Cisco wireless controllers simplify the management of Wi-Fi networks by centralizing the deployment and management of Wi-Fi access points, optimizing wireless throughput by reducing the effects of RF interference, improving Wi-Fi uptime with fast auto-failover, and hardening protection by detecting cyber threats and filtering traffic content based on user type and location.
Cisco's Wi-Fi controllers integrate with Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center management solutions and are able to accommodate up to 6,000 Wi-Fi access points and 64,000 users. Cisco's line of Wi-Fi controllers are offered at price points and with feature sets appropriate for venues that run from small offices to service provider networks, enterprises, and dense campus deployments. Cisco's 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 and Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 controllers and access points are designed to deliver the same standard of security, performance and reliability that companies are accustomed to from their wired network. Cisco's technology includes integrated mobility services such as IP voice, HD video, and secure guest access. Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center architecture make it possible for businesses to implement environments that integrate wired and wireless networks into a centrally managed solution that delivers a consistent and productive user experience.
Progent's certified Wi-Fi consultants can assist you to determine the business value of deploying Cisco Wi-Fi controllers to administer wireless networks of any scale. Progent can assist your business to support and troubleshoot your existing Cisco Wi-Fi solution or assist you to plan and carry out an efficient upgrade from older Wi-Fi controllers to current products to deliver improved performance and security and to streamline administration.
Progent's Cisco-certified integration consultants offer low-cost remote consulting services across the U.S. and Canada to help organizations to build and refine Wi-Fi networks. Progent also offers onsite consulting in larger metropolitan areas across the United States and in Toronto, Canada. In addition, Progent offers online predictive and onsite Wi-Fi Site Surveys to help you to plan a Wi-Fi network with wireless access points located and configured optimally for your particular office layout, traffic volume, and client density.
Cisco 9800 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Catalyst 9800 family of Wi-Fi 6-compatible wireless LAN controllers help you automate and manage advanced Wi-Fi environments that incorporate 802.11ax Wi-Fi access points. 802.11ax, also called Wi-Fi 6, builds on previous generation 802.11ac (referred to as Wi-Fi 5) devices by delivering less latency and more reliable performance, supporting higher client density, providing greater protection, conserving energy for battery-powered mobile devices, and offering more versatility for supporting new kinds of Internet-of-Things (IoT) endpoints. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 Series wireless controllers feature high availability with transparent software upgrades, live fixes, and the ability to add APs without downtime. Advanced security technologies include Cisco Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS), image signing, and Software-Defined Access (SD-Access). Streaming telemetry allows you to track and understand infrastructure and client health. All appliances in the Catalyst 9800 family are powered by Cisco's IOS XE Software and work with Cisco's DNA Center (DNAC) or with Prime Infrastructure management platforms. Catalyst 9800 wireless network controllers can manage Cisco Aironet 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 access points concurrently with Catalyst 9100 Wi-Fi 6 access points.
Cisco 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 controller appliances offer greater scale than Cisco's embedded wireless controllers (EWCs)
The Cisco 9800-L 802.11ax Controller is a value-priced device available in a half-width 1RU enclosure that permits dual mounting in a 19-in rack. Designed for small and medium-sized organizations, the 9800-L controller offers extra speed and scale for customers with a Performance license option. The 9800-L can handle 250 access points and 5,000 clients (500 Wi-Fi access points and 10,00 users if you have Cisco's Performance license). The appliance delivers 5 Gbps data rates (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 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 management, a USB 3.0 port for plugging in external RAM memory, an RJ-45 service port, and an RJ-45 high-availability redundancy port used for SSO.
The Cisco Catalyst 9800-40 Wi-Fi 6 Controller, available in a 1 rack unit (RU) package, is designed for midsize campus environments. The 9800-40 supports 2,000 wireless APs and 32,000 client users. The appliance delivers 40 Gbps data rates and supports 4,096 VLANs. Deployment options include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless (SD-Access). Integrated ports include four GE SFP/10 GE SFP+ or SFP ports and an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy interface. Additional fixed ports include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console interfaces, an RJ-45 management port, an RJ-45 redundancy interface for SSO, and two USB 3.0 ports for plugging in external RAM memory.
Cisco's Catalyst 9800-80 Wi-Fi 6 Controller, available in a 2 rack unit enclosure, is an expandable, high-end Wi-Fi controller designed to manage large campus and service provider deployments. The 9800-80 can handle 60,00 access points and 64,000 clients. The 9800-80 delivers up to 80 Gbps throughput and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Deployment modes include Centralized, FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless. Fixed uplink interfaces include eight 10G SFP+ ports or six 10G ports plus two 1G interfaces. Available uplink add-in modules provide 18 1GE ports, 10 10GE interfaces, a 40GE interface, two 40GE interfaces, or one 100GE port. Other fixed interfaces include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console ports, an RJ-45 management interface, an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy interface used for SSO, an RJ-45 redundancy interface used for SSO, and two USB 3.0 ports for adding external RAM memory.
Cisco Wave 2 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 wireless controllers enable realtime communication, deployment, management, analysis and troubleshooting for Cisco wireless devices and services. Cisco has developed both hardware and software-based wireless controllers for centralized management of WiFi environments, but systems with many wireless access points are better served by physical Wi-Fi controllers. Wave 2 Wi-Fi controller devices from Cisco deliver major advantages in comparison to Wave 1 and earlier products such as greater performance, simultaneous support for both 1G and 10G interfaces, enhanced application visibility and control, and hardened, built-in protection.
