controller includes a Cisco Multigigabit interface and four 1-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Access points can be attached directly to the controller via two Power over Ethernet ports. The 3504 wireless controller features subsecond failover for access points and users, which allows nonstop availability for apps. Like other current Wave 2 wireless controllers available from Cisco, the 3504 model has the integrated capability to communicate with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services Engine, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WiFi controllers.
Cisco's 5520 WiFi Controller, offered in a 1 rack unit (RU) package, is intended for midsize to large organizations and campus networks and can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments. The 5520 Wi-Fi controller can handle as many as 1,500 access points and 20,000 users, delivers 20 Gbps performance, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 WiFi controller includes two 10 GE ports and features solid-state storage, backup fans, optional dual power supplies, and rapid failover for uninterrupted availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, offered in a 2RU enclosure, 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 deployments and can handle up to 6,000 wireless APs and 64,000 clients. The 8540 Wireless controller offers data rates as high as 40 Gbps and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 8340 comes with four 1-GB or 10GE ports and features SSD storage, redundant power supplies, redundant fans, and rapid failover.
Wave 1 Cisco Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco wireless network controllers reduce the time and expense needed to deploy, monitor, and troubleshoot wireless networks by centralizing control of critical functions like setting up wireless access points, applying consistent policies across wired/wireless networks, supporting enterprise-wide QoS for IP voice and video, monitoring and troubleshooting system performance, activating security capabilities to guard against unauthorized access and Distributed Denial of Service attacks, and handling IPv6 and dual-stack clients. Cisco has developed wireless LAN controllers for organizations of all sizes and can provide desktop or rackmount appliances, modular plug-in wireless controllers for Cisco routers and switches, and switches with built-in wireless network controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 WiFi LAN controllers include Cisco CleanAir technology to minimize RF interference and produce self-healing and self-optimizing wireless LANs for top 802.11n and 802.11ac throughput and security. Integrated Apple Bonjour Gateways permit discovery across WLAN, LAN and WAN for Apple-based applications. For fault tolerance, Cisco wireless network controllers allow wireless access point and client stateful switchover by permitting a backup high-availability wireless controller to synch with a primary controller for access point license tabulation, CAPWAP keys, and AP CAPWAP state. In case the main controller goes down, thousands of access points and clients can switchover immediately to the secondary wireless controller.
Cisco's Wireless Controller Module for ISR G2 Routers with UCS-E provides basic 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for Cisco 2900 and 3900 routers used by small to medium-sized organizations and branches. This affordable and scalable module can support from five to 200 wireless access points and up to 6000 wireless clients. (For information about Progent's online and onsite consulting support services for Cisco routers, see Cisco router configuration and management consulting.)
Cisco Legacy Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU form-factor switches designed for SMBs and satellite offices and features an integrated wireless controller with the capability to support up to 40 Gb of wireless capacity for each switch and 25 wireless access points and 1000 clients on each switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU rackmount switches intended for midsize and large organizations and feature an integrated wireless network controller with 40 Gb of wireless throughput per switch and the ability to handle up to 50 wireless access points and up to 2000 clients. The Wireless Services Module2 (WiSM2) is an add-in blade for Catalyst 6500 Series switches that include an integrated wireless LAN controller designed for mid-to-large size enterprises and able to deliver 20 Gbps performance and able to handle up to 1000 APs and up to 15,000 wireless clients. (To learn about Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Cisco switches, see Cisco switches deployment and troubleshooting support.)
Cisco 2500 Wireless Controllers are value-priced desktop appliances that simplify the provisioning and operation of wireless networks for SMBs and branch offices. The Cisco 2500 Series wireless LAN controller supports 5 to 75 wireless access points and up to 1000 wireless clients and can deliver sustained data rates of 1 Gbps.
The Cisco 5500 Wireless Controller is an expandable 1RU appliance intended for medium-sized to large organizations and campuses and can manage 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 device designed for mid-to-large campus environments with support for up to 1000 access points and 12,000 clients and offering performance of 60 Gbps to handle high client densities and high usage of media-rich mobile applications.
The Cisco Flex 7500 Wireless Controller is intended to manage massive collections of wireless remote sites from one datacenter, eliminating the requirement for a Wi-Fi controller at every branch. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 appliance allows you to create a private cloud to deploy, track, maintain, and troubleshoot up to 6000 access points and up to 64,000 wireless clients while handling 1 Gbps performance. The Cisco 8500 Wireless Controller is a 1RU device engineered to monitor and manage wireless environments for very large campuses or for service providers and can scale to support up to 6000 access points and up to 64,000 clients while delivering 10 Gbps performance.
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