Cisco offers an extensive portfolio of wireless networking products and software tools intended to provide anywhere, anytime connections to data and resources and to promote collaboration among workers, associates, suppliers, and clients. Cisco's wireless offerings include Cisco's Small Business, Aironet and Meraki lines of access points, plus Cisco's Wireless Network Controller modules and appliances. Progent's certified wireless consultants can enable organizations of any size to deploy Cisco wireless products to support the new paradigm of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) computing by integrating their tethered and untethered environments to achieve simplified deployment, consistent and fast performance, centralized control, enterprise-wide policy, high availability (HA), and across-the-board security.
Cisco's Security Architecture for Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and Wired/Wireless Connectivity
The Cisco Unified Wireless architecture can expand to as many as 18,000 wireless access points with Layer 3 connectivity at local or offsite locations such as business campuses, 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 designed to support the identical level of security, throughput, and ease of management for wireless LANs that companies demand in their wired networks. Cisco's technology includes built-in mobility services such as VoIP, high-definition IP video, and safe guest access. Cisco's Unified Wireless architecture allows companies to build wireless ecosystems that streamline the way they work and improve output via a dynamic and connected employee base.
Progent's Cisco-certified network consultants offers online or on-premises expertise to assist you to plan, configure, manage, upgrade, and troubleshoot converged wired/wireless networks of any size and for any environment. In addition, Progent can provide affordable remote and on-premises wireless site surveys to help your company to plan and deploy a Wi-Fi LAN with custom-designed wireless access point clustering optimized for your specific work area layout, building characteristics, and intended application.
Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst Access Points
Cisco's Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst lines of wireless access points enable organizations to converge wired/wireless networks to provide the accessibility, density, performance, protection and ease of management needed for virtually any environment. Cisco's APs start at entry-level, single-band 802.11b/g/n devices with data rates of 300 Mbps designed for very small companies or home offices to 802.11ax APs capable of supporting hundreds of clients per AP and delivering data rates in excess of 5 Gigabits per second. Cisco's current selection of access points can be combined or clustered to deliver the scale to support environments with high client density and with high usage rates of video-intense apps.
Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Family of Wireless Access Points
Cisco's Small Business Series of access points are Linux-powered devices intended as value-priced wireless APs for small offices. Most models in the Cisco Small Business family of APs work with Cisco's Single Point Setup technology, which allows you to set up, manage and troubleshoot a cluster of wireless access points from a single device via an intuitive browser-based interface. All versions support Power over Ethernet and provide Quality of Service (QoS), rogue AP awareness, and bridging for wirelessly connecting to another Ethernet LAN.
Cisco's Small Business WAP121 Access Point is a wall-mountable, single-band 2.4GHz device that can support 16 802.11n clients, includes a 10/100 Ethernet interface, permits up to 4 access pointss and 40 active wireless clients in a cluster, and can handle sustained throughput of 300 Mbps. Cisco's Small Business WAP131 is a desktop dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11n AP that can handle 16 active wireless clients per radio for a total of up to 32 wireless clients, features a GE interface, and can support throughput of up to 300 Mbps per radio. The WAP131 Wireless-N does not support clustering. The Cisco WAP150 is a value-priced dual-radio AC/n AP that features a one Gbit Power over Ethernet port and can support 16 clients from each radio with 867 Mbps performance for AC clients and 300 Mbps for 802.11n devices. The Cisco WAP1501 supports 4 access points for each cluster.
Cisco's Small Business WAP321 model is a wall-mountable selectable-band (2.4 or 5 GHz) 802.11a/b/g/n device with support for 80 wireless clients in an 8-device cluster. The Cisco WAP321 includes a Gigabit Ethernet interface and can support throughput of 300 Mbps for the activated radio. The Cisco Small Business WAP351 is a dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n AP that includes a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet interface and can support 32 wireless clients per radio for up to 64 active clients, and support a data rate of 300 Mbps for each radio. The WAP351 does not support clustering. Cisco's Small Business WAP361 is a dual-band 2.4/5 GHz Wireless-AC/N access point that includes a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch, allows 32 clients per radio, and delivers 867 Mbps performance for wireless AC clients and 300 Mbps performance for 802.11n clients. Cisco's WAP361 supports 8 access points per cluster. Cisco's wall-mountable WAP371 Wireless-AC/N is a dual-radio AP that works with 802.11n and the latest 802.11ac IEEE specification. The WAP371 includes a GE interface, can support 32 active wireless clients on each radio, and eight APs per cluster.
