Cisco has developed a comprehensive catalog of wireless networking devices and technologies intended to provide continual access to data and other resources and to promote teamwork among employees, associates, vendors, and customers. Cisco's wireless offerings include the Small Business, Aironet and Meraki lines of wireless access points, as well as Cisco's Wireless Network Controller plug-ins and appliances. Progent's Cisco-certified wireless consultants can help organizations of any size to utilize Cisco wireless products to accommodate the new paradigm of Bring-Your-Own-Device computing by converging their tethered and untethered networks to benefit from easy configuration, predictable throughput, centralized management, enterprise-wide policy enforcement, high availability, and advanced protection.
Cisco's Converged Architecture for Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and Wired/Wireless Connectivity
The Cisco Unified Wireless architecture can expand to as many as 18,000 access points with Layer 3 mobility across central or remote venues like business headquarters, college lecture halls, branches, and home offices. Cisco's 802.11x access points and controllers are part of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network and are designed to support the identical degree of protection, performance, and ease of management for wireless LANs that companies demand in their wired infrastructure. This technology includes integrated mobility services like Voice over IP, HD video, and safe guest access. Cisco's Unified Wireless architecture enables companies to create Wi-Fi environments that streamline the way they work and enhance productivity via a dynamic and connected workforce.
Progent's Cisco-certified network infrastructure consultants can provide online or onsite support to assist your organization to design, configure, manage, expand, and troubleshoot converged wired and wireless networks of any size and for any environment. In addition, Progent can provide affordable remote and on-premises Wi-Fi site surveys to help you to plan and deploy a wireless network with customized access point clustering optimized for your individual office layout, building characteristics, and intended application.
Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst Wireless Access Points
Cisco's Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst families of APs enable you to integrate wired/wireless infrastructure to provide the accessibility, capacity, throughput, security and manageability needed for practically any environment. These access points start at entry-level, single-radio 802.11b/g/n units with data rates of 300 Mbps intended for small companies or telecommuters to 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) access points suitable for supporting hundreds of wireless clients on each AP and delivering sustained throughput in excess of 5 Gbps. Cisco's current line of APs can be clustered to provide the scale to support environments with high client density and with a high incidence of video-intense applications.
Small Business Series of Access Points
Cisco's Small Business Family of wireless access points are Linux-based units designed as entry-level wireless solutions for small offices. Many versions in Cisco's Small Business portfolio of access points work with Cisco's Single Point Setup system, which makes it possible to set up, manage and troubleshoot a group of access points from a single device via an intuitive web browser interface. All of the versions support Power over Ethernet (POE) and provide QoS, rogue access point awareness, and bridging for wirelessly connecting to another Ethernet LAN.
The Cisco Small Business WAP121 Wireless-N AP is a wallmount, single-radio 2.4GHz unit able to support 16 802.11n clients, has a Fast Ethernet port, permits up to 4 access pointss and 40 active wireless clients per cluster, and supports throughput of 300 Mbps. Cisco's Small Business WAP131 is a desktop dual-radio 802.11a/b/g/n AP that can support 16 active wireless clients per radio for up to 32 wireless clients, includes a 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN interface, and delivers sustained data rates of up to 300 Mbps for each radio. The WAP131 does not support AP clustering. The Cisco Small Business WAP150 is a general-purpose dual-radio 802.11ac/n access point that features a 1xGE Power over Ethernet port and can handle 16 clients from each radio with 867 Mbps performance for 802.11ac clients and 300 Mbps for 802.11n clients. The Cisco WAP1501 supports 4 access points for each cluster.
Cisco's Small Business WAP321 Wireless-N model is a wall-mountable single-band (2.4 or 5 GHz) 802.11a/b/g/n device that can handle up to 80 active clients in an 8-device cluster. The Cisco WAP321 features a 10/100/1000 Ethernet interface and can deliver a data rate of 300 Mbps for the activated radio. Cisco's Small Business WAP351 is a dual-radio 2.4/5 GHz 802.11a/b/g/n access point that includes a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet interface and can handle 32 wireless clients per radio for up to 64 active clients, and deliver a sustained data rate of 300 Mbps per radio. The WAP351 access point does not support clustering. The Cisco Small Business WAP361 is a dual-band 2.4/5 GHz Wireless-AC/N AP that features a 5 x Gb Ethernet switch, can support 32 clients per radio, and offers 867 Mbps throughput for 802.11ac devices and 300 Mbps performance for 802.11n devices. Cisco's WAP361 allows 8 access points for each cluster. Cisco's wallmount Small Business WAP371 Wireless-AC/N is a dual-band AP that supports 802.11a/b/g/n as well as the latest 802.11ac IEEE Wi-Fi standard. The WAP371 includes a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port, can support up to 32 active wireless clients per radio, and eight APs per cluster.
