Cisco has developed a comprehensive portfolio of wireless LAN devices and software tools intended to enable continual connections to data and other resources and to facilitate teamwork among employees, partners, suppliers, and customers. Cisco's wireless offerings include the Small Business, Aironet and Meraki lines of access points (APs), plus Cisco's Wireless Network Controller plug-ins and appliances. Progent's Cisco-certified wireless consulting experts can help businesses of any size to deploy Cisco wireless technology to support the new model of Bring-Your-Own-Device networks by integrating their wired and wireless ecosystems to achieve simplified configuration, consistently high throughput, centralized control, uniform policy enforcement, high availability (HA), and advanced security.
The Cisco Unified Wireless architecture can expand to as many as 18,000 wireless access points with full Layer 3 mobility at local or remote venues such as business campuses, college auditoriums, branches, and home offices. Cisco's 802.11x APs and controllers are components of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network and are engineered to deliver the identical level of protection, performance, and manageability for wireless networks that businesses demand in their wired infrastructure. Cisco's technology incorporates built-in mobile services such as IP voice, HD video, and secure guest access. Cisco's Unified Wireless solution allows organizations to build Wi-Fi environments that streamline the way they work and improve output via a mobile and collaborative workforce.
Progent's Cisco CCIE network infrastructure consulting services offers online or onsite expertise to assist you to design, deploy, manage, upgrade, and repair converged wired and wireless networks of any size and for any environment. In addition, Progent can provide economical online and onsite Wi-Fi site surveys to help you to design and deploy a wireless network with customized wireless access point clustering optimized for your individual work area layout, building structure, and intended application.
Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst Access Points (APs)
Cisco's Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst lines of APs enable you to converge wired and wireless infrastructure to provide the accessibility, capacity, performance, security compliance and ease of management needed for virtually any environment. These APs range from entry-level, single-band 802.11b/g/n devices with throughput of 300 Mbps intended for very small businesses or telecommuters to 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) wireless access points capable of handling hundreds of clients per access point and offering sustained throughput of more than 5 Gb. Cisco's latest selection of wireless access points can be combined or clustered to provide the scale to support environments crowded with clients and with high usage rates of video-intense apps.
Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Family of Access Points
Cisco's Small Business Series of access points are Linux-powered units engineered as entry-level Wi-Fi solutions for small offices. Many versions in the Cisco Small Business family of access points work with Cisco's Single Point Setup technology, which makes it possible to configure, manage and repair a cluster of wireless access points from one AP via an intuitive browser-based interface. All models include Power over Ethernet and provide Quality of Service (QoS), rogue AP awareness, and bridging for connecting to a second network.
Cisco's Small Business WAP121 Wireless-N AP is a wallmount, single-radio 2.4GHz device able to support 16 802.11b/g/n clients, has a Fast Ethernet port, permits up to 4 AP devices and 40 active clients in a cluster, and supports sustained throughput of 300 Mbps. The Cisco Small Business WAP131 is a desktop dual-radio 802.11a/b/g/n AP able to support 16 active wireless clients on each radio for a total of up to 32 clients, features a GE port, and can support throughput of up to 300 Mbps per radio. The WAP131 does not support AP clustering. The Cisco Small Business WAP150 is a value-priced Wave 1 dual-radio 802.11ac/n access point that features a one Gbit Power over Ethernet port and can handle 16 clients per radio with 867 Mbps performance for 802.11ac devices and 300 Mbps for 802.11n clients. Cisco's Small Business WAP150 allows four access points per cluster.
The Cisco Small Business WAP321 Wireless-N model is a wallmount selectable-band (either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz) 802.11a/b/g/n unit that can handle up to 80 active clients sharing an 8-device cluster. The WAP321 has a GE port and can deliver sustained throughput of 300 Mbps for the activated radio. The Cisco Small Business WAP351 is a dual-radio 802.11n AP with a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and can support 32 wireless clients per radio for a total of up to 64 active clients, and deliver a data rate of 300 Mbps per radio. The WAP351 does not allow clustering. Cisco's WAP361 is a dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11ac Wave 1 wireless access point that features a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet LAN switch, can support 32 active WLAN clients per radio, and offers 867 Mbps throughput for wireless AC devices and 300 Mbps performance for 802.11n devices. Cisco's WAP361 allows eight WAP361 access points per cluster. Cisco's wallmount Small Business WAP371 Wireless-AC/N is a dual-radio device that supports 802.11a/b/g/n as well as the latest 802.11ac IEEE specification. The WAP371 includes a GE port, can handle as many as 32 active clients per radio, and 8 APs for each cluster.
