Cisco Wi-Fi controllers streamline the management of Wi-Fi networks by unifying the deployment and management of wireless APs, optimizing wireless performance by minimizing the impact 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 client type and location.
Cisco's wireless controllers work with Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center management solutions and can support as many as 6,000 Wi-Fi access points and 64,000 client users. Cisco's family of wireless controllers are offered at price points and with feature sets appropriate for venues ranging from small or home offices to service provider networks, multi-site enterprises, and large campus environments. Cisco's 802.11ax and 802.11ac controllers and APs are engineered to deliver the high level of security, speed and reliability that users expect in their wired network. Cisco's technology incorporates integrated mobility services such as IP voice, HD video, and safe guest access. Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNAC architecture allow organizations to build systems that combine wired and wireless networks into a centrally managed ecosystem that delivers a consistent and productive work environment.
Progent's seasoned Wi-Fi consultants can assist your organization to assess the business value of deploying Cisco Wi-Fi controllers to manage WiFi networks of any size. Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your existing Cisco Wi-Fi ecosystem or assist you to plan and carry out a smooth upgrade from older wireless controllers to current models to get enhanced performance and security and to simplify administration.
Progent's Cisco-certified integration consultants offer affordable remote consulting and support expertise 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 across the United States and in Toronto, Canada. In addition, Progent offers remote predictive and onsite Wireless Site Surveys to help you to design a Wi-Fi network with access points placed and configured optimally for your specific office environment, application workloads, and client density.
Cisco 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 line of Wi-Fi 6-supported wireless LAN controller appliances help you manage modern Wi-Fi networks that incorporate 802.11ax wireless APs. 802.11ax, also called Wi-Fi 6, builds on prior generation 802.11ac (called Wi-Fi 5) appliances by delivering lower latency and more predictable performance, allowing higher client user density, offering enhanced security, saving energy for battery-dependent mobile devices, and offering more flexibility for supporting new types of Internet-of-Things endpoints. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 family wireless controllers include high availability with transparent software upgrades, live patching, and the ability to add APs with zero disruption of service. Advanced cybersecurity features include Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA), secure boot, and Software-Defined Access (SD-Access). Streaming telemetry allows you to track and understand network and client health. All appliances in the Catalyst 9800 line are powered by Cisco's IOS XE Software and operate with Cisco's DNA Center or Prime Infrastructure management tools. Catalyst 9800 wireless network controllers can manage Cisco Aironet Wi-Fi 5 Wave 1 and Wave 2 Wi-Fi access points concurrently with Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 access points.
Cisco 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 controller appliances deliver greater scale than embedded wireless controllers
The Cisco 9800-L Wi-Fi 6 Controller is an entry-level appliance with a half-width 1RU body that permits side-by-side installation in a 19-in rack. Designed for small and medium-sized businesses, the 9800-L controller offers extra speed and capacity if you purchase a Performance license option. The 9800-L can handle 250 wireless APs and 5,000 clients (500 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 scenarios include Centralized, FlexConnect for remote office installations, and fabric. Fixed 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). Other ports include an RJ-45 console interface and a Micro USB console port for out-of-band management, a USB 3.0 interface for adding external memory, an RJ-45 service port, and an RJ-45 high-availability redundancy port used for stateful switchover.
The Cisco Catalyst 9800-40 802.11ax Wireless Controller, offered in a 1 rack unit form factor, is designed to support midsize campus deployments. The 9800-40 can handle 2,000 wireless APs and 32,000 client users. The appliance offers 40 Gbps throughput and supports 4,096 VLANs. Deployment modes include Centralized, FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless. Fixed ports include four GE SFP/10 GE SFP+ or SFP interfaces 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 RAM memory.
The Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 802.11ax Wireless Controller, offered in a 2 rack unit form factor, is an expandable, top-of-the-line wireless controller designed to manage large campus and service provider deployments. The 9800-80 supports 60,00 wireless APs and 64,000 users. The 9800-80 controller offers a maximum of 80 Gbps throughput and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Deployment options include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless (SD-Access). Integrated uplink ports include eight 10G SFP+ ports or six 10G interfaces and two 1G ports. Supported hot swappable uplink modules can add 18 1GE interfaces, 10 10GE ports, a 40GE port, two 40GE ports, or a 100GE interface. Other fixed ports include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console ports, an RJ-45 management port, an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy port used for stateful switchover (SSO), an RJ-45 redundancy interface for SSO, and two USB 3.0 interfaces for plugging in external memory.
Cisco Wave 2 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 wireless controllers enable realtime data exchange, configuration, control, analysis and debugging for Cisco wireless devices and software services. Cisco offers both physical and software-based wireless controllers for unified management of WiFi environments, but WLANs with a large number of wireless APs are better served by hardware-based Wi-Fi controllers. Wave 2 Wi-Fi controller appliances from Cisco offer significant advantages over Wave 1 and earlier products including greater throughput, simultaneous support for 1G and 10G Ethernet, improved application visibility and control (AVC), and advanced, integrated protection.
