Cisco has developed an extensive line of wireless LAN devices and technologies designed to provide continual connections to data and other resources and to facilitate collaboration among employees, associates, vendors, and customers. Cisco's wireless products include the Small Business, Aironet and Meraki series of access points, plus Cisco's Wireless LAN Controller plug-ins and appliances. Progent's certified wireless consultants can help businesses of any size to deploy Cisco wireless products to accommodate the new paradigm of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) computing by converging their wired and wireless ecosystems to achieve easy configuration, consistently high throughput, centralized control, enterprise-wide policy, high availability, and advanced security.
Cisco Security Technology for Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and Wired/Wireless Connectivity
Cisco's Unified Wireless architecture can expand to up to 18,000 wireless access points with full Layer 3 connectivity across local or remote locations like enterprise headquarters, college lecture halls, branches, and telecommuter homes. Cisco's Wi-Fi wireless access points and controllers are part of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network and are engineered to deliver the same degree of security, performance, and ease of management for wireless networks that companies expect in their wired infrastructure. Cisco's architecture includes built-in mobile services such as VoIP, HD video, and safe guest access. Cisco's Unified Wireless Network architecture enables companies to build Wi-Fi environments that streamline the way they do business and improve output through a mobile and collaborative employee base.
Progent's Cisco CCIE network infrastructure consulting services offers remote or onsite support to assist your organization to plan, deploy, maintain, upgrade, and troubleshoot converged wired and wireless networks of all sizes and for any venue. Also, Progent offers economical online and onsite wireless site surveys to assist your company to plan and install a wireless LAN with customized AP clustering optimized for your specific work area layout, building characteristics, and intended application.
Cisco Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst Access Points (APs)
Cisco's Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst lines of wireless access points allow you to integrate wired and wireless networks to provide the accessibility, density, throughput, protection and manageability needed for virtually any scenario. Cisco's access points start at bare bones, single-radio 802.11b/g/n units with data rates of 300 Mb for very small companies or telecommuters to Wi-Fi 6 access points suitable for supporting hundreds of clients on each AP and delivering sustained data rates of more than 5 Gbps. Cisco's current line of wireless access points can be clustered to provide the scale to handle wireless networks crowded with clients and with high usage rates of HD video applications.
Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Series of Access Points
Cisco's Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Series of APs are Linux-based devices intended as entry-level wireless APs for small offices. Many versions in Cisco's Small Business line of wireless access points work with Cisco's Single Point Setup technology, which makes it possible to configure, manage and repair a cluster of wireless access points from one AP through a simple web browser tool. All of the models include Power over Ethernet and feature Quality of Service (QoS), rogue AP detection, and bridging for wirelessly connecting to a second network.
The Cisco Small Business WAP121 Access Point is a wallmount, single-band 2.4GHz unit able to handle 16 802.11n wireless clients, includes a 10/100 Ethernet interface, permits up to 4 AP devices and 40 active clients per cluster, and supports sustained throughput of up to 300 Mbps. Cisco's WAP131 is a desktop dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11a/b/g/n access point able to handle 16 active clients per radio for a total of up to 32 wireless clients, includes a Gigabit Ethernet port, and can support throughput of up to 300 Mbps per radio. The WAP131 does not support AP clustering. Cisco's Small Business WAP150 is a general-purpose Wave 1 dual-radio 802.11ac/n access point that includes a 1xGE Power over Ethernet port and can handle 16 clients from each radio with 867 Mbps throughput for 802.11ac clients and 300 Mbps for 802.11n clients. Cisco's WAP1501 allows 4 access points per cluster.
The Cisco Small Business WAP321 AP is a wall-mountable selectable-band (2.4 or 5 GHz) 802.11a/b/g/n device that can handle up to 80 wireless clients sharing an 8-AP cluster. The WAP321 features a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port and can support a data rate of 300 Mbps for the activated radio. The Cisco WAP351 is a dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11a/b/g/n access point that includes a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and can handle 32 active wireless clients per radio for a total of up to 64 active clients, and deliver sustained throughput of 300 Mbps per radio. The WAP351 does not support clustering. Cisco's Small Business WAP361 is a dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11ac Wave 1 AP that includes a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch, allows 32 clients per radio, and offers 867 Mbps performance for wireless AC devices and 300 Mbps performance for 802.11n devices. The Cisco WAP361 allows eight WAP361 access points per cluster. Cisco's wall-mountable WAP371 Wireless-AC/N is a dual-radio AP that supports 802.11a/b/g/n as well as the latest 802.11ac IEEE Wi-Fi specification. The WAP371 Wireless-AC/N has a Gigabit Ethernet port, can handle 32 active wireless clients on each radio, and 8 APs for each cluster.
