Cisco has developed an extensive line of wireless networking products and software tools designed to enable anywhere, anytime access to information and other resources and to promote teamwork among employees, associates, vendors, and customers. Cisco's wireless offerings include the Small Business, Aironet and Meraki series of access points, as well as Cisco's Wireless Network Controller modules and appliances. Progent's Cisco-certified wireless consultants can help organizations of all sizes to utilize Cisco wireless products to support the new paradigm of Bring-Your-Own-Device computing by converging their wired and wireless ecosystems to benefit from simplified deployment, predictable throughput, centralized management, enterprise-wide policy, fault tolerance, and across-the-board protection.
Cisco's Converged Security Architecture for BYOD and Wired/Wireless Connectivity
Cisco's Unified Wireless architecture can scale to as many as 18,000 access points with full Layer 3 connectivity at local or offsite venues such as business headquarters, university auditoriums, branches, and telecommuter homes. Cisco's Wi-Fi wireless access points and wireless controllers are components of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network and are engineered to deliver the identical degree of security, throughput, and manageability for WLANs that businesses expect in their wired ecosystem. This technology includes built-in mobility services like Voice over IP, high-definition IP video, and secure guest connectivity. Cisco's Unified Wireless technology allows organizations to build Wi-Fi ecosystems that improve the way they work and enhance productivity through a dynamic and connected employee base.
Progent's Cisco-certified network consultants offers remote or on-premises expertise to help your organization to design, deploy, maintain, expand, and troubleshoot converged wired and wireless network infrastructure of any size and for any venue. In addition, Progent can provide value-priced online and on-premises wireless site surveys to assist your company to plan and deploy a wireless LAN with custom-designed wireless access point clustering optimized for your specific office layout, building structure, and application workloads.
Cisco Small Business, Aironet and Meraki Access Points
Cisco's Small Business, Aironet and Meraki lines of wireless access points allow businesses to converge wired and wireless infrastructure to provide the coverage, density, throughput, protection and ease of management needed to support virtually any scenario. Cisco's access points start at bare bones, single-radio 802.11b/g/n units with data rates of 300 Mbps designed for small companies or home offices to dual-radio 802.11a/b/g/n/ac APs suitable for handling hundreds of clients on each access point and offering sustained data rates of up to 1.9 Gb. Cisco's current line of APs can be combined or clustered to provide the scale to support sites with high client density and with high usage rates of HD video applications.
Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Series of APs
Cisco's Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Series of access points are Linux-based devices intended as entry-level Wi-Fi solutions for light workloads. Many models in Cisco's Small Business line of access points support Cisco's Single Point Setup system, which allows you to set up, manage and troubleshoot a cluster of access points from a single device through a simple browser-based interface. All of the models include Power over Ethernet and feature Quality of Service (QoS), rogue access point awareness, and bridging for wirelessly connecting to a second network.
Cisco's Small Business WAP121 Wireless-N Access Point is a wall-mountable, single-band 2.4GHz unit able to handle 16 802.11n wireless clients, includes a 10/100 Ethernet port, permits up to four access pointss and 40 active wireless clients in a cluster, and can handle throughput of 300 Mbps. The Cisco Small Business WAP131 is a desktop dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11a/b/g/n wireless access point able to handle 16 active clients per radio for a total of up to 32 wireless clients, features a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port, and can support throughput of up to 300 Mbps per radio. The WAP131 does not support clustering. The Cisco Small Business WAP150 is an entry-level Wave 1 dual-radio AC/n AP that includes a one Gbit Power over Ethernet (PoE) port and can support up to 16 clients per radio with 867 Mbps performance for 802.11ac clients and 300 Mbps for 802.11n clients. The Cisco WAP1501 supports 4 access points per cluster.
Cisco's Small Business WAP321 Wireless-N model is a wallmount selectable-band (either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz) 802.11n unit with support for 80 active clients in an 8-AP cluster. The Cisco WAP321 includes a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port and can deliver a sustained data rate of 300 Mbps for the selected radio. The Cisco Small Business WAP351 is a dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11a/b/g/n access point that includes a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and can handle 32 wireless clients per radio for up to 64 active clients, and deliver throughput of 300 Mbps per radio. The WAP351 does not support clustering. Cisco's Small Business WAP361 is a dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11ac Wave 1 wireless access point that includes a 5 x Gb Ethernet switch, allows 32 active WLAN clients per radio, and offers 867 Mbps throughput for 802.11ac clients and 300 Mbps performance for 802.11n devices. The Cisco WAP361 allows eight access points for each cluster. Cisco's wallmount WAP371 Wireless-AC/N is a dual-band device that supports 802.11n as well as the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard. The WAP371 Wireless-AC/N has a GE port, can support up to 32 active clients per radio, and eight APs per cluster.
