Cisco has developed a comprehensive portfolio of wireless LAN products and technologies intended to enable continual connections to data and resources and to promote teamwork among workers, associates, vendors, and customers. Cisco's wireless products include Cisco's Small Business, Aironet and Meraki series of access points, as well as Cisco's Wireless LAN Controller plug-ins and standalone devices. Progent's Cisco-certified wireless consultants can help organizations of any size to deploy Cisco wireless solutions to support the current paradigm of BYOD networks by converging their tethered and untethered networks to achieve simplified deployment, consistently high performance, single-point management, uniform policy, high availability (HA), and across-the-board security.
Cisco Converged Architecture for Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and Wired/Wireless Networking
The Cisco Unified Wireless architecture can expand to as many as 18,000 access points with full Layer 3 mobility across local or remote locations like business headquarters, university auditoriums, branches, and telecommuter homes. Cisco's Wi-Fi APs and controllers are part of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network and are designed to deliver the same level of security, throughput, and manageability for wireless LANs that businesses expect in their wired networks. This architecture incorporates built-in mobility services like IP voice, IP video, and safe guest access. Cisco's Unified Wireless solution enables companies to create wireless environments that improve the way they work and improve output through a mobile and collaborative workforce.
Progent's Cisco CCIE network infrastructure consultants offers remote or onsite expertise to assist your organization to design, configure, maintain, expand, and repair converged wired and wireless networks of all sizes and for any venue. In addition, Progent can provide affordable online and onsite Wi-Fi site surveys to help your company to plan and deploy a Wi-Fi LAN with custom-designed AP clustering optimized for your individual work area layout, building characteristics, and intended application.
Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst Wireless Access Points
Cisco's Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst lines of access points allow businesses to integrate wired and wireless infrastructure to provide the accessibility, capacity, performance, security and ease of management needed for practically any environment. These access points start at entry-level, single-band 802.11b/g/n devices with data rates of 300 Mbps designed for very small companies or telecommuters to 802.11ax wireless access points suitable for supporting hundreds of wireless clients per access point and delivering throughput of more than 5 Gb. Cisco's current line of wireless access points can be clustered to deliver the capacity to handle wireless networks with high client density and with a high incidence of video-intense apps.
Cisco Small Business Series of APs
Cisco's Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Family of access points are Linux-powered units engineered as entry-level wireless solutions for light workloads. Most models in Cisco's Small Business line of wireless access points support Cisco's Single Point Setup system, which makes it possible to configure, control and troubleshoot a group of access points from one AP via an intuitive web browser tool. All models include Power over Ethernet and feature Quality of Service (QoS), rogue access point awareness, and bridge mode for wirelessly connecting to another network.
Cisco's Small Business WAP121 Wireless-N Access Point is a wallmount, single-band 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 active wireless clients per cluster, and supports sustained throughput of up to 300 Mbps. Cisco's WAP131 is a desktop dual-radio 802.11a/b/g/n wireless access point that can support 16 wireless clients per radio for up to 32 clients, features a Gigabit Ethernet LAN interface, and can support throughput of up to 300 Mbps per radio. The WAP131 Wireless-N does not allow AP clustering. Cisco's Small Business WAP150 is a value-priced dual-radio 802.11ac/n access point that features a one Gbit Power over Ethernet port and can support up to 16 clients per radio with 867 Mbps performance for 802.11ac devices and 300 Mbps for 802.11n clients. The Cisco Small Business WAP150 allows four APs per cluster.
Cisco's Small Business WAP321 Wireless-N Access Point is a wallmount single-band (2.4 or 5 GHz) 802.11n unit with support for 80 wireless clients in an 8-AP cluster. The Cisco WAP321 has a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port and can support a sustained data rate of 300 Mbps for the selected radio. Cisco's Small Business WAP351 is a dual-radio 2.4/5 GHz 802.11n access point that includes a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet interface and can support 32 active clients on each radio for a total of up to 64 clients, and support a sustained data rate of 300 Mbps for each radio. The WAP351 access point does not support clustering. Cisco's WAP361 is a dual-band 802.11ac access point that features a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch, allows 32 clients per radio, and delivers 867 Mbps throughput for 802.11ac clients and 300 Mbps for 802.11n clients. The Cisco WAP361 supports 8 access points per cluster. Cisco's wall-mountable Small Business WAP371 Wireless-AC/N is a dual-band AP that works with 802.11a/b/g/n as well as the latest 802.11ac wireless networking standard. The WAP371 Wireless-AC/N has a 10/100/1000 Ethernet interface, can support 32 wireless clients on each radio, and eight APs for each cluster.
