Cisco has developed an extensive line of wireless LAN products and technologies intended to enable anywhere, anytime connections to information and other resources and to promote teamwork among workers, partners, suppliers, and clients. Cisco's wireless offerings include the Small Business, Aironet and Meraki series of access points, as well as Cisco's Wireless LAN Controller plug-ins and standalone devices. Progent's certified wireless consultants can enable businesses of all sizes to utilize Cisco wireless products to support the current paradigm of Bring-Your-Own-Device networks by integrating their wired and wireless networks to benefit from easy deployment, consistent and fast throughput, centralized management, enterprise-wide policy, high availability (HA), and across-the-board protection.
Cisco's Security Architecture for Bring-Your-Own-Device and Wired/Wireless Networking
Cisco's Unified Wireless Network architecture can expand to up to 18,000 APs with Layer 3 mobility at central or remote locations like enterprise headquarters, college auditoriums, branch offices, and home offices. Cisco's Wi-Fi wireless access points and controllers are components of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network and are engineered to support the identical level of protection, performance, and manageability for WLANs that companies demand in their wired networks. Cisco's technology incorporates integrated mobile services such as VoIP, IP video, and secure guest connectivity. Cisco's Unified Wireless Network architecture allows companies to create wireless ecosystems that streamline the way they do business and enhance output through a mobile and connected employee base.
Progent's Cisco CCIE network infrastructure consulting services can provide online or on-premises expertise to help your organization to design, configure, maintain, upgrade, and troubleshoot converged wired/wireless network infrastructure of all sizes and for any venue. In addition, Progent can provide affordable online and onsite wireless site surveys to assist your company to design and install a wireless network with customized access point clustering optimized for your specific work area layout, building structure, and intended application.
Cisco Small Business, Aironet and Meraki Wireless Access Points (APs)
Cisco's Small Business, Aironet and Meraki lines of APs allow businesses to converge wired and wireless networks to provide the coverage, density, throughput, protection and manageability required to support virtually any scenario. These APs range from entry-level, single-radio 802.11b/g/n units with throughput of 300 Mb designed for small businesses or home offices to dual-band 802.11ac APs capable of supporting 200 or more clients on each AP and delivering sustained data rates as high as 1.9 Gigabits per second. Cisco's current line of wireless access points can be combined or clustered to deliver the capacity to support wireless networks with high client density and with high usage rates of HD video apps.
Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Series of Access Points
Cisco's Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Family of wireless access points are Linux-based devices engineered as entry-level Wi-Fi solutions for light workloads. Many models in the Cisco Small Business portfolio of APs support Cisco's Single Point Setup technology, which makes it possible to set up, control and troubleshoot a group of wireless access points from one device through an intuitive web browser tool. All of the models include Power over Ethernet and provide Quality of Service (QoS), rogue AP detection, and bridge mode for connecting to another network.
The Cisco Small Business WAP121 Wireless-N Access Point is a wall-mountable, single-band 2.4GHz device that can support 16 active 802.11b/g/n clients, includes a 10/100 Ethernet port, permits up to 4 AP devices and 40 wireless clients per cluster, and supports sustained throughput of 300 Mbps. Cisco's WAP131 is a desktop dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11n access point able to handle 16 wireless clients per radio for a total of up to 32 clients, includes a GE interface, and delivers throughput of up to 300 Mbps for each radio. The WAP131 does not support AP clustering. Cisco's WAP150 is a value-priced dual-radio 802.11ac/n AP that features a one Gbit Power over Ethernet port and can support up to 16 clients from each radio with 867 Mbps performance for 802.11ac devices and 300 Mbps for 802.11n clients. Cisco's WAP1501 supports four APs per cluster.
The Cisco Small Business WAP321 Access Point is a wallmount selectable-band (2.4 or 5 GHz) 802.11n device that can handle up to 80 wireless clients sharing an 8-device cluster. The Cisco WAP321 includes a Gigabit Ethernet interface and can support a sustained data rate of 300 Mbps for the selected radio. The Cisco Small Business WAP351 is a dual-radio 802.11n access point with a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and can support 32 active wireless clients per radio for up to 64 clients, and support a sustained data rate of 300 Mbps for each radio. The WAP351 AP does not allow clustering. The Cisco Small Business WAP361 is a dual-band 802.11ac Wave 1 wireless access point that features a 5 x Gb Ethernet switch, allows 32 active WLAN clients per radio, and delivers 867 Mbps performance for wireless AC devices and 300 Mbps for 802.11n devices. Cisco's WAP361 supports 8 WAP361 access points for each cluster. Cisco's wallmount WAP371 Wireless-AC/N is a dual-band device that supports 802.11n as well as the new 802.11ac Wi-Fi specification. The WAP371 includes a Gigabit Ethernet interface, can handle as many as 32 wireless clients per radio, and 8 access points for each cluster.
