Cisco has developed an extensive line of wireless networking products and software tools intended to enable continual connections to information and resources and to facilitate collaboration among employees, associates, vendors, and clients. Cisco's wireless offerings include Cisco's Small Business, Aironet and Meraki lines of access points (APs), plus Cisco's Wireless LAN Controller modules and standalone devices. Progent's Cisco-certified wireless experts can enable businesses of all sizes to utilize Cisco wireless solutions to accommodate the current paradigm of Bring-Your-Own-Device computing by integrating their wired/wireless ecosystems to achieve easy deployment, consistently high performance, centralized control, enterprise-wide policy, high availability, and across-the-board security.
Cisco Security Architecture for Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and Wired/Wireless Networking
Cisco's Unified Wireless solution can expand to up to 18,000 APs with full Layer 3 connectivity across local or remote locations like enterprise campuses, college auditoriums, branches, and home offices. Cisco's 802.11x APs and controllers are part of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network and are designed to support the same degree of protection, throughput, and ease of management for wireless networks that companies expect in their wired infrastructure. This technology includes integrated mobility services such as VoIP, IP video, and secure guest access. Cisco's Unified Wireless solution allows companies to create Wi-Fi environments that streamline the way they work and improve productivity through a dynamic and connected employee base.
Progent's Cisco CCIE network consultants offers remote or on-premises support to assist your organization to design, deploy, maintain, expand, and troubleshoot converged wired/wireless networks of any size and for any environment. In addition, Progent offers value-priced remote and on-premises wireless site surveys to assist your company to design and install a wireless network with custom-designed AP clustering optimized for your individual work area layout, building structure, and intended application.
Small Business, Aironet and Meraki Access Points (APs)
Cisco's Small Business, Aironet and Meraki families of access points allow organizations to integrate wired and wireless infrastructure to provide the coverage, density, throughput, protection and ease of management needed to support practically any scenario. Cisco's APs range from bare bones, single-radio 802.11b/g/n devices with throughput of 300 Mbps intended for small companies or home offices to dual-radio 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless access points capable of supporting hundreds of wireless clients on each AP and delivering sustained throughput as high as 1.9 Gigabits per second. Cisco's latest line of APs can be clustered to deliver the scale to handle environments with high client density and with high usage rates of HD video application software.
Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Family of APs
Cisco's Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Family of wireless access points are Linux-based units designed as value-priced wireless APs for light workloads. Most versions in Cisco's Small Business portfolio of APs support Cisco's Single Point Setup system, which allows you to set up, control and troubleshoot a group of wireless access points from one device through a simple web browser interface. All of the versions include POE and feature Quality of Service (QoS), rogue AP detection, and bridge mode for connecting to a second Ethernet LAN.
Cisco's Small Business WAP121 Wireless-N Access Point is a wall-mountable, single-radio 2.4GHz device able to handle 16 active 802.11b/g/n clients, includes a Fast Ethernet port, permits up to four AP devices and 40 wireless clients per cluster, and can handle throughput of 300 Mbps. Cisco's Small Business WAP131 is a desktop dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11n wireless access point that can support 16 active wireless clients per radio for a total of up to 32 clients, features a Gigabit Ethernet port, and can support sustained data rates of up to 300 Mbps per radio. The WAP131 Wireless-N does not support clustering. The Cisco Small Business WAP150 is a general-purpose dual-radio AC/n wireless access point that includes a 1xGE Poe port and can handle up to 16 clients per radio with 867 Mbps performance for AC devices and 300 Mbps for 802.11n devices. The Cisco WAP1501 supports 4 access points for each cluster.
Cisco's Small Business WAP321 AP is a wallmount selectable-band (either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz) 802.11n device with support for 80 active wireless clients in an 8-AP cluster. The Cisco WAP321 includes a Gigabit Ethernet interface and can support sustained throughput of 300 Mbps for the selected radio. The Cisco Small Business WAP351 is a dual-radio 2.4/5 GHz 802.11n access point with a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and can handle 32 active wireless clients on each radio for a total of up to 64 clients, and deliver sustained throughput of 300 Mbps for each radio. The WAP351 does not allow clustering. Cisco's Small Business WAP361 is a dual-radio 802.11ac access point that includes a 5 x Gb Ethernet switch, can support 32 clients on each radio, and delivers 867 Mbps throughput for 802.11ac clients and 300 Mbps performance for 802.11n devices. Cisco's Small Business WAP361 allows eight access points per cluster. Cisco's wallmount Small Business WAP371 Wireless-AC/N is a dual-band device that works with 802.11n as well as the new 802.11ac IEEE Wi-Fi standard. The WAP371 includes a Gigabit Ethernet port, can handle 32 active wireless clients per radio, and eight access points per cluster.
