Cisco has developed an extensive catalog of wireless networking devices and technologies intended to enable continual access to data and resources and to facilitate collaboration among workers, associates, vendors, and clients. Cisco's wireless product families include Cisco's Small Business, Aironet and Meraki series of access points (APs), plus Cisco's Wireless Network Controller modules and appliances. Progent's Cisco-certified wireless experts can enable businesses of all sizes to deploy Cisco wireless products to support the current paradigm of Bring-Your-Own-Device networks by integrating their tethered and untethered environments to benefit from simplified configuration, consistent and fast throughput, centralized management, enterprise-wide policy enforcement, high availability (HA), and advanced protection.
Cisco's Unified Wireless solution can scale to up to 18,000 APs with Layer 3 mobility across central or remote locations like enterprise headquarters, university auditoriums, branches, and home offices. Cisco's 802.11x APs and wireless 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 wireless LANs that businesses expect in their wired networks. This technology includes built-in mobile services like Voice over IP, IP video, and safe guest connectivity. Cisco's Unified Wireless architecture allows organizations to create Wi-Fi environments that improve the way they do business and enhance output through a dynamic and connected employee base.
Progent's Cisco CCIE network consulting services offers remote or on-premises expertise to help your organization to design, deploy, maintain, upgrade, and troubleshoot converged wired and wireless networks of all sizes and for any environment. In addition, Progent offers affordable online and on-premises Wi-Fi site surveys to help you to design and install a wireless LAN with customized AP clusters optimized for your individual work area layout, building structure, and application workloads.
Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst Wireless Access Points (APs)
Cisco's Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst families of APs enable organizations to converge wired and wireless infrastructure to deliver the coverage, capacity, throughput, security and manageability required for practically any scenario. These access points start at entry-level, single-band 802.11b/g/n devices with throughput of 300 Mb designed for small businesses or telecommuters to 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) access points suitable for handling hundreds of wireless clients on each AP and offering throughput of more than 5 Gb. Cisco's latest line of access points can be combined or clustered to provide the scale to support sites with high client density and with a high incidence of video-intense apps.
Cisco Small Business Series of APs
Cisco's Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Series of wireless access points are Linux-powered units intended as value-priced Wi-Fi APs for light workloads. Most versions in Cisco's Small Business line of APs support Cisco's Single Point Setup system, which makes it possible to configure, manage and troubleshoot a group of access points from a single device through a simple browser-based tool. All of the versions include Power over Ethernet and provide Quality of Service (QoS), rogue access point awareness, and bridge mode for connecting to another Ethernet LAN.
The Cisco Small Business WAP121 Wireless-N Access Point is a wall-mountable, single-band 2.4GHz device that can support 16 active 802.11n clients, includes a 10/100 Ethernet interface, allows up to four AP devices and 40 active wireless clients in a cluster, and supports throughput of up to 300 Mbps. The Cisco Small Business WAP131 is a desktop dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11a/b/g/n AP able to support 16 wireless clients on each radio for a total of up to 32 wireless clients, features a GE interface, and can support sustained data rates of 300 Mbps per radio. The WAP131 Wireless-N does not support AP clustering. Cisco's Small Business WAP150 is an entry-level Wave 1 dual-radio AC/n wireless access point that includes a one Gbit Power over Ethernet port and can support up to 16 clients from each radio with 867 Mbps throughput for AC clients and 300 Mbps for 802.11n devices. The Cisco WAP1501 supports four APs for each cluster.
The Cisco Small Business WAP321 Wireless-N AP is a wallmount single-band (2.4 or 5 GHz) 802.11n device with support for 80 active clients sharing an 8-device cluster. The WAP321 features a 10/100/1000 Ethernet interface and can deliver a data rate of 300 Mbps for the activated radio. The Cisco Small Business WAP351 is a dual-radio 802.11n AP with a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and can handle 32 active wireless clients on each radio for a total of up to 64 active clients, and deliver a data rate of 300 Mbps per radio. The WAP351 does not allow clustering. The Cisco WAP361 is a dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11ac wireless access point that features a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch, allows 32 clients per radio, and offers 867 Mbps performance for wireless AC devices and 300 Mbps for 802.11n devices. The Cisco Small Business WAP361 supports 8 WAP361 access points for each cluster. Cisco's wall-mountable WAP371 Wireless-AC/N is a dual-radio AP that works with 802.11n as well as the new 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard. The WAP371 includes a GE interface, can support up to 32 active clients on each radio, and eight APs per cluster.