The Cisco WAP561 802.11n Dual Radio AP features a Gigabit Ethernet interface and dual concurrent radios (2.4 and 5.0 GHz) that offer 450 Mbps performance per radio, can handle 64 clients for each radio, and allow 16 access points for each cluster. Cisco's WAP551 is like Cisco's WAP 561 but has a single selectable band (2.4 or 5.0 GHz). The Cisco WAP571 and WAP571E (the ruggedized outside version) are dual-band 802.11ac access points incorporating two Gb Ethernet ports with link aggregation (LAG), 3x3 MIMO, and up to 1.9 Gigabit/sec performance with 1300 Mbps on 11ac and 600 Mbps on 11n. Both wireless access points support 32 active WAN clients on each radio and 16 access points per cluster.
Cisco's WAP581 Wireless-AC Dual Radio Wave 2 Access Point supports the 802.11ac standard and features 4x4 and 3x3 MU-MIMO technology to provide 2.8 Gbps data rates on the 5.0-Ghz radio and 600 Mbps at 2.4 GHz for an aggregate max throughput of 2.4 Gbps. The Small Business WAP581 has a fixed 2.5G Ethernet interface and a 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN interface with 802.3at Power over Ethernet (PoE). The WAP581 Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 AP supports as many as 200 connective users, a maximum of 50 active client users per radio, 16 access points per cluster, and 960 active client users per cluster.
To learn more about Progent's consulting services for current and legacy Cisco Small Business family of wireless access points, see Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 WiFi access points system design and troubleshooting.
Cisco's Aironet Line of Access Points
Cisco's Aironet family of indoor and outdoor wireless APs has for years been the top-selling access point product. Aironet access points run the gamut from value-priced entry-level models to advanced units. Cisco's Aironet series span multiple generations of devices compliant with the evolving Wi-Fi standard. Cisco's current line of Aironet wireless access points support Cisco's Unified Wireless Network software and incorporate 802.11ac support, which delivers triple the speed plus greater range and density than the previous generation of APs. Cisco's current dual-band Aironet APs can support 802.11n at 2.4 GHz for client devices that lack 802.11ac capability.
The oldest Aironet access points are legacy units that have reached end-of-life status and are no longer supported by Cisco. Progent continues to provide technical support for the entire Aironet line of access points and can help you to manage and troubleshoot your existing Aironet Wi-Fi system or move efficiently to the latest Aironet technology. For details about Progent's support for current and outdated Cisco Aironet wireless access points, refer to Cisco Aironet wireless access points consulting.
Meraki Wireless Access Points
Cisco's family of Meraki dual-band indoor wireless access points range from budget-friendly models for small businesses to enterprise-class units that offer as high as 5.9 Gbit/sec throughput. Each Cisco Meraki indoor AP offers high-end capabilities like self-configuring plug-and-play installation, advanced protection, BYOD support, built-in traffic analysis, automatic over-the-web updates, and consolidated cloud-based management via an intuitive dashboard. Each Meraki indoor AP also includes dual high-power radios with enhanced reception plus a separate radio that offers (WIDS/WIPS) security for threat detection and deep packet inspection at line rate.
Cisco's Meraki outdoor APs are IP67 certified, designed to operate in rugged outdoor conditions, and tested to resist dust, shock and moisture. Cisco's Meraki outdoor access points include a Gigabit Ethernet port and offer advanced features that include cloud management with multi-site visibility and control, native Active Directory integration, built-in antivirus scan (NAC), 1-click secure guest access and guest isolation firewall, Layer 7 traffic shaping, plus auto-configuring mesh with MIMO. To find out more about Progent's consulting services for Meraki APs and management, see Meraki wireless access points consulting.
