Cisco wireless controllers simplify the management of Wi-Fi networks by centralizing the deployment and management of wireless APs, maximizing wireless throughput by reducing the impact of radio congestion, improving Wi-Fi uptime with rapid and automatic failover, and tightening security by detecting threats and filtering content based on user type and location.
Cisco's Wi-Fi controllers integrate with Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNA Center (DNAC) management solutions and can accommodate as many as 6,000 Wi-Fi APs and 64,000 client users. Cisco's family of Wi-Fi controllers are available at price points and with capabilities suitable for networks ranging from small or home offices to service provider networks, enterprises, and large campus deployments. Cisco's 802.11ax and 802.11ac controllers and wireless access points are designed to provide the same standard of protection, performance and robustness that users are accustomed to in their wired network. Cisco's technology incorporates integrated mobility support such as Voice over IP, HD video, and secure guest access. Cisco's Prime Infrastructure and DNAC platforms allow businesses to implement environments that integrate wired and wireless networks into a unified ecosystem that provides a seamless and productive work environment.
Progent's seasoned Wi-Fi consultants can help you to assess the business benefits of installing Cisco Wi-Fi controllers to administer WiFi networks of any scale. Progent can assist you to maintain and debug your current Cisco Wi-Fi ecosystem or assist you to plan and implement a cost-effective migration from older wireless controllers to modern products to deliver enhanced performance and protection and to streamline administration.
Progent's Cisco-certified network infrastructure consultants can provide affordable online consulting services throughout the U.S. to help organizations to build and enhance Wi-Fi networks. Progent can also provide onsite consulting and troubleshooting in larger metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. and in Toronto, Canada. In addition, Progent can provide remote predictive and on-premises Wireless Site Surveys to assist your company to plan a Wi-Fi network with wireless access points located and configured optimally for your particular office environment, traffic volume, and user density.
Cisco 9800 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 family of Wi-Fi 6-compatible wireless controllers help you manage modern Wi-Fi networks that support 802.11ax APs. 802.11ax, also called Wi-Fi 6, builds on previous generation 802.11ac (referred to as Wi-Fi 5) appliances by delivering lower latency and more predictable performance, supporting higher client user density, offering enhanced protection, saving energy for battery-dependent handheld devices, and allowing more versatility for supporting the latest kinds of Internet-of-Things endpoints. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 line Wi-Fi controllers include always-on availability with transparent software updates, hot fixes, and the ability to connect additional access points with zero service interruption. Enhanced cybersecurity features include Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA), secure boot, and Software-Defined Access (SD-Access). Streaming telemetry allows you to track and analyze network 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 or with Cisco Prime Infrastructure management tools. Catalyst 9800 Series wireless network controllers can manage Cisco Aironet 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 APs concurrently with Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series 802.11ax access points.
Cisco 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 wireless controller appliances offer greater scale than Cisco's embedded wireless controllers
The Cisco 9800-L Wi-Fi 6 Controller is a value-priced appliance with a half-width 1RU chassis that allows side-by-side mounting in a 19-in rack. Intended for small and medium-sized wireless networks, the 9800-L delivers extra throughput and scale for customers with a Performance license option. The 9800-L supports 250 APs and 5,000 users (500 access points and 10,00 users with Cisco's Performance license). The controller 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 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 interface and a Micro USB console interface for management, a USB 3.0 port for plugging in external memory, an RJ-45 service port, and an RJ-45 HA redundancy port used for SSO.
Cisco's Catalyst 9800-40 802.11ax Wireless Controller, offered in a 1RU enclosure, is intended for midsize campus environments. The 9800-40 supports 2,000 APs and 32,000 clients. The 9800-40 delivers 40 Gbps throughput and supports 4,096 VLANs. Deployment options include Centralized, FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless. Integrated ports 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 service interface, an RJ-45 redundancy port for SSO, and two USB 3.0 interfaces for adding external RAM memory.
The Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wi-Fi 6 Controller, available in a 2 rack unit enclosure, is a modular, high-end wireless controller intended to manage large campus and service provider environments. The 9800-80 can handle 60,00 access points and 64,000 clients. The 9800-80 delivers a maximum of 80 Gbps throughput and supports 4,096 VLANs. Deployment modes include Centralized, Cisco FlexConnect, and Fabric Wireless (SD-Access). Integrated uplink interfaces include eight 10G SFP+ ports or six 10G ports and two 1G ports. Supported uplink add-in modules can add 18 1GE interfaces, 10 10GE interfaces, a 40GE interface, two 40GE interfaces, or a 100GE interface. Other integrated interfaces include RJ-45 and USB 3.0 console ports, an RJ-45 management interface, an SFP Gigabit Ethernet redundancy port used for stateful switchover (SSO), an RJ-45 redundancy interface for SSO, and two USB 3.0 ports for adding external memory.
Cisco Wave 2 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 wireless controllers allow fast data exchange, provisioning, control, monitoring and troubleshooting for Cisco Wi-Fi devices and software services. Cisco has developed both hardware and virtual Wi-Fi controllers for unified management of wireless environments, but WLANs with a large number of Wi-Fi APs are better served by hardware-based Wi-Fi controllers. Wave 2 Wi-Fi controller appliances from Cisco deliver significant advantages over Wave 1 and older models such as higher throughput, concurrent support for both 1G and 10G interfaces, enhanced application visibility and control, and hardened, integrated protection.