Cisco's Small Business WAP561 802.11n Selectable Band access point includes a GE port and two radios (2.4 and 5.0 GHz) that deliver 450 Mbps throughput per radio, support 64 devices per radio, and allow 16 access points per cluster. The Cisco WAP551 is like Cisco's WAP 561 but features a single radio selectable band (2.4 or 5.0 GHz). Cisco's Small Business WAP571 and WAP571E (a ruggedized outside version) are dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11ac APs that feature 2 x GE interfaces with link aggregation, and as high as 1.9 Gbps performance with 1300 Mbps on 11ac and 600 Mbps over 802.11n. Both wireless access points can handle 32 active WAN clients on each radio and 16 APs per cluster.
For details about Progent's consulting services for both current and legacy Cisco Small Business series of wireless access points, refer to Cisco Small Business WiFi access points configuration and troubleshooting.
Cisco's Aironet Line of Access Points
The Aironet portfolio of wireless APs has consistently been the leading access point product. Aironet APs run the gamut from value-priced entry-level devices to enterprise-class units. The Aironet series cover multiple generations of models compliant with the evolving 802 specification. Cisco's current line of Aironet APs work with Cisco's Unified Wireless Network software and incorporate 802.11ac technology, which delivers three times the throughput as well as superior distance and density compared to the prior generation of devices. The latest multi-frequency Aironet APs continue to accommodate 802.11n at 2.4 GHz for client devices without 802.11ac radios.
The earliest Aironet access points are now outdated devices that have come to end-of-life status and are no longer supported by Cisco. Progent continues to provide technical support for the complete Aironet family of APs and can assist your company to manage and troubleshoot your current Aironet wireless system or upgrade smoothly to the latest Aironet technology. To find out more about Progent's consulting services for both current and legacy Aironet wireless access points, see Aironet access points planning and support.
Cisco's Meraki Access Points
Cisco's family of Meraki dual-band 2.4/5 GHz indoor APs range from budget-friendly models for small businesses to enterprise-class products that offer as high as 2.5 Gbit/sec performance. Every Meraki indoor access point offers high-end features like self-configuring deployment, advanced security, Bring-Your-Own-Device support, built-in analytics, automatic over-the-web updates, and consolidated cloud management for multiple sites. Each Meraki indoor access point also incorporates two powerful radios with boosted receive sensitivity plus a separate radio that provides intrusion detection and prevention system (WIDS/WIPS) security for threat detection and deep packet inspection.
Cisco's Meraki outdoor wireless access points are IP67 certified, built to operate in harsh outdoor conditions, and able to withstand dust particles, shock and moisture. Cisco's Meraki outdoor APs include a 1 x Gbit Ethernet port and offer advanced capabilities that include cloud-based management with multi-site control, native Active Directory integration, built-in antivirus scan, 1-click guest access and guest isolation firewall, application-aware traffic shaping, plus self-configuring mesh with beamforming. For more information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's Meraki access points and management tools, see Cisco's Meraki APs consulting services.
Cisco Wave 2 802.11ax Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers enable realtime communication, configuration, management, monitoring and debugging for Cisco wireless devices and software services. Cisco has developed both hardware and software-based Wi-Fi controllers for unified administration of WiFi networks, but WLANs with a large number of wireless access points are better served by hardware-based wireless controllers. Wave 2 wireless controller appliances from Cisco deliver significant benefits over Wave 1 and older models including greater throughput, concurrent support for both 1G and 10G interfaces, improved application visibility and control, and advanced, built-in security.
The Cisco 3504 WiFi Controller is a value-priced device available in a desktop body and intended for smaller organizations. You can use the 3504 model in a centralized network environment such as in small branch and home-based offices administered over the WAN via Cisco FlexConnect, or in bridge deployments where Ethernet cabling is sparse. The 3504 wireless controller can handle as many as 150 access points and 3,000 client users, delivers 4 Gbps throughput, and supports 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 wireless controller includes a multi-gigabit Ethernet interface (up to 5 Gigabit Ethernet) and four 1-Gigabit Ethernet interfaces. APs can be connected to the controller via two PoE ports. The 3504 wireless controller features subsecond failover for access points and users, which provides high availability for applications. Like other current Wave 2 wireless 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 WiFi controllers.
The Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller, available in a 1 rack unit (RU) package, is intended for midsize to large enterprises and campus environments and can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures. The 5520 Wi-Fi controller can handle as many as 1,500 wireless APs and 20,000 clients, delivers 20 Gbps performance, and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 WiFi controller features two 10 GE ports and incorporates SSD storage, redundant fans, optional dual power supplies, and rapid failover for nonstop availability.
Cisco's 8540 Wireless Controller, offered in a 2 rack unit package, is a high-end WiFi controller designed to support enterprises, service providers, and large campus environments. The 8540 WiFi controller can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures and supports up to 6,000 Wi-Fi access points and 64,000 client users. The 8540 WiFi controller can deliver data rates as high as 40 Gbps and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 8340 comes with four 1-GB or 10GE interfaces and features SSD storage, redundant power supplies, backup fans, and rapid failover.
Wave 1 Cisco WiFi LAN Controllers
Cisco wireless LAN controllers cut the time and cost needed to deploy, manage, and operate Wi-Fi networks by offering single-point control of critical tasks such as provisioning access points, enforcing consistent policies throughout converged LANs, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service (QoS) for IP voice and video, tracking and optimizing system health, implementing intrusion prevention tools to guard against unauthorized access and Distributed Denial of Service attacks, and handling IPv6 and dual-stack clients. Cisco has designed wireless network controllers for businesses of all sizes and can provide desktop or rackmount appliances, modular plug-in controllers for Cisco ISR routers and switches, and Catalyst switches with built-in wireless LAN controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 WiFi network controllers include Cisco CleanAir technology to avoid RF interference and produce self-healing wireless LANs for maximum 802.11n and 802.11ac performance and protection. Integrated Bonjour Gateways allow discovery and policy throughout the enterprise for Apple-based applications. For high availability, Cisco wireless network controllers support access point and client stateful switchover by permitting a standby high-availability controller to synchronize with a primary controller for AP license count, CAPWAP state and roaming keys, and AP CAPWAP state. In case the main controller fails, thousands of wireless access points and clients can failover at subsecond speeds to the secondary wireless controller.
Cisco's Wireless Controller Module for ISR G2 Routers with UCS-E offers basic 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for Cisco 2900 and 3900 routers deployed by small to medium-sized organizations and satellite offices. This affordable and expandable solution can handle up to 200 APs and up to 6000 clients. (To find out concerning Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router configuration and troubleshooting consulting.)
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU form-factor switches designed for SMBs and satellite offices and come with an integrated wireless network controller with the ability to handle 40 Gb of wireless throughput per switch and up to 25 access points and 1000 wireless clients per switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU switches intended for midsize and large organizations and include an integrated wireless network controller supporting 40 Gb of wireless throughput per switch and the ability to handle 50 access points and 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 performance and with support for 1000 wireless access points and as many as 15,000 clients. (To learn concerning Progent's support for Cisco switches, refer to Cisco Catalyst switches configuration and troubleshooting consulting.)
Cisco 2500 Series Wireless Controllers are economical desktop units that simplify the provisioning and management of Wi-Fi networks for small and midsize businesses and branches. The Cisco 2500 Series wireless LAN controller can handle 5 to 75 APs and 1000 wireless clients and offers sustained performance of up to 1 Gbps.
The Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller is an expandable 1RU appliance intended for mid-to-large sized businesses and campuses and can support up to 500 access points and 7,000 wireless clients while delivering 8 Gbps performance. Cisco's 5760 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance designed for mid-to-large campus environments with support for up to 1000 APs and 12,000 wireless clients and providing performance of 60 Gbps to accommodate high wireless client densities and high amounts of media-rich mobile applications.
The Cisco Flex 7500 Series Wireless Controller is designed to manage massive collections of wireless branches from one location, eliminating the need for a Wi-Fi controller at every branch. The 1RU Flex 7500 appliance allows you to establish a private cloud to deploy, monitor, manage, and troubleshoot as many as 6000 APs and up to 64,000 clients while handling 1 Gbps throughput. The Cisco 8500 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance designed to manage wireless environments for large campuses or for service providers and can scale to support 6000 APs and up to 64,000 clients while offering 10 Gbps performance.
For more information about Cisco wireless controllers, go to Cisco wireless controllers consulting and integration.
