Cisco has developed a comprehensive portfolio of wireless LAN products and software tools intended to enable anywhere, anytime access to data and other resources and to facilitate collaboration among workers, associates, suppliers, and clients. Cisco's wireless product families include the Small Business, Aironet and Meraki series of access points (APs), plus Cisco's Wireless Network Controller modules and standalone devices. Progent's certified wireless experts can help businesses of any size to deploy Cisco wireless technology to accommodate the new model of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) networks by converging their wired and wireless environments to achieve simplified deployment, consistent and fast throughput, centralized control, uniform policy, high availability (HA), and advanced protection.
Cisco Security Solution for Bring-Your-Own-Device and Wired/Wireless Networking
Cisco's Unified Wireless Network solution can expand to as many as 18,000 access points with Layer 3 connectivity at central or offsite venues like enterprise campuses, university lecture halls, branch offices, and home offices. Cisco's 802.11x wireless access points and wireless controllers are components of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network and are designed to deliver the identical degree of protection, throughput, and ease of management for wireless LANs that companies expect in their wired ecosystem. This architecture incorporates built-in mobility services such as Voice over IP, high-definition IP video, and safe guest connectivity. Cisco's Unified Wireless Network technology allows companies to create wireless ecosystems that streamline the way they work and improve output via a mobile and connected workforce.
Progent's Cisco CCIE network infrastructure consultants can provide remote or on-premises support to assist you to design, deploy, manage, upgrade, and troubleshoot converged wired and wireless networks of all sizes and for any venue. In addition, Progent offers value-priced online and onsite Wi-Fi site surveys to assist you to design and deploy a Wi-Fi network with custom-designed access point clustering optimized for your individual office layout, building characteristics, and application workloads.
Cisco Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst Wireless Access Points
Cisco's Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst lines of wireless access points enable businesses to integrate wired/wireless infrastructure to deliver the accessibility, density, throughput, security compliance and manageability needed for practically any scenario. Cisco's access points range from entry-level, single-radio 802.11b/g/n units with data rates of 300 Mbps designed for very small companies or telecommuters to 802.11ax access points capable of handling hundreds of clients on each AP and offering sustained data rates in excess of 5 Gigabits per second. Cisco's latest selection of access points can be combined or clustered to deliver the scale to handle sites with high client density and with a high incidence of HD video application software.
Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Series of Access Points
Cisco's Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Series of wireless access points are Linux-based devices intended as value-priced wireless solutions for small offices. Most models in Cisco's Small Business family of access points work with Cisco's Single Point Setup technology, which makes it possible to set up, control and troubleshoot a cluster of wireless access points from a single device via a simple browser-based tool. All models support POE and feature Quality of Service (QoS), rogue access point detection, and bridge mode for connecting to another network.
The Cisco Small Business WAP121 AP is a wallmount, single-band 2.4GHz device that can handle 16 802.11b/g/n clients, has a Fast Ethernet interface, allows up to four access pointss and 40 active clients per cluster, and supports sustained throughput of 300 Mbps. The Cisco Small Business WAP131 is a desktop dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11n access point able to support 16 active wireless clients on each radio for a total of up to 32 wireless clients, features a 10/100/1000 Ethernet interface, and delivers throughput of up to 300 Mbps for each radio. The WAP131 does not allow AP clustering. Cisco's Small Business WAP150 is a general-purpose dual-radio 802.11ac/n access point that includes a 1xGE Power over Ethernet port and can support up to 16 clients from each radio with 867 Mbps performance for 802.11ac devices and 300 Mbps for 802.11n clients. The Cisco WAP1501 allows four APs for each cluster.