The Cisco WAP561 802.11n Selectable Band access point includes one Gigabit Ethernet port and two radios that deliver 450 Mbps performance for each radio, can handle 64 clients for each radio, and allow 16 access points for each cluster. Cisco's WAP551 is similar to Cisco's WAP 561 but has a single selectable band. The Cisco Small Business WAP571 and WAP571E (the weather-proof outdoor version) are dual-band 2.4/5 GHz Wireless-AC/N access points that feature two Gb Ethernet LAN interfaces with link aggregation, and as high as 1.9 Gbps performance with 1300 Mbps on 802.11ac and 600 Mbps over 11n. Both APs support 32 clients per radio and 16 APs per cluster.
Cisco's WAP581 Wireless-AC Wave 2 Wireless Access Point supports the 802.11ac standard and features 4x4 and 3x3 MU-MIMO technology to deliver 2.8 Gbps data rates at 5 GHz and 600 Mbps on the 2.4-GHz radio for a total maximum throughput of 2.4 Gbps. The WAP581 has a fixed 2.5G Ethernet LAN interface and a 10/100/1000 Ethernet interface with 802.3at Power over Ethernet. The WAP581 Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 access point supports up to 200 connective client users, a maximum of 50 active users for each radio, 16 access points for each cluster, and 960 active client users per cluster.
For more information about Progent's consulting services for both current and older Cisco Small Business series of wireless APs, refer to Cisco Small Business wireless access points consulting.
The Aironet Family of Access Points
Cisco's Aironet portfolio of indoor and outdoor wireless access points has for years been the market leading AP solution. Aironet access points range from entry-level models to advanced units. Cisco's Aironet line cover multiple generations of models supporting the continually improving 802.11x Wi-Fi specification. Cisco's latest line of Aironet access points work with Cisco's Unified Wireless Network software and include 802.11ac support, which offers triple the performance plus superior coverage and user density than the prior generation of APs. Cisco's current dual-band Aironet access points continue to handle 802.11n at 2.4 GHz for client devices that lack 802.11ac capability.
The oldest Aironet access points are legacy devices that have reached end-of-sale status and are no longer fully supported by Cisco. Progent continues to provide technical support for the entire Aironet line of APs and can assist your company to maintain your current Aironet wireless system or move efficiently to current Aironet technology. For details about Progent's consulting services for current and outdated Aironet access points, refer to Cisco Aironet APs planning and support.
Cisco's Meraki Access Points
Cisco's family of Meraki dual-band indoor APs range from value-priced models for small businesses to enterprise-class units that offer up to 5.9 Gbit/sec throughput. Each Cisco Meraki indoor AP offers high-end capabilities such as plug-and-play installation, in-depth protection, BYOD support, built-in traffic analysis, automatic over-the-web firmware updates, and consolidated cloud-based management for multiple sites. Every Cisco Meraki indoor AP also includes two high-power radios with boosted receive sensitivity as well as a dedicated radio that offers (WIDS/WIPS) security for RF analysis and deep packet inspection.
Cisco's Meraki outdoor access points are IP67 rated, designed to operate in harsh outdoor conditions, and able to withstand dust particles, vibration and moisture. Cisco's Meraki outdoor wireless access points include a 1 x Gbit Ethernet port and deliver advanced features such as cloud-based management with network-wide visibility and control, 802.1X integration, built-in antivirus scan (NAC), single-click secure guest access and guest isolation firewall, Layer 7 traffic shaping, plus self-configuring mesh with MIMO. For more information about Progent's consulting services for Meraki APs and management tools, refer to Meraki access points consulting.
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 and W-Fi 6E APs
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 family of Wi-Fi 6 access points are designed for environments ranging from home offices to high-density convention centers. Catalyst 9100 APs are compliant with 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 able to utilize both the 2.4-Ghz and 5-GHz radio bands. Headline technologies supported by Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series access points include MU-MIMO support for uplink traffic, dual NAVs for better reliability, increased device sleep time for conserving power usage in battery-dependent endpoints, adaptive sensitivity thresholds for more efficient spectrum use, and dynamic fragmentation for reduced overhead. Catalyst 9100 Wi-Fi 6 APs support Cisco's Embedded Wireless Controller, handle up to 400 client users per Wi-Fi radio, and are powered by Cisco IOS XE Software.