Cisco's Small Business WAP561 802.11n Dual Radio access point features one GE LAN interface and two concurrent radios that deliver 450 Mbps performance for each radio, support 64 devices for each radio, and allow up to 16 wireless access points per cluster. Cisco's WAP551 is like Cisco's WAP 561 but has a single selectable band. Cisco's WAP571 and WAP571E (the weather-proof outside model) are dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11ac APs incorporating 2 x GE ports with link aggregation (LAG), and up to 1.9 Gigabit/sec performance with 1300 Mbps on 802.11ac and 600 Mbps on 802.11n. Both units support 32 clients per radio and 16 access points per cluster.
The Cisco WAP581 Wireless-AC Wave 2 AP complies with the 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 specification and offers 4x4 and 3x3 MU-MIMO to deliver 2.8 Gbps throughput at 5 GHz and 600 Mbps at 2.4 GHz for an aggregate top throughput of 2.4 Gbps. The Small Business WAP581 includes a fixed 2.5G Ethernet port and a 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN interface with 802.3at Power over Ethernet. The WAP581 Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 access point supports up to 200 connective client users, up to 50 active users per radio, 16 access points for each cluster, and 960 active client users for each cluster.
For details about Progent's support for current and legacy Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 family of wireless APs, refer to Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 wireless access points system design and troubleshooting.
Cisco's Aironet Family of Access Points
The Aironet family of wireless APs has consistently been the leading access point solution. Aironet wireless access points range from entry-level devices to enterprise-class units. The Aironet line cover several generations of devices compliant with the continually improving 802.11x Wi-Fi standard. Cisco's current line of Aironet APs work with Cisco's Unified Wireless Network architecture and incorporate 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, which delivers triple the performance as well as greater distance and user density than the previous generation of devices. Cisco's current multi-band Aironet APs can support 802.11n at 2.4 GHz for client devices without 802.11ac capability.
The earliest Aironet APs are now outdated units that have come to end-of-sale status and are not fully supported by Cisco. Progent still offers support for the complete Aironet line of APs and can assist you to maintain your existing Aironet wireless system or move smoothly to the latest Aironet products. To find out more about Progent's consulting services for current and legacy Cisco Aironet access points, refer to Aironet APs planning and support.
Cisco's Meraki Wireless Access Points
Cisco's family of Meraki 2.4/5 GHz indoor access points include budget-friendly models for small businesses to enterprise-class units that offer up to 5.9 Gigabit per second throughput. Every Cisco Meraki indoor AP provides next-generation capabilities like plug-and-play installation, advanced protection, BYOD support, extensive traffic analysis, zero-touch over-the-web firmware updates, and consolidated cloud-based management via an intuitive dashboard. Each Meraki indoor wireless access point also includes two powerful client-serving radios with boosted receive sensitivity plus a separate radio that offers intrusion detection and prevention system (WIDS/WIPS) security for RF analysis and deep packet inspection at line rate.
Meraki outdoor wireless access points are IP67 rated, designed to operate in rugged outdoor environments, and able to resist dust particles, shock and moisture. Meraki outdoor access points include a Gigabit Ethernet port and offer advanced features such as cloud management with multi-site visibility and control, 802.1X integration, built-in antivirus scan (NAC), single-click secure guest access and isolation firewall, Layer 7 traffic shaping, plus self-configuring mesh with beamforming. For details about Progent's support for Cisco's Meraki access points and management, see Meraki wireless access points consulting.
