Cisco has developed an extensive catalog of wireless networking products and software tools intended to enable anywhere, anytime access to data and other resources and to facilitate collaboration among employees, associates, suppliers, and customers. Cisco's wireless product families include the Small Business, Aironet and Meraki series of wireless access points, plus Cisco's Wireless Network Controller plug-ins and appliances. Progent's Cisco-certified wireless consultants can help businesses of all sizes to utilize Cisco wireless solutions to support the new paradigm of BYOD computing by integrating their tethered and untethered ecosystems to benefit from easy configuration, consistent and fast throughput, single-point control, uniform policy, fault tolerance, and advanced security.
The Cisco Unified Wireless Network architecture can scale to as many as 18,000 wireless access points with full Layer 3 connectivity across central or offsite locations such as business campuses, college lecture halls, branch offices, and telecommuter homes. Cisco's 802.11x access points and controllers are components of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network and are designed to deliver the same level of protection, performance, and ease of management for WLANs that companies demand in their wired infrastructure. Cisco's architecture includes built-in mobile services like VoIP, high-definition IP video, and secure guest access. Cisco's Unified Wireless Network architecture allows companies to build wireless environments that improve the way they work and enhance output through a dynamic and collaborative employee base.
Progent's Cisco-certified network infrastructure consulting services offers remote or onsite support to help you to design, deploy, manage, upgrade, and troubleshoot converged wired/wireless networks of all sizes and for any venue. Also, Progent offers affordable online and on-premises Wi-Fi site surveys to help you to plan and install a Wi-Fi network with custom-designed access point clusters optimized for your specific office layout, building structure, and application workloads.
Cisco Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst Wireless Access Points (APs)
Cisco's Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst lines of wireless access points enable you to converge wired/wireless infrastructure to deliver the accessibility, density, throughput, security compliance and manageability needed to support practically any scenario. These access points start at entry-level, single-band 802.11b/g/n units with data rates of 300 Mb intended for small businesses or telecommuters to 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) APs capable of supporting hundreds of clients on each access point and delivering throughput of more than 5 Gigabits per second. Cisco's current line of wireless access points can be clustered to provide the capacity to support sites with high client density and with high usage rates of HD video application software.
Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Family of APs
Cisco's Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Series of access points are Linux-based devices engineered as entry-level wireless APs for light workloads. Most versions in the Cisco Small Business family of wireless access points work with Cisco's Single Point Setup system, which makes it possible to configure, manage and troubleshoot a group of access points from one AP through a simple browser-based tool. All of the models include POE and feature Quality of Service (QoS), rogue access point detection, and bridge mode for wirelessly connecting to another network.
Cisco's Small Business WAP121 Wireless-N AP is a wallmount, single-radio 2.4GHz unit that can handle 16 802.11b/g/n wireless clients, has a Fast Ethernet interface, permits up to 4 AP devices and 40 active clients in a cluster, and can handle data rates of up to 300 Mbps. Cisco's Small Business WAP131 is a desktop dual-radio 802.11n wireless access point that can handle 16 active wireless clients per radio for a total of up to 32 wireless clients, includes a 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN interface, and can support throughput of up to 300 Mbps per radio. The WAP131 does not support clustering. Cisco's WAP150 is an entry-level dual-radio 802.11ac/n wireless access point that includes a 1xGE Power over Ethernet (PoE) port and can handle up to 16 clients per radio with 867 Mbps throughput for AC devices and 300 Mbps for 802.11n clients. Cisco's WAP1501 allows four access points for each cluster.
The Cisco Small Business WAP321 Access Point is a wall-mountable single-band (2.4 or 5 GHz) 802.11n device that can handle up to 80 active wireless clients in an 8-device cluster. The WAP321 includes a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port and can deliver sustained throughput of 300 Mbps for the selected radio. Cisco's WAP351 is a dual-band 802.11n wireless access point that includes a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and can handle 32 active clients on each radio for a total of up to 64 clients, and deliver a sustained data rate of 300 Mbps for each radio. The WAP351 does not support clustering. The Cisco Small Business WAP361 is a dual-radio Wireless-AC/N wireless access point that includes a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet LAN switch, allows 32 clients on each radio, and offers 867 Mbps throughput for 802.11ac devices and 300 Mbps performance for 802.11n clients. Cisco's WAP361 allows eight access points per cluster. Cisco's wall-mountable Small Business WAP371 Wireless-AC/N is a dual-radio device that supports 802.11n and the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi specification. The WAP371 includes a GE port, can support 32 active wireless clients per radio, and 8 access points for each cluster.