Cisco's Small Business WAP561 802.11n Dual Radio wireless access point features a Gigabit Ethernet LAN interface and dual radios that offer 450 Mbps throughput for each radio, support 64 devices for each radio, and allow up to 16 wireless access points per cluster. Cisco's WAP551 is like Cisco's WAP 561 but has a single radio selectable band (2.4 or 5.0 GHz). Cisco's Small Business WAP571 and WAP571E (a weather-proof outdoor model) are dual-band 2.4/5 GHz Wireless-AC/N APs that feature two Gb Ethernet ports with link aggregation, 3x3 MIMO, and up to 1.9 Gigabit/sec performance with 1300 Mbps over 11ac and 600 Mbps over 802.11n. Both APs support 32 active WAN clients per radio and 16 access points per cluster.
Cisco's Small Business WAP581 Wireless-AC Dual Radio Wave 2 Access Point supports the 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 specification and offers 4x4 and 3x3 MU-MIMO technology to deliver 2.8 Gbps data rates on the 5.0-Ghz radio and 0.6 Gbps at 2.4 GHz for an aggregate max data rate of 2.4 Gbps. The WAP581 has a fixed 2.5G Ethernet LAN interface and a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port with 802.3at Power over Ethernet. The WAP581 Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 access point supports as many as 200 connective client users, a maximum of 50 active client users per radio, 16 APs per cluster, and 960 active users per cluster.
To find out more about Progent's consulting services for both current and older Cisco Small Business family of WiFi APs, see Cisco Small Business WiFi access points consulting.
The Aironet Family of Wireless Access Points
The Aironet family of indoor and outdoor wireless access points has for years been the leading access point solution. Aironet access points range from value priced devices to enterprise-class units. Cisco's Aironet line span several generations of devices compliant with the continually improving 802 standard. The latest portfolio of Aironet APs work with Cisco's Unified Wireless Network architecture and include 802.11ac Wi-Fi support, which delivers triple the throughput as well as superior distance and user density in comparison to the prior generation of devices. Cisco's latest multi-frequency Aironet access points can handle 802.11n at 2.4 GHz for client devices that do not have 802.11ac radios.
The earliest Aironet access points are now outdated devices that have reached end-of-sale status and are not fully supported by Cisco. Progent still offers support for the complete Aironet line of access points and can help your company to manage and troubleshoot your existing Aironet wireless system or move efficiently to current Aironet products. For details about Progent's support for current and outdated Cisco Aironet access points, see Aironet APs consulting services.
Meraki Wireless Access Points
Cisco's portfolio of Meraki dual-band 2.4/5 GHz indoor wireless access points range from budget-friendly models for small businesses to enterprise-class units supporting as high as 5.9 Gbit/sec throughput. Each Cisco Meraki indoor AP offers high-end features like self-configuring installation, in-depth security, Bring-Your-Own-Device support, extensive analytics, zero-touch web-based firmware updates, and consolidated cloud-based management for multiple sites. Each Meraki indoor wireless access point also incorporates two high-power client-serving radios with enhanced reception as well as a separate radio that provides (WIDS/WIPS) security for RF analysis and deep packet inspection.
Meraki outdoor APs are IP67 rated, designed to withstand rugged outdoor environments, and tested to withstand dust particles, shock and humidity. Meraki outdoor wireless access points include a 1 x Gbit Ethernet port and deliver advanced features that include cloud management with network-wide visibility and control, 802.1X integration, built-in antivirus scan, 1-click guest access and isolation firewall, Layer 7 traffic shaping, plus self-configuring mesh with MIMO. To find out more about Progent's consulting services for Meraki APs and management, refer to Cisco's Meraki wireless access points system design and troubleshooting.
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Line of Wi-Fi 6 and W-Fi 6E APs
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 line of 802.11ax wireless APs are designed for environments ranging from home offices to crowded convention centers. Cisco Catalyst 9100 APs are based on the 802.11ax standard, referred to as Wi-Fi 6, which in turn builds on the preceding 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) standard. As an improvement to 802.11ac, Wi-Fi 6 is able to use both the 2.4-Ghz and 5-GHz radio bands. Headline enhancements incorporated in Catalyst 9100 Series access points include MU-MIMO support for uplink traffic, dual NAVs for better dependability, increased device sleep time for reduced power consumption in battery-powered endpoints, adaptive sensitivity thresholds for better spectrum use, and extended guard intervals for improved outdoor performance. Catalyst 9100 wireless access points can run Cisco's Embedded Wireless Controller (EWC), accommodate up to 400 client users per Wi-Fi radio, and are powered by Cisco IOS XE Software.