The Cisco Small Business WAP561 802.11n Dual Radio Selectable Band wireless access point features one Gigabit Ethernet interface and dual radios that offer 450 Mbps performance per radio, support 64 devices for each radio, and allow up to 16 wireless access points for each cluster. The Cisco WAP551 is like Cisco's WAP 561 but has a single selectable band (2.4 or 5.0 GHz). Cisco's Small Business WAP571 and WAP571E (the ruggedized outside model) are dual-radio Wireless-AC/N access points that feature two Gb Ethernet LAN interfaces with link aggregation, 3x3 MIMO, and as high as 1.9 Gbps performance with 1300 Mbps over 11ac and 600 Mbps on 802.11n. Both APs support 32 active WAN clients per radio and 16 APs per cluster.
Cisco's WAP581 Wireless-AC Dual Radio Wave 2 AP supports the Wi-Fi 5 specification and features 4x4 and 3x3 MU-MIMO to deliver 2.8 Gbps data rates on the 5.0-Ghz radio and 600 Mbps at 2.4 GHz for an aggregate top throughput of 2.4 Gbps. The WAP581 includes an integrated 2.5G Ethernet port and a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port with 802.3at Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's WAP581 Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 access point supports up to 200 connective client users, up to 50 active users per radio, 16 access points per cluster, and 960 active users per cluster.
For details about Progent's consulting services for both current and legacy Cisco Small Business family of wireless access points, see Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 WiFi APs configuration and troubleshooting.
The Aironet Family of Access Points
The Aironet family of indoor and outdoor wireless access points has consistently been the leading AP product. Aironet wireless access points run the gamut from entry-level models to enterprise-class APs. Cisco's Aironet series cover multiple generations of devices supporting the evolving 11x standard. Cisco's current portfolio of Aironet APs work with Cisco's Unified Wireless Network software and incorporate 802.11ac technology, which offers three times the speed plus superior coverage and user density compared to the previous generation of devices. Cisco's latest dual-frequency Aironet access points can handle 802.11n at 2.4 GHz for client devices that do not have 802.11ac capability.
The oldest Aironet access points are now outdated devices that have come to end-of-sale status and are not supported by Cisco. Progent continues to support the complete Aironet family of wireless access points and can assist you to maintain your existing Aironet Wi-Fi environment or upgrade cost effectively to the latest Aironet technology. For details about Progent's consulting services for both current and outdated Cisco Aironet wireless access points, see Aironet wireless access points consulting services.
Meraki Access Points
Cisco's family of Meraki dual-band 2.4/5 GHz indoor access points include budget-friendly models for general use to advanced units supporting as high as 5.9 Gbit/sec throughput. Each Meraki indoor wireless access point provides next-generation features like self-configuring plug-and-play installation, in-depth protection, Bring-Your-Own-Device support, extensive analytics, zero-touch over-the-web firmware updates, and unified cloud-based management for multiple sites. Each Cisco Meraki indoor AP also incorporates dual high-power client-serving radios with enhanced reception plus a dedicated radio that offers (WIDS/WIPS) security for threat detection and deep packet inspection at line rate.
Cisco's Meraki outdoor wireless access points are IP67 rated, designed to withstand rugged outdoor conditions, and able to withstand dust particles, vibration and moisture. Meraki outdoor wireless access points include a 1 x Gbit Ethernet port and deliver advanced capabilities 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, Layer 7 traffic shaping, plus auto-configuring mesh with MIMO. For more information about Progent's consulting services for Meraki APs and cloud management, refer to Cisco's Meraki wireless access points system design and troubleshooting.
