Cisco has developed an extensive catalog of wireless networking products and technologies engineered to provide continual connections to information and other resources and to promote teamwork among workers, associates, suppliers, and customers. Cisco's wireless products include Cisco's Small Business, Aironet and Meraki lines of wireless access points, plus Cisco's Wireless LAN Controller modules and standalone devices. Progent's Cisco-certified wireless consulting experts can enable organizations of all sizes to deploy Cisco wireless products to support the current model of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) networks by integrating their wired and wireless environments to achieve simplified configuration, consistently high performance, centralized control, uniform policy enforcement, fault tolerance, and across-the-board protection.
Cisco's Security Technology for BYOD and Wired/Wireless Networking
The Cisco Unified Wireless architecture can scale to up to 18,000 access points with full Layer 3 mobility across local or offsite venues such as business headquarters, university auditoriums, branches, and telecommuter homes. Cisco's 802.11x wireless access points and controllers are components of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network and are designed to deliver the identical level of security, performance, and manageability for WLANs that companies expect in their wired ecosystem. This architecture includes integrated mobile services like VoIP, HD video, and secure guest connectivity. Cisco's Unified Wireless architecture allows companies to build Wi-Fi environments that streamline the way they work and enhance output via a dynamic and collaborative employee base.
Progent's Cisco-certified network consultants offers online or onsite support to help you to design, configure, maintain, upgrade, and repair converged wired/wireless network infrastructure of any size and for any environment. Also, Progent can provide economical online and on-premises wireless site surveys to help you to plan and install a Wi-Fi network with customized AP clustering optimized for your individual work area layout, building characteristics, and intended application.
Cisco Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst Wireless Access Points
Cisco's Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst lines of APs allow organizations to integrate wired and wireless infrastructure to deliver the coverage, density, performance, protection and manageability needed for virtually any environment. These wireless access points range from bare bones, single-band 802.11b/g/n devices with throughput of 300 Mbps intended for small companies or home offices to 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) wireless access points capable of handling hundreds of clients on each access point and delivering data rates of more than 5 Gigabits per second. Cisco's latest selection of APs can be combined or clustered to deliver the scale to support wireless networks crowded with clients and with high usage rates of video-intense application software.
Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Family of Wireless Access Points
Cisco's Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Family of access points are Linux-based devices designed as value-priced wireless APs for small offices. Many versions in the Cisco Small Business portfolio of APs work with Cisco's Single Point Setup system, which allows you to configure, manage and troubleshoot a cluster of access points from a single device through an intuitive web browser interface. All of the versions include Power over Ethernet (POE) and provide Quality of Service (QoS), rogue access point detection, and bridging for wirelessly connecting to another network.
Cisco's Small Business WAP121 Wireless-N Access Point is a wall-mountable, single-radio 2.4GHz unit that can handle 16 active 802.11n clients, includes a Fast Ethernet port, permits up to four AP devices and 40 wireless clients in a cluster, and can handle throughput of 300 Mbps. The Cisco Small Business WAP131 is a desktop dual-radio 802.11a/b/g/n AP able to handle 16 wireless clients on each radio for up to 32 wireless clients, includes a GE port, and delivers throughput of up to 300 Mbps per radio. The WAP131 Wireless-N does not support AP clustering. Cisco's WAP150 is a value-priced dual-radio 802.11ac/n AP that features a one Gbit Power over Ethernet (PoE) port and can support up to 16 clients per radio with 867 Mbps performance for AC clients and 300 Mbps for 802.11n clients. The Cisco Small Business WAP150 allows 4 APs per cluster.
The Cisco Small Business WAP321 AP is a wallmount single-band (2.4 or 5 GHz) 802.11n device with support for up to 80 wireless clients in an 8-AP cluster. The WAP321 includes a Gigabit Ethernet interface and can support sustained throughput 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 with a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet interface and can handle 32 active wireless clients on each radio for a total of up to 64 clients, and support sustained throughput of 300 Mbps for each radio. The WAP351 does not support clustering. Cisco's Small Business WAP361 is a dual-band 802.11ac AP that features a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet LAN switch, can support 32 active WLAN clients on each radio, and offers 867 Mbps performance for wireless AC devices and 300 Mbps for 802.11n devices. The Cisco Small Business WAP361 supports eight access points for each cluster. Cisco's wall-mountable WAP371 Wireless-AC/N is a dual-radio device that supports 802.11a/b/g/n and the latest 802.11ac IEEE Wi-Fi specification. The WAP371 Wireless-AC/N has a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port, can support up to 32 active clients per radio, and 8 access points per cluster.
