Cisco has developed a comprehensive portfolio of wireless networking devices and software tools designed to provide continual connections to data and other resources and to facilitate collaboration among workers, associates, suppliers, and clients. Cisco's wireless offerings include Cisco's Small Business, Aironet and Meraki series of wireless access points, plus Cisco's Wireless Network Controller plug-ins and standalone devices. Progent's Cisco-certified wireless consulting experts can enable businesses of all sizes to utilize Cisco wireless products to support the new model of BYOD networks by converging their wired/wireless networks to benefit from simplified deployment, predictable performance, single-point control, enterprise-wide policy, high availability, and advanced protection.
Cisco Converged Architecture for BYOD and Wired/Wireless Networking
Cisco's Unified Wireless Network solution can scale to up to 18,000 wireless access points with full Layer 3 mobility at local or offsite locations such as enterprise headquarters, university auditoriums, branch offices, and telecommuter homes. Cisco's Wi-Fi wireless access points and controllers are components of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network and are engineered to deliver the identical degree of protection, throughput, and ease of management for wireless LANs that businesses demand in their wired networks. This architecture incorporates integrated mobility services such as VoIP, high-definition IP video, and secure guest access. Cisco's Unified Wireless Network technology enables organizations to build Wi-Fi ecosystems that streamline the way they work and improve productivity through a mobile and collaborative employee base.
Progent's Cisco-certified network infrastructure consulting services can provide online or on-premises expertise to help you to plan, configure, maintain, expand, and troubleshoot converged wired/wireless networks of all sizes and for any environment. Also, Progent can provide economical remote and onsite Wi-Fi site surveys to assist you to design and install a Wi-Fi LAN with custom-designed access point clustering optimized for your individual work area layout, building characteristics, and application workloads.
Cisco Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst Wireless Access Points (APs)
Cisco's Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst families of access points allow you to integrate wired and wireless networks to provide the accessibility, density, throughput, security and ease of management required for virtually any scenario. Cisco's wireless access points start at entry-level, single-band 802.11b/g/n units with throughput of 300 Mbps for very small businesses or telecommuters to Wi-Fi 6 access points capable of supporting hundreds of clients per AP and delivering sustained data rates in excess of 5 Gb. Cisco's current line of access points can be combined or clustered to provide the scale to support environments crowded with clients and with a high incidence of video-intense apps.
Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Series of Access Points
Cisco's Small Business Series of APs are Linux-based units engineered as entry-level Wi-Fi APs for light workloads. Many versions in the Cisco Small Business family of APs work with Cisco's Single Point Setup system, which makes it possible to configure, manage and repair a group of wireless access points from a single AP via an intuitive browser-based interface. All models support POE and provide QoS, rogue access point awareness, and bridging for wirelessly connecting to a second Ethernet LAN.
The Cisco Small Business WAP121 Access Point is a wall-mountable, single-radio 2.4GHz device that can handle 16 802.11n wireless clients, has a 10/100 Ethernet interface, allows up to four AP devices and 40 wireless clients per cluster, and supports throughput of up to 300 Mbps. Cisco's Small Business WAP131 is a desktop dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11n access point that can support 16 active wireless clients on each radio for up to 32 wireless clients, features a GE LAN interface, and can support sustained data rates of up to 300 Mbps for each radio. The WAP131 does not support clustering. The Cisco Small Business WAP150 is a general-purpose Wave 1 dual-radio AC/n AP that includes a 1xGE 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. Cisco's Small Business WAP150 allows 4 APs for each cluster.
Cisco's Small Business WAP321 Wireless-N model is a wallmount selectable-band (2.4 or 5 GHz) 802.11n device with support for 80 active clients in an 8-AP cluster. The WAP321 includes a GE interface and can deliver throughput of 300 Mbps for the selected radio. Cisco's WAP351 is a dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11a/b/g/n wireless access point with a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and can handle 32 wireless clients on each radio for a total of up to 64 clients, and support sustained throughput of 300 Mbps per radio. The WAP351 does not support clustering. The Cisco WAP361 is a dual-band Wireless-AC/N AP that features a 5 x Gb Ethernet LAN switch, can support 32 active WLAN clients per radio, and delivers 867 Mbps throughput for 802.11ac devices and 300 Mbps for 802.11n devices. Cisco's WAP361 allows eight access points per cluster. Cisco's wallmount Small Business WAP371 Wireless-AC/N is a dual-radio AP that supports 802.11n as well as the latest 802.11ac wireless networking specification. The WAP371 Wireless-AC/N has a Gigabit Ethernet interface, can handle as many as 32 wireless clients on each radio, and eight access points for each cluster.
