Cisco has developed an extensive portfolio of wireless networking devices and software tools engineered to provide anywhere, anytime access to information and resources and to facilitate collaboration among workers, partners, suppliers, and clients. Cisco's wireless product families include Cisco's Small Business, Aironet and Meraki lines of wireless access points, plus Cisco's Wireless LAN Controller plug-ins and appliances. Progent's Cisco-certified wireless experts can enable organizations of any size to utilize Cisco wireless technology to support the current model of BYOD computing by converging their wired and wireless networks to achieve simplified deployment, consistent and fast throughput, centralized control, enterprise-wide policy enforcement, high availability, and advanced protection.
Cisco Converged Architecture for Bring-Your-Own-Device and Wired/Wireless Access
The Cisco Unified Wireless architecture can scale to up to 18,000 access points with Layer 3 connectivity at local or remote locations like business campuses, college lecture halls, branches, and telecommuter homes. Cisco's Wi-Fi wireless access points and wireless controllers are components of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network and are designed to deliver the identical level of protection, throughput, and manageability for WLANs that companies expect in their wired ecosystem. Cisco's architecture incorporates built-in mobile services such as IP voice, HD video, and safe guest connectivity. Cisco's Unified Wireless Network solution enables companies to build wireless environments that streamline the way they work and improve productivity through a mobile and connected employee base.
Progent's Cisco CCIE network consulting services can provide remote or onsite expertise to assist your organization to plan, configure, manage, expand, and repair converged wired and wireless networks of all sizes and for any venue. In addition, Progent offers affordable online and on-premises Wi-Fi site surveys to help your company to design and install a Wi-Fi network with customized access point clustering optimized for your specific work area layout, building characteristics, and application workloads.
Cisco Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst Wireless Access Points
Cisco's Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst families of wireless access points enable organizations to converge wired and wireless networks to deliver the accessibility, density, performance, security compliance and manageability needed for practically any environment. These access points start at bare bones, single-radio 802.11b/g/n units with throughput of 300 Mb for small companies or home offices to Wi-Fi 6 wireless access points suitable for supporting hundreds of wireless clients on each access point and delivering data rates in excess of 5 Gigabits per second. Cisco's current selection of wireless access points can be clustered to provide the scale to support sites with high client density and with high usage rates of video-intense applications.
Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Series of Wireless Access Points
Cisco's Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Series of APs are Linux-powered devices engineered as entry-level Wi-Fi APs for small offices. Many versions in the Cisco Small Business line of access points work with Cisco's Single Point Setup technology, which makes it possible to configure, control and repair a cluster of access points from one device via an intuitive web browser interface. All of the versions include POE and feature Quality of Service (QoS), rogue access point awareness, and bridge mode for wirelessly connecting to another Ethernet LAN.
The Cisco Small Business WAP121 Access Point is a wallmount, single-radio 2.4GHz device able to support 16 active 802.11n wireless clients, includes a 10/100 Ethernet port, allows up to four AP devices and 40 wireless clients in a cluster, and can handle data rates of up to 300 Mbps. Cisco's Small Business WAP131 is a desktop dual-radio 802.11n wireless access point that can handle 16 active clients per radio for a total of up to 32 wireless clients, includes a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port, and can support sustained data rates of up to 300 Mbps for each radio. The WAP131 Wireless-N does not allow AP clustering. Cisco's WAP150 is a general-purpose Wave 1 dual-radio 802.11ac/n AP that features a one Gbit Power over Ethernet (PoE) port and can support up to 16 clients per radio with 867 Mbps performance for 802.11ac clients and 300 Mbps for 802.11n clients. The Cisco WAP1501 allows 4 APs for each cluster.
Cisco's Small Business WAP321 model is a wall-mountable single-band (either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz) 802.11a/b/g/n device with support for up to 80 active clients in an 8-AP cluster. The Cisco WAP321 includes a 10/100/1000 Ethernet interface and can support a data rate of 300 Mbps for the activated radio. The Cisco WAP351 is a dual-band 802.11n AP with a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and can handle 32 active clients on each radio for up to 64 active clients, and deliver throughput of 300 Mbps for each radio. The WAP351 access point does not allow clustering. Cisco's WAP361 is a dual-band Wireless-AC/N access point that includes a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch, can support 32 active WLAN clients on each radio, and delivers 867 Mbps throughput for 802.11ac devices and 300 Mbps performance for 802.11n devices. The Cisco WAP361 allows eight access points for each cluster. Cisco's wall-mountable Small Business WAP371 Wireless-AC/N is a dual-band AP that works with 802.11n and the new 802.11ac IEEE Wi-Fi standard. The WAP371 includes a GE port, can support 32 wireless clients per radio, and eight access points for each cluster.