Cisco's WAP561 802.11n Selectable Band AP features a GE LAN interface and two concurrent radios (2.4 and 5.0 GHz) that offer 450 Mbps performance for each radio, support 64 clients per radio, and allow up to 16 APs per cluster. Cisco's WAP551 is like the WAP 561 but has a single selectable band (2.4 or 5.0 GHz). The Cisco Small Business WAP571 and WAP571E (the weather-proof outdoor version) are dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11ac Wave 1 wireless access points that feature two Gb Ethernet ports with link aggregation, 3x3 MIMO, and up to 1.9 Gigabit/sec throughput with 1300 Mbps over 11ac and 600 Mbps on 11n. Both wireless access points can handle 32 active WAN clients on each radio and 16 wireless access points on each cluster.
Cisco's Small Business WAP581 Wireless-AC Dual Radio Wave 2 AP supports the Wi-Fi 5 standard and offers 4x4 and 3x3 MU-MIMO to provide 2.8 Gbps data rates at 5 GHz and 0.6 Gbps at 2.4 GHz for an aggregate max throughput of 2.4 Gbps. The WAP581 has an integrated 2.5G Ethernet LAN interface and a 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN interface with 802.3at Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's WAP581 Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 AP can handle as many as 200 connective client users, a maximum of 50 active users for each radio, 16 access points for each cluster, and 960 active client users for each cluster.
For more information about Progent's support for current and legacy Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 family of wireless access points, refer to Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 WiFi access points configuration and troubleshooting.
The Aironet Line of Wireless Access Points
The Aironet family of indoor and outdoor wireless access points has for years been the top-selling AP solution. Aironet access points run the gamut from value-priced entry-level models to enterprise-class units. The Aironet series span multiple generations of devices supporting the continually improving Wi-Fi specification. Cisco's current portfolio of Aironet wireless access points work with Cisco's Unified Wireless Network software and include 802.11ac support, which delivers triple the speed plus superior range and density than the previous generation of APs. The latest multi-band Aironet APs can handle 802.11n at 2.4 GHz for clients without 802.11ac radios.
The oldest Aironet access points are 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 your company to maintain your current Aironet wireless environment or move smoothly to the latest Aironet technology. To find out more about Progent's consulting services for both current and outdated Aironet wireless access points, see Aironet access points consulting services.
Cisco's Meraki Access Points
Cisco's portfolio of Meraki dual-band indoor APs range from budget-friendly devices for general use to enterprise-class units that offer as high as 5.9 Gigabit per second performance. Every Cisco Meraki indoor AP provides next-generation capabilities like plug-and-play deployment, advanced protection, Bring-Your-Own-Device support, built-in traffic analysis, zero-touch web-based updates, and unified cloud management via an intuitive dashboard. Each Cisco Meraki indoor access point also includes dual high-power client-serving radios with enhanced receive sensitivity plus a dedicated radio that provides (WIDS/WIPS) security for RF analysis and deep packet inspection.
Meraki outdoor access points are IP67 certified, built to withstand harsh outdoor environments, and able to withstand dust particles, vibration and humidity. Cisco's Meraki outdoor wireless access points include a 1 x Gbit Ethernet port and deliver advanced capabilities such as cloud management with multi-site visibility, 802.1X and native Active Directory integration, built-in antivirus scan, 1-click guest access and isolation firewall, application-aware traffic shaping, plus auto-configuring mesh with MIMO and beamforming. To find out more about Progent's support for Meraki wireless access points and management, see Meraki access points system design and troubleshooting.
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Family of Wi-Fi 6 and W-Fi 6E Access Points
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 family of 802.11ax wireless access points are intended for environments ranging from telecommuter homes to crowded convention centers. Cisco Catalyst 9100 access points are based on the 802.11ax specification, known as Wi-Fi 6, which is an evolution of the preceding 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) standard. Unlike 802.11ac, Wi-Fi 6 is designed to utilize both the 2.4-Ghz and 5-GHz bands. Headline enhancements incorporated in Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series access points include MU-MIMO support for uplink traffic, dual NAVs for improved reliability, Target Wake Time for conserving power usage in battery-dependent endpoints, adaptive power and sensitivity thresholds for better spectrum utilization, and extended guard intervals for improved outdoor performance. Cisco Catalyst 9100 Wi-Fi 6 access points can run Cisco's EWC, accommodate up to 400 client users per radio, and are powered by Cisco IOS XE Software.