Cisco's WAP561 802.11n Dual Radio wireless access point features a Gigabit Ethernet interface and two concurrent radios that deliver 450 Mbps throughput for each radio, support 64 clients for each radio, and allow up to 16 access points for each cluster. Cisco's WAP551 is similar to the WAP 561 but has a single selectable band (2.4 or 5.0 GHz). The Cisco Small Business WAP571 and WAP571E (a ruggedized outside model) are dual-band 802.11ac access points that feature two Gb Ethernet LAN interfaces with link aggregation, 3x3 MIMO, and up to 1.9 Gbps throughput with 1300 Mbps on 11ac and 600 Mbps on 11n. Both wireless access points can handle 32 active WAN clients on each radio and 16 APs per cluster.
Cisco's Small Business WAP581 Wireless-AC Dual Radio Wave 2 Wireless Access Point complies with the Wi-Fi 5 standard and offers 4x4 and 3x3 MU-MIMO to deliver 2.8 Gbps data rates on the 5.0-Ghz radio and 0.6 Gbps at 2.4 GHz for a total max throughput of 2.4 Gbps. The Small Business WAP581 includes a fixed 2.5G Ethernet port and a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port with 802.3at PoE. Cisco's WAP581 Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 access point can handle up to 200 connective users, up to 50 active users per radio, 16 APs per cluster, and 960 active users for each cluster.
For more information about Progent's consulting services for both current and older Cisco Small Business family of WiFi access points, refer to Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 WiFi access points consulting.
The Aironet Line of Wireless Access Points
Cisco's Aironet family of wireless access points has consistently been the top-selling access point solution. Aironet access points range from value-priced entry-level devices to enterprise-class units. Cisco's Aironet series cover multiple generations of devices compliant with the continually improving 802 standard. Cisco's current line of Aironet wireless access points work with Cisco's Unified Wireless Network software and incorporate 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, which delivers three times the throughput plus superior coverage and density in comparison to the previous generation of devices. The current multi-frequency Aironet APs continue to handle 802.11n at 2.4 GHz for client devices without 802.11ac capability.
The oldest Aironet APs are legacy devices that have come to end-of-life status and are no longer fully supported by Cisco. Progent continues to provide technical support for the entire Aironet line of wireless access points and can help your company to manage and troubleshoot your existing Aironet Wi-Fi system or move cost effectively to current Aironet products. For more information about Progent's consulting services for both current and legacy Cisco Aironet wireless access points, refer to Cisco Aironet APs system design and troubleshooting.
Meraki Wireless Access Points
Cisco's family of Meraki dual-band 2.4/5 GHz indoor access points range from budget-friendly models for general use to enterprise-class products supporting up to 5.9 Gigabit per second performance. Every Meraki indoor access point provides next-generation capabilities like plug-and-play deployment, advanced security, Bring-Your-Own-Device support, built-in traffic analysis, zero-touch web-based firmware updates, and unified cloud-based management via an intuitive dashboard. Each Cisco Meraki indoor AP also incorporates dual powerful client-serving radios with boosted reception plus a dedicated radio that provides intrusion detection and prevention system (WIDS/WIPS) security for threat detection and deep packet inspection at line rate.
Meraki outdoor access points are IP67 certified, built to operate in rugged outdoor environments, and tested to withstand dust, vibration and humidity. Cisco's Meraki outdoor wireless access points include a 1 x Gbit Ethernet port and deliver advanced features such as cloud-based management with network-wide control, 802.1X and native Active Directory integration, built-in antivirus scan (NAC), single-click secure guest access and guest isolation firewall, application-aware traffic shaping, plus self-configuring mesh with MIMO. For more information about Progent's consulting services for Meraki wireless access points and management tools, see Cisco's Meraki wireless access points system design and troubleshooting.
