Cisco has developed an extensive portfolio of wireless networking products and technologies engineered to provide continual access to data and resources and to promote collaboration among employees, partners, vendors, and clients. Cisco's wireless offerings include the Small Business, Aironet and Meraki series of access points, plus Cisco's Wireless LAN Controller plug-ins and standalone devices. Progent's Cisco-certified wireless consultants can help businesses of any size to utilize Cisco wireless products to support the current paradigm of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) networks by integrating their wired/wireless environments to benefit from simplified configuration, consistent and fast throughput, centralized control, enterprise-wide policy, high availability (HA), and across-the-board protection.
Cisco's Converged Security Architecture for BYOD and Wired/Wireless Connectivity
The Cisco Unified Wireless Network architecture can scale to as many as 18,000 access points with Layer 3 connectivity across central or offsite locations like enterprise headquarters, university lecture halls, branches, and telecommuter homes. Cisco's Wi-Fi APs and controllers are part of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network and are designed to deliver the same level of security, performance, and ease of management for WLANs that businesses demand in their wired ecosystem. This technology incorporates built-in mobility services such as IP voice, IP video, and safe guest access. Cisco's Unified Wireless Network solution enables companies to build wireless ecosystems that improve the way they do business and improve output via a dynamic and connected employee base.
Progent's Cisco CCIE network consulting services offers online or on-premises expertise to help you to design, configure, manage, expand, and repair converged wired/wireless networks of all sizes and for any venue. Also, Progent offers value-priced online and on-premises wireless site surveys to help you to design and deploy a Wi-Fi network with customized AP clustering optimized for your specific office layout, building characteristics, and application workloads.
Cisco Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst Access Points (APs)
Cisco's Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst families of APs enable businesses to converge wired/wireless networks to deliver the accessibility, density, performance, security and ease of management required for practically any scenario. Cisco's access points start at entry-level, single-radio 802.11b/g/n devices with data rates of 300 Mbps for very small businesses or telecommuters to Wi-Fi 6 APs suitable for handling hundreds of wireless clients per access point and offering data rates of more than 5 Gbps. Cisco's latest line of APs can be clustered to provide the scale to support environments crowded with clients and with a high incidence of video-intense application software.
Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Series of APs
Cisco's Small Business Series of wireless access points are Linux-based devices designed as value-priced wireless APs for light workloads. Many versions in the Cisco Small Business line of access points work with Cisco's Single Point Setup technology, which allows you to configure, manage and repair a cluster of access points from one device through a simple web browser tool. All models support POE and feature Quality of Service (QoS), rogue AP detection, and bridging for connecting to another network.
Cisco's Small Business WAP121 Wireless-N AP is a wall-mountable, single-band 2.4GHz device able to support 16 active 802.11n clients, includes a 10/100 Ethernet port, permits up to 4 AP devices and 40 active clients in a cluster, and can handle throughput of up to 300 Mbps. The Cisco WAP131 is a desktop dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11a/b/g/n access point that can handle 16 active wireless clients on each radio for a total of up to 32 clients, features a GE port, and delivers throughput of 300 Mbps for each radio. The WAP131 Wireless-N does not allow AP clustering. The Cisco WAP150 is a value-priced dual-radio 802.11ac/n access point that includes a one Gbit Power over Ethernet (PoE) port and can handle 16 clients from each radio with 867 Mbps throughput for AC devices and 300 Mbps for 802.11n clients. The Cisco WAP1501 supports four access points for each cluster.
The Cisco Small Business WAP321 Wireless-N model is a wall-mountable selectable-band (2.4 or 5 GHz) 802.11a/b/g/n device with support for up to 80 active clients in an 8-device cluster. The Cisco WAP321 includes a GE interface and can deliver sustained throughput of 300 Mbps for the activated radio. The Cisco WAP351 is a dual-radio 2.4/5 GHz 802.11a/b/g/n AP that includes a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and can handle 32 active clients per radio for a total of up to 64 active clients, and deliver sustained throughput of 300 Mbps for each radio. The WAP351 AP does not allow clustering. Cisco's WAP361 is a dual-band 2.4/5 GHz Wireless-AC/N access point that includes a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet LAN switch, allows 32 clients per radio, and delivers 867 Mbps throughput for wireless AC devices and 300 Mbps performance for 802.11n devices. Cisco's Small Business WAP361 supports 8 access points for each cluster. Cisco's wall-mountable Small Business WAP371 Wireless-AC/N is a dual-radio AP that works with 802.11n as well as the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi specification. The WAP371 Wireless-AC/N has a Gigabit Ethernet interface, can support as many as 32 active clients per radio, and eight access points for each cluster.