Cisco's Small Business WAP561 802.11n Dual Radio AP includes one GE port and dual concurrent radios that deliver 450 Mbps performance for each radio, can handle 64 devices for each radio, and allow up to 16 access points per cluster. The Cisco WAP551 is like Cisco's WAP 561 but has a single radio selectable band. The Cisco Small Business WAP571 and WAP571E (a weather-proof outdoor version) are dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11ac Wave 1 APs that feature two Gb Ethernet interfaces with link aggregation (LAG), 3x3 MIMO, and as high as 1.9 Gigabit/sec throughput with 1300 Mbps on 11ac and 600 Mbps on 802.11n. Both access points can handle 32 active WAN clients per radio and 16 access points on each cluster.
Cisco's Small Business WAP581 Wireless-AC Dual Radio Wave 2 Access Point supports the Wi-Fi 5 specification and offers 4x4 and 3x3 MU-MIMO to deliver 2.8 Gbps throughput at 5 GHz and 0.6 Gbps at 2.4 GHz for a total top throughput of 2.4 Gbps. The Small Business WAP581 includes a fixed 2.5G Ethernet LAN interface and a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port with 802.3at Power over Ethernet. The WAP581 Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 access point supports up to 200 connective client users, a maximum of 50 active users per radio, 16 access points for each cluster, and 960 active client users for each cluster.
For more information about Progent's consulting services for current and older Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 series of WiFi access points, see Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 wireless access points consulting.
The Aironet Line of Access Points
The Aironet line of wireless access points has consistently been the top-selling access point product. Aironet wireless access points range from entry-level devices to advanced APs. The Aironet line cover several generations of devices compliant with the continually improving 802 standard. Cisco's latest line of Aironet APs support Cisco's Unified Wireless Network software and include 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, which offers triple the throughput as well as superior distance and density compared to the previous generation of devices. The current multi-band Aironet access points continue to accommodate 802.11n at 2.4 GHz for client devices without 802.11ac radios.
The earliest Aironet APs are legacy units that have reached end-of-life status and are not fully supported by Cisco. Progent continues to provide technical support for the complete Aironet family of APs and can assist your company to maintain your current Aironet Wi-Fi environment or move cost effectively to the latest Aironet technology. To find out more about Progent's consulting services for current and legacy Cisco Aironet wireless access points, refer to Cisco Aironet wireless access points consulting.
Cisco's Meraki Access Points
Cisco's portfolio of Meraki dual-band 2.4/5 GHz indoor wireless access points range from budget-friendly devices for small businesses to enterprise-class units that offer as high as 5.9 Gigabit per second throughput. Each Cisco Meraki indoor access point offers high-end features like self-configuring plug-and-play installation, in-depth security, BYOD support, extensive traffic analysis, automatic over-the-web updates, and unified cloud management for multiple sites. Each Cisco Meraki indoor wireless access point also incorporates dual powerful radios with boosted receive sensitivity as well as a dedicated radio that provides intrusion detection and prevention system (WIDS/WIPS) security for threat detection and deep packet inspection.
Meraki outdoor APs are IP67 certified, built to withstand harsh outdoor environments, and tested to resist dust, vibration and humidity. Meraki outdoor wireless access points include a Gigabit Ethernet port and deliver advanced features such as cloud-based management with multi-site visibility and control, native Active Directory integration, built-in antivirus scan, single-click guest access and guest isolation firewall, application-aware traffic shaping, plus auto-configuring mesh with MIMO and beamforming. For details about Progent's support for Cisco's Meraki access points and management tools, see Meraki APs consulting services.
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Line of Wi-Fi 6 and W-Fi 6E Access Points
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 access points are intended for deployments ranging from home offices to high-density arenas. Catalyst 9100 access points are compliant with the 802.11ax specification, referred to as Wi-Fi 6, which in turn builds on the previous 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) standard. As an improvement to 802.11ac, Wi-Fi 6 is designed to use both the 2.4-Ghz and 5-GHz radio bands. Headline technologies supported by Catalyst 9100 Series access points include MU-MIMO support for uplink traffic, dual NAVs for improved reliability, increased device sleep time for conserving power consumption in battery-dependent endpoints, adaptive power thresholds for better spectrum use, and dynamic fragmentation for reduced overhead. Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series wireless access points support Cisco's EWC, accommodate up to 400 clients per Wi-Fi radio, and are powered by Cisco IOS XE Software.