The Cisco Small Business WAP561 Wireless-N Selectable Band access point includes a GE interface and two radios that deliver 450 Mbps performance per radio, can handle 64 clients per radio, and allow up to 16 wireless access points for each cluster. Cisco's WAP551 is similar to the WAP 561 but features a single radio selectable band. The Cisco WAP571 and WAP571E (a weather-proof outside model) are dual-band Wireless-AC/N APs that feature 2 x GE interfaces with link aggregation, and as high as 1.9 Gbps throughput with 1300 Mbps on 802.11ac and 600 Mbps over 802.11n. Both wireless access points support 32 active WAN clients on each radio and 16 wireless access points per cluster.
The Cisco Small Business WAP581 Wireless-AC Wave 2 Access Point complies with the 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 specification and offers 4x4 and 3x3 MU-MIMO technology to deliver 2.8 Gbps throughput on the 5.0-Ghz radio and 0.6 Gbps at 2.4 GHz for an aggregate top throughput of 2.4 Gbps. The Small Business WAP581 has an integrated 2.5G Ethernet interface and a 10/100/1000 Ethernet interface with 802.3at PoE. Cisco's WAP581 Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 AP can handle as many as 200 connective client users, up to 50 active users per radio, 16 access points for each cluster, and 960 active users per cluster.
For details about Progent's support for current and legacy Cisco Small Business family of wireless APs, see Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 WiFi APs planning and support.
Cisco's Aironet Family of Wireless Access Points
The Aironet family of indoor and outdoor wireless APs has consistently been the market leading access point product. Aironet wireless access points run the gamut from value priced models to advanced units. The Aironet family cover several generations of models supporting the evolving Wi-Fi standard. Cisco's current line of Aironet wireless access points support Cisco's Unified Wireless Network architecture and include 802.11ac support, which offers three times the performance as well as superior coverage and density than the prior generation of APs. Cisco's current dual-frequency Aironet access points can support 802.11n at 2.4 GHz for clients without 802.11ac capability.
The oldest Aironet APs are now legacy units that have come to end-of-life status and are no longer fully supported by Cisco. Progent continues to support the complete Aironet line of wireless access points and can assist your company to maintain your existing Aironet wireless system or move efficiently to the latest Aironet technology. For details about Progent's consulting services for current and outdated Cisco Aironet wireless access points, refer to Aironet APs consulting services.
Meraki Wireless Access Points
Cisco's family of Meraki 2.4/5 GHz indoor access points range from budget-friendly devices for small businesses to advanced products supporting as high as 5.9 Gigabit per second throughput. Each Cisco Meraki indoor wireless access point offers next-generation features like self-configuring plug-and-play deployment, in-depth security, Bring-Your-Own-Device support, built-in traffic analysis, zero-touch over-the-web updates, and unified cloud management for multiple sites. Each Cisco Meraki indoor wireless access point also includes two high-power client-serving radios with boosted receive sensitivity as well as a separate radio that provides intrusion detection and prevention system (WIDS/WIPS) security for threat detection and deep packet inspection at line rate.
Meraki outdoor wireless access points are IP67 certified, built to operate in rugged outdoor conditions, and able to withstand dust, shock and humidity. Meraki outdoor access points include a 1 x Gbit Ethernet port and offer advanced features that include cloud-based management with network-wide visibility and control, native Active Directory integration, built-in antivirus scan (NAC), single-click secure guest access and guest isolation firewall, Layer 7 traffic shaping, plus auto-configuring mesh with beamforming. For more information about Progent's support for Meraki APs and management, see Cisco's Meraki APs planning and support.
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 and W-Fi 6E APs
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 family of Wi-Fi 6/6E access points are intended for deployments ranging from home offices to crowded convention centers. Catalyst 9100 APs are compliant with the 802.11ax specification, known as Wi-Fi 6, which in turn builds on the previous 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) standard. Unlike 802.11ac, Wi-Fi 6 is able to use both the 2.4-Ghz and 5-GHz radio bands. Headline technologies incorporated in Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series access points include OFDMA scheduling for high density deployments, dual NAVs for better dependability, increased device sleep time for conserving power usage in battery-dependent endpoints, adaptive power and sensitivity thresholds for more efficient spectrum use, and extended guard intervals for improved outdoor performance. Catalyst 9100 Series wireless APs support Cisco's EWC, accommodate up to 400 client users per Wi-Fi radio, and run on Cisco IOS XE Software.
