Cisco wireless controllers simplify the administration of Wi-Fi environments by centralizing the configuration and control of wireless access points, optimizing wireless performance by minimizing the impact of RF interference, enhancing Wi-Fi uptime with fast and automatic failover, and hardening security by detecting cyber threats and filtering traffic content based on user type and location.
Cisco's wireless controllers work with Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center (DNAC) network management tools and are able to support up to 6,000 wireless access points and 64,000 users. Cisco's line of wireless controllers are offered at price points and with capabilities appropriate for venues that run from small offices to service provider systems, enterprises, and large campus environments. Cisco's 802.11ax and 802.11ac controllers and APs are engineered to provide the high standard of security, speed and robustness that users expect in their wired environments. Cisco's technology incorporates built-in mobility support like Voice over IP, HD video, and protected guest access. Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center architecture make it possible for organizations 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 certified wireless experts can assist your organization to assess the business value of deploying Cisco Wi-Fi controllers to manage WiFi environments of any size. Progent can help you to manage and debug your existing Cisco Wi-Fi solution or assist you to design and implement a smooth transition from older Wi-Fi controllers to modern products to deliver improved performance and protection and to streamline management.
Progent's Cisco-certified network infrastructure consultants can provide affordable online consulting expertise throughout the U.S. to help organizations to build and refine Wi-Fi networks. Progent can also provide on-premises support in larger metropolitan areas throughout the United States and in Toronto, Canada. In addition, Progent can provide online predictive and onsite Wireless Site Surveys to help your company to design a Wi-Fi network with access points located and set up efficiently for your particular site layout, traffic volume, and user density.
Cisco 9800 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 line of Wi-Fi 6-supported wireless LAN controller appliances allow you to automate and manage advanced Wi-Fi networks that incorporate 802.11ax access points. The 802.11ax standard, popularly known as Wi-Fi 6, improves on prior generation 802.11ac (referred to as Wi-Fi 5) devices by delivering lower latency and more reliable performance, supporting higher client density, offering greater security, saving energy for battery-dependent mobile devices, and offering more flexibility for supporting new types of IoT endpoints. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 family wireless controllers feature always-on availability with seamless software updates, hot fixes, and the ability to connect additional Wi-Fi access points without disruption of service. Advanced cybersecurity features include Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA), image signing, and Software-Defined Access. Streaming telemetry allows you to monitor and analyze infrastructure and endpoint health. All devices in the Catalyst 9800 family are based on Cisco's IOS XE Software and operate with Cisco's DNA Center (DNAC) or Cisco Prime Infrastructure network management platforms. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 Series wireless network controllers can support Cisco Aironet 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 access points concurrently with Catalyst 9100 Series 802.11ax wireless APs.
Cisco Wi-Fi 6 wireless controller appliances deliver greater scale than Cisco's embedded wireless controllers (EWCs)
The Cisco 9800-L 802.11ax Controller is an entry-level appliance available in a half-width 1RU chassis that allows dual installation in a standard 19-in rack. Intended for smaller wireless networks, the 9800-L offers extra speed and scale if you purchase Cisco's Performance license. The 9800-L supports 250 access points and 5,000 client users (500 access points and 10,00 users with a Performance license). The appliance offers 5 Gbps data rates (10 Gbps with a Performance license), and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Deployment options include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect for remote office installations, 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). Additional interfaces 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.
The Cisco Catalyst 9800-40 Wi-Fi 6 Controller, offered in a 1RU form factor, is designed to support midsize campus environments. The 9800-40 supports 2,000 access points and 32,000 client users. The controller offers 40 Gbps throughput and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Deployment scenarios include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless (SD-Access). Integrated ports include four GE SFP/10 GE SFP+ or SFP interfaces and an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy interface. Additional fixed ports include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console ports, an RJ-45 management interface, an RJ-45 redundancy interface used for stateful switchover (SSO), and two USB 3.0 ports for adding external RAM memory.
The Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 802.11ax Wireless Controller, available in a 2RU enclosure, is an expandable, top-of-the-line wireless controller intended to support large campus and service provider deployments. The 9800-80 supports 60,00 access points and 64,000 client users. The 9800-80 controller offers a maximum of 80 Gbps throughput and supports 4,096 VLANs. Deployment modes include Centralized, FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless. Fixed uplink ports include eight 10G SFP+ ports or six 10G interfaces and two 1G interfaces. Supported hot swappable uplink add-in modules can add 18 1GE ports, 10 10GE ports, a 40GE interface, two 40GE interfaces, or one 100GE port. Other integrated ports include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console interfaces, an RJ-45 management interface, an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy interface used for SSO, an RJ-45 redundancy port used for SSO, and two USB 3.0 ports for adding external RAM memory.
Cisco Wave 2 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 wireless controllers enable realtime data exchange, deployment, control, analysis and debugging for Cisco wireless appliances and services. Cisco has developed both hardware and software-based wireless controllers for centralized management of WiFi networks, but systems with a large number of wireless APs typically require hardware-based wireless controllers. Wave 2 wireless controller appliances from Cisco offer major benefits in comparison to Wave 1 and earlier products such as higher throughput, simultaneous support for 1G and 10G interfaces, improved application visibility and control, and hardened, built-in protection.