Cisco's Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers can manage Wi-Fi 5 access points
The Cisco 3504 Wireless Controller is a value-priced appliance available in a desktop body and designed for small and medium-sized businesses. You can install the 3504 in a centralized WLAN architecture such as in small branch and remote offices managed across the wide-area network via Cisco FlexConnect, or in mesh deployments where Ethernet cabling is sparse. The 3504 wireless controller supports as many as 150 WiFi access points and 3,000 client users, offers 4 Gbps performance, and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 3504 wireless controller features a multi-gigabit Ethernet port (up to 5 Gigabit Ethernet) and four 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports. APs can be connected to the controller through two Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller features subsecond failover for access points and users, which allows nonstop availability for applications. Like other current Wave 2 wireless controllers from Cisco, the 3504 device has the built-in ability to work with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WLAN controllers.
The Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller, offered in a 1 rack unit enclosure, is intended to support midsize to large organizations and campus networks and can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures. The 5520 Wi-Fi controller can handle as many as 1,500 access points and 20,000 client users, offers 20 Gbps throughput, and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 wireless controller features two 10 GE interfaces and incorporates solid-state storage, redundant fans, optional redundant power supplies, and rapid failover for uninterrupted availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, available in a 2 rack unit (RU) form factor, is a high-end 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 supports up to 6,000 APs and 64,000 clients. The 8540 WiFi controller offers data rates up to 40 Gbps and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 8540 controller includes four 1-GB or 10GE ports and features solid-state storage, redundant power supplies, backup fans, and subsecond failover.
Wave 1 Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco wireless controllers cut the effort and expense needed to deploy, manage, and operate Wi-Fi networks by centralizing control of critical functions like provisioning APs, applying consistent policies across converged wired/wireless networks, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service (QoS) for IP voice and HD video, tracking and optimizing network performance, implementing intrusion prevention capabilities to guard against cyber break-ins and Distributed Denial of Service threats, and managing IPv6 clients. Cisco has developed wireless LAN controllers for organizations of any size and can provide standalone desktop appliances, modular plug-in controllers for Cisco routers and switches, and switches with built-in wireless controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 WiFi controllers include Cisco CleanAir technology to avoid RF interference and create self-healing wireless networks for maximum 802.11n and 802.11ac performance and security. Built-in Apple Bonjour Gateways enable discovery throughout WLAN, LAN and WAN for Apple applications. For high availability (HA), Cisco wireless LAN controllers support access point and client stateful failover by enabling a standby high-availability controller to synch with a primary controller for AP license count, CAPWAP state and roaming keys, and access point CAPWAP state. In case the primary wireless controller goes down, thousands of access points and clients can failover in less than a second to the secondary wireless LAN controller.
Cisco's Wireless Controller Module for ISR Routers with UCS-E offers basic 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for 2900 and 3900 routers deployed by smaller organizations and branches. This affordable and scalable solution can support up to 200 APs and up to 6000 clients. (To learn concerning Progent's online and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting support services for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router deployment and troubleshooting support.)
Cisco Legacy Wi-Fi LAN Controllers
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU switches intended for small to mid-size businesses and branch offices and features a built-in wireless network controller with the capability to handle up to 40 Gb of wireless throughput per switch and 25 access points and 1000 clients per switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU switches designed for mid-size and large organizations and feature a built-in wireless controller supporting 40 Gb of wireless capacity on each switch and the ability to handle up to 50 wireless access points and up to 2000 wireless clients. The WiSM2 is an add-in blade for Catalyst 6500 Series switches with an integrated wireless LAN controller intended for mid-to-large size enterprises and capable of 20 Gbps performance and with support for up to 1000 access points and up to 15,000 clients. (To learn concerning Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Cisco switches, see Cisco switches configuration and management consulting.)
Cisco 2500 Series Wireless Controllers are value-priced desktop units that simplify the provisioning and operation of wireless networks for small to medium-sized enterprises and satellite offices. The Cisco 2500 wireless network controller can handle from five to 75 access points and 1000 clients and can deliver throughput of up to 1 Gbps.
The Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller is a scalable 1RU unit designed for medium-sized to large enterprises and campuses and can manage up to 500 APs and 7,000 wireless clients while delivering 8 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 5760 Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance designed for mid-to-large campus environments with support for up to 1000 wireless access points and 12,000 wireless clients and offering throughput of 60 Gbps to handle high client densities and high amounts of media-rich mobile applications.
Cisco's Flex 7500 Series Wireless Controller is intended to enable centralized management of thousands of wireless branches from a single location, avoiding the costs of a Wi-Fi controller at every branch. The 1RU Flex 7500 allows you to build a private cloud to deploy, track, manage, and troubleshoot as many as 6000 wireless access points and 64,000 clients while supporting 1 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 8500 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU rackmount appliance engineered to monitor and control Wi-Fi environments for very large campuses or for service providers and can scale to handle 6000 APs and 64,000 wireless clients while offering 10 Gbps throughput.
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