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Family of Wireless APs
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 line of 802.11ax wireless access points are intended for environments ranging from telecommuter homes to high-density convention centers. 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. As an improvement to 802.11ac, Wi-Fi 6 is designed to use both the 2.4-Ghz and 5-GHz radio bands. Important enhancements incorporated in Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series access points include OFDMA scheduling for high density deployments, dual NAVs for improved reliability, Target Wake Time for conserving power consumption in battery-powered endpoints, adaptive sensitivity thresholds for more efficient spectrum use, and dynamic fragmentation for reduced overhead. All Cisco Catalyst 9100 802.11ax access points can run Cisco's EWC, accommodate as many as 200 client users per Wi-Fi radio, and are powered by Cisco IOS XE Software. For more information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 Access Points, refer to Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax access points system planning, deployment, and management consulting.
Cisco 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Catalyst 9800 family of Wi-Fi 6-compatible wireless controller appliances help you manage modern wireless environments that support 802.11ax Wi-Fi access points. 802.11ax, popularly known as Wi-Fi 6, improves on prior generation 802.11ac (called Wi-Fi 5) devices by delivering less latency and more reliable performance, supporting higher client user density, providing enhanced security, conserving energy for battery-dependent handheld devices, and allowing more flexibility for handling new kinds of Internet-of-Things (IoT) endpoints. Catalyst 9800 Series wireless controllers feature high availability with seamless software updates, live patching, and the ability to connect additional access points without downtime. Advanced security features include Cisco Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS), secure boot, and Cisco Software-Defined Access (SD-Access). Streaming telemetry allows you to track and understand infrastructure and endpoint health.
All devices in the Catalyst 9800 line are based on Cisco's IOS XE Software and operate with Cisco's DNA Center or with Cisco Prime Infrastructure network management tools. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 wireless LAN controllers can support Cisco Aironet 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 wireless APs concurrently with Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 wireless APs. For details about Progent's consulting services for Cisco 9800 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers, refer to Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 wireless controllers system planning, deployment, and troubleshooting services.
Cisco Wave 2 802.11ac Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers allow realtime data exchange, deployment, control, monitoring and debugging for Cisco Wi-Fi appliances and software services. Cisco offers both physical and virtual Wi-Fi controllers for centralized management of WiFi environments, but systems with a large number of wireless access points are better served by hardware-based Wi-Fi controllers. Wave 2 Wi-Fi controller devices from Cisco deliver significant benefits over Wave 1 and older models including higher performance, simultaneous support for both 1G and 10G Ethernet, enhanced application visibility and control (AVC), and advanced, built-in security.
The Cisco 3504 Wireless Controller is an entry-level appliance available in a desktop form factor and intended for small and medium-sized businesses. You can use the 3504 in a centralized WLAN architecture such as in small branch and remote offices managed across the wide-area network via FlexConnect, or in mesh installations where Ethernet cabling is sparse. The 3504 wireless controller supports up to 150 WiFi access points and 3,000 client users, offers 4 Gbps throughput, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 controller includes a Cisco Multigigabit interface and four 1-GB Ethernet connections. APs can be connected directly to the controller through two PoE ports. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller features fast failover for APs and clients, which allows high availability for apps. As with other Wave 2 wireless controllers available from Cisco, the 3504 device has the integrated ability to work with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WiFi controllers.
Cisco's 5520 WiFi Controller, offered in a 1 rack unit (RU) enclosure, is designed for midsize to large enterprises and campus environments and can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments. The 5520 wireless controller can handle as many as 1,500 APs and 20,000 client users, delivers 20 Gbps throughput, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 model controller features two 10 GE ports and features solid-state storage, redundant fans, optional redundant power supplies, and subsecond failover for nonstop availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, offered in a 2RU enclosure, is a high-end wireless controller designed to support enterprises, service providers, and large campus environments. The 8540 WiFi controller can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments and supports as many as 6,000 APs and 64,000 client users. The 8540 Wireless controller can deliver throughput up to 40 Gbps and supports up to 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 rapid failover.