Cisco's Small Business WAP561 Wireless-N Dual Radio AP includes one GE interface and dual radios that offer 450 Mbps throughput for each radio, can handle 64 clients per radio, and allow up to 16 wireless access points per cluster. Cisco's WAP551 is like the WAP 561 but has a single selectable band. Cisco's WAP571 and WAP571E (the ruggedized outside version) are dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11ac APs that feature two Gb Ethernet interfaces with link aggregation, and up to 1.9 Gbps performance with 1300 Mbps on 802.11ac and 600 Mbps over 802.11n. Both wireless access points can handle 32 clients per radio and 16 APs on each cluster.
The Cisco Small Business WAP581 Wireless-AC Wave 2 AP 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 a total max data rate of 2.4 Gbps. The WAP581 has an integrated 2.5G Ethernet interface and a 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN interface with 802.3at PoE. The WAP581 Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 AP supports up to 200 connective users, up to 50 active client users for each radio, 16 APs for each cluster, and 960 active users for each cluster.
For details about Progent's consulting services for both current and older Cisco Small Business series of WiFi access points, see Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 wireless APs consulting.
The Aironet Family of Wireless Access Points
Cisco's Aironet family of wireless APs has for years been the top-selling AP product. Aironet access points range from value priced models to enterprise-class APs. The Aironet family cover multiple generations of models supporting the continually improving Wi-Fi specification. The current portfolio of Aironet access points support Cisco's Unified Wireless Network software and come with 802.11ac Wi-Fi support, which offers triple the throughput plus superior distance and density compared to the previous generation of APs. The current dual-frequency Aironet access points can handle 802.11n at 2.4 GHz for clients that do not have 802.11ac radios.
The earliest Aironet access points are outdated devices that have come to end-of-sale status and are no longer fully supported by Cisco. Progent continues to support the entire Aironet family of access points and can assist you to maintain your current Aironet Wi-Fi environment or move efficiently to current Aironet products. To find out more about Progent's consulting services for current and legacy Aironet access points, refer to Aironet APs system design and troubleshooting.
Cisco's Meraki Access Points
Cisco's portfolio of Meraki dual-band indoor access points range from value-priced devices for small businesses to enterprise-class units supporting up to 5.9 Gbit/sec throughput. Each Cisco Meraki indoor access point provides next-generation capabilities such as self-configuring deployment, in-depth security, Bring-Your-Own-Device support, extensive traffic analysis, zero-touch over-the-web firmware updates, and consolidated cloud-based management for multiple sites. Every Meraki indoor access point also incorporates dual powerful client-serving radios with enhanced reception plus a separate radio that offers intrusion detection and prevention system (WIDS/WIPS) security for RF analysis and deep packet inspection at line rate.
Cisco's Meraki outdoor access points are IP67 rated, built to withstand rugged outdoor conditions, and tested to withstand dust particles, vibration and moisture. Cisco's Meraki outdoor wireless access points include a 1 x Gbit Ethernet port and deliver advanced capabilities that include cloud-based management with network-wide visibility, native Active Directory integration, built-in antivirus scan, 1-click secure guest access and isolation firewall, Layer 7 traffic shaping, plus self-configuring mesh with MIMO and beamforming. To find out more about Progent's support for Cisco's Meraki wireless access points and management, see Cisco's Meraki wireless access points consulting services.
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 and W-Fi 6E Access Points
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 line of Wi-Fi 6 access points are intended for deployments ranging from telecommuter homes to crowded stadiums. Catalyst 9100 APs are based on the 802.11ax specification, 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. Important technologies incorporated in Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series access points include OFDMA scheduling for high density deployments, dual NAVs for improved reliability, TWT for reduced power consumption in battery-powered endpoints, adaptive power thresholds for better spectrum utilization, and dynamic fragmentation for reduced overhead. Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 APs can run Cisco's Embedded Wireless Controller, accommodate up to 400 clients per Wi-Fi radio, and are powered by Cisco IOS XE Software.
