Cisco has developed a comprehensive line of wireless networking devices and software tools designed to provide anywhere, anytime connections to data and other resources and to facilitate collaboration among employees, partners, vendors, and clients. Cisco's wireless offerings include Cisco's Small Business, Aironet and Meraki series of access points, plus Cisco's Wireless LAN Controller modules and standalone devices. Progent's Cisco-certified wireless consultants can enable organizations of all sizes to utilize Cisco wireless products to accommodate the new model of Bring-Your-Own-Device networks by integrating their tethered and untethered networks to achieve simplified deployment, consistent and fast performance, centralized management, uniform policy, high availability, and advanced protection.
Cisco's Converged Solution for BYOD and Wired/Wireless Networking
The Cisco Unified Wireless Network solution can expand to as many as 18,000 wireless access points with full Layer 3 connectivity across local or remote locations such as enterprise headquarters, university auditoriums, branch offices, and home offices. Cisco's Wi-Fi wireless access points and controllers are components of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network and are designed to support the same level of protection, performance, and manageability for wireless networks that companies demand in their wired networks. Cisco's technology includes built-in mobile services such as VoIP, HD video, and secure guest access. Cisco's Unified Wireless Network technology enables companies to create wireless environments that streamline the way they do business and enhance productivity via a dynamic and connected workforce.
Progent's Cisco-certified network consulting services offers online or onsite support to help you to plan, deploy, manage, upgrade, and repair converged wired and wireless networks of any size and for any venue. Also, Progent can provide economical remote and onsite Wi-Fi site surveys to help your company to design and deploy a Wi-Fi LAN with custom-designed wireless access point clustering optimized for your individual work area layout, building characteristics, and intended application.
Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst Access Points (APs)
Cisco's Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst families of wireless access points enable businesses to integrate wired/wireless infrastructure to provide the coverage, capacity, throughput, security and manageability needed for virtually any environment. Cisco's access points start at entry-level, single-radio 802.11b/g/n devices with data rates of 300 Mb for small businesses or home offices to Wi-Fi 6 APs suitable for supporting hundreds of wireless clients on each AP and offering sustained throughput of more than 5 Gbps. Cisco's current line of APs can be clustered to provide the capacity to support environments crowded with clients and with high usage rates of HD video application software.
Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Series of APs
Cisco's Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Family of APs are Linux-powered units engineered as entry-level Wi-Fi APs for light workloads. Most versions in the Cisco Small Business line of wireless access points support Cisco's Single Point Setup system, which makes it possible to configure, manage and repair a group of access points from a single device via an intuitive browser-based interface. All models include POE and provide QoS, rogue AP awareness, and bridging for connecting to a second Ethernet LAN.
Cisco's Small Business WAP121 AP is a wallmount, single-band 2.4GHz unit that can support 16 active 802.11b/g/n clients, has a Fast Ethernet port, allows up to 4 AP devices and 40 active wireless clients in a cluster, and supports sustained throughput of 300 Mbps. The Cisco WAP131 is a desktop dual-radio 802.11a/b/g/n AP that can handle 16 active wireless clients on each radio for up to 32 clients, includes a GE interface, and delivers sustained data rates of 300 Mbps per radio. The WAP131 does not allow AP clustering. The Cisco Small Business WAP150 is an entry-level Wave 1 dual-radio 802.11ac/n access point that features a 1xGE Poe port and can handle up to 16 clients per radio with 867 Mbps throughput for 802.11ac devices and 300 Mbps for 802.11n devices. Cisco's WAP1501 allows 4 APs for each cluster.