Cisco's WAP561 Wireless-N Dual Radio Selectable Band wireless access point includes one Gigabit Ethernet interface and two concurrent radios that offer 450 Mbps throughput per radio, support 64 devices for each radio, and allow up to 16 APs per cluster. The Cisco WAP551 is similar to the WAP 561 but features a single radio selectable band. Cisco's Small Business WAP571 and WAP571E (a ruggedized outdoor model) are dual-band 802.11ac wireless access points that feature two Gb Ethernet interfaces with link aggregation (LAG), 3x3 MIMO, and up to 1.9 Gigabit/sec throughput with 1300 Mbps on 11ac and 600 Mbps on 802.11n. Both units support 32 clients per radio and 16 WAP371 access points per cluster.
To find out more about Progent's consulting services for both current and older Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 family of WiFi APs, see Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 wireless APs system design and troubleshooting.
The Aironet Family of Wireless Access Points
Cisco's Aironet line of wireless APs has consistently been the market leading AP product. Aironet APs run the gamut from entry-level devices to advanced APs. Cisco's Aironet family span several generations of devices supporting the evolving 11x standard. The latest portfolio of Aironet access points support Cisco's Unified Wireless Network software and come with 802.11ac technology, which offers triple the performance plus greater range and user density compared to the prior generation of APs. The latest multi-frequency Aironet access points can accommodate 802.11n at 2.4 GHz for clients without 802.11ac capability.
The oldest Aironet APs are now outdated units that have come to end-of-life status and are not fully supported by Cisco. Progent still offers support for the complete Aironet family of APs and can assist your company to maintain your existing Aironet wireless system or move smoothly to current Aironet products. For more information about Progent's consulting services for current and legacy Aironet wireless access points, see Cisco Aironet APs system design and troubleshooting.
Meraki Access Points
Cisco's portfolio of Meraki dual-band indoor access points range from value-priced devices for small businesses to advanced products that offer up to 2.5 Gigabit per second throughput. Every Cisco Meraki indoor AP offers high-end capabilities such as self-configuring deployment, in-depth protection, Bring-Your-Own-Device support, extensive traffic analysis, automatic web-based updates, and centralized cloud-based management via an intuitive dashboard. Each Cisco Meraki indoor access point also includes dual high-power client-serving radios with boosted receive sensitivity as well as a separate radio that provides (WIDS/WIPS) security for threat detection and deep packet inspection.
Meraki outdoor APs are IP67 rated, built to operate in rugged outdoor environments, and able to withstand dust particles, shock and moisture. Cisco's Meraki outdoor access points include a Gigabit Ethernet port and deliver advanced features that include cloud management with network-wide control, 802.1X and native Active Directory integration, built-in antivirus scan (NAC), 1-click guest access and isolation firewall, application-aware traffic shaping, plus auto-configuring mesh with MIMO. For details about Progent's consulting services for Meraki access points and management tools, see Cisco's Meraki access points consulting services.
Cisco Wave 2 802.11ax Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers allow fast communication, configuration, administration, analysis and debugging for Cisco Wi-Fi appliances and services. Cisco offers both hardware and software-based Wi-Fi controllers for centralized administration of WiFi networks, but WLANs with many wireless access points are better served by hardware-based wireless controllers. Wave 2 wireless controller devices from Cisco offer significant benefits in comparison to Wave 1 and older products such as higher performance, simultaneous support for 1G and 10G interfaces, enhanced application visibility and control (AVC), and advanced, integrated security.
Cisco's 3504 WiFi Controller is a value-priced device available in a desktop enclosure and designed for small and medium-sized businesses. You can use the 3504 in a centralized network environment such as in small branch and remote offices administered over the WAN via FlexConnect, or in bridge deployments where Ethernet cabling is sparse. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller can handle up to 150 access points and 3,000 client users, offers 4 Gbps performance, and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 3504 controller features a Cisco Multigigabit port and four 1-GB Ethernet interfaces. APs can be connected to the controller via two Power over Ethernet ports. The 3504 wireless controller offers fast failover for APs and users, which allows high availability for applications. Like other Wave 2 wireless controllers available from Cisco, the 3504 device has the integrated capability to work with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WLAN controllers.