Cisco's Catalyst 9160 Series Wi-Fi 6E APs are the first Cisco APs that have the option to be monitored and managed either on-site via Cisco DNA Center or through the cloud by using Meraki management tools. This allows businesses to transition to cloud-based or hybrid deployments on their own schedule. All Catalyst 916x APs comply with the a/b/g/n/ac/ax and 6E wireless standards and support the new 6-GHz band. Each AP includes 5 radios and allows up to 400 clients on each radio. Every AP also comes with a dedicated radio for Cisco CleanAir Pro for mitigating wireless interference, comes with a USB 2.0 port, and supports Bluetooth BLE. The small-footprint Catalyst 9162 Series access point is meant for small businesses, has three 2x2 radios, and includes 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet support.
Cisco's Catalyst 9163E Wi-Fi 6E AP is designed for harsh outside deployments such as campuses or stadiums. The 9163E comes with three client serving 2x2 radios, an IoT radio, and a tri-band scanning radio. Interfaces include 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet (RJ-45), a management console port (RJ-45), 4x N-Type Wi-Fi antenna connectors, and a GPS/GNSS antenna connector. The AP works with Omnidirectional Dipole Self-Identifying Antennas. Cisco's Catalyst 9164 Series AP is designed for small and middle-size organizations, includes one 2x2 radio and two 4x4 radios, and offers 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet. The Catalyst 9166 Series AP is designed for large and mid-sized organizations, incorporates three 4x4 radios, and provides 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G/5G mGig Ethernet support. The 9166 also comes with environmental sensors that detect air quality, temperature, and moisture. For more information about Progent's support for Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6/6E 802.11ax Access Points, refer to Wi-Fi 6/6E 802.11ax access points system planning, deployment, and management consulting.
Cisco 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6-compatible wireless controller appliances allow you to manage modern Wi-Fi networks that incorporate 802.11ax Wi-Fi access points. The 802.11ax standard, aka Wi-Fi 6, builds on previous generation 802.11ac (called Wi-Fi 5) devices by delivering less latency and more predictable performance, supporting higher client density, offering enhanced protection, conserving energy for battery-dependent handheld devices, and offering more versatility for handling the latest types of Internet-of-Things (IoT) endpoints. Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi controllers include always-on availability with transparent software updates, hot fixes, and the ability to connect additional access points without downtime. Advanced security technologies include Cisco Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS), secure boot, and Cisco Software-Defined Access (SD-Access). Streaming telemetry allows 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 or Prime Infrastructure management platforms. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 Series wireless network controllers can manage Cisco Aironet Wi-Fi 5 Wave 1 and Wave 2 wireless APs concurrently with Cisco Catalyst 9100 Wi-Fi 6 wireless APs. To learn more about Progent's support for Cisco 9800 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers, see Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 wireless controller appliances system planning, deployment, and management services.
Cisco Wave 2 802.11ac Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 wireless controllers enable fast communication, configuration, management, monitoring and troubleshooting for Cisco wireless devices and software services. Cisco has developed both hardware and software-based Wi-Fi controllers for centralized administration of wireless networks, but WLANs with many wireless APs typically require physical Wi-Fi controllers. Wave 2 Wi-Fi controller appliances from Cisco offer significant advantages in comparison to Wave 1 and earlier products such as higher performance, simultaneous support for 1G and 10G Ethernet, enhanced application visibility and control, and advanced, integrated security.
Cisco's 3504 Wireless Controller is an entry-level appliance available in a desktop body and designed for smaller businesses. You can install the 3504 model in a centralized network architecture such as in lean branch and remote offices administered over the WAN with FlexConnect, or in mesh deployments where wiring is sparse. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller supports as many as 150 APs and 3,000 users, offers 4 Gbps throughput, and supports 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 WiFi controller features a multi-gigabit Ethernet interface (up to 5 Gigabit Ethernet) and four 1-GB Ethernet ports. APs can be connected to the WiFi controller through two Power over Ethernet ports. The 3504 wireless controller features subsecond failover for APs and clients, which allows uninterrupted availability for applications. Like other Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers available from Cisco, the 3504 model has the integrated ability to communicate with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 wireless controllers.