The Cisco Small Business WAP321 Wireless-N model is a wall-mountable single-band (either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz) 802.11n device with support for 80 active clients sharing an 8-AP cluster. The WAP321 features a GE interface and can deliver a sustained data rate of 300 Mbps for the activated radio. The Cisco Small Business WAP351 is a dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11a/b/g/n AP that includes a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet interface and can handle 32 active clients per radio for up to 64 clients, and support a data rate of 300 Mbps per radio. The WAP351 AP does not allow clustering. The Cisco WAP361 is a dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11ac Wave 1 AP that includes a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet LAN switch, can support 32 active WLAN clients per radio, and offers 867 Mbps throughput for 802.11ac devices and 300 Mbps performance for 802.11n clients. The Cisco Small Business WAP361 allows eight access points per cluster. Cisco's wall-mountable Small Business WAP371 Wireless-AC/N is a dual-band AP that works with 802.11a/b/g/n and the new 802.11ac wireless networking standard. The WAP371 Wireless-AC/N has a GE port, can handle up to 32 active clients per radio, and eight access points for each cluster.
Cisco's WAP561 Wireless-N Dual Radio Selectable Band access point includes a GE LAN interface and two concurrent radios that deliver 450 Mbps throughput per radio, can handle 64 clients for each radio, and allow up to 16 wireless access points for each cluster. The Cisco WAP551 is similar to the WAP 561 but features a single radio selectable band. Cisco's WAP571 and WAP571E (a ruggedized outdoor model) are dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11ac APs incorporating two Gb Ethernet ports with link aggregation (LAG), 3x3 MIMO, and up to 1.9 Gbps performance with 1300 Mbps over 11ac and 600 Mbps over 802.11n. Both wireless access points support 32 active WAN clients on each radio and 16 wireless access points per cluster.
Cisco's WAP581 Wireless-AC Wave 2 AP complies with the 802.11ac specification and offers 4x4 and 3x3 MU-MIMO to provide 2.8 Gbps throughput at 5 GHz and 0.6 Gbps on the 2.4-GHz radio for an aggregate top data rate of 2.4 Gbps. The Small Business WAP581 has an integrated 2.5G Ethernet LAN interface and a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port with 802.3at PoE. Cisco's WAP581 Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 AP can handle up to 200 connective client users, a maximum of 50 active client users for each radio, 16 APs per cluster, and 960 active client users for each cluster.
For details about Progent's consulting services for current and older Cisco Small Business series of WiFi APs, see Cisco Small Business WiFi access points configuration and troubleshooting.
The Aironet Family of Access Points
The Aironet family of wireless access points has for years been the leading access point product. Aironet access points run the gamut from value-priced entry-level models to advanced APs. Cisco's Aironet line cover multiple generations of models supporting the evolving 802.11x Wi-Fi standard. The current portfolio of Aironet APs support Cisco's Unified Wireless Network software and incorporate 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, which delivers triple the speed as well as greater distance and user density compared to the prior generation of APs. Cisco's latest dual-frequency Aironet APs can handle 802.11n at 2.4 GHz for clients that do not have 802.11ac capability.
The earliest Aironet access points are outdated units that have come to end-of-sale status and are no longer supported by Cisco. Progent still offers support for the entire Aironet family of access points and can assist your company to maintain your existing Aironet Wi-Fi system or upgrade smoothly to current Aironet products. For more information about Progent's consulting services for current and legacy Aironet wireless access points, see Cisco Aironet access points consulting services.
Meraki Wireless Access Points
Cisco's portfolio of Meraki 2.4/5 GHz indoor wireless access points include value-priced models for general use to enterprise-class products that offer up to 5.9 Gbit/sec performance. Each Meraki indoor AP provides high-end capabilities like plug-and-play installation, advanced protection, Bring-Your-Own-Device support, built-in traffic analysis, automatic over-the-web firmware updates, and unified cloud-based management for multiple sites. Each Cisco Meraki indoor AP also includes two high-power radios with enhanced reception plus a dedicated radio that provides intrusion detection and prevention system (WIDS/WIPS) security for threat detection and deep packet inspection at line rate.
Cisco's Meraki outdoor access points are IP67 rated, built to withstand rugged outdoor environments, and able to resist dust particles, shock and humidity. Cisco's Meraki outdoor access points include a 1 x Gbit Ethernet port and deliver advanced capabilities such as cloud-based management with multi-site control, 802.1X and native Active Directory integration, built-in antivirus scan (NAC), 1-click secure guest access and isolation firewall, application-aware traffic shaping, plus auto-configuring mesh with MIMO and beamforming. For more information about Progent's support for Meraki APs and management, see Meraki APs planning and support.