Cisco's Catalyst 916x Series Wi-Fi 6E APs are the first Cisco APs to offer the flexibility of being managed either on-site via Cisco DNA Center platform or via the cloud by deploying Meraki management utilities. This allows organizations to move to cloud-based or hybrid management environments on their own timetable. All Catalyst 916x APs meet the a/b/g/n/ac/ax and 6E Wi-Fi specifications and support the 6-GHz band. Each device has 5 radios and allows as many as 400 clients per radio. Every model also contains a dedicated radio for Cisco CleanAir Pro for mitigating interference, has a USB 2.0 port, and offers Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Cisco's entry-level Catalyst 9162 Series access point is meant for small businesses, has three 2x2 radios, and provides 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet support. Cisco's Catalyst 9164 Series access point is suited for small and mid-size enterprises, incorporates one 2x2 radio and two 4x4 radios, and offers 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G mGig Ethernet support. The Catalyst 9166 Series AP is designed for large and mid-sized organizations, includes three 4x4 radios, and provides 1x 100M/1000M/2.5G/5G mGig Ethernet connectivity. The 9166 also comes with environmental sensors that detect air quality, temperature, and moisture. For details about Progent's support for Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Family of Wi-Fi 6/6E 802.11ax APs, see Wi-Fi 6/6E 802.11ax APs system planning, configuration, and debugging consulting.
Cisco 9800 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Catalyst 9800 family of Wi-Fi 6-compatible wireless controllers allow you to automate and manage advanced Wi-Fi networks that incorporate 802.11ax APs. 802.11ax, popularly known as Wi-Fi 6, builds on previous generation 802.11ac (called Wi-Fi 5) appliances by providing less latency and more reliable performance, allowing higher client user density, offering enhanced security, saving energy for battery-powered handheld devices, and allowing more flexibility for handling new types of Internet-of-Things endpoints. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 family wireless controllers include always-on availability with transparent software upgrades, hot patching, and the ability to add access points without disruption of service. Advanced security features include Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA), image signing, and Software-Defined Access (SD-Access). Streaming telemetry permits you to monitor and analyze infrastructure and endpoint health.
All devices in the Catalyst 9800 line are powered by Cisco's IOS XE Software and operate with Cisco's DNA Center or with Cisco Prime Infrastructure network management platforms. Catalyst 9800 wireless LAN controllers can manage Cisco Aironet 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 Wi-Fi access points concurrently with Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series 802.11ax APs. To find out more about Progent's support for Cisco 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers, refer to Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 wireless controllers system planning, deployment, and debugging consulting.
Cisco Wi-Fi 5 Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers allow realtime data exchange, deployment, management, monitoring and debugging for Cisco Wi-Fi devices and services. Cisco offers both hardware and virtual wireless controllers for unified administration of wireless environments, but networks with many wireless APs typically require physical Wi-Fi controllers. Wave 2 wireless controller appliances from Cisco deliver major benefits over Wave 1 and earlier models such as greater throughput, simultaneous support for both 1G and 10G Ethernet, enhanced application visibility and control, and advanced, integrated protection.
Cisco's 3504 Wireless Controller is an entry-level device available in a desktop body and intended for small and medium-sized businesses. You can use the 3504 in a centralized network environment such as in small branch and home-based offices managed over the wide-area network with FlexConnect, or in bridge installations where Ethernet cabling is limited. The 3504 wireless controller can handle as many as 150 WiFi access points and 3,000 client users, delivers 4 Gbps performance, and supports 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 wireless controller includes a multi-gigabit Ethernet interface and four 1-Gigabit Ethernet interfaces. Access points can be connected to the WiFi controller through two Power over Ethernet ports. The 3504 wireless controller features fast failover for access points and clients, which allows nonstop availability for applications. As with other current Wave 2 wireless controllers available from Cisco, the 3504 model has the built-in capability to work with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services Engine, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 wireless controllers.
The Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller, available in a 1 rack unit (RU) enclosure, is intended to support larger enterprises and campus networks and can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures. The 5520 wireless controller can handle up to 1,500 APs and 20,000 client users, offers 20 Gbps performance, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 wireless controller features two 10 GE interfaces and features solid-state storage, backup fans, optional backup power supplies, and rapid failover for high availability.