Cisco's Catalyst 9160 Series Wi-Fi 6E access points are the first Cisco APs to offer the option to be managed either on-prem with Cisco DNA Center or through the cloud using Meraki management utilities. This enables businesses to transition to cloud-based or hybrid management environments on their own timetable. All Catalyst 916x APs meet the a/b/g/n/ac/ax and 6E wireless standards and fully support the 6-GHz band. Each device has 5 radios and supports a maximum of 400 clients per radio. Each AP also features a dedicated radio for Cisco CleanAir Pro for reducing interference, comes with a USB 2.0 port, and supports Bluetooth BLE. The entry-level Catalyst 9162 Series access point is intended for small organizations, has three 2x2 radios, and provides 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet support. Cisco's Catalyst 9164 Series AP is intended for small and middle-size organizations, has one 2x2 radio and two 4x4 radios, and provides 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet support. The Catalyst 9166 Series AP is suited for large and mid-sized enterprises, has three 4x4 radios, and offers 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G/5G mGig Ethernet support. The 9166 also includes environmental sensors to detect air quality, temperature, and moisture. For more information about Progent's support for Catalyst 9100 Line of 802.11ax APs, refer to 802.11ax access points system planning, deployment, and management services.
Cisco 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6-compatible wireless controllers help you manage advanced wireless environments that incorporate 802.11ax wireless APs. The 802.11ax standard, aka Wi-Fi 6, builds on prior generation 802.11ac (referred to as Wi-Fi 5) appliances by delivering lower latency and more predictable performance, allowing higher client density, offering enhanced protection, saving energy for battery-dependent mobile devices, and offering more versatility for supporting the latest types of IoT endpoints. Catalyst 9800 family Wi-Fi controllers feature always-on availability with seamless software updates, live fixes, and the ability to connect additional wireless APs without service interruption. Advanced cybersecurity features include Cisco Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS), image signing, and Software-Defined Access (SD-Access). Streaming telemetry allows you to track and analyze network and client 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 with Prime Infrastructure management platforms. Catalyst 9800 Series wireless LAN controllers can manage Cisco Aironet 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 APs concurrently with Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi access points. For more information about Progent's support for Cisco 9800 line of Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers, see Catalyst 9800 line of Wi-Fi 6 wireless controller appliances solution design, configuration, and debugging consulting.
Cisco Wi-Fi 5 Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 wireless controllers allow realtime data exchange, provisioning, control, monitoring and troubleshooting for Cisco Wi-Fi appliances and software services. Cisco offers both physical and virtual wireless controllers for unified management of WiFi networks, but networks with many Wi-Fi access points typically require hardware-based Wi-Fi controllers. Wave 2 Wi-Fi controller appliances from Cisco offer significant benefits in comparison to Wave 1 and earlier products such as higher throughput, concurrent support for both 1G and 10G Ethernet, improved application visibility and control (AVC), and hardened, integrated protection.
Cisco's 3504 WiFi Controller is an entry-level appliance available in a desktop form factor and intended for smaller organizations. You can use the 3504 in a centralized network architecture such as in lean branch and remote offices managed across the wide-area network with Cisco FlexConnect, or in mesh deployments where wiring is limited. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller can handle up to 150 access points and 3,000 client users, delivers 4 Gbps performance, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 3504 controller features a Cisco Multigigabit port (up to 5 Gigabit Ethernet) and four 1-GB Ethernet ports. APs can be attached directly to the WiFi controller through two PoE ports. The 3504 wireless controller offers subsecond failover for APs and users, which provides uninterrupted availability for applications. As with other Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers available from Cisco, the 3504 device has the built-in 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 enclosure, is designed to support larger enterprises and campus environments and can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments. The 5520 Wi-Fi controller supports up to 1,500 wireless APs and 20,000 users, delivers 20 Gbps throughput, and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 WiFi controller includes two 10 GE interfaces and incorporates solid-state storage, redundant fans, optional backup power supplies, and rapid failover for high availability.