Cisco's Catalyst 916x Series Wi-Fi 6E access points are the first Cisco access points to feature the option of being monitored and managed either on-site with Cisco DNA Center or from the cloud by using Meraki management tools. This permits organizations to transition to cloud-centric or hybrid management environments on their own timetable. All Cisco's Catalyst 916x APs comply with the a/b/g/n/ac/ax and 6E wireless standards and fully support the 6-GHz band. Each AP has 5 radios and allows a maximum of 400 clients on each radio. Each AP model also comes with a dedicated radio for Cisco CleanAir Pro for mitigating wireless interference, includes a USB 2.0 port, and offers Bluetooth BLE. Cisco's small-footprint Catalyst 9162 Series access point is suited for small businesses, has three 2x2 radios, and provides 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet connectivity. The Catalyst 9164 Series AP is designed for small and middle-size organizations, incorporates one 2x2 radio and two 4x4 radios, and offers 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet. The Catalyst 9166 Series Wi-Fi access point is meant for large and medium-sized organizations, includes three 4x4 radios, and offers 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G/5G mGig Ethernet support. The 9166 also comes with environmental sensors that measure air quality, temperature, and moisture. For details about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6/6E 802.11ax Access Points, refer to Wi-Fi 6/6E APs system planning, configuration, and debugging consulting.
Cisco 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6-compatible wireless LAN controller appliances allow you to automate and manage advanced Wi-Fi networks that incorporate 802.11ax Wi-Fi access points. 802.11ax, also called Wi-Fi 6, builds on previous generation 802.11ac (called Wi-Fi 5) devices by providing less latency and more reliable performance, supporting higher client density, providing greater security, conserving energy for battery-powered handheld devices, and allowing more versatility for handling new kinds of Internet-of-Things (IoT) endpoints. Catalyst 9800 line wireless controllers include high availability with seamless software updates, live patching, and the ability to add access points without service interruption. Enhanced cybersecurity features include Cisco Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS), secure boot, and Software-Defined Access (SD-Access). Streaming telemetry permits you to monitor and understand infrastructure and endpoint health.
All controllers in the Catalyst 9800 line are powered by Cisco's IOS XE Software and operate with Cisco's DNA Center (DNAC) or Cisco Prime Infrastructure network management platforms. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 wireless LAN controllers can support Cisco Aironet 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 wireless APs as well as Catalyst 9100 802.11ax access points. For details about Progent's consulting services for Cisco 9800 line of Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers, see Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 wireless controllers system planning, deployment, and management services.
Cisco Wi-Fi 5 Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers allow realtime communication, provisioning, control, monitoring and debugging for Cisco wireless devices and services. Cisco has developed both hardware and software-based Wi-Fi controllers for centralized administration of wireless environments, but networks with many Wi-Fi access points are better served by hardware-based Wi-Fi controllers. Current generation Wi-Fi controller devices from Cisco deliver major benefits in comparison to Wave 1 and earlier products including greater throughput, simultaneous support for both 1G and 10G Ethernet, enhanced application visibility and control, and advanced, built-in protection.
Cisco's 3504 Wireless Controller is an entry-level device with a desktop body and intended for smaller businesses. You can install the 3504 model in a centralized network environment such as in lean branch and remote offices managed over the WAN via Cisco FlexConnect, or in bridge installations where wiring is limited. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller can handle up to 150 access points and 3,000 users, delivers 4 Gbps throughput, and supports 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 controller features a multi-gigabit Ethernet interface (up to 5 Gigabit Ethernet) and four 1-GB Ethernet ports. APs can be attached directly to the WiFi controller via two Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller offers subsecond failover for APs and clients, which allows nonstop availability for apps. As with other Wave 2 wireless controllers available from Cisco, the 3504 model has the built-in ability to work with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services Engine, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WiFi controllers.
The Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller, available in a 1RU package, is intended for larger enterprises and campus environments and can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures. The 5520 Wi-Fi controller supports as many as 1,500 access points and 20,000 clients, delivers 20 Gbps throughput, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 model controller features two 10 GE interfaces and incorporates SSD storage, redundant fans, optional redundant power supplies, and subsecond failover for high availability.
Cisco's 8540 Wireless Controller, available in a 2 rack unit package, is a high-end WiFi controller designed to support large enterprises, service providers, and large campuses. The 8540 Wireless controller can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments and supports as many as 6,000 access points and 64,000 users. The 8540 WiFi controller offers data rates as high as 40 Gbps and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 8340 includes four 1-GB or 10GE ports and features SSD storage, dual power supplies, redundant fans, and subsecond failover.