Cisco's Catalyst 9160 Series Wi-Fi 6E APs are the first Cisco APs with the option to be monitored and managed either on-site with Cisco DNA Center platform or via the cloud by using Meraki Dashboard management utilities. This allows organizations to move to cloud-centric or hybrid deployments on their own timetable. All Catalyst 916x access points comply with the a/b/g/n/ac/ax and 6E wireless specifications and support the 6-GHz band. Each AP includes 5 radios and supports as many as 400 clients per radio. Every AP model also comes with a dedicated radio for Cisco CleanAir Pro for reducing wireless interference, includes a USB 2.0 port, and offers Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Cisco's entry-level Catalyst 9162 Series AP is intended for small businesses, has three 2x2 radios, and provides 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet support.
The Catalyst 9163E Wi-Fi 6E access point is intended to withstand tough outside deployments such as campuses or stadiums. The 9163E includes three client serving 2x2 radios, one IoT radio, and a tri-band scanning radio. Interfaces include 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G Multigigabit Ethernet (RJ-45), a management console port (RJ-45), 4x N-Type Wi-Fi antenna connectors, and an RP-SMA active GPS/GNSS antenna connector. The 9163E works with Omnidirectional Dipole Self-Identifying Antennas. Cisco's Catalyst 9164 Series access point is meant for small and middle-size enterprises, includes one 2x2 radio and two 4x4 radios, and provides 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet. The Catalyst 9166 Series AP is intended for large and mid-sized organizations, includes three 4x4 radios, and features 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G/5G mGig Ethernet support. The 9166 also has environmental sensors that measure air quality, temperature, and humidity. For details about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Series Wireless Access Points, see Wireless access points solution design, deployment, and management services.
Cisco 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6-supported wireless LAN controllers help you automate and manage modern Wi-Fi environments that support 802.11ax wireless APs. The 802.11ax standard, referred to as Wi-Fi 6, improves on prior generation 802.11ac (called Wi-Fi 5) devices by providing less latency and more reliable performance, allowing higher client user density, providing enhanced security, saving energy for battery-powered handheld devices, and allowing more versatility for handling the latest kinds of Internet-of-Things (IoT) endpoints. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 line Wi-Fi controllers include high availability with seamless software updates, live patching, and the ability to add wireless APs without service interruption. Advanced security features include Cisco Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS), image signing, and Cisco Software-Defined Access. Streaming telemetry allows you to track and understand network and endpoint health.
All appliances in the Catalyst 9800 family are based on Cisco's IOS XE Software and work with Cisco's DNA Center (DNAC) or with Cisco Prime Infrastructure network management platforms. Catalyst 9800 Series wireless LAN controllers can support Cisco Aironet Wi-Fi 5 Wave 1 and Wave 2 Wi-Fi access points concurrently with Cisco Catalyst 9100 Wi-Fi 6 APs. For details about Progent's support for Cisco 9800 line of Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers, refer to Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 wireless LAN controllers solution planning, deployment, and management services.
Cisco Wi-Fi 5 Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 wireless controllers enable fast communication, provisioning, administration, analysis and troubleshooting for Cisco Wi-Fi appliances and services. Cisco has developed both physical and software-based Wi-Fi controllers for centralized administration of wireless environments, but WLANs with a large number of wireless APs typically require physical Wi-Fi controllers. New wireless controller devices from Cisco offer major benefits over Wave 1 and older models such as higher throughput, simultaneous support for both 1G and 10G Ethernet, improved application visibility and control, and hardened, built-in security.
The Cisco 3504 WiFi Controller is an entry-level device available in a desktop enclosure and designed for small and medium-sized organizations. You can install the 3504 in a centralized WLAN architecture such as in small branch and home-based offices managed across the wide-area network via Cisco FlexConnect, or in bridge deployments where wiring is limited. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller supports up to 150 WiFi access points and 3,000 clients, delivers 4 Gbps throughput, and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 3504 wireless controller includes a Cisco Multigigabit port (up to 5 Gigabit Ethernet) and four 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports. APs can be attached directly to the controller via two Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller offers fast failover for APs and clients, which provides high availability for applications. Like other Wave 2 wireless controllers available from Cisco, the 3504 model has the built-in capability to communicate with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WLAN controllers.