Catalyst 9100 Series 802.11ax Access Points
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Series 802.11ax wireless APs are designed for deployments ranging from telecommuter homes to high-density enterprise campuses. Cisco Catalyst 9100 APs are compliant with the 802.11ax standard, referred to as Wi-Fi 6, which in turn builds on the preceding 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) specification. As an improvement to 802.11ac, Wi-Fi 6 is able to use both the 2.4-Ghz and 5-GHz radio bands. Headline technologies incorporated in Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series access points include OFDMA scheduling for high density deployments, dual NAVs for improved dependability, TWT for reduced power usage in battery-dependent endpoints, adaptive sensitivity thresholds for more efficient spectrum utilization, and dynamic fragmentation for reduced overhead. All Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 APs support Cisco's EWC, accommodate up to 200 clients per Wi-Fi radio, and are powered by Cisco IOS XE Software. For details about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Line of Wireless Access Points, refer to 802.11ax APs solution planning, configuration, and troubleshooting consulting.
Cisco 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6-supported wireless controllers help you automate and manage advanced wireless environments that support 802.11ax Wi-Fi access points. The 802.11ax standard, also called Wi-Fi 6, improves on previous generation 802.11ac (called Wi-Fi 5) devices by delivering less latency and more predictable performance, supporting higher client user density, providing enhanced security, saving energy for battery-powered handheld devices, and allowing more flexibility for handling new kinds of IoT endpoints. Catalyst 9800 line Wi-Fi controllers include always-on availability with seamless software updates, hot fixes, and the ability to add APs without disruption of service. Advanced cybersecurity features include Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA), image signing, and Cisco Software-Defined Access (SD-Access). Streaming telemetry permits you to track and understand 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 management platforms. Catalyst 9800 wireless network controllers can manage Cisco Aironet Wi-Fi 5 Wave 1 and Wave 2 access points concurrently with Cisco Catalyst 9100 802.11ax APs. For details about Progent's consulting services for Cisco 9800 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers, refer to Cisco Catalyst 9800 line of Wi-Fi 6 wireless LAN controller appliances solution design, configuration, and troubleshooting consulting.
Cisco Wi-Fi 5 802.11ac Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 wireless controllers allow fast communication, deployment, control, analysis and debugging for Cisco Wi-Fi appliances and services. Cisco offers both hardware and virtual wireless controllers for unified administration of WiFi environments, but systems with many wireless APs are better served by hardware-based Wi-Fi controllers. Wave 2 Wi-Fi controller devices from Cisco deliver significant benefits over Wave 1 and earlier products including higher performance, concurrent support for both 1G and 10G interfaces, enhanced application visibility and control, and advanced, built-in security.
The Cisco 3504 WiFi Controller is an entry-level device available in a desktop body and designed for small and medium-sized businesses. You can install the 3504 in a centralized network environment such as in small branch and remote offices managed over the wide-area network via Cisco FlexConnect, or in mesh deployments where Ethernet cabling is sparse. The 3504 wireless controller supports up to 150 WiFi access points and 3,000 users, offers 4 Gbps performance, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 3504 wireless controller features a Cisco Multigigabit interface and four 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports. APs can be attached directly to the WiFi controller through two Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller features subsecond failover for APs and users, which provides high availability for applications. As with other current Wave 2 wireless controllers from Cisco, the 3504 model has the built-in capability to communicate with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 wireless controllers.