The Cisco Small Business WAP321 Wireless-N model is a wallmount selectable-band (either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz) 802.11n device with support for 80 active clients sharing an 8-AP cluster. The Cisco WAP321 features a GE port and can support a data rate of 300 Mbps for the selected radio. The Cisco WAP351 is a dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11n access point that includes a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and can support 32 active wireless clients on each radio for a total of up to 64 active clients, and deliver a sustained data rate of 300 Mbps for each radio. The WAP351 does not support clustering. The Cisco WAP361 is a dual-radio 802.11ac access point that features a 5 x Gb Ethernet LAN switch, allows 32 clients on each radio, and offers 867 Mbps performance for 802.11ac clients and 300 Mbps for 802.11n clients. Cisco's WAP361 supports eight access points for each cluster. Cisco's wall-mountable WAP371 Wireless-AC/N is a dual-band device that supports 802.11n as well as the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi specification. The WAP371 Wireless-AC/N has a 10/100/1000 Ethernet interface, can handle up to 32 wireless clients per radio, and 8 access points for each cluster.
The Cisco WAP561 802.11n Selectable Band wireless access point features one Gigabit Ethernet interface and two radios (2.4 and 5.0 GHz) that deliver 450 Mbps throughput per radio, support 64 clients for each radio, and allow up to 16 APs per cluster. The Cisco WAP551 is similar to the WAP 561 but has a single selectable band (2.4 or 5.0 GHz). The Cisco Small Business WAP571 and WAP571E (a weather-proof outside version) are dual-band 802.11ac wireless access points incorporating 2 x GE interfaces with link aggregation, and up to 1.9 Gbps throughput with 1300 Mbps over 802.11ac and 600 Mbps over 802.11n. Both APs can handle 32 clients per radio and 16 wireless access points on each cluster.
Cisco's Small Business WAP581 Wireless-AC Dual Radio Wave 2 AP complies with the Wi-Fi 5 standard and offers 4x4 and 3x3 MU-MIMO technology to provide 2.8 Gbps data rates at 5 GHz and 600 Mbps on the 2.4-GHz radio for an aggregate max data rate of 2.4 Gbps. The Small Business WAP581 has a fixed 2.5G Ethernet LAN interface and a 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN interface with 802.3at PoE. Cisco's WAP581 Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 AP supports as many as 200 connective users, up to 50 active users per radio, 16 APs per cluster, and 960 active users for each cluster.
For details about Progent's consulting services for both current and older Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 family of wireless access points, refer to Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 wireless APs planning and support.
The Aironet Line of Wireless Access Points
The Aironet portfolio of indoor and outdoor wireless APs has for years been the market leading access point product. Aironet wireless access points run the gamut from value-priced entry-level devices to advanced APs. The Aironet line span several generations of models supporting the evolving 802 specification. Cisco's current portfolio of Aironet APs work with Cisco's Unified Wireless Network architecture and incorporate 802.11ac support, which offers triple the performance as well as greater range and density in comparison to the prior generation of devices. Cisco's current dual-band Aironet APs can accommodate 802.11n at 2.4 GHz for clients that do not have 802.11ac capability.
The earliest Aironet APs are legacy devices that have come to end-of-sale status and are no longer supported by Cisco. Progent continues to support the complete Aironet line of access points and can help your company to manage and troubleshoot your existing Aironet Wi-Fi environment or move cost effectively to current Aironet products. For more information about Progent's support for both current and outdated Cisco Aironet wireless access points, see Cisco Aironet access points system design and troubleshooting.
Cisco's Meraki Access Points
Cisco's portfolio of Meraki 2.4/5 GHz indoor access points range from value-priced devices for general use to advanced products that offer up to 2.5 Gigabit per second performance. Each Cisco Meraki indoor access point offers high-end features such as self-configuring plug-and-play deployment, advanced protection, Bring-Your-Own-Device support, extensive analytics, automatic over-the-web firmware updates, and consolidated cloud management via an intuitive dashboard. Each Cisco Meraki indoor wireless access point also includes dual high-power client-serving radios with enhanced receive sensitivity as well as a separate radio that provides intrusion detection and prevention system (WIDS/WIPS) security for RF analysis and deep packet inspection.