Cisco's 5520 WiFi Controller, offered in a 1RU enclosure, is intended for larger enterprises and campus networks and can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments. The 5520 wireless controller supports as many as 1,500 APs and 20,000 clients, delivers 20 Gbps throughput, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 WiFi controller includes two 10 GE interfaces and features solid-state storage, backup fans, optional backup power supplies, and rapid failover for uninterrupted availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, offered in a 2RU enclosure, is a high-end WiFi 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 wireless APs and 64,000 client users. The 8540 WiFi controller offers throughput up to 40 Gbps and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 8540 controller comes with four 1-GB or 10GE ports and features SSD storage, dual power supplies, backup fans, and rapid failover.
Wave 1 Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco wireless network controllers cut the effort and cost needed to deploy, manage, and operate Wi-Fi networks by offering single-point control of critical tasks such as setting up access points, applying consistent policies throughout converged networks, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service for voice and HD video, monitoring and optimizing system performance, implementing security tools to guard against cyber break-ins and DDoS attacks, and handling IPv6 and dual-stack clients. Cisco has developed wireless LAN controllers for organizations of all sizes and can provide standalone desktop controllers, modular add-on wireless controllers for Cisco routers and Catalyst switches, and Catalyst switches with built-in wireless network controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 WiFi network controllers include Cisco CleanAir tools to avoid RF interference and create self-optimizing wireless LANs for maximum 802.11n and 802.11ac performance and protection. Integrated Apple Bonjour Gateways enable discovery throughout WLAN, LAN and WAN for Apple-based applications. For fault tolerance, Cisco wireless network controllers allow wireless access point and client stateful switchover by permitting a standby high-availability controller to synch with a primary controller for access point license tabulation, CAPWAP keys, and AP CAPWAP state. If the main wireless controller stops working, thousands of APs and clients can failover at subsecond speeds to the backup wireless LAN controller.
Cisco's Wireless Controller Module for ISR G2 Routers with UCS-E provides entry-level 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for 2900 and 3900 Series routers deployed by small to medium-sized organizations and branch offices. This value-priced and expandable solution can support up to 200 access points and up to 6000 clients. (To find out about Progent's remote and onsite consulting services for Cisco routers, see Cisco router deployment and management consulting.)
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU switches intended for small to mid-size businesses and satellite offices and features an integrated wireless controller with the capability to handle 40 Gb of wireless throughput for each switch and 25 access points and 1000 wireless clients per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU rackmount switches intended for mid-size and large organizations and include an integrated wireless LAN controller with 40 Gb of wireless capacity per switch and support for 50 access points and up to 2000 wireless clients. The Wireless Services Module2 is an add-in blade for Catalyst 6500 Series switches that include an integrated wireless controller intended for mid-to-large size enterprises and able to deliver 20 Gbps throughput and able to handle up to 1000 APs and up to 15,000 clients. (To learn about Progent's support for Cisco Catalyst switches, see Cisco switches configuration and management support.)
Cisco 2500 Series Wireless Controllers are economical desktop appliances that simplify the deployment and management of Wi-Fi LANs for SMBs and branch offices. The Cisco 2500 Series wireless network controller can handle from five to 75 wireless access points and up to 1000 wireless clients and offers sustained performance of 1 Gbps.
Cisco's 5500 Series Wireless Controller is an expandable 1RU unit intended for medium-sized to large organizations and campus environments and can manage 500 APs and 7,000 clients while providing 8 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 5760 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU device intended for mid-to-large campus environments with support for up to 1000 wireless access points and 12,000 clients and providing performance of 60 Gbps to accommodate high client densities and high usage of video-intensive mobile applications.
The Cisco Flex 7500 Wireless Controller is designed to enable centralized management of massive collections of wireless remote sites from one location, eliminating the need for a Wi-Fi controller at each branch. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 lets you create a private cloud to configure, monitor, maintain, and repair as many as 6000 APs and up to 64,000 wireless clients while handling 1 Gbps performance. Cisco's 8500 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance designed to monitor and manage wireless environments for very large campuses or for service providers and can be expanded to support up to 6000 wireless points and 64,000 wireless clients while offering 10 Gbps throughput.
To find out more about Cisco wireless controllers, go to Cisco Wi-Fi controllers consulting and integration.
Legacy Cisco Access Points, LAN Bridges and Wireless Controllers Supported by Progent
The introduction of the IEEE 802.11ac specification for wireless connectivity largely made obsolete all earlier releases of Wi-Fi products for environments that support high numbers of clients and high incidence of video-intensive applications. Even for organizations who do not currently need the performance of 802.11ac, a large number of Cisco wireless products have arrived at end-of-sale or end-of-support status, which can pose serious service and compliance issues. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants provide remote and on-premises support services for a broad range of earlier-generation Cisco wireless products. Progent can also assist companies to assess the financial justification for updating legacy wireless technology and can assist in designing and executing affordable, seamless upgrades. The following are a sample of Cisco legacy Wi-Fi devices that Progent's consultants continue to support.