Legacy Cisco APs, LAN Bridges and Controllers Supported by Progent
The IEEE 802.11ac standard for Wi-Fi largely made obsolete all earlier releases of Wi-Fi products for many venues that support high densities of wireless clients and high usage of video-intensive software applications. Even for organizations who do not currently require the performance of 802.11ac Wi-Fi, a large number of Cisco wireless products have arrived at end-of-life status, which can pose serious service and regulatory compliance issues. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants provide remote and onsite support for a broad range of older-generation wireless products from Cisco. Progent can in addition help organizations to assess the business case for updating up-of-date wireless infrastructure and can assist in planning and carrying out affordable, non-disruptive upgrades. The following are a sample of Cisco older-generation wireless products that Progent's consultants still support.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Access Points
Cisco Aironet 1000 or 1130AG family access points are intended for conventional workplaces and similar sites which have little environmental instability. These products include integrated antennas that offer dependable omnidirectional coverage patterns. The Cisco 1130G family wireless access point is available for regulated locations that do not allow 5GHz transmission.
Cisco Aironet 1230AG/1240AG family wireless access points are designed for more challenging RF environments such as manufacturing plants or above suspended ceilings which typically require adjustable external antennas and rugged metal enclosures. The Aironet 1240G Series wireless access point is intended for controlled locations that do not permit 802.11a transmission.
Cisco Aironet 1500 lightweight outdoor wireless mesh APs provide an economical, expandable, secure outdoor wireless mechanism for enterprise campuses and for public venues that require access for mobile devices.
Legacy Cisco Wireless LAN Bridges
Cisco wireless LAN bridges provide a high-speed and feature-rich technology for integrating numerous local area networks in a metropolitan area or public wireless environment. Cisco Aironet bridges offer a versatile, manageable solution that meets the protection needs of WAN specialists. These bridges manage both P2P and point-to-multipoint configurations with good range and support for traffic throughput up to 54 Mbps.
Cisco Aironet wireless LAN bridges offer data rates several times faster than E1/T1 links for far less cost, eliminating the need for expensive leased lines when linking different buildings. Since bridges require no ongoing charges, the expenses saved on connection services quickly cover the initial equipment investment. Private lines and in some cases leased lines made of copper or optical cable often require considerable initial expenses in cases where they are impeded by barriers such as freeways, railroads, or bodies of water. Cisco wireless LAN bridges can be installed rapidly with a fast return on investment.
Cisco Aironet 1300 outside access points/bridges can be deployed as independent access points, wireless bridges, or wireless group bridges. These devices have a tough enclosure and provide fast, cost-effective wireless connectivity between multiple stationary or mobile environments and clients.
Cisco Aironet 1400 wireless bridges offer high-speed, dependable outside bridging for line-of-sight applications. These devices are housed in a durable enclosure that can withstand harsh outside environments and function in broad temperature ranges.
Legacy Cisco Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers provide single-point management of wireless networks by simplifying the control of common functions including integrated intrusion prevention system (IPS), fast RF control, automatic deployment, and N+1 redundancy. Cisco WLAN controllers operate with lightweight access points to offer enhanced performance and high-end administration capabilities.
WLAN Controllers provide the manageability, expandability, protection, and resilience that system managers require to build secure, large-scale wireless networks, from branch locations to small businesses to headquarter campuses. Cisco's first-generation Wireless Controllers can be configured together to provide accommodation for as many as 2400 wireless access points per roaming domain.
Cisco's WLCM or WLCM-E Wireless LAN Controller Module for Integrated Services Routers offers small-to mid-size businesses and enterprises a cost effective way to deploy and manage secure WLANs at satellite offices. These controllers manage as many as 12 Aironet APs and are installable in 2800/3800 Integrated Services Routers and Cisco 3700 Series Integrated Services Routers. (To find out concerning Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Cisco routers, see Cisco router deployment and troubleshooting support.)
How Progent's Consultants Can Assist You with Cisco Wireless Devices
Progent can provide a Cisco-certified expert to help your business to design, deploy, manage and troubleshoot a converged wired and wireless infrastructure incorporating a broad range of wireless technologies that provide the same security, expandability, and manageability you demand from your wired network. Progent can help you to manage early-generation wireless products from Cisco or migrate seamlessly to current 802.11ac-comaptible products. Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security specialists can advise you about how to build security into your WLAN and into your company's processes. Progent's disaster recovery planning consultants and business continuity consultants can assist you to configure the high availability technology incorporated into Cisco's wireless and wired products so your converged network delivers significant business value.
Progentís Wireless Site Survey assists you to design and implement a robust wireless network customized for your facilities, providing a wireless solution that provides seamless coverage, high speed and density, QoS features to accommodate IP voice and video, enterprise-class security and compliance, and streamlined management. Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey can be performed remotely to cut time and expense, or on premises for more difficult facilities.
For a further discussion of Progent's wireless consulting services, visit Progent's Wireless Network Support.
To learn more information concerning Progent's professional expertise for Cisco products, choose a topic:
To contact Progent about engineering expertise for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.