Wave 1 Cisco WiFi LAN Controllers
Cisco wireless LAN controllers cut the effort and expense required to deploy, monitor, and troubleshoot Wi-Fi networks by centralizing control of critical tasks such as provisioning access points, applying consistent policies across converged wired and wireless LANs, supporting enterprise-wide QoS for voice and HD video, monitoring and troubleshooting network performance, activating wireless intrusion prevention system (wIPS) capabilities to guard against unauthorized access and Distributed Denial of Service threats, and handling IPv6 and dual-stack clients. Cisco has designed wireless network controllers for businesses of all sizes and can provide standalone desktop controllers, modular add-on wireless controllers for Cisco ISR routers and Catalyst switches, and switches with built-in wireless LAN controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 WiFi network controllers incorporate Cisco CleanAir technology to avoid RF interference and create self-healing wireless networks for top 802.11n and 802.11ac throughput and security. Built-in Bonjour Gateways permit discovery and policy across WLAN, LAN and WAN for Apple applications. For fault tolerance, Cisco wireless network controllers allow wireless access point and client stateful switchover by permitting a standby HA wireless controller to synchronize with a main wireless controller for AP license tabulation, CAPWAP keys, and access point CAPWAP state. In case the main wireless controller goes down, thousands of APs and wireless clients can switchover immediately to the backup wireless LAN controller.
Cisco's Wireless Module for ISR G2 Routers with UCS-E provides basic 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for Cisco 2900 and 3900 Series routers deployed by smaller businesses and branch offices. This value-priced and expandable module can support up to 200 wireless access points and as many as 6000 clients. (For information about Progent's remote and onsite consulting and troubleshooting support for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router configuration and management services.)
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU switches designed for SMBs and branch offices and have an integrated wireless network controller with the capability to support 40 Gb of wireless capacity per switch and 25 access points and 1000 clients per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU switches intended for midsize businesses and large enterprises and feature a built-in wireless network controller supporting up to 40 Gb of wireless capacity on each switch and support for up to 50 wireless access points and up to 2000 wireless clients. The Wireless Services Module2 is a plug-in blade for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches with 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 up to 15,000 clients. (For information about Progent's support for Catalyst switches, refer to Cisco Catalyst switches deployment and management support.)
Cisco 2500 Series Wireless Controllers are value-priced desktop units that streamline the provisioning and management of Wi-Fi networks for SMBs and branch offices. The 2500 Series wireless controller supports 5 to 75 APs and up to 1000 wireless clients and can deliver sustained data rates of up to 1 Gbps.
Cisco's 5500 Series Wireless Controller is a scalable 1RU appliance designed for medium-sized to large enterprises and campuses and can manage up to 500 access points and 7,000 wireless clients while delivering 8 Gbps throughput. The Cisco 5760 Wireless Controller is a 1RU device designed for mid-to-large campuses with the ability to manage 1000 access points and 12,000 clients and providing throughput of 60 Gbps to handle high client densities and high amounts of media-rich applications.
The Cisco Flex 7500 Series Wireless Controller is intended to manage massive collections of wireless remote sites from one location, eliminating the need for a Wi-Fi controller at every branch. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 appliance allows you to establish a private cloud to configure, monitor, manage, and repair as many as 6000 APs and 64,000 wireless clients while supporting 1 Gbps throughput. The Cisco 8500 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance designed to monitor and manage Wi-Fi networks for very large campuses or for service providers and can scale to support 6000 wireless points and up to 64,000 clients while delivering 10 Gbps performance.
To find out more about Cisco wireless controllers, go to Cisco wireless controllers consulting and integration.
Legacy Cisco Wireless Access Points, Bridges and Wireless Controllers Supported by Progent
The IEEE 802.11ac specification for Wi-Fi effectively rendered obsolete the prior releases of Wi-Fi products for many venues that have high numbers of clients and high usage of HD video software applications. Even for organizations who do not currently need the bandwidth efficiency of 802.11ac, many of Cisco wireless devices have arrived at end-of-sale or end-of-support status, which can represent serious maintenance and compliance issues. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants provide online and onsite support services for a broad range of earlier-generation wireless products from Cisco. Progent can in addition help companies to evaluate the financial justification for updating up-of-date wireless infrastructure and can help in designing and executing affordable, non-disruptive upgrades. Below are a few of Cisco legacy wireless products that Progent's consultants continue to support.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Access Points
Aironet 1000 or 1130AG Series wireless access points are designed for offices and other venues which have minimal environmental instability. These access points have built-in antennas that provide predictable omnidirectional range patterns. The 1130G Series product is offered for controlled domains that do not allow 802.11a/5GHz operation.