Cisco's 8540 Wireless Controller, available in a 2 rack unit (RU) enclosure, is a high-end WiFi controller designed to support large enterprises, service providers, and large campuses. The 8540 WiFi controller can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments and can handle up to 6,000 APs and 64,000 users. The 8540 Wireless controller offers data rates up to 40 Gbps and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 8340 comes with four 1-GB or 10GE interfaces and features SSD storage, dual power supplies, redundant fans, and subsecond failover.
Wave 1 Cisco WiFi LAN Controllers
Cisco wireless controllers reduce the effort and cost needed to configure, manage, and operate Wi-Fi networks by centralizing control of critical functions such as provisioning APs, applying single-point policies throughout converged networks, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service for IP voice and video, tracking and troubleshooting system health, activating wireless intrusion prevention system (wIPS) tools to guard against unauthorized access and DDoS threats, and handling IPv6 clients. Cisco has designed wireless LAN controllers for organizations of any size and offers desktop or rackmount controllers, modular add-on controllers for Cisco routers and Catalyst switches, and switches with integrated wireless controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 wireless controllers include Cisco CleanAir technology to avoid signal interference and produce self-optimizing wireless LANs for maximum 802.11n and 802.11ac performance and security. Integrated Apple Bonjour Gateways allow discovery, advertisement and policy across the enterprise for Apple-based applications. For fault tolerance, Cisco wireless LAN controllers allow AP and client stateful failover by permitting a standby high-availability wireless controller to synch with a primary controller for AP license count, CAPWAP state and roaming keys, and access point CAPWAP state. If the main wireless controller stops working, thousands of wireless access points and clients can failover at subsecond speeds to the secondary wireless LAN controller.
Cisco's Wireless Module for ISR G2 Routers with UCS-E offers entry-level 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for 2900 and 3900 Series routers deployed by small to medium-sized organizations and branch offices. This affordable and expandable module can support up to 200 wireless access points and up to 6000 clients. (For information about Progent's online and onsite consulting services for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router deployment and troubleshooting services.)
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU switches intended for small to mid-size businesses and satellite offices and come with an integrated wireless controller with the capability to support 40 Gb of wireless throughput for each switch and 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients per switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU rackmount switches designed for midsize and large organizations and feature a built-in wireless LAN controller supporting up to 40 Gb of wireless throughput on each switch and support for 50 wireless access points and 2000 clients. The Wireless Services Module2 (WiSM2) is a plug-in blade for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches that include an integrated wireless LAN controller designed for mid-to-large size businesses and capable of 20 Gbps performance and with support for up to 1000 APs and as many as 15,000 wireless clients. (To find out about Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Cisco Catalyst switches, see Catalyst switches configuration and troubleshooting support.)
Cisco 2500 Wireless Controllers are value-priced desktop devices that simplify the deployment and management of Wi-Fi LANs for small to medium-sized enterprises and satellite offices. The Cisco 2500 Series wireless network controller supports 5 to 75 access points and up to 1000 clients and can deliver sustained data rates of up to 1 Gbps.
The Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller is a scalable 1RU unit designed for mid-to-large sized organizations and campus environments and can support 500 access points and 7,000 wireless clients while delivering 8 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 5760 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU device intended for mid-to-large campus environments with support for 1000 APs and 12,000 clients and providing performance of 60 Gbps to accommodate high client densities and high usage of video-intensive mobile applications.
The Cisco Flex 7500 Series Wireless Controller is intended to manage massive collections of wireless remote sites from a single datacenter, eliminating the requirement for a wireless controller at every branch. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 appliance allows you to create a private cloud to deploy, monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot up to 6000 access points and up to 64,000 clients while supporting 1 Gbps performance. The Cisco 8500 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU device engineered to monitor and manage wireless networks for large campuses or service providers and can be expanded to support up to 6000 wireless points and 64,000 clients while delivering 10 Gbps throughput.
To learn more about Cisco WiFi controllers, go to Cisco Wi-Fi controllers consulting and integration.