Catalyst 9100 Family of Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax Access Points
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 family of Wi-Fi 6 access points are designed for environments ranging from telecommuter homes to crowded enterprise campuses. Cisco Catalyst 9100 access points are based on the 802.11ax specification, known as Wi-Fi 6, which is an evolution of the previous 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) specification. As an improvement to 802.11ac, Wi-Fi 6 is designed to utilize both the 2.4-Ghz and 5-GHz bands. Important technologies incorporated in Catalyst 9100 Series APs include OFDMA scheduling for high density deployments, dual NAVs for better dependability, increased device sleep time for conserving power consumption in battery-dependent endpoints, adaptive sensitivity thresholds for more efficient spectrum use, and dynamic fragmentation for reduced overhead. All Cisco Catalyst 9100 wireless access points support Cisco's EWC, accommodate as many as 200 clients per Wi-Fi radio, and are powered by Cisco IOS XE Software. For more information about Progent's support for Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Line of Wi-Fi 6 Access Points, see Wi-Fi 6 APs solution design, configuration, and troubleshooting services.
Cisco 9800 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6-compatible wireless LAN controller appliances help you manage advanced Wi-Fi networks that support 802.11ax access points. 802.11ax, referred to as Wi-Fi 6, builds on prior generation 802.11ac (referred to as Wi-Fi 5) devices by delivering less latency and more predictable performance, allowing higher client density, offering greater security, saving energy for battery-powered mobile devices, and allowing more versatility for supporting new types of Internet-of-Things (IoT) endpoints. Catalyst 9800 Series wireless controllers feature high availability with transparent software updates, hot fixes, and the ability to add wireless APs with zero disruption of service. Advanced security features include Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA), secure boot, and Cisco Software-Defined Access (SD-Access). Streaming telemetry permits you to monitor and analyze infrastructure and endpoint health.
All controllers in the Catalyst 9800 line are powered by Cisco's IOS XE Software and operate with Cisco's DNA Center (DNAC) or with Prime Infrastructure network management tools. Catalyst 9800 Series wireless network controllers can support Cisco Aironet Wi-Fi 5 Wave 1 and Wave 2 APs concurrently with Catalyst 9100 802.11ax APs. For details about Progent's consulting services for Cisco 9800 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers, see Cisco Catalyst 9800 line of Wi-Fi 6 wireless LAN controller appliances solution design, configuration, and troubleshooting consulting.
Cisco Wi-Fi 5 802.11ac Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers allow realtime data exchange, provisioning, administration, monitoring and troubleshooting for Cisco Wi-Fi appliances and services. Cisco has developed both physical and software-based wireless controllers for centralized management of wireless networks, but WLANs with many Wi-Fi APs are better served by physical wireless controllers. Current generation wireless controller devices from Cisco offer significant advantages in comparison to Wave 1 and earlier products such as greater throughput, simultaneous support for both 1G and 10G interfaces, improved application visibility and control (AVC), and hardened, built-in protection.
Cisco's 3504 Wireless Controller is an entry-level appliance with a desktop form factor and designed for small and medium-sized organizations. You can use the 3504 in a centralized network architecture such as in lean branch and home-based offices managed across the WAN with FlexConnect, or in bridge deployments where Ethernet cabling is limited. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller supports as many as 150 wireless APs and 3,000 clients, offers 4 Gbps performance, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 WiFi controller features a multi-gigabit Ethernet interface and four 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Access points can be connected to the controller through two PoE ports. The 3504 wireless controller features subsecond failover for access points and users, which provides uninterrupted availability for apps. As with other Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers available from Cisco, the 3504 model has the built-in capability to work with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services Engine, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WLAN controllers.
Cisco's 5520 WiFi Controller, offered in a 1 rack unit package, is designed to support larger enterprises and campus environments and can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures. The 5520 Wi-Fi controller supports up to 1,500 access points and 20,000 client users, delivers 20 Gbps performance, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 wireless controller features two 10 GE interfaces and incorporates solid-state storage, backup fans, optional redundant power supplies, and rapid failover for high availability.
Cisco's 8540 Wireless Controller, available in a 2 rack unit (RU) enclosure, is a high-end wireless controller intended to support enterprises, service providers, and large campus environments. The 8540 Wireless controller can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments and can handle up to 6,000 Wi-Fi access points and 64,000 users. The 8540 WiFi controller can deliver data rates up to 40 Gbps and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 8340 comes with four 1-GB or 10GE interfaces and features solid-state storage, dual power supplies, redundant fans, and rapid failover.