Wave 1 Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco wireless controllers cut the time and cost required to deploy, monitor, and troubleshoot Wi-Fi networks by centralizing control of critical functions like setting up access points, enforcing single-point policies throughout wired/wireless LANs, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service (QoS) for voice and HD video, tracking and optimizing system health, implementing wireless intrusion prevention system (wIPS) tools to guard against cyber break-ins and Distributed Denial of Service threats, and managing IPv6 clients. Cisco has developed wireless LAN controllers for organizations of all sizes and offers standalone desktop appliances, modular plug-in controllers for Cisco ISR routers and switches, and Catalyst switches with integrated wireless controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 WiFi LAN controllers incorporate Cisco CleanAir technology to minimize RF interference and create self-healing wireless LANs for maximum 802.11n and 802.11ac throughput and security. Built-in Bonjour Gateways allow discovery, advertisement and policy across WLAN, LAN and WAN for Apple applications. For high availability (HA), Cisco wireless network controllers support access point and client stateful failover by permitting a backup HA controller to synchronize with a primary controller for AP license tabulation, CAPWAP keys, and AP CAPWAP state. If the main controller goes down, thousands of APs and wireless clients can failover at subsecond speeds to the backup controller.
Cisco's Wireless Controller Module for ISR Routers with UCS-E offers entry-level 802.11n and 802.11ac support for 2900 and 3900 routers used by small to medium-sized organizations and branch offices. This value-priced and scalable solution can handle from five to 200 wireless access points and up to 6000 clients. (To learn concerning Progent's online and onsite consulting services for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router deployment and management support.)
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU switches designed for SMBs 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 25 access points and 1000 wireless clients on each switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU rackmount switches intended for midsize businesses and large enterprises and feature an integrated wireless LAN controller with up to 40 Gb of wireless capacity per switch and support for 50 access points and 2000 clients. The Wireless Services Module2 (WiSM2) is an add-in blade for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches with a built-in wireless network controller intended for mid-to-large size enterprises and able to deliver 20 Gbps performance and with support for 1000 wireless access points and as many as 15,000 wireless clients. (To learn concerning Progent's consulting services for Cisco Catalyst switches, see Cisco Catalyst switches deployment and management consulting.)
Cisco 2500 Wireless Controllers are economical desktop devices that simplify the deployment and operation of wireless LANs for small and midsize businesses and branch offices. The Cisco 2500 wireless LAN controller supports from five to 75 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients and offers sustained data rates of 1 Gbps.
The Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller is a scalable 1RU appliance designed for mid-to-large sized enterprises and campus environments and can support 500 APs and 7,000 clients while delivering 8 Gbps performance. The Cisco 5760 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU device intended for mid-to-large campuses with the ability to manage up to 1000 APs and 12,000 wireless clients and delivering performance of 60 Gbps to accommodate high client densities and high amounts of media-rich mobile applications.
The Cisco Flex 7500 Series Wireless Controller is intended to manage massive collections of wireless remote sites from a single location, eliminating the requirement for a Wi-Fi controller at each branch. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 allows you to build a private cloud to configure, track, manage, and repair as many as 6000 wireless access points and 64,000 wireless clients while handling 1 Gbps throughput. The Cisco 8500 Wireless Controller is a 1RU rackmount appliance engineered to monitor and manage Wi-Fi environments for large campuses or for service providers and can scale to handle 6000 access points and 64,000 wireless clients while offering 10 Gbps throughput.
To find out more about Cisco WiFi controllers, visit Cisco Wi-Fi controllers consulting services.
Legacy Cisco Access Points, LAN Bridges and Wireless Controllers Supported by Progent
The IEEE 802.11ac specification for wireless connectivity effectively made obsolete the previous releases of Wi-Fi products for many venues that support high numbers of clients and high incidence of HD video applications. Even for organizations who do not currently need the bandwidth efficiency of 802.11ac Wi-Fi, a large number of Cisco wireless products have arrived at end-of-life status, which can pose significant service and compliance problems. Progent's Cisco-certified consulting experts provide online and on-premises support for a broad range of earlier-generation Cisco wireless products. Progent can in addition assist companies to assess the potential ROI for updating legacy wireless infrastructure and can help in designing and carrying out cost-effective, non-disruptive migrations. Below are a sample of Cisco older-generation wireless products that Progent's consultants still support.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless Access Points
Cisco Aironet 1000 or 1130AG Series wireless access points are ideal for conventional workplaces and similar sites which have minimal environmental instability. These devices have integrated antennas that offer dependable radio range patterns. The Aironet 1130G family wireless access point is offered for restricted domains that do not allow 802.11a/5GHz operation.