Cisco's Wave 2 wireless controllers can manage 802.11ac Wi-Fi APs
The Cisco 3504 WiFi Controller is an entry-level appliance available in a desktop enclosure and designed for small and medium-sized organizations. You can use the 3504 in a centralized network environment such as in lean branch and remote offices managed over the wide-area network with FlexConnect, or in mesh installations where wiring is sparse. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller can handle up to 150 APs and 3,000 client users, offers 4 Gbps performance, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 WiFi controller features a Cisco Multigigabit interface and four 1-Gigabit Ethernet connections. APs can be connected to the WiFi controller via two Power over Ethernet ports. The 3504 wireless controller features subsecond failover for access points and clients, which provides uninterrupted availability for apps. As with other current Wave 2 wireless controllers from Cisco, the 3504 model 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, available in a 1RU package, is intended for midsize to large enterprises and campus networks and can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures. The 5520 wireless controller supports up to 1,500 APs and 20,000 users, delivers 20 Gbps performance, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 model controller features two 10 GE ports and incorporates solid-state storage, backup fans, optional redundant power supplies, and subsecond failover for high availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, offered in a 2 rack unit package, is a high-end wireless controller designed to support enterprises, service providers, and large campus environments. The 8540 WiFi controller can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures and supports as many as 6,000 wireless APs and 64,000 clients. The 8540 Wireless controller can deliver throughput up to 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 subsecond failover.
Wave 1 Cisco WiFi Network Controllers
Cisco wireless network controllers cut the time and expense required to configure, monitor, and troubleshoot Wi-Fi networks by centralizing control of critical functions like setting up wireless access points, applying single-point policies across converged wired/wireless networks, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service for voice and HD video, monitoring and optimizing network health, activating intrusion prevention capabilities to defend against cyber break-ins and Distributed Denial of Service threats, and handling IPv6 and dual-stack clients. Cisco has designed wireless LAN controllers for businesses of any size and can provide standalone desktop appliances, modular add-on wireless controllers for Cisco ISR routers and switches, and Catalyst switches with integrated wireless controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 WiFi LAN controllers include Cisco CleanAir technology to avoid RF interference and produce self-healing wireless LANs for top 802.11n and 802.11ac performance and protection. Built-in Apple Bonjour Gateways permit discovery, advertisement and policy across WLAN, LAN and WAN for Apple applications. For fault tolerance, Cisco wireless controllers allow access point and client stateful failover by enabling a standby HA wireless controller to synchronize with a main controller for access point license count, CAPWAP keys, and access point CAPWAP state. In case the primary controller fails, thousands of access points and clients can failover at subsecond speeds to the backup wireless controller.
Cisco's Wireless Module for ISR Routers with UCS-E provides basic 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for 2900 and 3900 Series routers deployed by small to medium-sized businesses and satellite offices. This value-priced and scalable solution can support up to 200 APs and up to 6000 clients. (For information concerning Progent's remote and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting support services for Cisco routers, see Cisco router deployment and management consulting.)
Cisco Legacy Wireless Network Controllers
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU form-factor switches intended for SMBs and branches and features a built-in wireless network controller with the capability to handle 40 Gb of wireless capacity for each switch and up to 25 access points and 1000 clients on each switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU switches designed for mid-size businesses and large enterprises and include an integrated wireless controller with 40 Gb of wireless throughput per switch and support for 50 wireless access points and 2000 clients. The Wireless Services Module2 (WiSM2) is an add-in blade for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches with an integrated wireless network controller designed for mid-to-large size enterprises and capable of 20 Gbps performance and able to handle 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless clients. (For information about Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Cisco Catalyst switches, see Cisco Catalyst switches configuration and management support.)
Cisco 2500 Wireless Controllers are entry-level desktop appliances that simplify the deployment and management of wireless networks for small and midsize businesses and branches. The Cisco 2500 wireless LAN controller supports 5 to 75 wireless access points and 1000 clients and can deliver sustained performance of 1 Gbps.
Cisco's 5500 Series Wireless Controller is an expandable 1RU appliance designed for mid-to-large sized enterprises and campuses and can support 500 wireless access points and 7,000 clients while providing 8 Gbps throughput. The Cisco 5760 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU device designed for mid-to-large campus environments with support for 1000 access points and 12,000 clients and delivering throughput of 60 Gbps to accommodate high client densities and high usage of media-rich mobile applications.
The Cisco Flex 7500 Series Wireless Controller is designed to manage thousands of wireless remote sites from one location, avoiding the requirement for a Wi-Fi controller at every remote site. The 1RU Flex 7500 appliance lets you build a private cloud to deploy, monitor, maintain, and repair as many as 6000 APs and 64,000 wireless clients while supporting 1 Gbps performance. Cisco's 8500 Wireless Controller is a 1RU rackmount appliance designed to monitor and manage wireless environments for large campuses or for service providers and can scale to handle 6000 access points and 64,000 clients while delivering 10 Gbps performance.
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Cisco Wi-Fi Controllers
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