Cisco Wi-Fi controllers streamline the administration of Wi-Fi networks by centralizing the deployment and control of Wi-Fi access points, maximizing wireless throughput by reducing the impact of RF interference, enhancing Wi-Fi availability with fast auto-failover, and tightening protection by detecting threats and filtering content based on client type and location.
Cisco's wireless controllers integrate with Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center (DNAC) network management tools and are able to accommodate up to 6,000 wireless access points and 64,000 client users. Cisco's line of wireless controllers are available at price points and with capabilities suitable for venues ranging from small or home offices to service provider networks, enterprises, and dense campus deployments. Cisco's Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5 controllers and access points are engineered to provide the same standard of protection, speed and reliability that users expect in their wired network. Cisco's technology incorporates integrated mobility support such as IP voice, HD video, and safe guest access. Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center architecture make it possible for businesses to implement systems that integrate wired and Wi-Fi networks into a centrally managed ecosystem that provides a seamless and productive work environment.
Progent's seasoned Wi-Fi consultants can assist you to assess the business value of deploying Cisco Wi-Fi controllers to manage wireless networks of any scale. Progent can assist your business to support and troubleshoot your existing Cisco wireless solution or assist you to design and carry out an efficient migration from earlier generation wireless controllers to current products to get improved performance and security and to simplify management.
Progent's Cisco-certified network infrastructure consultants can provide affordable remote consulting and support expertise across the U.S. and Canada to assist you to build and enhance Wi-Fi solutions. Progent also offers on-premises consulting and troubleshooting in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States and in Toronto, Canada. In addition, Progent offers online predictive and on-premises Wi-Fi Site Surveys to help your company to design a Wi-Fi network with wireless access points located and set up optimally for your specific office environment, application workloads, and client density.
Cisco 9800 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6-compatible wireless controller appliances allow you to manage modern wireless environments that support 802.11ax APs. 802.11ax, also called Wi-Fi 6, builds on prior generation 802.11ac (referred to as Wi-Fi 5) appliances by providing lower latency and more predictable performance, allowing higher client density, offering greater security, conserving energy for battery-dependent handheld devices, and offering more versatility for handling new types of IoT endpoints. Catalyst 9800 line wireless controllers include always-on availability with seamless software upgrades, live patching, and the ability to connect additional wireless APs without disruption of service. Enhanced cybersecurity technologies include Cisco Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS), secure boot, and Software-Defined Access. Streaming telemetry permits you to monitor and understand network and client health. All appliances in the Catalyst 9800 family are based on Cisco's IOS XE Software and operate with Cisco's DNA Center (DNAC) or with Prime Infrastructure network management platforms. Catalyst 9800 wireless LAN controllers can support Cisco Aironet 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 Wi-Fi access points as well as Catalyst 9100 802.11ax wireless APs.
Cisco Wi-Fi 6 controller appliances support greater scale than Cisco's embedded wireless controllers
The Cisco 9800-L 802.11ax Controller is an entry-level device available in a half-width 1RU form factor that allows side-by-side mounting in a standard 19-in rack. Intended for smaller businesses, the 9800-L provides enhanced speed and capacity for customers with a Performance license. The 9800-L supports 250 APs and 5,000 users (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 up to 4,096 VLANs. Deployment options include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect for branch office deployments, 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 adding external RAM memory, an RJ-45 management interface, and an RJ-45 HA redundancy port for SSO.
Cisco's Catalyst 9800-40 802.11ax Wireless Controller, offered in a 1RU enclosure, is intended to support midsize campus environments. The 9800-40 supports 2,000 access points and 32,000 client users. The appliance offers 40 Gbps throughput and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Deployment scenarios include Centralized, FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless. Fixed interfaces 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 management port, an RJ-45 redundancy interface for stateful switchover, and two USB 3.0 interfaces for adding external memory.
Cisco's Catalyst 9800-80 Wi-Fi 6 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 9800-80 controller delivers up to 80 Gbps data rates and supports 4,096 VLANs. Deployment modes include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless (SD-Access). Fixed uplink interfaces include eight 10G SFP+ ports or six 10G ports and two 1G interfaces. Supported uplink modules include 18 1GE ports, 10 10GE ports, a 40GE port, two 40GE ports, or a 100GE interface. Other fixed interfaces include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console ports, an RJ-45 service port, an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy port used for stateful switchover, an RJ-45 redundancy interface used for stateful switchover, and two USB 3.0 ports for adding external memory.
Cisco Wave 2 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 Network Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 wireless controllers allow fast data exchange, provisioning, administration, monitoring and debugging for Cisco wireless devices and software services. Cisco offers both hardware and software-based Wi-Fi controllers for unified administration of wireless environments, but systems with a large number of wireless APs are better served by hardware-based wireless controllers. Wave 2 wireless controller devices from Cisco deliver significant advantages in comparison to Wave 1 and earlier models such as higher performance, simultaneous support for both 1G and 10G interfaces, improved application visibility and control, and advanced, built-in protection.