Catalyst 9100 Line of Wireless Access Points
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 APs are intended for environments ranging from home offices to high-density convention centers. Catalyst 9100 access points are compliant with the 802.11ax standard, known 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 designed to utilize both the 2.4-Ghz and 5-GHz bands. Headline technologies supported by Catalyst 9100 Series access points include MU-MIMO support for uplink traffic, dual NAVs for better reliability, increased device sleep time for reduced power consumption in battery-powered endpoints, adaptive sensitivity thresholds for more efficient spectrum use, and extended guard intervals for improved outdoor performance. All Cisco Catalyst 9100 802.11ax APs can run Cisco's Embedded Wireless Controller, accommodate up to 200 clients per Wi-Fi radio, and run on Cisco IOS XE Software. For details about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Line of 802.11ax APs, see 802.11ax APs solution planning, configuration, and management consulting.
Cisco 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 line of Wi-Fi 6-compatible wireless LAN controllers allow you to automate and manage advanced wireless networks that incorporate 802.11ax wireless APs. The 802.11ax standard, aka Wi-Fi 6, builds on prior generation 802.11ac (referred to as Wi-Fi 5) appliances by providing less latency and more predictable performance, allowing higher client density, offering greater security, saving energy for battery-dependent mobile devices, and offering more versatility for handling the latest types of Internet-of-Things (IoT) endpoints. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 family Wi-Fi controllers include always-on availability with transparent software updates, hot fixes, and the ability to add Wi-Fi access points with zero service interruption. Enhanced security features include Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA), secure boot, and Software-Defined Access (SD-Access). Streaming telemetry permits you to track and analyze network and client health.
All appliances in the Catalyst 9800 line are based on Cisco's IOS XE Software and work with Cisco's DNA Center (DNAC) or with Cisco Prime Infrastructure network management tools. Catalyst 9800 Series wireless network controllers can manage Cisco Aironet 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 Wi-Fi access points as well as Cisco Catalyst 9100 802.11ax APs. For more information about Progent's support for Cisco 9800 line of Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers, see Cisco Catalyst 9800 line of Wi-Fi 6 wireless controller appliances solution planning, deployment, and debugging consulting.
Cisco Wi-Fi 5 802.11ac Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers allow realtime communication, configuration, management, monitoring and debugging for Cisco wireless devices and services. Cisco has developed both physical and virtual Wi-Fi controllers for centralized administration of WiFi environments, but networks with a large number of Wi-Fi APs are better served by physical Wi-Fi controllers. New Wi-Fi controller devices from Cisco deliver major benefits in comparison to Wave 1 and older models such as greater performance, concurrent support for both 1G and 10G Ethernet, improved application visibility and control, and advanced, integrated protection.
The Cisco 3504 WiFi Controller is a value-priced appliance with a desktop body and intended for small and medium-sized organizations. You can install the 3504 in a centralized WLAN environment such as in small branch and home-based offices managed over the wide-area network with FlexConnect, or in mesh deployments where Ethernet cabling is limited. The 3504 wireless controller can handle up to 150 WiFi access points and 3,000 users, offers 4 Gbps performance, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 wireless controller includes a Cisco Multigigabit interface and four 1-GB Ethernet ports. Access points can be attached to the WiFi controller through two Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports. The 3504 wireless controller features fast failover for access points and users, which provides nonstop availability for apps. Like other current 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 WiFi Controller, offered in a 1RU form factor, is designed for midsize to large enterprises and campus networks and can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments. The 5520 wireless controller can handle as many as 1,500 Wi-Fi access points and 20,000 clients, offers 20 Gbps performance, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 wireless controller includes two 10 GE interfaces and incorporates SSD storage, redundant fans, optional redundant power supplies, and subsecond failover for nonstop availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, available in a 2RU enclosure, is a top-of-the-line WiFi controller intended 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 access points and 64,000 clients. The 8540 WiFi controller offers throughput as high as 40 Gbps and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 8340 includes four 1-GB or 10GE interfaces and features solid-state storage, backup power supplies, backup fans, and subsecond failover.