Meraki outdoor APs are IP67 certified, designed to withstand harsh outdoor environments, and able to withstand dust, shock and humidity. Cisco's Meraki outdoor APs include a 1 x Gbit Ethernet port and offer advanced features that include cloud-based management with multi-site visibility and control, 802.1X and native Active Directory integration, built-in antivirus scan, single-click secure guest access and guest isolation firewall, Layer 7 traffic shaping, plus self-configuring mesh with MIMO and beamforming. For details about Progent's consulting services for Meraki access points and management tools, see Cisco's Meraki APs consulting.
Catalyst 9100 Family of Wireless APs
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 line of 802.11ax wireless APs are intended for deployments ranging from telecommuter homes to high-density arenas. Catalyst 9100 APs are compliant with the 802.11ax standard, referred to as Wi-Fi 6, which is an evolution of the preceding 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) standard. As an improvement to 802.11ac, Wi-Fi 6 is able to utilize both the 2.4-Ghz and 5-GHz radio bands. Headline enhancements incorporated in Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series APs include MU-MIMO support for uplink traffic, dual NAVs for improved dependability, Target Wake Time for reduced power consumption in battery-powered endpoints, adaptive power and sensitivity thresholds for more efficient spectrum utilization, and extended guard intervals for improved outdoor performance. All Catalyst 9100 Series 802.11ax access points support Cisco's Embedded Wireless Controller, accommodate as many as 200 client users per radio, and run on Cisco IOS XE Software. To find out more about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Family of 802.11ax Access Points, refer to Wireless APs solution design, configuration, and troubleshooting consulting.
Cisco Wave 2 Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 wireless controllers enable realtime communication, provisioning, management, monitoring and debugging for Cisco wireless devices and services. Cisco offers both hardware and virtual Wi-Fi controllers for centralized administration of wireless networks, but WLANs with a large number of wireless access points are better served by physical wireless controllers. Wave 2 wireless controller appliances from Cisco offer significant advantages in comparison to Wave 1 and earlier products such as greater throughput, concurrent support for 1G and 10G interfaces, enhanced application visibility and control, and advanced, built-in protection.
The Cisco 3504 Wireless Controller is a value-priced appliance with a desktop form factor and designed for smaller organizations. You can use the 3504 in a centralized network architecture such as in small branch and home-based offices administered across the wide-area network via Cisco FlexConnect, or in mesh deployments where Ethernet cabling is sparse. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller supports as many as 150 access points and 3,000 users, offers 4 Gbps performance, and supports 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 wireless controller features a Cisco Multigigabit port and four 1-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Access points can be connected directly to the WiFi controller via two Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller features fast failover for APs and users, which provides high availability for apps. Like other Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers available from Cisco, the 3504 device has the built-in ability to work with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services Engine, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WLAN controllers.
The Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller, offered in a 1 rack unit (RU) package, is designed to support larger enterprises and campus environments and can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments. The 5520 Wi-Fi controller can handle up to 1,500 wireless APs and 20,000 users, offers 20 Gbps performance, and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 WiFi controller features two 10 GE ports and incorporates solid-state storage, redundant fans, optional redundant power supplies, and rapid failover for uninterrupted availability.
Cisco's 8540 Wireless Controller, available in a 2 rack unit (RU) package, is a high-end WiFi controller intended to support large enterprises, service providers, and large campuses. The 8540 Wireless controller can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments and can handle up to 6,000 wireless APs and 64,000 client users. The 8540 Wireless controller can deliver data rates 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 WiFi LAN Controllers
Cisco wireless controllers reduce the time and cost needed to configure, manage, and troubleshoot wireless networks by centralizing control of critical functions like setting up wireless access points, applying consistent policies across converged wired and wireless LANs, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service (QoS) for voice and video, monitoring and troubleshooting system performance, activating intrusion prevention capabilities to guard against unauthorized access and DDoS threats, and managing IPv6 clients. Cisco has designed wireless network controllers for businesses of all sizes and offers desktop or rackmount controllers, modular add-on controllers for Cisco routers and switches, and Catalyst switches with built-in wireless controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 wireless network controllers incorporate Cisco CleanAir tools to minimize signal interference and create self-healing and self-optimizing wireless LANs for top 802.11n and 802.11ac performance and security. Built-in Bonjour Gateways permit discovery throughout the enterprise for Apple-based applications. For high availability (HA), Cisco wireless controllers support AP and client stateful failover by enabling a backup high-availability controller to synchronize with a primary wireless controller for AP license count, CAPWAP state and roaming keys, and access point CAPWAP state. If the primary controller fails, thousands of wireless access points and clients can switchover immediately to the backup wireless controller.