The Cisco WAP561 802.11n Selectable Band access point features one Gigabit Ethernet LAN interface and two concurrent radios (2.4 and 5.0 GHz) that deliver 450 Mbps throughput per radio, support 64 clients for each radio, and allow up to 16 APs per cluster. Cisco's WAP551 is similar to Cisco's WAP 561 but has a single selectable band (2.4 or 5.0 GHz). The Cisco Small Business WAP571 and WAP571E (a weather-proof outdoor version) are dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11ac APs that feature two Gb Ethernet ports with link aggregation (LAG), and as high as 1.9 Gbps throughput with 1300 Mbps on 802.11ac and 600 Mbps on 11n. Both wireless access points can handle 32 active WAN clients per radio and 16 access points on each cluster.
The Cisco 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 to provide 2.8 Gbps data rates at 5 GHz and 600 Mbps at 2.4 GHz for an aggregate max data rate of 2.4 Gbps. The WAP581 includes an integrated 2.5G Ethernet port and a 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN interface with 802.3at Power over Ethernet. Cisco's WAP581 Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 access point can handle up to 200 connective users, a maximum of 50 active users per radio, 16 access points per cluster, and 960 active client users for each cluster.
For more information about Progent's consulting services for current and older Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 series of wireless APs, see Cisco Small Business wireless APs planning and support.
The Aironet Family of Wireless Access Points
The Aironet portfolio of indoor and outdoor wireless access points has for years been the top-selling AP solution. Aironet APs range from entry-level devices to advanced APs. Cisco's Aironet family span multiple generations of models compliant with the continually improving 802.11x Wi-Fi specification. The current portfolio of Aironet wireless access points work with Cisco's Unified Wireless Network software and include 802.11ac Wi-Fi support, which offers three times the speed as well as superior range and user density compared to the previous generation of APs. Cisco's current dual-band Aironet access points continue to accommodate 802.11n at 2.4 GHz for client devices without 802.11ac radios.
The oldest Aironet access points are outdated devices that have reached end-of-sale status and are not fully supported by Cisco. Progent continues to support the complete Aironet family of APs and can help you to maintain your existing Aironet Wi-Fi system or move smoothly to current Aironet products. To find out more about Progent's support for current and outdated Aironet access points, refer to Aironet wireless access points consulting.
Cisco's Meraki Access Points
Cisco's portfolio of Meraki dual-band indoor access points include budget-friendly devices for general use to advanced units supporting up to 5.9 Gigabit per second performance. Every Cisco Meraki indoor AP provides high-end capabilities like plug-and-play deployment, advanced protection, Bring-Your-Own-Device support, extensive analytics, automatic over-the-web firmware updates, and consolidated cloud management via an intuitive dashboard. Every Cisco Meraki indoor AP also includes two powerful radios with boosted receive sensitivity as well as a separate radio that offers intrusion detection and prevention system (WIDS/WIPS) security for RF analysis and deep packet inspection.
Cisco's Meraki outdoor access points are IP67 rated, designed to withstand harsh outdoor conditions, and able to withstand dust particles, shock and moisture. Meraki outdoor access points include a Gigabit Ethernet port and offer advanced capabilities such as cloud management with network-wide visibility and control, 802.1X 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 and beamforming. For more information about Progent's support for Cisco's Meraki APs and cloud management, see Meraki wireless access points consulting.