Wave 1 Cisco Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco wireless LAN controllers cut the time and expense needed to configure, monitor, and troubleshoot wireless networks by offering single-point control of tasks like setting up wireless access points, applying consistent policies across converged LANs, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service (QoS) for IP voice and video, monitoring and troubleshooting system health, implementing wireless intrusion prevention system (wIPS) tools to defend against cyber break-ins and DDoS threats, and handling IPv6 clients. Cisco has designed wireless LAN controllers for organizations of any size and offers desktop or rackmount appliances, modular plug-in controllers for Cisco routers and switches, and switches with built-in wireless LAN controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 WiFi controllers incorporate Cisco CleanAir technology to avoid RF interference and produce self-optimizing wireless LANs for top 802.11n and 802.11ac throughput and security. Built-in Bonjour Gateways enable discovery and policy throughout WLAN, LAN and WAN for Apple-based applications. For high availability, Cisco wireless controllers support access point and client stateful switchover by permitting a backup HA wireless controller to synchronize with a main controller for AP license tabulation, CAPWAP keys, and AP CAPWAP state. In case the main wireless controller goes down, thousands of access points and clients can switchover at subsecond speeds to the secondary wireless LAN controller.
Cisco's Wireless Controller Module for ISR Routers with UCS-E offers entry-level 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for 2900 and 3900 routers deployed by small to medium-sized organizations and satellite offices. This affordable and expandable module can support from five to 200 access points and as many as 6000 wireless clients. (To learn about Progent's online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting support for Cisco routers, see Cisco router configuration and management consulting.)
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU switches designed for small to mid-size businesses and branches and have an integrated wireless LAN controller with the ability to handle 40 Gb of wireless capacity for each switch and up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 clients on each switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU switches designed for mid-size and large organizations and feature a built-in wireless controller with 40 Gb of wireless throughput per switch and the ability to handle 50 access points and up to 2000 clients. The WiSM2 is a plug-in blade for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches with an integrated wireless controller designed for mid-to-large size enterprises and able to deliver 20 Gbps throughput and with support for 1000 APs and up to 15,000 wireless clients. (To learn concerning Progent's support for Catalyst switches, see Catalyst switches deployment and management consulting.)
Cisco 2500 Series Wireless Controllers are entry-level desktop units that simplify the deployment and operation of wireless LANs for SMBs and satellite offices. The Cisco 2500 Series wireless LAN controller can manage 5 to 75 APs 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 medium-sized to large organizations and campus environments and can support 500 access points and 7,000 wireless clients while providing 8 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 5760 Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance intended for mid-to-large campus environments with support for 1000 wireless access points and 12,000 wireless clients and delivering performance of 60 Gbps to handle high client densities and high usage of video-intensive applications.
The Cisco Flex 7500 Series Wireless Controller is designed to enable centralized management of thousands of wireless branches from one location, avoiding the costs of a Wi-Fi controller at each branch. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 appliance lets you establish a private cloud to deploy, monitor, maintain, and repair as many as 6000 access points and 64,000 wireless clients while handling 1 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 8500 Wireless Controller is a 1RU device designed to monitor and manage Wi-Fi networks for very large campuses or for service providers and can be expanded to support up to 6000 wireless points and 64,000 wireless clients while offering 10 Gbps performance.
To find out more about Cisco WiFi controllers, go to Cisco wireless controllers consulting services.
Legacy Cisco Wireless Access Points, LAN Bridges and Controllers Supported by Progent
The introduction of the IEEE 802.11ac standard for Wi-Fi effectively made obsolete all earlier generations of Wi-Fi products for many venues that support high numbers of clients and high incidence of video-intensive applications. Even for organizations who do not need the performance of 802.11ac Wi-Fi, many of Cisco wireless devices have reached end-of-sale or end-of-support status, which can represent significant service and compliance issues. Progent's Cisco-certified consulting experts offer online and on-premises support for a wide range of older-generation wireless products from Cisco. Progent can also assist companies to assess the business case for upgrading up-of-date wireless technology and can help in planning and executing affordable, non-disruptive upgrades. Below are a few of Cisco legacy wireless devices that Progent's consultants still support.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless Access Points
Cisco Aironet 1000 or 1130AG family wireless access points are designed for conventional workplaces and similar sites which have minimal environmental instability. These access points have integrated antennas that provide dependable radio range profiles. The Cisco 1130G family product is offered for restricted domains that do not allow 802.11a transmission.