Cisco's Catalyst 9160 Series Wi-Fi 6E APs are the first Cisco access points with the option to be monitored and managed either on-prem via Cisco DNA Center or through the cloud by using Meraki Dashboard management utilities. This enables organizations to move to cloud-based or hybrid management environments on their own timetable. All Catalyst 916x access points meet the a/b/g/n/ac/ax and 6E Wi-Fi specifications and support the new 6-GHz band. Each device includes 5 radios and allows a maximum of 400 clients on each radio. Every AP model also features 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 access point is designed for small businesses, has three 2x2 radios, and includes 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet support. Cisco's Catalyst 9164 Series access point is intended for small and middle-size organizations, incorporates one 2x2 radio and two 4x4 radios, and provides 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet. The Catalyst 9166 Series Wi-Fi access point is suited for large and mid-sized organizations, includes three 4x4 radios, and offers 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G/5G mGig Ethernet support. The 9166 also has environmental sensors to detect air quality, temperature, and humidity. To find out more about Progent's support for Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Family of Wi-Fi 6/6E Access Points, refer to 802.11ax APs system design, deployment, and management consulting.
Cisco 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6-supported wireless LAN controllers allow you to manage advanced wireless networks that support 802.11ax Wi-Fi access points. The 802.11ax standard, popularly known as Wi-Fi 6, builds on previous generation 802.11ac (called Wi-Fi 5) appliances by providing less latency and more reliable performance, supporting higher client density, offering greater security, saving energy for battery-powered mobile devices, and offering more flexibility for handling new kinds of Internet-of-Things (IoT) endpoints. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 line wireless controllers feature high availability with transparent software updates, hot patching, and the ability to add wireless APs without disruption of service. Enhanced cybersecurity technologies include Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA), image signing, and Cisco Software-Defined Access. Streaming telemetry permits you to track and analyze network and endpoint health.
All appliances in the Catalyst 9800 line are powered by Cisco's IOS XE Software and operate with Cisco's DNA Center (DNAC) or with Cisco Prime Infrastructure management tools. Catalyst 9800 Series wireless LAN controllers can support Cisco Aironet Wi-Fi 5 Wave 1 and Wave 2 access points concurrently with Cisco Catalyst 9100 Wi-Fi 6 APs. For more information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco 9800 line of Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers, refer to Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 wireless LAN controllers system planning, configuration, and troubleshooting services.
Cisco Wave 2 Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers allow realtime communication, provisioning, administration, analysis and debugging for Cisco wireless devices and services. Cisco has developed both hardware and virtual wireless controllers for centralized administration of WiFi networks, but systems with a large number of Wi-Fi access points are better served by hardware-based Wi-Fi controllers. Wave 2 Wi-Fi controller devices from Cisco offer major benefits over Wave 1 and earlier products including greater throughput, concurrent support for both 1G and 10G interfaces, enhanced application visibility and control, and advanced, integrated protection.
Cisco's 3504 Wireless Controller is a value-priced appliance with a desktop body and intended for small and medium-sized businesses. You can install the 3504 model in a centralized WLAN architecture such as in small branch and home-based offices managed across the WAN with FlexConnect, or in mesh deployments where Ethernet cabling is sparse. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller can handle as many as 150 APs and 3,000 client users, offers 4 Gbps throughput, and supports 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 controller features a Cisco Multigigabit interface and four 1-GB Ethernet ports. Access points can be connected directly to the WiFi controller via two Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller offers fast failover for APs and users, which provides nonstop availability for applications. As with other Wave 2 wireless controllers from Cisco, the 3504 device has the built-in capability to communicate with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services Engine, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WLAN controllers.
The Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller, offered in a 1 rack unit form factor, is intended for larger enterprises and campus environments and can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures. The 5520 wireless controller supports as many as 1,500 access points and 20,000 client users, delivers 20 Gbps throughput, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 model controller includes two 10 GE interfaces and features SSD storage, backup fans, optional backup power supplies, and rapid failover for uninterrupted availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, available in a 2 rack unit (RU) enclosure, is a top-of-the-line WiFi controller designed to support enterprises, service providers, and large campus environments. The 8540 Wireless controller can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures and can handle up to 6,000 APs and 64,000 users. The 8540 Wireless controller offers data rates up to 40 Gbps and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 8540 controller comes with four 1-GB or 10GE interfaces and features solid-state storage, dual power supplies, redundant fans, and subsecond failover.