Cisco's Wireless Controller Module for ISR Routers with UCS-E provides basic 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for 2900 and 3900 routers used by smaller businesses and branches. This value-priced and expandable module can support from five to 200 APs and up to 6000 clients. (To learn about Progent's remote and onsite consulting and troubleshooting support for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router configuration and troubleshooting support.)
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU form-factor switches intended for SMBs and branches and come with a built-in wireless network controller with the ability to support up to 40 Gb of wireless throughput per switch and 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients per switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU rackmount switches designed for midsize businesses and large enterprises and include an integrated wireless controller supporting 40 Gb of wireless throughput per switch and the ability to handle up to 50 APs and 2000 clients. The WiSM2 is a plug-in blade for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches with an integrated wireless network controller designed for mid-to-large size businesses and able to deliver 20 Gbps throughput and able to handle 1000 access points and as many as 15,000 clients. (To find out concerning Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Catalyst switches, refer to Cisco switches deployment and troubleshooting consulting.)
Cisco 2500 Series Wireless Controllers are economical desktop appliances that simplify the deployment and operation of Wi-Fi LANs for small and midsize businesses and branch offices. The 2500 Series wireless LAN controller can handle from five to 75 access points and 1000 wireless clients and offers sustained data rates of 1 Gbps.
The Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller is a scalable 1RU appliance intended for mid-to-large sized businesses and campus environments and can support 500 APs and 7,000 wireless clients while delivering 8 Gbps performance. The Cisco 5760 Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance intended for mid-to-large campus environments with support for 1000 APs and 12,000 wireless clients and providing throughput of 60 Gbps to accommodate high client densities and high usage of media-rich mobile applications.
Cisco's Flex 7500 Wireless Controller is intended to enable centralized management of thousands of wireless remote sites from a single location, eliminating the requirement for a Wi-Fi controller at each branch. The 1RU Flex 7500 lets you establish a private cloud to configure, track, maintain, and troubleshoot as many as 6000 APs and 64,000 clients while supporting 1 Gbps performance. Cisco's 8500 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU rackmount device engineered to manage wireless networks for large campuses or for service providers and can be expanded to handle 6000 wireless points and 64,000 wireless clients while offering 10 Gbps throughput.
To find out more about Cisco WiFi controllers, go to Cisco Wi-Fi controllers consulting services.
Legacy Cisco Access Points, LAN Bridges and Controllers Supported by Progent
The introduction of the IEEE 802.11ac specification for Wi-Fi virtually made obsolete the earlier releases of Wi-Fi products for many environments that have high densities of wireless clients and high usage of HD video software applications. Even for organizations who do not require the performance of 802.11ac, a large number of Cisco wireless devices have reached end-of-sale or end-of-support status, which can pose serious maintenance and regulatory compliance problems. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants provide online and onsite support services for a broad array of earlier-generation Cisco wireless products. Progent can in addition assist organizations to assess the business case for updating legacy wireless technology and can help in planning and carrying out cost-effective, non-disruptive upgrades. Below are a few of Cisco older-generation Wi-Fi products that Progent's consultants continue to support.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless Access Points
Aironet 1000 or 1130AG family access points are intended for offices and similar sites which have minimal environmental variability. These products include built-in antennas that provide predictable omnidirectional range profiles. The Aironet 1130G family wireless access point is offered for regulated domains that do not allow 802.11a/5GHz transmission.