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Line of Wi-Fi 6 APs
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 line of 802.11ax wireless access points are designed for environments ranging from home offices to high-density stadiums. Cisco Catalyst 9100 access points are based on 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 designed to use both the 2.4-Ghz and 5-GHz bands. Headline technologies incorporated in Catalyst 9100 Series access points include OFDMA scheduling for high density deployments, dual NAVs for improved reliability, increased device sleep time for reduced power usage in battery-dependent endpoints, adaptive power thresholds for better spectrum utilization, and extended guard intervals for improved outdoor performance. All Catalyst 9100 wireless access points can run Cisco's EWC, accommodate as many as 200 client users per radio, and run on Cisco IOS XE Software. To find out more about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Line of 802.11ax Access Points, refer to 802.11ax access points system planning, configuration, and debugging services.
Cisco 9800 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6-supported wireless LAN controller appliances allow you to automate and manage modern wireless environments that incorporate 802.11ax wireless APs. 802.11ax, referred to as Wi-Fi 6, improves on previous generation 802.11ac (called Wi-Fi 5) appliances by delivering lower latency and more predictable performance, allowing higher client density, offering greater protection, saving energy for battery-dependent mobile devices, and offering more flexibility for handling the latest kinds of Internet-of-Things (IoT) endpoints. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 line wireless controllers include high availability with seamless software upgrades, live patching, and the ability to connect additional Wi-Fi access points without service interruption. Enhanced security features include Cisco Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS), secure boot, and Cisco Software-Defined Access. Streaming telemetry allows you to monitor and understand infrastructure and endpoint health.
All controllers in the Catalyst 9800 line are powered by Cisco's IOS XE Software and work with Cisco's DNA Center or Prime Infrastructure network management platforms. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 wireless network controllers can support Cisco Aironet 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 access points concurrently with Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 Wi-Fi access points. For more information about Progent's support for Cisco 9800 line of 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers, refer to Catalyst 9800 family of Wi-Fi 6 wireless LAN controller appliances solution design, deployment, and debugging consulting.
Cisco Wave 2 Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers enable realtime communication, deployment, management, analysis and debugging for Cisco wireless devices and software services. Cisco has developed both physical and software-based wireless controllers for centralized administration of WiFi networks, but networks with many Wi-Fi APs typically require hardware-based wireless controllers. New Wi-Fi controller devices from Cisco offer major benefits in comparison to Wave 1 and older models such as higher throughput, concurrent support for 1G and 10G Ethernet, enhanced application visibility and control, and hardened, built-in security.
The Cisco 3504 Wireless Controller is a value-priced appliance with a desktop body and intended for small and medium-sized organizations. You can use the 3504 model in a centralized WLAN architecture such as in small branch and home-based offices managed over the wide-area network with FlexConnect, or in mesh installations where wiring is limited. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller supports as many as 150 access points and 3,000 client users, offers 4 Gbps throughput, and supports 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 controller features a multi-gigabit Ethernet interface (up to 5 Gigabit Ethernet) and four 1-GB Ethernet interfaces. Access points can be attached directly to the controller through two PoE ports. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller features subsecond failover for APs and clients, which allows nonstop availability for apps. Like other current Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers from Cisco, the 3504 device has the integrated ability to work with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WLAN controllers.
Cisco's 5520 Wireless Controller, available in a 1 rack unit package, is intended for larger organizations and campus networks and can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments. The 5520 wireless controller can handle as many as 1,500 Wi-Fi access points and 20,000 client users, offers 20 Gbps throughput, and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 wireless controller features two 10 GE interfaces and incorporates solid-state storage, backup fans, optional backup power supplies, and rapid failover for high availability.
Cisco's 8540 Wireless Controller, offered in a 2 rack unit package, is a top-of-the-line WiFi controller intended to support enterprises, service providers, and large campuses. The 8540 Wireless 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 data rates as high as 40 Gbps and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 8540 controller comes with four 1-GB or 10GE ports and features SSD storage, backup power supplies, backup fans, and subsecond failover.