Cisco's 8540 Wireless Controller, available in a 2 rack unit (RU) enclosure, is a top-of-the-line wireless controller designed to support large enterprises, service providers, and large campus environments. The 8540 Wireless controller can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures and supports as many as 6,000 Wi-Fi access points and 64,000 users. The 8540 WiFi controller can deliver throughput as high as 40 Gbps and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 8540 controller includes four 1-GB or 10GE ports and features solid-state storage, backup power supplies, backup fans, and rapid failover.
Wave 1 Cisco WiFi Network Controllers
Cisco wireless LAN controllers cut the time and expense required to deploy, manage, and operate wireless networks by offering single-point control of critical functions like provisioning wireless access points, enforcing single-point policies across converged networks, supporting enterprise-wide QoS for voice and video, tracking and troubleshooting system health, activating intrusion prevention capabilities to guard against unauthorized access and Distributed Denial of Service attacks, and managing IPv6 and dual-stack clients. Cisco has designed wireless network controllers for businesses of any size and offers standalone desktop appliances, modular add-on wireless controllers for Cisco ISR routers and Catalyst switches, and Catalyst switches with built-in wireless network controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 wireless network 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 throughout the enterprise for Apple applications. For high availability, Cisco wireless network controllers allow access point and client stateful switchover by permitting a backup high-availability wireless controller to synch with a primary wireless controller for access point license tabulation, CAPWAP keys, and AP CAPWAP state. If the main wireless controller fails, thousands of access points and clients can failover in less than a second to the backup wireless network controller.
Cisco's Wireless Controller Module for ISR G2 Routers with UCS-E offers basic 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for 2900 and 3900 Series routers used by small to medium-sized businesses and branches. This affordable and expandable module can handle up to 200 wireless access points and up to 6000 clients. (To find out concerning Progent's remote and onsite consulting and troubleshooting support services for Cisco routers, see Cisco router deployment and management consulting.)
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU switches intended for SMBs and satellite offices and features a built-in wireless network controller with the ability to support up to 40 Gb of wireless throughput for each switch and 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU rackmount switches designed for mid-size and large organizations and feature an integrated wireless network controller supporting up to 40 Gb of wireless throughput per switch and support for up to 50 access points and 2000 wireless clients. The Wireless Services Module2 (WiSM2) is a plug-in blade for Catalyst 6500 Series switches that include an integrated wireless network controller intended for mid-to-large size businesses and able to deliver 20 Gbps performance and with support for up to 1000 access points and as many as 15,000 wireless clients. (To learn concerning Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Cisco switches, refer to Cisco switches configuration and management consulting.)
Cisco 2500 Series Wireless Controllers are economical desktop devices that streamline the provisioning and management of wireless networks for small and midsize businesses and branches. The 2500 Series wireless controller supports from five to 75 APs and 1000 wireless clients and offers throughput of up to 1 Gbps.
The Cisco 5500 Wireless Controller is a scalable 1RU unit designed for medium-sized to large enterprises and campus environments and can manage 500 APs and 7,000 wireless clients while delivering 8 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 5760 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU device designed for mid-to-large campuses with the ability to manage 1000 access points and 12,000 wireless clients and delivering throughput of 60 Gbps to handle high wireless client densities and high amounts of media-rich applications.
Cisco's Flex 7500 Wireless Controller is intended to manage massive collections of wireless remote sites from a single location, eliminating the costs of a Wi-Fi controller at every remote site. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 appliance lets you build a private cloud to deploy, monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot as many as 6000 APs and 64,000 clients while handling 1 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 8500 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU device designed to monitor and manage Wi-Fi environments for large campuses or service providers and can scale to support up to 6000 wireless points and 64,000 wireless clients while delivering 10 Gbps throughput.
To learn more about Cisco WiFi controllers, go to Cisco Wi-Fi controllers consulting and integration.
Legacy Cisco Access Points, LAN Bridges and Controllers Supported by Progent
The IEEE 802.11ac standard for Wi-Fi virtually rendered obsolete the earlier releases of Wi-Fi products for venues that have high numbers of wireless clients and high incidence of HD video software applications. Even for businesses who do not need the bandwidth efficiency of 802.11ac Wi-Fi, a large number of Cisco wireless devices have reached end-of-life status, which can present significant service and regulatory compliance problems. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and on-premises support services for a broad range of earlier-generation Cisco wireless products. Progent can also assist organizations to assess the business case for upgrading up-of-date wireless technology and can help in planning and executing affordable, non-disruptive upgrades. Below are a few of Cisco older-generation wireless devices that Progent's consulting experts continue to support.