Cisco's Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers can support 802.11ac Wi-Fi APs
Cisco's 3504 Wireless Controller is an entry-level appliance available in a desktop form factor and intended for small and medium-sized organizations. You can use the 3504 in a centralized network environment such as in small branch and remote offices administered over the WAN via Cisco FlexConnect, or in bridge deployments where wiring is sparse. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller can handle as many as 150 access points and 3,000 client users, delivers 4 Gbps throughput, and supports 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 controller includes a Cisco Multigigabit interface (up to 5 Gigabit Ethernet) and four 1-Gigabit Ethernet interfaces. APs can be connected to the controller via two Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller features subsecond failover for access points and users, which provides nonstop availability for applications. As with other current Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers from Cisco, the 3504 device has the integrated ability to communicate with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services Engine, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 wireless controllers.
Cisco's 5520 Wireless Controller, offered in a 1RU package, is designed for midsize to large enterprises and campus networks and can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures. The 5520 Wi-Fi controller can handle up to 1,500 Wi-Fi access points and 20,000 client 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, redundant fans, optional redundant power supplies, and subsecond failover for nonstop availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, available in a 2 rack unit (RU) enclosure, is a top-of-the-line WiFi controller intended to support large enterprises, service providers, and large campuses. The 8540 Wireless controller can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments and can handle up to 6,000 access points and 64,000 users. The 8540 Wireless controller can deliver data rates up to 40 Gbps and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 8540 controller includes four 1-GB or 10GE interfaces and features SSD storage, dual power supplies, backup fans, and rapid failover.
Wave 1 Cisco WiFi LAN Controllers
Cisco wireless controllers cut the time and cost required to configure, manage, and operate Wi-Fi networks by centralizing control of tasks such as setting up access points, enforcing single-point policies across wired/wireless LANs, supporting enterprise-wide QoS for voice and HD video, monitoring and optimizing network performance, implementing security tools to guard against unauthorized access and DDoS attacks, and managing IPv6 and dual-stack clients. Cisco has developed wireless LAN controllers for businesses of any size and can provide desktop or rackmount appliances, modular add-on controllers for Cisco routers and switches, and switches with built-in wireless controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 wireless controllers include Cisco CleanAir technology to avoid signal interference and produce self-optimizing wireless networks for maximum 802.11n and 802.11ac throughput and protection. Integrated Apple Bonjour Gateways allow discovery, advertisement and policy across the enterprise for Apple-based applications. For fault tolerance, Cisco wireless network controllers allow AP and client stateful switchover by permitting a standby high-availability wireless controller to synch with a main 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 APs and clients can failover at subsecond speeds to the backup wireless 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 used by small to medium-sized organizations and satellite offices. This value-priced and expandable solution can support from five to 200 access points and as many as 6000 clients. (For information concerning Progent's remote and onsite consulting services for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router deployment and management services.)
Cisco Legacy Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU switches designed for small to mid-size businesses and satellite offices and features an integrated wireless LAN controller with the ability to support up to 40 Gb of wireless capacity per switch and up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients per switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU switches designed for midsize and large organizations and feature an integrated wireless network controller with up to 40 Gb of wireless capacity on each switch and the ability to handle 50 wireless access points and up to 2000 wireless clients. The Wireless Services Module2 (WiSM2) is an add-in blade for Catalyst 6500 Series switches with an integrated wireless network controller intended for mid-to-large size enterprises and capable of 20 Gbps performance and able to handle 1000 APs and up to 15,000 clients. (For information about Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Catalyst switches, refer to Cisco Catalyst switches configuration and management consulting.)
Cisco 2500 Wireless Controllers are entry-level desktop devices that simplify the deployment and operation of Wi-Fi networks for SMBs and branch offices. The Cisco 2500 Series wireless controller can manage from five to 75 access points and up to 1000 wireless clients and offers sustained performance of up to 1 Gbps.
Cisco's 5500 Series Wireless Controller is a scalable 1RU unit intended for medium-sized to large businesses and campus environments and can support 500 APs and 7,000 wireless clients while delivering 8 Gbps performance. Cisco's 5760 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance intended for mid-to-large campuses with support for 1000 wireless access points and 12,000 wireless clients and offering performance of 60 Gbps to accommodate high wireless client densities and high amounts of media-rich applications.
The Cisco Flex 7500 Series Wireless Controller is intended to manage massive collections of wireless branches from one datacenter, avoiding the requirement for a wireless controller at each remote site. The 1RU Flex 7500 allows you to establish a private cloud to configure, monitor, manage, and troubleshoot up to 6000 wireless access points and up to 64,000 wireless clients while handling 1 Gbps throughput. The Cisco 8500 Wireless Controller is a 1RU rackmount appliance designed to monitor and control Wi-Fi networks for large campuses or for service providers and can be expanded to handle 6000 wireless points and up to 64,000 wireless clients while delivering 10 Gbps performance.
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Cisco Wi-Fi Controllers
To learn more about Progent's consulting services for Cisco wireless controllers, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.
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