Wave 1 Cisco Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco wireless LAN controllers reduce the effort and expense needed to configure, monitor, and operate Wi-Fi networks by centralizing control of tasks like provisioning access points, applying consistent policies across wired/wireless LANs, supporting enterprise-wide QoS for IP voice and HD video, tracking and troubleshooting system performance, implementing wireless intrusion prevention system (wIPS) capabilities to guard against cyber break-ins and Distributed Denial of Service attacks, and managing IPv6 and dual-stack clients. Cisco has designed wireless LAN controllers for organizations of any size and offers standalone desktop controllers, modular plug-in controllers for Cisco routers and switches, and Catalyst switches with integrated wireless controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 WiFi controllers incorporate Cisco CleanAir technology to minimize RF interference and create self-healing and self-optimizing wireless LANs for maximum 802.11n and 802.11ac performance and security. Built-in Apple Bonjour Gateways allow discovery throughout the enterprise for Apple-based applications. For high availability, Cisco wireless controllers allow access point and client stateful failover by enabling a backup high-availability controller to synch with a main wireless controller for access point license tabulation, CAPWAP state and roaming keys, and access point CAPWAP state. In case the main wireless controller stops working, thousands of APs and clients can switchover at subsecond speeds to the backup wireless LAN controller.
Cisco's Wireless Module for ISR Routers with UCS-E provides entry-level 802.11n and 802.11ac support for 2900 and 3900 routers deployed by smaller organizations and branch offices. This value-priced and expandable solution can support up to 200 wireless access points and up to 6000 clients. (To find out about Progent's remote and on-premises consulting support for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router configuration and troubleshooting consulting.)
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU switches intended for SMBs and branch offices and features an integrated wireless controller with the ability to support up to 40 Gb of wireless capacity for each switch and up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients per switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU switches designed for midsize businesses and large enterprises and include an integrated wireless controller supporting up to 40 Gb of wireless capacity on each switch and support for 50 access points and 2000 wireless clients. The Wireless Services Module2 (WiSM2) is an add-in blade for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches with a built-in wireless controller designed for mid-to-large size enterprises and able to deliver 20 Gbps performance and able to handle up to 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients. (To learn about Progent's support for Cisco Catalyst switches, see Catalyst switches deployment and troubleshooting consulting.)
Cisco 2500 Series Wireless Controllers are entry-level desktop devices that streamline the deployment and operation of Wi-Fi LANs for small to medium-sized enterprises and branch offices. The 2500 Series wireless LAN controller can manage from five to 75 APs and up to 1000 wireless clients and can deliver throughput of 1 Gbps.
Cisco's 5500 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 delivering 8 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 5760 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance intended for mid-to-large campuses with support for up to 1000 APs and 12,000 wireless clients and delivering performance of 60 Gbps to handle high client densities and high usage of video-intensive applications.
Cisco's Flex 7500 Series Wireless Controller is intended to enable centralized management of massive collections of wireless branches from one location, avoiding the requirement for a Wi-Fi controller at every branch. The 1RU Flex 7500 appliance lets you create a private cloud to configure, monitor, maintain, and repair as many as 6000 access points and up to 64,000 clients while handling 1 Gbps performance. The Cisco 8500 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU device designed to monitor and control Wi-Fi environments for very large campuses or service providers and can be expanded to support 6000 APs and up to 64,000 clients while offering 10 Gbps throughput.
To find out more about Cisco wireless controllers, go to Cisco wireless controllers consulting and integration.
Legacy Cisco Wireless Access Points, LAN Bridges and Wireless Controllers Supported by Progent
The 802.11ac standard for wireless connectivity virtually rendered obsolete all earlier generations of Wi-Fi products for venues that support high numbers of wireless clients and high usage of HD video applications. Even for organizations who do not need the performance of 802.11ac Wi-Fi, a large number of Cisco wireless products have arrived at end-of-sale or end-of-support status, which can pose significant maintenance and regulatory compliance issues. Progent's Cisco-certified consulting experts offer online and on-premises support for a broad array of older-generation wireless products from Cisco. Progent can in addition assist organizations to assess the financial justification for upgrading up-of-date wireless infrastructure and can assist in designing and carrying out cost-effective, seamless upgrades. Below are a sample of Cisco older-generation Wi-Fi devices that Progent's consultants still support.