Wave 1 Cisco WiFi Network Controllers
Cisco wireless LAN controllers cut the time and cost required to deploy, monitor, and operate wireless networks by offering single-point control of critical functions like setting up APs, enforcing single-point policies throughout converged wired and wireless networks, supporting enterprise-wide QoS for IP voice and HD video, tracking and troubleshooting network performance, implementing security 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 businesses of any size and offers standalone desktop appliances, modular add-on controllers for Cisco routers and switches, and switches with integrated wireless LAN controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 WiFi network controllers include Cisco CleanAir technology to avoid signal interference and produce self-healing and self-optimizing wireless networks for maximum 802.11n and 802.11ac performance and protection. Integrated Bonjour Gateways enable discovery, advertisement and policy throughout WLAN, LAN and WAN for Apple-based applications. For high availability (HA), Cisco wireless network controllers allow wireless access point and client stateful switchover by permitting a backup HA wireless controller to synchronize with a primary controller for AP license count, CAPWAP keys, and AP CAPWAP state. If the main wireless controller stops working, thousands of wireless access points and wireless clients can failover at subsecond speeds to the backup wireless network controller.
Cisco's Wireless Module for ISR G2 Routers with UCS-E offers entry-level 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for Cisco 2900 and 3900 routers used by smaller organizations and satellite offices. This value-priced and scalable solution can support up to 200 wireless access points and up to 6000 wireless clients. (To find out concerning Progent's online and on-premises consulting support services for Cisco routers, see Cisco router configuration and troubleshooting consulting.)
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU switches designed for SMBs and branches and features an integrated wireless network controller with the capability to support 40 Gb of wireless throughput for each switch and up to 25 APs and 1000 clients per switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU switches designed for mid-size and large organizations and include an integrated wireless controller supporting 40 Gb of wireless capacity per switch and the ability to handle up to 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 a built-in wireless controller intended for mid-to-large size businesses and able to deliver 20 Gbps throughput and able to handle 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients. (For information concerning Progent's consulting services for Cisco switches, see Cisco switches deployment and management consulting.)
Cisco 2500 Wireless Controllers are value-priced desktop appliances that simplify the provisioning and operation of wireless LANs for small to medium-sized enterprises and satellite offices. The Cisco 2500 wireless controller supports 5 to 75 access points and 1000 wireless clients and offers throughput of up to 1 Gbps.
Cisco's 5500 Wireless Controller is an expandable 1RU appliance intended for mid-to-large sized organizations and campus environments and can manage 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 campus environments with the ability to manage up to 1000 wireless access points and 12,000 wireless clients and offering performance of 60 Gbps to accommodate high wireless client densities and high amounts of video-intensive applications.
The Cisco Flex 7500 Series Wireless Controller is intended to enable centralized management of massive collections of wireless remote sites from a single location, avoiding the costs of a Wi-Fi controller at every branch. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 lets you establish a private cloud to configure, track, manage, and troubleshoot as many as 6000 wireless access points and up to 64,000 clients while handling 1 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 8500 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU rackmount appliance designed to monitor and manage wireless networks for large campuses or for service providers and can be expanded to handle up to 6000 APs and up to 64,000 clients while delivering 10 Gbps performance.
To find out more about Cisco WiFi controllers, visit Cisco Wi-Fi controllers consulting services.
Legacy Cisco APs, LAN Bridges and Controllers Supported by Progent
The IEEE 802.11ac standard for Wi-Fi effectively rendered obsolete all earlier generations of Wi-Fi products for venues that have high numbers of wireless clients and high usage of HD video software applications. Even for organizations who do not need the bandwidth efficiency of 802.11ac, many of Cisco wireless devices have reached end-of-sale or end-of-support status, which can represent significant maintenance and compliance problems. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer remote and onsite support for a broad range of older-generation wireless products from Cisco. Progent can in addition assist companies to evaluate the potential ROI for upgrading up-of-date wireless infrastructure and can help in planning and carrying out affordable, non-disruptive upgrades. The following are a sample of Cisco legacy Wi-Fi devices that Progent's consulting experts still support.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless Access Points
Cisco Aironet 1000 or 1130AG Series wireless access points are intended for conventional workplaces and other venues which have minimal environmental instability. These products have built-in antennas that provide dependable radio coverage profiles. The Cisco Aironet 1130G Series access point is designed for regulated locations that do not allow 802.11a/5GHz transmission.