Cisco Aironet 1230AG/1240AG family APs are designed for more difficult RF situations such as factories and warehouses or above suspended ceilings which tend to call for flexible protruding antennas and rugged metal cases. The 1240G Series access point is available for regulatory locations that do not permit 5GHz operation.
Cisco Aironet 1500 Series lightweight outdoor mesh LAN access points deliver an economical, scalable, secure outdoor wireless technology for enterprise campuses and for public venues that need access for portable devices.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless LAN Bridges
Cisco Aironet wireless LAN bridges provide a high-speed and feature-rich solution for connecting numerous LANs in a metropolitan situation or public wireless environment. Cisco wireless bridges provide a flexible, manageable technology that meets the security requirements of WAN specialists. These bridges manage both P2P and point-to-multipoint implementations with good coverage and support for traffic throughput up to 54 Mbps.
Cisco wireless bridges offer throughput substantially faster than E1/T1 connections for a fraction of the cost, erasing the requirement for costly leased lines when connecting separate offices. Because wireless bridges carry no recurring charges, savings on connection bills quickly cover the startup hardware investment. Self-installed private lines and in some cases leased lines using metal or optical cable often require considerable up-front costs when they are impeded by barriers such as highways, train tracks, or bodies of water. Cisco wireless bridges can be installed rapidly an offer a fast return on investment.
Cisco Aironet 1300 Series outdoor wireless access points/bridges can be implemented as stand-alone access points, bridges, or wireless group bridges. These devices have a tough cover and provide high-speed, economical wireless connectivity between numerous fixed or mobile networks and users.
Cisco Aironet 1400 family bridges offer fast, reliable outdoor wireless bridging for line-of-sight environments. They include a ruggedized cover that can withstand harsh outside conditions and can operate within wide temperature ranges.
Legacy Cisco WLAN Controllers
Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers provide single-point management of wireless LANs by streamlining the control of key technologies such as intrusion prevention, fast RF control, zero touch deployment, and full N+1 redundancy. Cisco Wireless controllers operate with small access points to deliver enhanced throughput and high-end management functions.
Wireless LAN Controllers provide the manageability, expandability, security, and dependability that IT managers need to create secure, enterprise-scale wireless environments, from satellite locations to small companies to headquarter campuses. Cisco's first-generation WLCs can be clustered to provide support for as many as 2400 WAPs per roaming domain.
The Cisco WLCM or WLCM-E Controller Module for Integrated Services (IS) Routers provides small-to mid-size businesses (SMBs) and large corporations an affordable way to implement and manage protected wireless LANs at satellite locations. These devices supervise up to 12 Aironet access points and are supported on Cisco 2800/3800 Series Routers and 3700 Series Routers. (For information concerning Progent's remote and on-premises support for Cisco routers, see Cisco router deployment and troubleshooting services.)
How Progent's Consultants Can Help You with Cisco Wireless Devices
Progent can provide access to a Cisco-certified consulting professional to assist you to design, deploy, manage and repair a converged wired and wireless ecosystem integrating a broad array of wireless devices that provide the identical protection, expandability, and manageability you demand from a wired network. Progent can help you to support legacy wireless products from Cisco or upgrade efficiently to current 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 technology. Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security specialists can advise you about how to build security into your wireless network and your company's operations. Progent's disaster recovery planning consultants and business continuity planners can show you how to deploy the HA features built into Cisco's wired/wireless technologies so your converged infrastructure provides continuing return on investment.
Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey assists you to design and deploy a robust WLAN customized for your facilities, providing a wireless ecosystem that delivers comprehensive coverage, high speed and density, QoS to accommodate IP voice and video, enterprise-class security and compliance, and simplified management. Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey can be performed remotely to reduce time and costs, or onsite for more difficult facilities.
For a more in-depth look at Progent's wireless integration capabilities, see Progent's Wireless LAN Help.
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