Legacy Cisco Aironet APs
Cisco Aironet 1000 or 1130AG Series access points are intended for offices and similar sites which have little environmental variability. These products have built-in antennas that offer dependable radio coverage patterns. The Aironet 1130G Series WAP is offered for restricted locations that do not allow 802.11a transmission.
Cisco Aironet 1230AG/1240AG family access points are designed for more difficult RF environments such as factories and warehouses or above suspended ceilings which often call for flexible protruding antennas and ruggedized enclosures. The Cisco 1240G family AP is designed for restricted domains that do not allow 802.11a operation.
Aironet 1500 family lightweight outside mesh APs offer a cost-effective, expandable, secure outdoor Wi-Fi technology for enterprise campuses and for public sites that need access for mobile phones or computers.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless LAN Bridges
Cisco wireless bridges offer a high-performance and feature-rich solution for connecting numerous LANs in a metropolitan area or public access environment. Cisco Aironet wireless bridges provide a flexible, easy-to-use technology that satisfies the protection needs of wide-area networking professionals. These devices manage both P2P and PMP implementations with good coverage and support for traffic rates up to 54 Mbps.
Cisco Aironet wireless LAN bridges offer data rates significantly faster than E1/T1 connections for much lower cost, doing away with the requirement for costly leased lines when connecting separate buildings. Since bridges carry no periodic costs, the expenses saved on connection services quickly pay for the initial hardware costs. Self-installed private lines and even leased lines using metal or fiber-optic cable can require high initial expenses if they are impeded by barriers like highways, railroads, or bodies of water. Cisco Aironet wireless bridges can be installed quickly an offer a fast ROI.
Aironet 1300 outdoor access points/bridges can be implemented as stand-alone wireless access points, wireless bridges, or workgroup bridges. These appliances have a durable enclosure and provide high-speed, affordable wireless interfaces between multiple fixed or mobile environments and users.
Cisco 1400 Series wireless bridges provide fast, dependable outside bridging for line-of-sight environments. They include a ruggedized cover that can hold up to severe outdoor conditions and operate in broad temperature ranges.
Legacy Cisco WLAN Controllers
Cisco Wireless Controllers provide single-point management of wireless networks by streamlining the handling of common functions such as intrusion prevention, fast RF control, zero touch deployment, and full N+1 redundancy. Cisco Wireless Network controllers operate with small APs to offer enhanced throughput and advanced administration capabilities.
Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers provide the control, scalability, security, and reliability that system managers need to create secure, enterprise-scale wireless solutions, from branch locations to small companies to headquarter campuses. Cisco's first-generation Wireless Network Controllers can be clustered to provide support for up to 2400 WAPs for each roaming domain.
Cisco's WLCM or WLCM-E Controller Module for IS Routers offers small-to medium businesses (SMBs) and enterprises a cost effective solution to deploy and control protected wireless networks at satellite locations. These products manage up to twelve Cisco Aironet access points and are installable in Cisco 2800/3800 Series Routers and 3700 Routers. (To learn concerning Progent's online and on-premises consulting services for Cisco routers, see Cisco router deployment and troubleshooting consulting.)
How Progent's Engineers Can Help Your Business with Cisco Wireless Devices
Progent can provide a Cisco-certified expert to help you to design, deploy, manage and repair a converged wired/wireless ecosystem incorporating a wide range of wireless devices that offer the identical protection, extensibility, and ease of management you expect from your wired environment. Progent can help you to support early-generation Wi-Fi products from Cisco or upgrade seamlessly to current 802.11ax-compatible products. Progent's CISA and ISSAP security specialists can show you how to design protection into your wireless network and your business operations. Progent's disaster recovery consultants and business continuity planners can show you how to configure the high availability (HA) features built into Cisco's wireless and wired technologies so your converged infrastructure delivers significant return on investment.
Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey assists you to design and implement a robust WLAN optimized for your facilities, offering a Wi-Fi solution that provides comprehensive coverage, high performance and density, QoS to support IP voice and video, advanced security and compliance, and easy management. Progent's Wireless Site Survey can be delivered online to reduce time and expense, or on premises to deal with more complex facilities.
For a further discussion of Progent's wireless consulting services, see Progent's Wireless LAN Help.
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