Cisco's 5520 WiFi Controller, available in a 1RU package, is intended for larger enterprises and campus networks 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 clients, delivers 20 Gbps performance, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 wireless controller features two 10 GE ports and incorporates SSD storage, backup fans, optional backup power supplies, and subsecond failover for high availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, available in a 2 rack unit (RU) package, is a high-end wireless controller designed to support large enterprises, service providers, and large campuses. The 8540 WiFi controller can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures and can handle up to 6,000 access points and 64,000 users. The 8540 Wireless controller offers throughput as high as 40 Gbps and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 8540 controller 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 network controllers cut the effort and expense required to deploy, monitor, and operate wireless networks by centralizing control of critical tasks such as provisioning wireless access points, applying consistent policies throughout wired/wireless networks, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service for IP voice and video, tracking and optimizing network performance, implementing intrusion prevention capabilities to defend against unauthorized access and DDoS attacks, and handling IPv6 and dual-stack clients. Cisco has developed wireless LAN controllers for businesses of any size and can provide desktop or rackmount controllers, modular add-on wireless controllers for Cisco ISR routers and switches, and switches with integrated wireless controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 wireless network controllers incorporate Cisco CleanAir technology to avoid RF interference and produce self-healing wireless networks for top 802.11n and 802.11ac performance and security. Built-in Apple Bonjour Gateways enable discovery, advertisement and policy across WLAN, LAN and WAN for Apple-based applications. For high availability (HA), Cisco wireless LAN controllers support wireless access point and client stateful switchover by enabling a backup HA wireless controller to synch with a main wireless controller for access point license count, CAPWAP state and roaming keys, and AP CAPWAP state. In case the primary controller stops working, thousands of wireless access points and clients can failover in less than a second to the backup wireless 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 Series routers deployed by small to medium-sized businesses and branches. This affordable and expandable solution can handle from five to 200 wireless access points and up to 6000 wireless clients. (For information about Progent's online and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting support services for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router configuration and troubleshooting consulting.)
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU form-factor switches designed for SMBs and branches and come with a built-in wireless LAN controller with the capability to handle 40 Gb of wireless capacity per switch and 25 APs and 1000 clients on each switch. Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU switches designed for mid-size businesses and large enterprises and feature a built-in wireless network controller with up to 40 Gb of wireless capacity per switch and the ability to handle 50 access points and 2000 wireless clients. The Wireless Services Module2 (WiSM2) is a plug-in blade for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches that include a built-in wireless network controller intended for mid-to-large size enterprises and capable of 20 Gbps performance and with support for up to 1000 APs and 15,000 clients. (To learn concerning Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Cisco Catalyst switches, refer to Cisco Catalyst switches deployment and management consulting.)
Cisco 2500 Wireless Controllers are economical desktop devices that streamline the deployment and management of Wi-Fi LANs for SMBs and satellite offices. The Cisco 2500 wireless LAN controller can manage 5 to 75 access points and up to 1000 clients and offers throughput of 1 Gbps.
Cisco's 5500 Wireless Controller is an expandable 1RU unit designed for medium-sized to large enterprises and campuses and can manage up to 500 APs 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 providing throughput of 60 Gbps to handle high client densities and high amounts of video-intensive mobile applications.
Cisco's Flex 7500 Series Wireless Controller is intended to enable centralized management of thousands of wireless branches from a single location, eliminating the requirement for a wireless controller at every branch. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 allows you to build a private cloud to deploy, track, maintain, and troubleshoot as many as 6000 access points and 64,000 clients while supporting 1 Gbps throughput. The Cisco 8500 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU rackmount device designed to manage wireless environments for very large campuses or for service providers and can scale to handle 6000 wireless points and 64,000 wireless clients while delivering 10 Gbps throughput.
For more information about Cisco wireless controllers, visit Cisco Wi-Fi controllers consulting and integration.
Legacy Cisco Access Points, LAN Bridges and Controllers Supported by Progent
The 802.11ac standard for Wi-Fi largely rendered obsolete all earlier generations of Wi-Fi devices for many venues that have high numbers of wireless clients and high incidence of HD video software applications. Even for organizations who do not currently require the bandwidth efficiency of 802.11ac, many of Cisco wireless devices have arrived at end-of-sale or end-of-support status, which can pose serious service and compliance problems. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and onsite support services for a wide range of older-generation wireless products from Cisco. Progent can in addition assist companies to evaluate the potential ROI for updating up-of-date wireless technology and can help in designing and carrying out affordable, non-disruptive upgrades. The following are a few of Cisco older-generation wireless products that Progent's consulting experts continue to support.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Access Points
Cisco Aironet 1000 or 1130AG family APs are ideal for offices and similar sites which have little environmental instability. These devices include integrated antennas that offer predictable radio range profiles. The Aironet 1130G family WAP is designed for controlled locations that do not permit 802.11a transmission.