The Cisco 5520 WiFi Controller, offered in a 1 rack unit enclosure, is designed for larger enterprises and campus environments and can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments. The 5520 Wi-Fi controller can handle as many as 1,500 access points and 20,000 client users, delivers 20 Gbps performance, and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 model controller features two 10 GE ports and incorporates solid-state storage, backup fans, optional dual power supplies, and rapid failover for uninterrupted availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, available in a 2 rack unit enclosure, is a top-of-the-line wireless controller designed to support large enterprises, service providers, and large campuses. The 8540 WiFi controller can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures and can handle as many as 6,000 wireless APs and 64,000 users. The 8540 Wireless controller can deliver data rates up to 40 Gbps and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 8540 controller includes four 1-GB or 10GE interfaces and features solid-state storage, dual power supplies, redundant fans, and rapid failover.
Wave 1 Cisco WiFi Network Controllers
Cisco wireless LAN controllers cut the effort and cost needed to deploy, manage, and operate Wi-Fi networks by offering single-point control of tasks like setting up wireless access points, enforcing consistent policies throughout converged networks, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service for IP voice and HD video, monitoring and optimizing system performance, implementing security tools to defend against cyber break-ins and DDoS attacks, and handling IPv6 clients. Cisco has designed wireless network controllers for businesses of all sizes and offers standalone desktop appliances, modular plug-in wireless controllers for Cisco ISR routers and Catalyst switches, and switches with integrated wireless LAN controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 wireless network controllers incorporate Cisco CleanAir tools to minimize signal interference and create self-healing wireless networks for maximum 802.11n and 802.11ac throughput and security. Integrated Bonjour Gateways enable discovery and policy throughout the enterprise for Apple applications. For fault tolerance, Cisco wireless controllers support access point and client stateful failover by permitting a backup high-availability wireless controller to synchronize with a primary controller for access point license count, CAPWAP state and roaming keys, and access point CAPWAP state. If the primary controller fails, thousands of APs and wireless clients can failover immediately to the backup wireless LAN controller.
Cisco's Wireless Controller Module for ISR G2 Routers with UCS-E offers basic 802.11n and 802.11ac support for Cisco 2900 and 3900 Series routers deployed by smaller organizations and branches. This value-priced and expandable module can support from five to 200 access points and up to 6000 clients. (For information about Progent's remote and onsite consulting and troubleshooting support for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router configuration and management consulting.)
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU form-factor switches designed for small to mid-size businesses and branch offices and come with a built-in wireless LAN controller with the ability to handle 40 Gb of wireless capacity for each switch and up to 25 APs and 1000 wireless clients per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU rackmount switches intended for mid-size businesses and large enterprises and include an integrated wireless network controller supporting up to 40 Gb of wireless throughput on each switch and support for 50 APs and 2000 wireless clients. The Wireless Services Module2 (WiSM2) is an add-in blade for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches with a built-in wireless LAN controller designed for mid-to-large size enterprises and capable of 20 Gbps throughput and able to handle 1000 wireless access points and as many as 15,000 clients. (To learn about Progent's support for Catalyst switches, see Catalyst switches configuration and management consulting.)
Cisco 2500 Wireless Controllers are economical desktop appliances that streamline the provisioning and operation of wireless networks for SMBs and satellite offices. The 2500 Series wireless controller supports from five to 75 wireless access points and 1000 clients and can deliver throughput of up to 1 Gbps.
The Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller is a scalable 1RU appliance intended for medium-sized to large enterprises and campuses and can manage up to 500 APs and 7,000 clients while delivering 8 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 5760 Wireless Controller is a 1RU device intended for mid-to-large campuses with support for up to 1000 access points and 12,000 clients and providing throughput of 60 Gbps to handle high wireless client densities and high usage 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 Wi-Fi controller at each branch. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 allows you to build a private cloud to configure, track, manage, and troubleshoot as many as 6000 wireless access points and 64,000 wireless clients while supporting 1 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 8500 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU rackmount device designed to manage Wi-Fi networks for very large campuses or for service providers and can be expanded to handle up to 6000 wireless points and 64,000 clients while delivering 10 Gbps performance.
To learn more about Cisco wireless controllers, go to Cisco Wi-Fi controllers consulting and integration.