Cisco's Wave 2 wireless controllers can manage Wi-Fi 5 access points
Cisco's 3504 WiFi Controller is a value-priced device with a desktop body and designed for small and medium-sized businesses. You can use the 3504 model in a centralized network architecture such as in lean branch and remote offices administered across the wide-area network via FlexConnect, or in bridge deployments where wiring is sparse. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller can handle up to 150 APs and 3,000 client users, delivers 4 Gbps performance, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 WiFi controller includes a Cisco Multigigabit port and four 1-GB Ethernet ports. APs can be attached directly to the WiFi controller via two Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller offers fast failover for access points and clients, which provides nonstop availability for applications. Like other current Wave 2 Wi-Fi 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 wireless controllers.
The Cisco 5520 WiFi Controller, available in a 1 rack unit form factor, is intended for midsize to large organizations and campus networks and can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures. The 5520 wireless controller supports as many as 1,500 access points and 20,000 clients, offers 20 Gbps performance, and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 model controller features two 10 GE interfaces and features solid-state storage, backup fans, optional redundant power supplies, and rapid failover for nonstop availability.
Cisco's 8540 Wireless Controller, offered in a 2RU enclosure, is a high-end WiFi controller intended 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 APs and 64,000 clients. The 8540 WiFi controller can deliver throughput as high as 40 Gbps and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 8540 controller comes with four 1-GB or 10GE interfaces and features solid-state storage, dual power supplies, redundant fans, and rapid failover.
Wave 1 Cisco Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco wireless controllers cut the effort and cost required to configure, manage, and troubleshoot Wi-Fi networks by centralizing control of functions such as provisioning APs, enforcing single-point policies throughout converged networks, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service (QoS) for IP voice and HD video, monitoring and optimizing network performance, implementing intrusion prevention capabilities to defend against unauthorized access and DDoS threats, and managing IPv6 clients. Cisco has developed wireless LAN controllers for organizations of all sizes and can provide standalone desktop controllers, modular plug-in wireless controllers for Cisco routers and Catalyst switches, and switches with built-in wireless controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 wireless LAN controllers incorporate Cisco CleanAir tools to avoid signal interference and produce self-optimizing wireless networks for maximum 802.11n and 802.11ac performance and protection. Integrated Bonjour Gateways allow discovery across the enterprise for Apple-based applications. For high availability (HA), Cisco wireless LAN controllers support wireless access point and client stateful switchover by enabling a standby high-availability controller to synch with a primary controller for AP license count, CAPWAP keys, and access point CAPWAP state. If the primary controller fails, thousands of access points and clients can switchover immediately to the secondary wireless LAN controller.
Cisco's Wireless Module for ISR Routers with UCS-E offers entry-level 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for Cisco 2900 and 3900 Series routers deployed by small to medium-sized organizations and branch offices. This value-priced and scalable solution can handle from five to 200 access points and as many as 6000 clients. (To find out about Progent's remote and onsite consulting support services for Cisco routers, see Cisco router deployment and troubleshooting consulting.)
Cisco Legacy Wireless LAN Controllers
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU switches designed for small to mid-size businesses and branches and have a built-in wireless LAN controller with the capability to support up to 40 Gb of wireless throughput per switch and up to 25 APs and 1000 wireless clients per switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU switches designed for mid-size businesses and large enterprises and feature an integrated wireless network controller supporting up to 40 Gb of wireless throughput on each switch and support for up to 50 wireless access points and 2000 clients. The WiSM2 is a plug-in blade for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches that include a built-in wireless controller designed for mid-to-large size businesses and able to deliver 20 Gbps performance and with support for up to 1000 APs and up to 15,000 wireless clients. (To learn concerning Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Catalyst switches, see Cisco switches deployment and troubleshooting support.)
Cisco 2500 Series Wireless Controllers are value-priced desktop devices that streamline the provisioning and operation of Wi-Fi LANs for SMBs and branches. The Cisco 2500 Series wireless network controller can handle from five to 75 access points and 1000 wireless clients and can deliver sustained performance of 1 Gbps.
The Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller is a scalable 1RU unit intended for mid-to-large sized businesses and campus environments and can support 500 access points and 7,000 wireless clients while providing 8 Gbps throughput. The Cisco 5760 Wireless Controller is a 1RU device designed for mid-to-large campuses with support for up to 1000 APs and 12,000 clients and offering performance of 60 Gbps to handle high wireless client densities and high usage of video-intensive mobile applications.
The Cisco Flex 7500 Wireless Controller is intended to manage thousands of wireless remote sites from one location, avoiding the costs of a wireless controller at each branch. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 appliance lets you build a private cloud to deploy, monitor, maintain, and repair up to 6000 access points and 64,000 wireless clients while supporting 1 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 8500 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance designed to monitor and manage wireless networks for very large campuses or service providers and can scale to support 6000 APs and up to 64,000 wireless clients while delivering 10 Gbps performance.
Contact Progent for Consulting Support for Cisco Wi-Fi Controllers
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