Catalyst 9100 Family of Wi-Fi 6 and W-Fi 6E APs
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 line of Wi-Fi 6 APs are intended for environments ranging from home offices to high-density stadiums. Cisco Catalyst 9100 APs are based on the 802.11ax specification, referred to as Wi-Fi 6, which in turn builds on the previous 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) specification. As an improvement to 802.11ac, Wi-Fi 6 is able to utilize both the 2.4-Ghz and 5-GHz radio bands. Headline technologies supported by Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series access points include OFDMA scheduling for high density deployments, dual NAVs for improved reliability, TWT for reduced power usage in battery-dependent endpoints, adaptive power thresholds for more efficient spectrum utilization, and extended guard intervals for improved outdoor performance. Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 access points can run Cisco's EWC, handle 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 to offer the option to be managed on-premises with Cisco DNA Center platform or from the cloud using Meraki Dashboard management tools. This allows organizations to move to cloud-centric or hybrid management environments at their own pace. All Catalyst 916x APs meet the a/b/g/n/ac/ax and 6E Wi-Fi specifications and support the new 6-GHz band. Each AP has 5 radios and allows a maximum of 400 clients per radio. Every AP model also features a dedicated radio for Cisco CleanAir Pro for mitigating wireless interference, includes a USB 2.0 port, and offers Bluetooth Low Energy. The small-footprint Catalyst 9162 Series AP is designed for small organizations, has three 2x2 radios, and provides 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet connectivity. The Catalyst 9164 Series access point is intended for small and middle-size organizations, has 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 intended for large and medium-sized organizations, has three 4x4 radios, and provides 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G/5G mGig Ethernet connectivity. The 9166 also comes with environmental sensors that track air quality, temperature, and humidity. To find out more about Progent's support for Catalyst 9100 Line of Wireless Access Points, refer to Wi-Fi 6/6E 802.11ax APs solution design, deployment, and troubleshooting consulting.
Cisco 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Catalyst 9800 family of Wi-Fi 6-supported wireless controllers help you automate and manage advanced wireless networks that support 802.11ax access points. 802.11ax, referred to as Wi-Fi 6, improves on previous generation 802.11ac (called Wi-Fi 5) appliances by delivering less latency and more reliable performance, allowing higher client user density, offering enhanced protection, saving energy for battery-dependent mobile devices, and allowing more versatility for supporting new types of IoT endpoints. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 line wireless controllers feature high availability with seamless software upgrades, live patching, and the ability to add APs without service interruption. Enhanced security technologies include Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA), image signing, and Cisco Software-Defined Access (SD-Access). Streaming telemetry allows you to track and understand infrastructure and endpoint health.
All controllers in the Catalyst 9800 family are powered by Cisco's IOS XE Software and operate with Cisco's DNA Center (DNAC) or Prime Infrastructure management platforms. Catalyst 9800 wireless network controllers can support Cisco Aironet 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 access points as well as Catalyst 9100 802.11ax APs. To learn more about Progent's consulting services for Cisco 9800 line of 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers, refer to Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 wireless controllers solution design, deployment, and troubleshooting consulting.
Cisco Wi-Fi 5 Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 wireless controllers allow realtime communication, configuration, management, monitoring and debugging for Cisco wireless appliances and services. Cisco has developed both hardware and software-based wireless controllers for centralized management of wireless networks, but WLANs with a large number of wireless access points typically require physical Wi-Fi controllers. Current generation wireless controller appliances from Cisco offer major benefits in comparison to Wave 1 and older models including greater performance, concurrent support for both 1G and 10G Ethernet, enhanced application visibility and control, and advanced, built-in protection.
The Cisco 3504 Wireless Controller is a value-priced device available in a desktop form factor and designed for smaller organizations. You can use the 3504 in a centralized network architecture such as in lean branch and home-based offices administered across the WAN with FlexConnect, or in mesh installations where wiring is sparse. The 3504 wireless controller supports as many as 150 APs and 3,000 users, delivers 4 Gbps performance, and supports 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 WiFi controller includes a multi-gigabit Ethernet interface (up to 5 Gigabit Ethernet) and four 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports. APs can be connected to the controller via two Power over Ethernet ports. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller features subsecond failover for access points and clients, which provides high availability for applications. Like other Wave 2 wireless controllers from Cisco, the 3504 model has the built-in capability to work with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WiFi controllers.
The Cisco 5520 WiFi Controller, offered in a 1 rack unit (RU) enclosure, is designed for midsize to large organizations and campus environments and can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments. The 5520 Wi-Fi controller can handle as many as 1,500 APs and 20,000 users, delivers 20 Gbps throughput, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 wireless controller features two 10 GE ports and features SSD storage, redundant fans, optional dual power supplies, and rapid failover for uninterrupted availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, offered in a 2 rack unit package, is a top-of-the-line wireless controller designed to support enterprises, service providers, and large campus environments. The 8540 WiFi controller can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments and supports up to 6,000 APs and 64,000 clients. The 8540 Wireless controller can deliver data rates as high as 40 Gbps and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 8340 comes with four 1-GB or 10GE interfaces and features SSD storage, redundant power supplies, redundant fans, and subsecond failover.