Aironet 1230AG/1240AG family access points are designed for more problematic RF situations like factories or above ceiling structures which typically require flexible external antennas and ruggedized cases. The Aironet 1240G family wireless access point is intended for regulatory locations that do not permit 802.11a/5GHz transmission.
Aironet 1500 lightweight outdoor mesh APs provide a cost-effective, expandable, secure outdoor Wi-Fi technology for campus areas and for public sites that need access for portable phones or computers.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless Bridges
Cisco Aironet wireless bridges provide a high-performance and multi-featured technology for integrating multiple local area networks in a metropolitan area or public access network. Cisco bridges provide a flexible, manageable solution that meets the protection requirements of wide-area networking specialists. These bridges support both PTP and point-to-multipoint configurations with excellent coverage and support for traffic throughput as high as 54 Mbps.
Cisco Aironet wireless LAN bridges deliver throughput dramatically higher than E1/T1 lines for far less expense, doing away with the requirement for costly leased lines when linking different buildings. Since bridges have no ongoing charges, savings on leased-line bills quickly cover the startup equipment investment. Private lines and even leased lines made of metal or fiber-optic cable often result in considerable startup costs if they are impeded by obstacles like freeways, railroads, or lakes and rivers. Cisco Aironet wireless LAN bridges can be deployed quickly an offer a fast return on investment.
Aironet 1300 Series outside wireless access points/bridges can be deployed as stand-alone wireless access points, wireless bridges, or workgroup bridges. These devices have a durable cover and offer high-speed, cost-effective wireless connectivity between multiple fixed or mobile environments and clients.
Cisco 1400 family bridges provide high-speed, reliable outdoor wireless bridging for line-of-sight (LOS) environments. These devices include a durable enclosure that can hold up to severe outside environments and function within broad temperature ranges.
Legacy Cisco Wireless Controllers
Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers provide single-point management of wireless networks by simplifying the control of key technologies such as integrated intrusion prevention system (IPS), real-time RF management, zero touch deployment, and N+1 redundancy. Wireless Network controllers operate with lightweight APs to offer superior throughput and high-end administration capabilities.
Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers offer the manageability, expandability, protection, and fault tolerance that network managers need to create secure, large-scale wireless networks, from satellite offices to small companies to headquarter campuses. Cisco's legacy Wireless Network Controllers can be configured together to offer accommodation for up to 2400 wireless access points for each roaming domain.
Cisco's WLCM or WLCM-E Controller Module for Integrated Services (IS) Routers provides small-to mid-size businesses and large corporations an affordable way to deploy and manage protected wireless networks at branch locations. These devices manage as many as twelve Cisco access points and are installable in 2800/3800 IS Routers and 3700 Integrated Services Routers. (To learn about Progent's remote and on-premises support for Cisco routers, see Cisco router configuration and management consulting.)
How Progent's Consultants Can Assist Your Business with Cisco Wireless Devices
Progent can provide access to a Cisco-certified consulting professional to assist you to plan, deploy, manage and repair a converged wired and wireless infrastructure integrating a wide range of wireless products that offer the same security, extensibility, and ease of management you demand from your wired environment. Progent can assist you to maintain early-generation wireless products from Cisco or migrate seamlessly to the latest 802.11ax-compatible products. Progent's CISA and ISSAP security consultants can advise you about how to design security into your WLAN and your company's processes. Progent's disaster recovery consultants and business continuity planners can assist you to set up the high availability features incorporated into Cisco's wireless and wired products so your converged network delivers significant business value.
Progent’s Wi-Fi Site Survey helps you to design and implement a robust wireless network customized for your environment, providing a wireless ecosystem that provides comprehensive coverage, high performance and capacity, QoS features to support IP voice and video, enterprise-class security, and simplified management. Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey can be performed remotely to reduce time and expense, or on premises to deal with more challenging facilities.
For a further discussion of Progent's wireless consulting services, visit Progent's Wireless Network Expertise.
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