Cisco's 5520 Wireless Controller, offered in a 1 rack unit enclosure, is intended to support midsize to large enterprises and campus networks and can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments. The 5520 wireless controller can handle up to 1,500 Wi-Fi access points and 20,000 client users, offers 20 Gbps throughput, and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 WiFi controller features two 10 GE interfaces and features solid-state storage, backup fans, optional redundant power supplies, and subsecond failover for high availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, offered in a 2RU package, is a top-of-the-line WiFi controller intended to support enterprises, service providers, and large campuses. The 8540 Wireless controller can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures and can handle as many as 6,000 APs and 64,000 client users. The 8540 Wireless controller can deliver data rates as high as 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 WiFi Network Controllers
Cisco wireless controllers cut the time and expense required to configure, monitor, and operate Wi-Fi networks by centralizing control of tasks like setting up wireless access points, applying consistent policies throughout wired/wireless networks, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service for IP voice and HD video, monitoring and optimizing system performance, implementing intrusion prevention tools to guard against unauthorized access and DDoS threats, and handling IPv6 clients. Cisco has developed wireless LAN controllers for businesses of all sizes and offers desktop or rackmount appliances, modular add-on wireless controllers for Cisco routers and Catalyst switches, and Catalyst switches with integrated wireless LAN controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 wireless LAN controllers incorporate Cisco CleanAir technology to avoid signal interference and produce self-healing wireless LANs for maximum 802.11n and 802.11ac performance and protection. Built-in Bonjour Gateways allow discovery and policy across the enterprise for Apple applications. For high availability, Cisco wireless network controllers support access point and client stateful failover by permitting a standby high-availability controller to synch with a main controller for access point license tabulation, CAPWAP keys, and access point CAPWAP state. In case the main controller fails, thousands of access points and clients can switchover immediately to the secondary wireless LAN controller.
Cisco's Wireless Controller Module for ISR Routers with UCS-E provides entry-level 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for Cisco 2900 and 3900 routers deployed by small to medium-sized businesses and branch offices. This value-priced and scalable module can support up to 200 APs and as many as 6000 clients. (To learn about Progent's remote and onsite consulting support services for Cisco routers, see Cisco router configuration and troubleshooting support.)
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU form-factor switches designed for small to mid-size businesses and satellite offices and have a built-in wireless network controller with the ability to support up to 40 Gb of wireless throughput per switch and up to 25 access points and 1000 clients on each switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU switches intended for midsize businesses and large enterprises and include an integrated wireless LAN controller supporting 40 Gb of wireless capacity per switch and the ability to handle up to 50 access points and 2000 wireless clients. The WiSM2 is a plug-in blade for Catalyst 6500 Series switches with an integrated wireless network controller designed for mid-to-large size enterprises and able to deliver 20 Gbps throughput and with support for up to 1000 access points and 15,000 wireless clients. (For information concerning Progent's support for Catalyst switches, see Cisco Catalyst switches deployment and management consulting.)
Cisco 2500 Wireless Controllers are entry-level desktop units that simplify the deployment and operation of wireless LANs for small and midsize businesses and satellite offices. The Cisco 2500 wireless network controller can handle 5 to 75 wireless access points and up to 1000 clients and can deliver throughput of up to 1 Gbps.
The Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller is an expandable 1RU appliance designed for medium-sized to large businesses and campuses and can manage 500 access points and 7,000 wireless clients while delivering 8 Gbps performance. The Cisco 5760 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance designed for mid-to-large campus environments with the ability to manage 1000 access points and 12,000 clients and offering performance of 60 Gbps to handle high wireless client densities and high usage of media-rich applications.
The Cisco Flex 7500 Wireless Controller is designed to enable centralized management of massive collections of wireless branches from one location, avoiding the need for a wireless controller at each remote site. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 allows you to establish a private cloud to configure, monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot up to 6000 wireless access points and 64,000 clients while handling 1 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 8500 Wireless Controller is a 1RU rackmount appliance engineered to monitor and manage wireless environments for large campuses or for service providers and can scale to handle up to 6000 access points and 64,000 clients while delivering 10 Gbps performance.
To learn more about Cisco wireless controllers, visit Cisco Wi-Fi controllers consulting and integration.