Cisco Aironet 1230AG or 1240AG family wireless access points are ideal for more problematic radio frequency situations like manufacturing plants or above suspended ceilings which commonly require flexible external antennas and durable cases. The Cisco Aironet 1240G Series wireless access point is available for controlled domains that do not permit 802.11a/5GHz transmission.
Cisco Aironet 1500 Series lightweight outside mesh access points offer a cost-effective, scalable, secure outdoor Wi-Fi solution for campus areas and for public sites that need access for portable phones or computers.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless LAN Bridges
Cisco Aironet wireless bridges offer a high-performance and multi-featured solution for integrating multiple LANs in a metro situation or public wireless network. Cisco wireless bridges offer a versatile, easy-to-use solution that meets the protection needs of WAN specialists. These bridges handle both P2P and P2MP implementations with excellent range and support for data throughput as high as 54 Mbps.
Cisco Aironet wireless LAN bridges deliver data rates significantly faster than E1/T1 lines for far less expense, erasing the requirement for costly leased lines when linking different offices. Since wireless bridges carry no ongoing charges, the expenses saved on connection bills rapidly pay for the startup hardware investment. Self-installed private lines and in some cases leased lines using metal or fiber-optic cable can require high startup expenses in cases where they are separated by barriers such as highways, train tracks, or bodies of water. Cisco Aironet wireless bridges can be deployed rapidly with a fast return on investment.
Aironet 1300 outside access points/bridges can be implemented as independent wireless access points, bridges, or workgroup bridges. These appliances have a tough cover and offer fast, cost-effective wireless connectivity between multiple stationary or mobile environments and users.
Aironet 1400 family bridges offer high-speed, reliable outdoor bridging for line-of-sight environments. These devices are housed in an all-weather enclosure that is optimized for severe outdoor environments and operate in broad temperature ranges.
Legacy Cisco Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco Wireless Controllers centralize the management of WLANs by streamlining the handling of key technologies such as integrated IPS, fast RF control, zero touch configuration, and N+1 redundancy. Cisco Wireless controllers work with small wireless access points to offer enhanced performance and advanced management functions.
Cisco WLAN Controllers (WLCs) provide the control, expandability, security, and resilience that IT managers need to create secure, large-scale wireless solutions, from satellite locations to small businesses to headquarter campuses. Cisco's legacy Wireless Controllers can be configured together to provide support for as many as 2400 access points per roaming domain.
Cisco's WLCM or WLCM-E Controller Module for IS Routers offers small-to mid-size businesses and enterprises an economical solution to implement and manage protected WLANs at satellite offices. These wireless controllers supervise up to 12 Cisco Aironet access points and are installable in 2800/3800 Series Integrated Services Routers and 3700 Series Routers. (To learn about Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Cisco routers, see Cisco router configuration and troubleshooting support.)
How Progent's Engineers Can Assist Your Business with Cisco Wireless Technology
Progent can provide a Cisco-certified consultant to help you to plan, deploy, maintain and repair a converged wired and wireless infrastructure integrating a wide range of wireless technologies that provide the identical protection, extensibility, and ease of management you demand from a wired environment. Progent can help you to manage early-generation Wi-Fi solutions from Cisco or migrate efficiently to the latest 802.11ax-compatible products. Progent's CISM and CISSP security consultants can show you how to build security into your wireless network and your business processes. Progent's disaster recovery consultants and business continuity consultants can help you to deploy the high availability (HA) technology incorporated into Cisco's wireless and wired products so your converged network delivers continuing business value.
Progent’s Wireless Site Survey helps you to plan and implement a robust wireless network customized for your facilities, offering a Wi-Fi ecosystem that delivers seamless coverage, high performance and capacity, QoS features to handle IP video, enterprise-class security, and streamlined management. Progent's Wireless Site Survey can be delivered online to reduce time and costs, or onsite for more challenging environments.
For a further discussion of Progent's wireless integration services, visit Progent's Wireless LAN Support Services.
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