Legacy Cisco Aironet APs
Aironet 1000/1130AG family access points are designed for offices and other locations which have minimal environmental instability. These products include built-in antennas that provide dependable omnidirectional coverage patterns. The Cisco 1130G Series product is offered for restricted domains that do not allow 5GHz transmission.
Aironet 1230AG/1240AG Series APs are ideal for more difficult radio frequency environments like factories or above suspended ceilings which tend to call for flexible external antennas and rugged metal enclosures. The Cisco 1240G family wireless access point is available for controlled domains that do not allow 802.11a/5GHz operation.
Aironet 1500 lightweight outdoor mesh APs offer an affordable, scalable, protected outdoor wireless mechanism for enterprise campuses and for public venues that need access for portable devices.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless LAN Bridges
Cisco wireless bridges provide a high-speed and feature-rich solution for integrating multiple local area networks in a metropolitan area or public wireless environment. Cisco wireless LAN bridges provide a versatile, easy-to-use solution that satisfies the security requirements of public networking specialists. These devices support both P2P and P2MP deployments with excellent coverage and the ability to handle traffic throughput up to 54 Mbps.
Cisco Aironet wireless bridges deliver throughput dramatically higher than E1/T1 lines for far less expense, eliminating the need for costly leased lines when linking different offices. Since wireless bridges require no ongoing charges, savings on connection bills rapidly pay for the initial equipment costs. Self-installed private lines and even leased lines made of copper or optical cable often result in very expensive initial expenses if they are impeded by obstacles such as freeways, railroads, or lakes and rivers. Cisco wireless LAN bridges can be deployed rapidly with a fast return on investment.
Aironet 1300 Series outdoor wireless access points/bridges can be implemented as independent wireless access points, bridges, or wireless group bridges. These products have a tough enclosure and provide high-speed, cost-effective wireless interfaces between numerous fixed or mobile networks and clients.
Cisco Aironet 1400 bridges offer high-performance, dependable outdoor bridging for LOS environments. They are housed in a ruggedized cover that can withstand harsh outdoor conditions and operate in broad temperature ranges.
Legacy Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers provide single-point management of WLANs by simplifying the control of common functions such as integrated intrusion prevention system (IPS), fast RF control, zero touch deployment, and full N+1 redundancy. WLAN controllers operate with lightweight APs to offer enhanced performance and advanced control functions.
Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers (WLCs) provide the control, scalability, security, and dependability that network managers require to build safe, large-scale wireless solutions, from satellite offices to small businesses to main campuses. Cisco's legacy Wireless Controllers can be clustered to provide support for up to 2400 wireless access points per roaming domain.
Cisco's WLCM or WLCM-E Controller Module for Integrated Services (IS) Routers provides small-to medium businesses (SMBs) and enterprises an affordable way to implement and control protected wireless LANs at satellite locations. These controllers manage as many as 12 Aironet wireless access points and are installable in 2800/3800 IS Routers and Cisco 3700 Series IS Routers. (To find out concerning Progent's online and onsite support for Cisco routers, see Cisco router deployment and troubleshooting support.)
How Progent's Engineers Can Assist Your Company with Cisco Wireless Products
Progent can provide a Cisco-certified consultant to help you to design, deploy, maintain and repair a converged wired and wireless ecosystem integrating a broad range of wireless technologies that provide the identical security, expandability, and ease of management you demand from a wired environment. Progent can help you to manage legacy Wi-Fi solutions from Cisco or migrate efficiently to current 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 technology. Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can show you how to build security into your WLAN and into your company's operations. Progent's disaster recovery planning consultants and business continuity consultants can show you how to set up the high availability features incorporated into Cisco's wireless and wired products so your converged infrastructure provides continuing business value.
Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey helps you to design and implement a state-of-the-art wireless network customized for your facilities, offering a wireless solution that delivers comprehensive coverage, high performance and density, Quality of Service to accommodate IP voice and video, enterprise-class security, and streamlined management. Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey can be performed online to cut time and expense, or onsite to deal with more complex facilities.
For a further look at Progent's wireless consulting services, see Progent's Wireless LAN Expertise.
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