Cisco's Wave 2 wireless controllers can support 802.11ac Wi-Fi APs
Cisco's 3504 WiFi Controller is a value-priced device with a desktop body and intended for small and medium-sized businesses. You can install the 3504 in a centralized network environment such as in lean branch and remote offices administered over the wide-area network via FlexConnect, or in mesh deployments where Ethernet cabling is limited. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller supports up to 150 access points and 3,000 users, offers 4 Gbps performance, and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 3504 wireless controller includes a multi-gigabit Ethernet port and four 1-GB Ethernet interfaces. APs can be connected to the controller through two Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller features fast failover for access points and clients, which provides uninterrupted availability for apps. Like other current Wave 2 wireless controllers available from Cisco, the 3504 device has the built-in ability to communicate with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WLAN controllers.
Cisco's 5520 WiFi Controller, available in a 1RU enclosure, is intended for midsize to large organizations and campus networks and can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures. The 5520 Wi-Fi controller supports up to 1,500 access points and 20,000 clients, offers 20 Gbps performance, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 model controller features two 10 GE ports and features SSD storage, redundant fans, optional redundant power supplies, and subsecond failover for uninterrupted availability.
Cisco's 8540 Wireless Controller, available in a 2RU form factor, is a top-of-the-line WiFi controller intended to support enterprises, service providers, and large campuses. The 8540 Wireless controller can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures and supports as many as 6,000 APs and 64,000 clients. The 8540 Wireless controller can deliver throughput up to 40 Gbps and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 8340 includes four 1-GB or 10GE ports and features SSD storage, dual power supplies, backup fans, and subsecond failover.
Wave 1 Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco wireless LAN controllers cut the effort and expense required to configure, manage, and troubleshoot wireless networks by centralizing control of functions like provisioning APs, applying consistent policies across converged wired and wireless LANs, supporting enterprise-wide QoS for voice and video, monitoring and troubleshooting system health, implementing security capabilities to defend against cyber break-ins and DDoS attacks, and managing IPv6 and dual-stack clients. Cisco has designed wireless network controllers for organizations of any size and can provide desktop or rackmount appliances, modular plug-in controllers for Cisco routers and switches, and Catalyst switches with built-in wireless LAN controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 wireless network controllers incorporate Cisco CleanAir technology to avoid signal interference and create self-healing and self-optimizing wireless LANs for top 802.11n and 802.11ac throughput and security. Built-in Apple Bonjour Gateways enable discovery throughout WLAN, LAN and WAN for Apple-based applications. For high availability (HA), Cisco wireless controllers allow AP and client stateful failover by enabling a backup high-availability wireless controller to synchronize with a primary wireless controller for access point license tabulation, CAPWAP state and roaming keys, and access point CAPWAP state. If the primary wireless controller stops working, thousands of wireless access points and clients can failover in less than a second to the backup wireless controller.
Cisco's Wireless Module for ISR Routers with UCS-E offers entry-level 802.11n and 802.11ac support for 2900 and 3900 Series routers deployed by smaller businesses and satellite offices. This affordable and scalable solution can support up to 200 access points and up to 6000 clients. (To learn concerning Progent's online and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting services for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router configuration and management consulting.)
Cisco Legacy Wireless Network Controllers
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU form-factor switches designed for SMBs and branches and have a built-in wireless controller with the ability to support 40 Gb of wireless capacity per switch and 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients per switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU switches designed for mid-size and large organizations and feature an integrated wireless controller supporting 40 Gb of wireless throughput per switch and the ability to handle up to 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients. The Wireless Services Module2 (WiSM2) is a plug-in blade for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches with an integrated wireless LAN controller designed for mid-to-large size enterprises and capable of 20 Gbps performance and with support for 1000 wireless access points and up to 15,000 wireless clients. (To learn about Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Cisco Catalyst switches, refer to Cisco Catalyst switches deployment and management services.)
Cisco 2500 Series Wireless Controllers are economical desktop units that streamline the deployment and operation of Wi-Fi networks for SMBs and branch offices. The Cisco 2500 wireless network controller supports from five to 75 APs and up to 1000 clients and can deliver sustained data rates of up to 1 Gbps.
The Cisco 5500 Wireless Controller is an expandable 1RU appliance designed for medium-sized to large enterprises and campuses and can manage 500 wireless access points and 7,000 wireless clients while providing 8 Gbps performance. The Cisco 5760 Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance intended for mid-to-large campuses with support for up to 1000 wireless access points and 12,000 clients and delivering throughput of 60 Gbps to handle high wireless client densities and high amounts of video-intensive mobile applications.
The Cisco Flex 7500 Wireless Controller is designed to manage massive collections of wireless branches from one datacenter, eliminating the costs of a Wi-Fi controller at each branch. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 allows you to build a private cloud to deploy, track, maintain, and troubleshoot as many as 6000 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 wireless networks for very large campuses or service providers and can be expanded to handle up to 6000 wireless points and up to 64,000 wireless clients while delivering 10 Gbps throughput.
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