Legacy Cisco Aironet APs
Aironet 1000/1130AG Series wireless access points are ideal for offices and similar venues which have minimal environmental variability. These products include built-in antennas that offer predictable radio coverage patterns. The Aironet 1130G Series wireless access point is offered for regulated locations that do not permit 802.11a/5GHz operation.
Aironet 1230AG or 1240AG family wireless access points are designed for more difficult radio frequency environments like factories and warehouses or above suspended ceilings which tend to call for flexible protruding antennas and durable enclosures. The Aironet 1240G family access point is available for regulatory locations that do not permit 802.11a/5GHz transmission.
Aironet 1500 lightweight outside wireless mesh APs deliver an economical, expandable, protected outdoor Wi-Fi mechanism for campus areas and for public venues that require connectivity for mobile phones or computers.
Legacy Cisco Wireless LAN Bridges
Cisco wireless LAN bridges provide a high-throughput and feature-rich technology for connecting multiple LANs in a metropolitan situation or public access environment. Cisco Aironet wireless bridges offer a flexible, manageable technology that meets the protection requirements of WAN professionals. They manage both point-to-point and P2MP implementations with excellent range and support for data throughput up to 54 Mbps.
Cisco wireless bridges deliver data rates significantly higher than E1/T1 connections for much lower cost, eliminating the requirement for expensive leased lines when connecting separate buildings. Since wireless bridges have no recurring costs, the expenses saved on leased-line bills quickly cover the initial hardware investment. Private lines and in some cases leased lines utilizing metal or optical cable often result in considerable initial expenses if they are separated by barriers like freeways, railroads, or lakes and rivers. Cisco wireless LAN bridges can be installed rapidly with a fast return on investment.
Aironet 1300 outside access points/bridges can be deployed as independent wireless access points, wireless bridges, or wireless group bridges. These devices have a tough enclosure and offer high-speed, economical wireless interfaces between numerous stationary or mobile environments and users.
Aironet 1400 bridges provide fast, reliable outside bridging for line-of-sight (LOS) applications. These devices include a ruggedized cover that can hold up to severe outside conditions and can operate within broad temperature ranges.
Legacy Cisco Wireless Controllers
Cisco Wireless Network Controllers provide single-point management of wireless networks by streamlining the control of common technologies such as integrated intrusion prevention system (IPS), fast RF control, automatic deployment, and N+1 redundancy. Cisco Wireless Network controllers operate with lightweight access points to deliver superior performance and high-end management capabilities.
Cisco WLAN Controllers provide the manageability, scalability, protection, and fault tolerance that system managers need to build secure, enterprise-scale wireless environments, from satellite offices to small businesses to main campuses. Cisco's legacy Wireless Network Controllers can be clustered to offer support for up to 2400 access points for each roaming domain.
Cisco's WLCM or WLCM-E Controller Module for IS Routers provides small-to medium businesses and large corporations an economical solution to implement and manage protected WLANs at satellite offices. These wireless controllers manage as many as twelve Cisco Aironet wireless access points and are supported on Cisco 2800/3800 Series IS Routers and Cisco 3700 Series Routers. (To learn concerning Progent's online and on-premises consulting support for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router deployment and management support.)
How Progent's Consultants Can Help Your Company with Cisco Wireless Devices
Progent can provide a Cisco-certified expert to help you to plan, install, manage and troubleshoot a converged wired/wireless ecosystem incorporating a wide range of wireless products that provide the identical security, extensibility, and manageability you expect from your wired environment. Progent can assist you to support legacy Wi-Fi products from Cisco or upgrade efficiently to the latest 802.11ax-compatible products. Progent's CISA and ISSAP security specialists can advise you about how to design security into your WLAN and your business operations. Progent's disaster recovery planning consultants and business continuity planning consultants can assist you to configure the HA technology built into Cisco's wireless and wired products so your converged network provides continuing business value.
Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey assists you to plan and deploy a state-of-the-art wireless network optimized for your facilities, providing a Wi-Fi ecosystem that delivers comprehensive coverage, high speed and capacity, Quality of Service features to accommodate IP video, advanced security, and easy management. Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey can be delivered online to reduce time and expense, or on premises to deal with more complex environments.
For a further discussion of Progent's wireless integration services, visit Progent's Wireless Network Consulting Services.
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