Legacy Cisco Access Points, LAN Bridges and Controllers Supported by Progent
The introduction of the 802.11ac standard for wireless connectivity effectively made obsolete all previous generations of Wi-Fi devices for venues that support high numbers of clients and high incidence of video-intensive software applications. Even for organizations who do not need the performance of 802.11ac, many of Cisco wireless products have reached end-of-life status, which can present serious maintenance and compliance issues. Progent's Cisco-certified consulting experts provide online and on-premises support services for a wide array of earlier-generation Cisco wireless products. Progent can also assist organizations to evaluate the financial justification for updating legacy wireless technology and can assist in designing and carrying out affordable, non-disruptive migrations. Below are a few of Cisco older-generation Wi-Fi devices that Progent's consulting experts continue to support.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless Access Points
Cisco Aironet 1000 or 1130AG family wireless access points are intended for offices and other sites which have little environmental instability. These devices have built-in antennas that offer dependable radio range patterns. The Cisco Aironet 1130G family device is available for regulated locations that do not allow 802.11a operation.
Cisco Aironet 1230AG or 1240AG Series APs are intended for more problematic RF situations like manufacturing plants or above ceiling structures which commonly call for adjustable protruding antennas and rugged metal cases. The Aironet 1240G family access point is available for regulatory domains that do not permit 802.11a operation.
Aironet 1500 lightweight outdoor wireless mesh APs offer an affordable, expandable, protected outdoor Wi-Fi solution for campus areas and for public venues that require connectivity for mobile devices.
Legacy Cisco Wireless LAN Bridges
Cisco Aironet wireless LAN bridges provide a high-performance and multi-featured technology for integrating numerous LANs in a metro area or public access environment. Cisco bridges provide a versatile, easy-to-use technology that meets the protection requirements of public networking professionals. These devices handle both PTP and point-to-multipoint configurations with good range and support for traffic throughput as high as 54 Mbps.
Cisco wireless LAN bridges deliver throughput substantially higher than E1/T1 connections for much lower expense, doing away with the necessity of costly leased lines when linking separate offices. Since wireless bridges require no periodic costs, savings on connection bills rapidly pay for the startup hardware investment. Self-installed private lines and in some cases leased lines utilizing metal or fiber-optic cable can require considerable initial costs when they are impeded by barriers such as highways, train tracks, or lakes and rivers. Cisco wireless bridges can be deployed rapidly an offer a fast ROI.
Cisco 1300 outdoor wireless access points/bridges can be deployed as stand-alone wireless access points, bridges, or workgroup bridges. These products have a durable cover and provide fast, cost-effective wireless connectivity between numerous stationary or mobile environments and clients.
Aironet 1400 wireless bridges provide fast, dependable outside connections for LOS environments. These devices include an all-weather enclosure that is optimized for severe outdoor conditions and function in broad temperature ranges.
Legacy Cisco Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers centralize the management of wireless networks by simplifying the handling of common functions including integrated IPS, real-time RF management, zero touch configuration, and N+1 redundancy. Cisco Wireless controllers operate with small access points to deliver superior throughput and advanced management functions.
WLAN Controllers provide the manageability, scalability, security, and fault tolerance that IT managers need to build safe, enterprise-scale wireless solutions, from branch locations to small companies to main campuses. Cisco's first-generation Wireless Network Controllers can be clustered to provide accommodation for as many as 2400 WAPs for each roaming domain.
The Cisco WLCM or WLCM-E Controller Module for IS Routers offers small-to medium businesses and large corporations an economical way to implement and control protected WLANs at satellite locations. These wireless LAN controllers supervise up to twelve Cisco APs and are supported on Cisco 2800/3800 Series IS Routers and 3700 Series IS Routers. (To learn about Progent's online and onsite support for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router deployment and troubleshooting services.)
How Progent Can Help You with Cisco Wireless Devices
Progent can provide a Cisco-certified expert to help your business to plan, deploy, maintain and troubleshoot a converged wired/wireless infrastructure incorporating a wide range of wireless devices that provide the identical protection, expandability, and ease of management you demand from a wired environment. Progent can assist you to support early-generation wireless solutions from Cisco or migrate efficiently to current 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 technology. Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security specialists can advise you about how to design protection into your wireless network and your company's processes. Progent's disaster recovery consultants and business continuity planners can assist you to set up the high availability (HA) technology incorporated into Cisco's wireless and wired products so your converged infrastructure delivers non-stop business value.
Progent's Wireless Site Survey assists you to design and implement a robust wireless network optimized for your environment, providing a wireless ecosystem that delivers seamless coverage, high speed and capacity, Quality of Service features to accommodate IP video, advanced security, and streamlined management. Progent's Wireless Site Survey can be performed online to cut time and costs, or on premises to deal with more complex situations.
For a further discussion of Progent's wireless consulting services, see Progent's Wireless Network Support Services.
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