Cisco Aironet 1230AG or 1240AG Series wireless access points are intended for more difficult RF environments such as manufacturing plants and warehouses or above suspended ceilings which typically call for adjustable protruding antennas and rugged metal enclosures. The 1240G family AP is intended for controlled locations that do not permit 802.11a/5GHz operation.
Aironet 1500 Series lightweight outdoor mesh access points offer a cost-effective, expandable, protected outdoor wireless network technology for campus areas and for public sites that require access for mobile devices.
Legacy Cisco Wireless LAN Bridges
Cisco wireless bridges offer a high-throughput and multi-featured solution for integrating multiple LANs in a metro area or public wireless environment. Cisco wireless LAN bridges offer a versatile, manageable technology that meets the security demands of wide-area networking professionals. They support both P2P and PMP deployments with good range and the ability to handle traffic throughput up to 54 Mbps.
Cisco wireless LAN bridges offer data rates significantly higher than E1/T1 links for much lower cost, avoiding the requirement for costly leased lines when linking separate offices. Because wireless bridges carry no ongoing costs, savings on connection services rapidly pay for the initial equipment costs. Self-installed private lines and even leased lines made of metal or fiber-optic cable often require very expensive startup costs if they are separated by barriers such as highways, train tracks, or bodies of water. Cisco wireless bridges can be installed quickly with a fast ROI.
Cisco 1300 family outside access points/bridges can be implemented as stand-alone wireless access points, bridges, or wireless group bridges. These appliances have a ruggedized cover and offer fast, cost-effective wireless connectivity between multiple stationary or mobile environments and users.
Cisco 1400 wireless bridges provide high-speed, reliable outdoor bridging for line-of-sight (LOS) environments. These devices include an all-weather enclosure that is optimized for harsh outdoor environments and can function in wide temperature ranges.
Legacy Cisco Wireless Controllers
Cisco WLAN Controllers centralize the management of WLANs by simplifying the handling of common functions such as integrated intrusion prevention system (IPS), fast RF control, automatic configuration, and N+1 redundancy. Wireless Network controllers work with small APs to offer superior performance and advanced control capabilities.
Wireless LAN Controllers provide the control, scalability, protection, and reliability that IT managers require to create safe, large-scale wireless environments, from satellite locations to small businesses to headquarter campuses. Cisco's first-generation WLCs can be clustered to provide support for up to 2400 access points per roaming domain.
The Cisco WLCM or WLCM-E Wireless LAN Controller Module for Integrated Services (IS) Routers provides small-to medium businesses and large corporations an affordable solution to deploy and control secure WLANs at branch locations. These controllers manage as many as 12 Cisco Aironet access points and are supported on Cisco 2800/3800 Series IS Routers and Cisco 3700 Series Integrated Services Routers. (To learn concerning Progent's online and onsite consulting services for Cisco routers, see Cisco router configuration and management consulting.)
How Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Wireless Solutions
Progent can provide a Cisco-certified CCIE consultant to assist your business to plan, deploy, manage and repair a converged wired and wireless ecosystem integrating a wide array of wireless technologies that offer the same security, extensibility, and manageability you expect from your wired network. Progent can help you to maintain early-generation wireless products from Cisco or upgrade efficiently to current 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 technology. Progent's CISA and ISSAP security consultants can show you how to design security into your WLAN and your business processes. Progent's disaster recovery consultants and business continuity consultants can show you how to deploy the HA features built into Cisco's wired/wireless products so your converged network delivers significant return on investment.
Progentís Wi-Fi Site Survey assists you to design and deploy a state-of-the-art wireless network optimized for your environment, offering a Wi-Fi solution that provides comprehensive coverage, high performance and density, Quality of Service features to support IP video, advanced security and compliance, and easy management. Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey can be performed remotely to cut time and costs, or on premises for more difficult environments.
For a further discussion of Progent's wireless integration capabilities, visit Progent's Wireless Network Support.
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