Wave 1 Cisco WiFi Network Controllers
Cisco wireless network controllers cut the time and cost required to configure, manage, and operate wireless networks by offering single-point control of critical functions like setting up APs, applying consistent policies across wired/wireless networks, supporting enterprise-wide QoS for IP voice and video, monitoring and optimizing system health, implementing wireless intrusion prevention system (wIPS) capabilities to guard against unauthorized access and Distributed Denial of Service attacks, and managing IPv6 clients. Cisco has designed wireless network controllers for organizations of any size and offers desktop or rackmount appliances, modular plug-in controllers for Cisco ISR routers and Catalyst switches, and Catalyst switches with built-in wireless LAN controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 wireless controllers incorporate Cisco CleanAir tools to avoid RF interference and produce self-healing wireless LANs for top 802.11n and 802.11ac throughput and security. Integrated Bonjour Gateways allow discovery throughout WLAN, LAN and WAN for Apple-based applications. For high availability (HA), Cisco wireless controllers support access point and client stateful failover by permitting a standby HA wireless controller to synchronize with a main controller for AP license count, CAPWAP state and roaming keys, and AP CAPWAP state. If the primary controller stops working, thousands of APs and wireless clients can failover in less than a second to the secondary wireless LAN controller.
Cisco's Wireless Module for ISR G2 Routers with UCS-E offers basic 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for 2900 and 3900 Series routers deployed by smaller businesses and satellite offices. This value-priced and expandable solution can handle from five to 200 access points and up to 6000 clients. (To learn about Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Cisco routers, see Cisco router deployment and troubleshooting support.)
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU switches intended for SMBs and satellite offices and have a built-in wireless LAN controller with the ability to support up to 40 Gb of wireless throughput for each switch and 25 access points and 1000 wireless clients per switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU rackmount switches designed for midsize and large organizations and include an integrated wireless controller with 40 Gb of wireless capacity on each switch and the ability to handle 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients. The Wireless Services Module2 is a plug-in blade for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches that include a built-in wireless LAN controller intended for mid-to-large size businesses and able to deliver 20 Gbps throughput and able to handle 1000 access points and 15,000 wireless clients. (For information about Progent's support for Cisco Catalyst switches, see Catalyst switches configuration and management services.)
Cisco 2500 Wireless Controllers are economical desktop units that simplify the deployment and operation of wireless networks for small and midsize businesses and satellite offices. The Cisco 2500 wireless network controller can handle from five to 75 access points and up to 1000 clients and can deliver sustained performance of up to 1 Gbps.
The Cisco 5500 Wireless Controller is a scalable 1RU unit designed for medium-sized to large businesses and campuses and can manage 500 APs and 7,000 wireless clients while providing 8 Gbps performance. The Cisco 5760 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU device intended for mid-to-large campus environments with the ability to manage 1000 access points and 12,000 wireless clients and offering throughput of 60 Gbps to handle high wireless client densities and high usage of media-rich mobile applications.
The Cisco Flex 7500 Series Wireless Controller is intended to manage massive collections of wireless branches from a single datacenter, avoiding the need for a Wi-Fi controller at every remote site. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 appliance lets you build a private cloud to deploy, track, manage, and troubleshoot as many as 6000 access points and up to 64,000 wireless clients while handling 1 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 8500 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance designed to monitor and manage Wi-Fi networks for very large campuses or service providers and can be expanded to handle 6000 wireless points and 64,000 wireless clients while delivering 10 Gbps throughput.
To learn more about Cisco wireless controllers, see Cisco wireless controllers consulting services.
Legacy Cisco APs, LAN Bridges and Wireless Controllers Supported by Progent
The introduction of the 802.11ac standard for wireless connectivity effectively made obsolete all previous generations of Wi-Fi products for many venues that support high numbers of clients and high incidence of video-intensive software applications. Even for organizations who do not currently need the bandwidth efficiency of 802.11ac, many of Cisco wireless products have reached end-of-sale or end-of-support status, which can present serious service and compliance problems. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants provide remote and on-premises support services for a wide array of earlier-generation Cisco wireless products. Progent can in addition help companies to assess the business case for upgrading up-of-date wireless technology and can assist in planning and carrying out cost-effective, non-disruptive migrations. The following are a sample of Cisco legacy wireless products that Progent's consulting experts continue to support.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless Access Points
Cisco Aironet 1000 or 1130AG family APs are designed for offices and other sites which have little environmental variability. These access points have integrated antennas that provide dependable omnidirectional coverage patterns. The Cisco Aironet 1130G family product is designed for controlled domains that do not allow 802.11a transmission.