Wave 1 Cisco Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco wireless LAN controllers reduce the time and cost required to deploy, monitor, and troubleshoot wireless networks by offering single-point control of functions like provisioning wireless access points, enforcing consistent policies throughout converged wired/wireless LANs, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service for voice and video, monitoring and optimizing network health, activating security tools to guard against cyber break-ins and DDoS attacks, and handling IPv6 clients. Cisco has designed wireless LAN controllers for businesses of any size and offers standalone desktop appliances, modular add-on controllers for Cisco ISR routers and switches, and Catalyst switches with built-in wireless network controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 wireless network controllers incorporate Cisco CleanAir tools to minimize signal interference and produce self-healing wireless LANs for top 802.11n and 802.11ac throughput and protection. Integrated Bonjour Gateways allow discovery across the enterprise for Apple-based applications. For high availability (HA), Cisco wireless network controllers support wireless access point and client stateful switchover by permitting a standby high-availability controller to synch with a primary wireless controller for AP license tabulation, CAPWAP keys, and access point CAPWAP state. If the main wireless controller goes down, thousands of access points and wireless clients can failover in less than a second to the backup wireless network controller.
Cisco's Wireless Controller Module for ISR G2 Routers with UCS-E offers entry-level 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for Cisco 2900 and 3900 routers used by small to medium-sized businesses and satellite offices. This value-priced and scalable module can support up to 200 wireless access points and up to 6000 wireless clients. (To find out concerning Progent's remote and on-premises consulting support services for Cisco routers, see Cisco router configuration and troubleshooting services.)
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU form-factor switches intended for SMBs and branch offices and have an integrated wireless LAN controller with the capability to handle up to 40 Gb of wireless capacity per switch and up to 25 access points and 1000 clients on each switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU switches intended for midsize businesses and large enterprises and feature a built-in wireless controller with up to 40 Gb of wireless capacity on each switch and the ability to handle up to 50 APs and 2000 wireless clients. The Wireless Services Module2 is a plug-in blade for Catalyst 6500 Series switches that include a built-in wireless controller designed for mid-to-large size businesses and capable of 20 Gbps performance and with support for up to 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless clients. (To find out concerning Progent's consulting services for Cisco Catalyst switches, refer to Catalyst switches deployment and management consulting.)
Cisco 2500 Series Wireless Controllers are entry-level desktop units that streamline the deployment and operation of Wi-Fi networks for small and midsize businesses and branch offices. The 2500 Series wireless controller can manage from five to 75 APs and up to 1000 wireless clients and can deliver throughput of up to 1 Gbps.
The Cisco 5500 Wireless Controller is an expandable 1RU appliance designed for medium-sized to large enterprises and campuses and can manage 500 access points and 7,000 clients while providing 8 Gbps throughput. The Cisco 5760 Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance intended for mid-to-large campuses with the ability to manage 1000 access points and 12,000 wireless clients and delivering throughput of 60 Gbps to handle high client densities and high usage of media-rich mobile applications.
Cisco's Flex 7500 Wireless Controller is intended to enable centralized management of massive collections of wireless branches from a single datacenter, avoiding the need for a Wi-Fi controller at each remote site. The 1RU Flex 7500 lets you build a private cloud to deploy, monitor, maintain, and repair up to 6000 access points and up to 64,000 clients while supporting 1 Gbps performance. Cisco's 8500 Wireless Controller is a 1RU device designed to monitor and manage wireless environments for large campuses or for service providers and can scale to handle up to 6000 APs and 64,000 wireless clients while offering 10 Gbps performance.
To learn more about Cisco WiFi controllers, see Cisco wireless controllers consulting and integration.