Aironet 1230AG or 1240AG Series access points are designed for more difficult RF environments such as factories or above ceiling structures which tend to require flexible external antennas and ruggedized enclosures. The Aironet 1240G Series access point is designed for regulatory domains that do not allow 5GHz transmission.
Aironet 1500 family lightweight outside wireless mesh APs offer an affordable, expandable, protected outdoor wireless technology for enterprise campuses and for public sites that require connectivity for portable phones or computers.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless Bridges
Cisco Aironet wireless LAN bridges provide a high-speed and feature-rich solution for integrating multiple local area networks in a metropolitan area or public access network. Cisco wireless bridges offer a versatile, manageable solution that meets the protection demands of WAN professionals. These bridges handle both point-to-point and PTMP implementations with good range and the ability to handle data rates as high as 54 Mbps.
Cisco Aironet wireless LAN bridges deliver throughput dramatically higher than E1/T1 connections for much lower cost, avoiding the need for costly leased lines when connecting different offices. Since bridges carry no ongoing charges, the expenses saved on leased-line bills quickly pay for the startup hardware costs. Private lines and even leased lines using copper or fiber-optic cable often result in considerable initial costs when they are separated by obstacles like freeways, train tracks, or bodies of water. Cisco wireless bridges can be installed quickly an offer a fast return on investment.
Aironet 1300 Series outside access points/bridges can be deployed as stand-alone access points, bridges, or wireless group bridges. These appliances have a ruggedized enclosure and provide high-speed, affordable wireless interfaces between numerous fixed or mobile environments and clients.
Cisco Aironet 1400 bridges provide fast, reliable outside wireless bridging for LOS applications. These devices are housed in an all-weather enclosure that can withstand harsh outside environments and function within broad temperature ranges.
Legacy Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Wireless Network Controllers centralize the management of wireless LANs by simplifying the handling of common functions including integrated IPS, real-time RF management, zero touch deployment, and N+1 redundancy. WLAN controllers work with small APs to offer superior performance and advanced control functions.
Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers (WLCs) provide the manageability, scalability, protection, and reliability that network managers need to create safe, enterprise-scale wireless solutions, from branch offices to small businesses to headquarter campuses. Cisco's legacy WLCs can be clustered to provide accommodation for as many as 2400 wireless 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 (SMBs) and enterprises a cost effective solution to deploy and control protected wireless networks at branch offices. These products manage up to a dozen Cisco access points and are installable in Cisco 2800/3800 Series IS Routers and 3700 Integrated Services Routers. (For information concerning Progent's online and onsite consulting services for Cisco routers, see Cisco router deployment and troubleshooting consulting.)
How Progent's Consultants Can Assist Your Company with Cisco Wireless Devices
Progent can provide access to a Cisco-certified consulting professional to assist your business to design, install, manage and repair a converged wired/wireless environment incorporating a broad array of wireless devices that offer the identical protection, scalability, and ease of management you expect from your wired network. Progent can help you to support legacy Wi-Fi products from Cisco or migrate seamlessly to the latest 802.11ax-compatible products. Progent's CISM and CISSP security professionals can advise you about how to build protection into your WLAN and into your business operations. Progent's disaster recovery planning consultants and business continuity consultants can show you how to set up the high availability technology built into Cisco's wired/wireless products so your converged infrastructure provides continuing return on investment.
Progent’s Wi-Fi Site Survey helps you to design and deploy a robust wireless network customized for your facilities, offering a wireless ecosystem that delivers seamless coverage, high performance and capacity, Quality of Service to support IP voice and video, advanced security and compliance, and streamlined management. Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey can be performed remotely to cut time and expense, or onsite for more difficult situations.
For a further discussion of Progent's wireless integration services, see Progent's Wireless LAN Consulting Services.
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