Legacy Cisco APs, LAN Bridges and Wireless Controllers Supported by Progent
The 802.11ac standard for wireless connectivity largely made obsolete the prior releases of Wi-Fi devices for many venues that have high densities of wireless clients and high usage of video-intensive applications. Even for organizations who do not need the bandwidth efficiency of 802.11ac Wi-Fi, many of Cisco wireless products have reached end-of-life status, which can pose serious service and compliance issues. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants provide remote and on-premises support for a broad array of earlier-generation Cisco wireless products. Progent can also help companies to assess the potential ROI for updating up-of-date wireless infrastructure and can help in planning and executing affordable, seamless migrations. Below are a few of Cisco older-generation wireless devices that Progent's consultants continue to support.
Legacy Cisco Aironet APs
Cisco Aironet 1000/1130AG family access points are intended for conventional workplaces and similar sites which have minimal environmental instability. These products include integrated antennas that offer dependable radio coverage profiles. The 1130G Series wireless access point is available for regulated locations that do not permit 5GHz operation.
Cisco Aironet 1230AG/1240AG family APs are designed for more difficult RF environments such as factories and warehouses or above suspended ceilings which commonly require flexible protruding antennas and durable enclosures. The Cisco Aironet 1240G Series AP is intended for restricted locations that do not permit 5GHz operation.
Cisco Aironet 1500 family lightweight outside mesh APs deliver a cost-effective, expandable, protected outdoor wireless solution for campus areas and for public venues that need access for portable devices.
Legacy Cisco Wireless LAN Bridges
Cisco Aironet wireless LAN bridges provide a high-throughput and feature-rich solution for connecting multiple local area networks in a metro situation or public access network. Cisco Aironet wireless LAN bridges provide a flexible, easy-to-use solution that meets the security needs of wide-area networking specialists. They handle both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint implementations with good range and the ability to handle data rates up to 54 Mbps.
Cisco Aironet wireless LAN bridges deliver throughput significantly higher than E1/T1 links for far less cost, erasing the requirement for expensive leased lines when connecting different offices. Because bridges carry no ongoing charges, the expenses saved on leased-line bills rapidly cover the initial hardware investment. Self-installed private lines and in some cases leased lines utilizing metal or fiber-optic cable often require considerable startup expenses when they are impeded by barriers such as freeways, train tracks, or lakes and rivers. Cisco wireless LAN bridges can be installed quickly an offer a fast ROI.
Cisco 1300 Series outside wireless access points/bridges can be implemented as independent access points, wireless bridges, or wireless group bridges. These appliances have a tough enclosure and provide high-speed, economical wireless interfaces between numerous fixed or mobile networks and users.
Cisco Aironet 1400 bridges offer high-performance, reliable outside wireless bridging for line-of-sight (LOS) applications. They are housed in an all-weather enclosure that can withstand harsh outside conditions and can function in wide temperature ranges.
Legacy Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers provide single-point management of WLANs by simplifying the control of key functions including intrusion prevention, fast RF control, zero touch configuration, and N+1 redundancy. Wireless Network controllers operate with small APs to deliver enhanced throughput and high-end management capabilities.
Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers provide the manageability, scalability, security, and dependability that IT managers require to build secure, enterprise-scale wireless environments, from satellite offices to small companies to main campuses. Cisco's first-generation WLCs can be clustered to offer accommodation for as many as 2400 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 large corporations an affordable solution to deploy and manage protected WLANs at branch locations. These wireless LAN controllers manage as many as twelve Cisco Aironet access points and are installable in 2800/3800 Series Routers and 3700 Series IS Routers. (To find out about Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router configuration and management services.)
How Progent's Engineers Can Help You with Cisco Wireless Products
Progent can provide access to a Cisco-certified consultant to help you to design, deploy, maintain and troubleshoot a converged wired/wireless environment integrating a broad array of wireless devices that provide the identical protection, scalability, and manageability you expect from your wired environment. Progent can help you to support legacy wireless products from Cisco or upgrade efficiently to the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology. Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can advise you about how to build security into your WLAN and your company's operations. Progent's disaster recovery planning consultants and business continuity planning consultants can help you to deploy the high availability (HA) features built into Cisco's wired/wireless products so your converged infrastructure provides continuing business value.
Progentís Wireless Site Survey assists you to design and implement a state-of-the-art WLAN customized for your environment, offering a wireless solution that delivers seamless coverage, high performance and density, Quality of Service to handle IP voice and video, enterprise-class security, and simplified management. Progent's Wireless Site Survey can be delivered remotely to cut time and expense, or onsite for more complex situations.
For a further discussion of Progent's wireless consulting capabilities, see Progent's Wireless LAN Consulting Services.
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