Legacy Cisco APs, Bridges and Wireless Controllers Supported by Progent
The IEEE 802.11ac specification for wireless connectivity largely rendered obsolete the prior releases of Wi-Fi products for environments that have high numbers of clients and high usage of HD video applications. Even for organizations who do not require the performance of 802.11ac Wi-Fi, a large number of Cisco wireless devices have reached end-of-life status, which can pose serious service and regulatory compliance issues. Progent's Cisco-certified consulting experts provide remote and on-premises support services for a broad range of earlier-generation wireless products from Cisco. Progent can in addition assist organizations to assess the business case for updating legacy wireless infrastructure and can help in planning and executing affordable, seamless upgrades. Below are a few of Cisco legacy wireless devices that Progent's consulting experts still support.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Access Points
Aironet 1000/1130AG family access points are intended for offices and similar locations which have little environmental instability. These products have built-in antennas that offer predictable radio range profiles. The Cisco Aironet 1130G family access point is offered for restricted locations that do not allow 802.11a transmission.
Cisco Aironet 1230AG or 1240AG Series access points are ideal for more challenging RF situations such as factories or above ceiling structures which typically call for flexible external antennas and rugged metal enclosures. The Cisco Aironet 1240G Series wireless access point is intended for controlled domains that do not permit 5GHz operation.
Cisco Aironet 1500 Series lightweight outside wireless mesh access points provide an affordable, scalable, secure outdoor wireless network technology for campus areas and for public venues that need connectivity for portable devices.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless Bridges
Cisco Aironet wireless LAN bridges provide a high-speed and multi-featured solution for connecting multiple local area networks in a metro situation or public wireless network. Cisco Aironet wireless LAN bridges provide a versatile, manageable technology that satisfies the security needs of public networking specialists. These devices manage both point-to-point and PMP configurations with excellent range and the ability to handle traffic throughput up to 54 Mbps.
Cisco wireless bridges deliver throughput significantly higher than E1/T1 links for far less cost, doing away with the necessity of expensive leased lines when linking different buildings. Because wireless bridges carry no periodic charges, savings on leased-line services rapidly cover the initial equipment costs. Private lines and in some cases leased lines using copper or fiber-optic cable often require very expensive initial costs when they are impeded by barriers like freeways, train tracks, or bodies of water. Cisco wireless LAN bridges can be deployed quickly with a fast ROI.
Cisco 1300 family outside wireless access points/bridges can be deployed as stand-alone access points, bridges, or wireless group bridges. These devices have a ruggedized enclosure and offer fast, economical wireless connectivity between numerous stationary or mobile networks and users.
Cisco 1400 family bridges provide high-performance, reliable outside connections for line-of-sight applications. These devices are housed in an all-weather enclosure that is optimized for severe outside conditions and function within broad temperature ranges.
Legacy Cisco Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers centralize the management of wireless networks by simplifying the handling of common technologies including integrated intrusion prevention system (IPS), fast RF control, zero touch deployment, and N+1 redundancy. These controllers work with lightweight wireless access points to deliver superior performance and advanced management capabilities.
WLAN Controllers (WLCs) offer the control, expandability, security, and reliability that IT managers require to build secure, large-scale wireless networks, from branch locations to small businesses to main campuses. Cisco's legacy Wireless Network Controllers can be clustered to offer accommodation for as many as 2400 wireless access points for each roaming domain.
The Cisco WLCM or WLCM-E Module for IS Routers offers small-to mid-size businesses and large corporations a cost effective way to deploy and manage protected WLANs at branch locations. These products manage as many as 12 Aironet access points and are supported on 2800/3800 IS Routers and 3700 Series Integrated Services Routers. (To learn about Progent's online and on-premises consulting support for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router deployment and troubleshooting services.)
How Progent's Engineers Can Assist You with Cisco Wireless Devices
Progent can provide a Cisco-certified consultant to help you to design, install, manage and troubleshoot a converged wired/wireless environment integrating a broad range of wireless technologies that offer the same protection, scalability, and ease of management you expect from your wired network. Progent can help you to support legacy Wi-Fi solutions from Cisco or migrate seamlessly to the latest 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 technology. Progent's CISA and ISSAP security professionals can show you how to design protection into your wireless network and your company's operations. Progent's disaster recovery consultants and business continuity consultants can help you to deploy the high availability (HA) technology incorporated into Cisco's wired/wireless technologies so your converged infrastructure delivers continuing business value.
Progent's Wireless Site Survey assists you to design and implement a state-of-the-art wireless network customized for your facilities, providing a Wi-Fi solution that provides comprehensive coverage, high performance and density, Quality of Service to handle IP voice and video, enterprise-class security and compliance, and easy management. Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey can be performed remotely to cut time and costs, or onsite to deal with more complex environments.
For a more in-depth discussion of Progent's wireless integration services, visit Progent's Wireless Network Expertise.
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