Aironet 1230AG/1240AG Series access points are intended for more difficult RF situations like manufacturing plants or above ceiling structures which commonly require flexible protruding antennas and rugged metal cases. The 1240G Series wireless access point is available for controlled domains that do not allow 802.11a transmission.
Cisco Aironet 1500 Series lightweight outside mesh LAN access points offer a cost-effective, scalable, protected outdoor Wi-Fi mechanism for campus areas and for public venues that require access for portable phones or computers.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless LAN Bridges
Cisco Aironet wireless bridges offer a high-speed and feature-rich technology for connecting multiple LANs in a metropolitan area or public access network. Cisco Aironet wireless bridges offer a versatile, easy-to-use technology that satisfies the security requirements of wide-area networking specialists. These bridges support both P2P and P2MP implementations with good coverage and the ability to handle data rates up to 54 Mbps.
Cisco wireless LAN bridges offer data rates significantly higher than E1/T1 lines for far less expense, doing away with the requirement for expensive leased lines when linking different buildings. Because wireless bridges require no periodic charges, savings on leased-line services rapidly cover the startup hardware costs. Private lines and even leased lines utilizing metal or fiber-optic cable can require high up-front costs in cases where they are separated by obstacles such as highways, train tracks, or bodies of water. Cisco Aironet wireless bridges can be installed quickly an offer a fast ROI.
Aironet 1300 outside wireless access points/bridges can be implemented as stand-alone access points, bridges, or workgroup bridges. These appliances have a durable cover and provide fast, economical wireless connectivity between numerous stationary or mobile networks and clients.
Aironet 1400 Series wireless bridges offer high-performance, dependable outside bridging for LOS applications. These devices include an all-weather enclosure that is optimized for severe outdoor environments and operate within wide temperature ranges.
Legacy Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco WLAN Controllers centralize the management of wireless LANs by simplifying the control of common technologies including integrated intrusion prevention system (IPS), real-time RF management, zero touch configuration, and full N+1 redundancy. Cisco WLAN controllers operate with small access points to deliver superior performance and high-end administration functions.
Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers offer the control, expandability, security, and resilience that system managers need to create safe, enterprise-scale wireless environments, from branch locations to small businesses to main campuses. Cisco's first-generation Wireless Controllers can be configured together to provide accommodation for as many as 2400 access points for each roaming domain.
Cisco's WLCM or WLCM-E Module for Integrated Services Routers provides small-to mid-size businesses (SMBs) and large corporations a cost effective way to implement and control secure WLANs at satellite locations. These devices manage as many as twelve Cisco APs and are installable in 2800/3800 Series Routers and Cisco 3700 Series IS Routers. (For information concerning Progent's remote and on-premises support for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router deployment and troubleshooting consulting.)
How Progent's Engineers Can Assist You with Cisco Wireless Technology
Progent can provide a Cisco-certified expert to assist your business to design, deploy, maintain and repair a converged wired/wireless environment incorporating a wide array of wireless technologies that provide the identical protection, expandability, and ease of management you demand from your wired environment. Progent can assist you to manage early-generation Wi-Fi solutions from Cisco or upgrade seamlessly to current 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 technology. Progent's CISM and CISSP security specialists can show you how to build protection into your WLAN and your business processes. Progent's disaster recovery planning consultants and business continuity planners can show you how to deploy the high availability (HA) features incorporated into Cisco's wired/wireless technologies so your converged network provides continuing business value.
Progent's Wireless Site Survey assists you to plan and implement a state-of-the-art WLAN customized for your facilities, providing a Wi-Fi solution that provides seamless coverage, high performance and capacity, Quality of Service features to handle IP voice and video, advanced security and compliance, and simplified management. Progent's Wireless Site Survey can be performed remotely to reduce time and costs, or on premises to deal with more complex facilities.
For a more in-depth discussion of Progent's wireless integration services, visit Progent's Wireless Consulting.
For additional information concerning Progent's engineering support for Cisco networking products, choose a subject:
If you wish to ask Progent about engineering expertise for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.