Cisco's WAP561 802.11n Selectable Band access point includes one GE interface and dual concurrent radios that offer 450 Mbps throughput per radio, can handle 64 clients per radio, and allow up to 16 access points per cluster. The Cisco WAP551 is like the WAP 561 but has a single selectable band. Cisco's WAP571 and WAP571E (the weather-proof outside version) are dual-band 2.4/5 GHz 802.11ac Wave 1 APs incorporating two Gb Ethernet ports with link aggregation (LAG), and as high as 1.9 Gbps performance with 1300 Mbps on 802.11ac and 600 Mbps over 802.11n. Both APs support 32 clients per radio and 16 WAP371 access points per 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, see Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 WiFi access points consulting services.
Cisco's Aironet Line of Access Points
The Aironet line of indoor and outdoor wireless access points has consistently been the top-selling access point product. Aironet APs run the gamut from entry-level devices to advanced APs. The Aironet line span several generations of models supporting the continually improving 11x standard. Cisco's current line of Aironet access points support Cisco's Unified Wireless Network architecture and come with 802.11ac support, which delivers triple the throughput plus greater coverage and user density than the prior generation of devices. Cisco's current dual-band Aironet access points continue to support 802.11n at 2.4 GHz for clients that do not have 802.11ac radios.
The oldest Aironet APs are outdated units that have reached end-of-sale status and are not supported by Cisco. Progent still offers support for the entire Aironet family of wireless access points and can help your company to maintain your existing Aironet Wi-Fi system or upgrade smoothly to the latest Aironet products. For more information about Progent's support for current and outdated Cisco Aironet wireless access points, refer to Cisco Aironet wireless access points planning and support.
Meraki Access Points
Cisco's portfolio of Meraki dual-band 2.4/5 GHz indoor APs include budget-friendly models for general use to enterprise-class units supporting up to 2.5 Gbit/sec throughput. Every Meraki indoor AP provides next-generation capabilities like self-configuring deployment, in-depth protection, Bring-Your-Own-Device support, extensive traffic analysis, zero-touch over-the-web firmware updates, and unified cloud-based management via an intuitive dashboard. Each Meraki indoor AP also includes two high-power radios with boosted reception as well as a dedicated radio that provides (WIDS/WIPS) security for RF analysis and deep packet inspection at line rate.
Meraki outdoor wireless access points are IP67 certified, built to withstand harsh outdoor environments, and able to withstand dust, vibration and moisture. Cisco's Meraki outdoor access points include a 1 x Gbit Ethernet port and deliver advanced features such as cloud-based management with network-wide visibility, native Active Directory integration, built-in antivirus scan (NAC), single-click guest access and guest isolation firewall, Layer 7 traffic shaping, plus self-configuring mesh with MIMO. For more information about Progent's support for Meraki APs and management, refer to Meraki APs consulting services.
Cisco Wave 2 802.11ac WiFi Network Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 wireless controllers allow realtime data exchange, configuration, administration, monitoring and troubleshooting for Cisco Wi-Fi devices and software services. Cisco offers both physical and software-based wireless controllers for centralized management of wireless networks, but systems with many wireless APs typically require hardware-based wireless controllers. Wave 2 Wi-Fi controller appliances from Cisco offer significant advantages over Wave 1 and older products such as higher throughput, simultaneous support for 1G and 10G Ethernet, improved application visibility and control, and hardened, integrated security.
The Cisco 3504 WiFi Controller is an entry-level appliance available in a desktop form factor and designed for smaller organizations. You can install the 3504 in a centralized network environment such as in lean branch and remote offices administered over the wide-area network with FlexConnect, or in bridge deployments where wiring is limited. The 3504 wireless controller supports up to 150 APs and 3,000 users, offers 4 Gbps throughput, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 controller features a multi-gigabit Ethernet interface (up to 5 Gigabit Ethernet) and four 1-GB Ethernet interfaces. Access points can be connected directly to the controller via two Power over Ethernet ports. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller features subsecond failover for APs and users, which provides high availability for apps. As with other current Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers from Cisco, the 3504 device has the integrated capability to work with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services Engine, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WiFi controllers.