Aironet 1230AG or 1240AG family access points are designed for more problematic radio frequency environments like manufacturing plants or above ceiling structures which tend to require flexible protruding antennas and durable enclosures. The Cisco 1240G family device is available for restricted domains that do not permit 5GHz transmission.
Cisco Aironet 1500 Series lightweight outside mesh APs deliver a cost-effective, expandable, protected outdoor wireless network solution for campus areas and for public venues that require connectivity for portable devices.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless Bridges
Cisco wireless LAN bridges offer a high-performance and multi-featured technology for integrating multiple LANs in a metro area or public wireless environment. Cisco wireless LAN bridges provide a flexible, easy-to-use solution that meets the security demands of public networking specialists. They handle both point-to-point and P2MP configurations with excellent coverage and the ability to handle data throughput up to 54 Mbps.
Cisco Aironet wireless bridges offer data rates substantially higher than E1/T1 links for far less cost, eliminating the requirement for expensive leased lines when connecting separate offices. Because wireless bridges have no periodic costs, savings on connection services quickly cover the startup equipment costs. Private lines and in some cases leased lines using copper or optical cable can result in considerable startup expenses if they are impeded by barriers like freeways, railroads, or bodies of water. Cisco Aironet wireless LAN bridges can be deployed rapidly with a fast ROI.
Aironet 1300 Series outdoor wireless access points/bridges can be implemented as independent access points, bridges, or workgroup bridges. These appliances have a tough enclosure and provide fast, economical wireless interfaces between multiple stationary or mobile networks and users.
Cisco 1400 bridges provide fast, reliable outdoor connections for line-of-sight (LOS) applications. These devices include an all-weather enclosure that can withstand harsh outside conditions and operate in broad temperature ranges.
Legacy Cisco WLAN Controllers
Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers centralize the management of wireless networks by simplifying the control of common technologies including integrated intrusion prevention system (IPS), real-time RF management, automatic deployment, and full N+1 redundancy. WLAN controllers work with small APs to offer enhanced throughput and high-end administration functions.
Cisco WLAN Controllers (WLCs) offer the control, scalability, security, and reliability that network managers need to build safe, enterprise-scale wireless environments, from branch offices to small companies to main campuses. Cisco's legacy Wireless Network Controllers can be configured together to offer support for as many as 2400 wireless access points per roaming domain.
The Cisco WLCM or WLCM-E Module for IS Routers offers small-to mid-size businesses and large corporations a cost effective solution to deploy and manage protected wireless networks at branch locations. These devices supervise as many as twelve Cisco wireless access points and are supported on Cisco 2800/3800 Series Integrated Services Routers and Cisco 3700 Series IS Routers. (To find out concerning Progent's online and onsite consulting services for Cisco routers, see Cisco router configuration and troubleshooting services.)
How Progent's Consultants Can Help You with Cisco Wireless Devices
Progent can provide access to a Cisco-certified expert to assist you to design, deploy, manage and repair a converged wired/wireless infrastructure incorporating a broad array of wireless technologies that offer the same protection, extensibility, and ease of management you expect from a wired environment. Progent can help you to manage early-generation wireless products from Cisco or upgrade efficiently to the latest 802.11ax-compatible products. Progent's CISM and CISSP security consultants can advise you about how to build protection into your wireless network and your business processes. Progent's disaster recovery planning consultants and business continuity consultants can assist you to deploy the HA features incorporated into Cisco's wireless and wired technologies so your converged network delivers non-stop return on investment.
Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey assists you to design and deploy a state-of-the-art WLAN customized for your environment, offering a wireless ecosystem that provides comprehensive coverage, high performance and capacity, QoS to handle IP voice and video, enterprise-class security and compliance, and streamlined management. Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey can be delivered remotely to cut time and expense, or onsite to deal with more complex environments.
For a further look at Progent's wireless integration services, visit Progent's Wireless Expertise.
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