Legacy Cisco Wireless Access Points, LAN Bridges and Wi-Fi Controllers Supported by Progent
The IEEE 802.11ac specification for wireless connectivity effectively made obsolete the earlier generations of Wi-Fi devices for environments that support high densities of wireless clients and high incidence of HD video applications. Even for organizations who do not need the bandwidth efficiency of 802.11ac, many of Cisco wireless devices have reached end-of-life status, which can present significant service and compliance problems. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and on-premises support services for a wide range of older-generation wireless products from Cisco. Progent can also assist organizations to evaluate the potential ROI for upgrading up-of-date wireless technology and can help in designing and executing cost-effective, non-disruptive upgrades. The following are a few of Cisco older-generation wireless devices that Progent's consulting experts still support.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless Access Points
Aironet 1000 or 1130AG family access points are designed for conventional workplaces and similar sites which have minimal environmental variability. These devices have integrated antennas that provide predictable radio coverage patterns. The Aironet 1130G Series WAP is designed for controlled domains that do not allow 5GHz operation.
Cisco Aironet 1230AG or 1240AG Series wireless access points are designed for more challenging RF environments such as factories and warehouses or above suspended ceilings which commonly call for flexible external antennas and rugged metal cases. The Aironet 1240G Series AP is available for controlled locations that do not allow 5GHz operation.
Aironet 1500 family lightweight outdoor mesh access points provide an economical, expandable, secure outdoor Wi-Fi technology for campus areas and for public venues that require access for mobile devices.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless Bridges
Cisco Aironet wireless bridges offer a high-speed and feature-rich technology for integrating multiple local area networks in a metro area or public access network. Cisco Aironet wireless LAN bridges provide a flexible, easy-to-use technology that meets the security needs of public networking specialists. They handle both PTP and PTMP configurations with good range and the ability to handle data throughput as high as 54 Mbps.
Cisco Aironet wireless bridges deliver data rates substantially faster than E1/T1 links for much lower cost, doing away with the need for expensive leased lines when linking separate offices. Since bridges require no recurring costs, the expenses saved on connection services rapidly cover the initial equipment investment. Self-installed private lines and even leased lines utilizing copper or fiber-optic cable often result in considerable up-front costs in cases where they are separated by barriers such as freeways, train tracks, or bodies of water. Cisco wireless LAN bridges can be deployed rapidly an offer a fast ROI.
Cisco 1300 Series outdoor wireless access points/bridges can be deployed as independent access points, bridges, or wireless group bridges. These devices have a durable enclosure and offer high-speed, cost-effective wireless connectivity between numerous fixed or mobile environments and clients.
Cisco 1400 Series wireless bridges provide fast, reliable outside wireless bridging for line-of-sight (LOS) applications. They are housed in a durable cover that can hold up to severe outdoor conditions and can function in broad temperature ranges.
Legacy Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers centralize the management of wireless networks by simplifying the control of key functions including integrated IPS, real-time RF management, zero touch deployment, and full N+1 redundancy. WLAN controllers operate with small wireless access points to deliver enhanced throughput and advanced administration functions.
Cisco WLAN Controllers (WLCs) provide the control, scalability, protection, and fault tolerance that system managers need to build safe, enterprise-scale wireless solutions, from satellite locations to small companies to headquarter campuses. Cisco's first-generation Wireless Controllers can be configured together to offer accommodation for as many as 2400 wireless access points per roaming domain.
Cisco's WLCM or WLCM-E Controller Module for IS Routers offers small-to medium businesses (SMBs) and large corporations an affordable way to implement and control protected WLANs at satellite offices. These products supervise up to twelve Cisco APs and are supported on Cisco 2800/3800 Series Routers and 3700 Series IS Routers. (To learn about Progent's online and onsite support for Cisco routers, see Cisco router deployment and troubleshooting support.)
How Progent's Consultants Can Assist You with Cisco Wireless Technology
Progent can provide a Cisco-certified consultant to help you to design, install, maintain and repair a converged wired and wireless environment integrating a broad range of wireless technologies that provide the identical protection, extensibility, and manageability you demand from your wired network. Progent can help you to manage legacy wireless solutions from Cisco or upgrade seamlessly to the latest 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 technology. Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can show you how to build security into your wireless network and your business processes. Progent's disaster recovery planning consultants and business continuity planning consultants can show you how to configure the high availability (HA) features built into Cisco's wireless and wired technologies so your converged infrastructure provides non-stop business value.
Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey assists you to design and implement a robust wireless network optimized for your facilities, offering a Wi-Fi ecosystem that provides comprehensive coverage, high speed and capacity, QoS features to support IP video, advanced security, and simplified management. Progent's Wireless Site Survey can be performed online to cut time and costs, or on premises for more difficult environments.
For a further discussion of Progent's wireless consulting capabilities, visit Progent's Wireless Network Consulting.
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