Cisco's 5520 Wireless Controller, offered in a 1 rack unit (RU) form factor, is designed to support midsize to large enterprises and campus networks and can be used in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments. The 5520 Wi-Fi controller supports as many as 1,500 access points and 20,000 clients, delivers 20 Gbps throughput, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 model controller features two 10 GE interfaces and features solid-state storage, redundant fans, optional backup power supplies, and subsecond failover for nonstop availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, offered in a 2RU form factor, is a top-of-the-line WiFi controller intended to support 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 Wi-Fi access points and 64,000 client 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 interfaces and features solid-state storage, dual power supplies, backup fans, and rapid failover.
Wave 1 Cisco WiFi LAN Controllers
Cisco wireless LAN controllers cut the effort and cost needed to deploy, manage, and troubleshoot wireless networks by centralizing control of functions like setting up wireless access points, applying single-point policies throughout converged wired and wireless LANs, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service (QoS) for IP voice and video, monitoring and optimizing network health, activating wireless intrusion prevention system (wIPS) tools to defend against cyber break-ins and Distributed Denial of Service attacks, and managing IPv6 and dual-stack clients. Cisco has designed wireless LAN controllers for organizations of any size and can provide standalone desktop appliances, modular plug-in wireless controllers for Cisco ISR routers and Catalyst switches, and Catalyst switches with built-in wireless LAN controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 WiFi controllers include Cisco CleanAir technology to minimize RF interference and create self-healing wireless networks for top 802.11n and 802.11ac throughput and security. Integrated Bonjour Gateways allow discovery and policy across the enterprise for Apple-based applications. For fault tolerance, Cisco wireless LAN controllers allow wireless access point and client stateful switchover by enabling a backup high-availability wireless controller to synch with a main wireless controller for AP license count, CAPWAP keys, and access point CAPWAP state. If the primary controller goes down, thousands of access points and clients can failover in less than a second to the backup controller.
Cisco's Wireless Controller Module for ISR Routers with UCS-E provides entry-level 802.11n and 802.11ac capability for Cisco 2900 and 3900 Series routers used by smaller organizations and satellite offices. This affordable and scalable solution can handle from five to 200 APs and up to 6000 wireless clients. (For information concerning Progent's online and on-premises consulting support for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router deployment and management support.)
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU form-factor switches intended for SMBs and branches and have a built-in wireless network controller with the capability to handle 40 Gb of wireless throughput per switch and 25 access points and 1000 wireless clients per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU switches intended for mid-size businesses and large enterprises and feature an integrated wireless network controller supporting up to 40 Gb of wireless throughput per switch and the ability to handle 50 access points and up to 2000 wireless clients. The Wireless Services Module2 (WiSM2) is an add-in blade for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches that include an integrated wireless controller intended for mid-to-large size enterprises and able to deliver 20 Gbps throughput and with support for up to 1000 wireless access points and as many as 15,000 wireless clients. (For information concerning Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Cisco switches, refer to Catalyst switches configuration and troubleshooting services.)
Cisco 2500 Wireless Controllers are economical desktop devices that simplify the deployment and management of wireless networks for small to medium-sized enterprises and branches. The Cisco 2500 wireless network controller can manage from five to 75 access points and 1000 wireless clients and can deliver sustained data rates of 1 Gbps.
The Cisco 5500 Wireless Controller is an expandable 1RU appliance intended for medium-sized to large organizations and campus environments and can support 500 APs and 7,000 clients while delivering 8 Gbps throughput. The Cisco 5760 Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance designed for mid-to-large campuses with the ability to manage 1000 access points and 12,000 wireless clients and delivering throughput of 60 Gbps to handle high wireless client densities and high usage of video-intensive applications.
The Cisco Flex 7500 Series Wireless Controller is intended to enable centralized management of thousands of wireless branches from one datacenter, eliminating the requirement for a wireless controller at each branch. The 1RU Flex 7500 lets you establish a private cloud to configure, track, manage, and repair up to 6000 wireless access points and up to 64,000 wireless clients while handling 1 Gbps performance. Cisco's 8500 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU rackmount device engineered to monitor and manage wireless environments for very large campuses or service providers and can be expanded to support 6000 access points and up to 64,000 wireless clients while offering 10 Gbps throughput.
To find out more about Cisco wireless controllers, see Cisco Wi-Fi controllers consulting services.
Legacy Cisco APs, LAN Bridges and Controllers Supported by Progent
The introduction of the IEEE 802.11ac specification for Wi-Fi largely made obsolete all previous releases of Wi-Fi products for environments that support high numbers of clients and high usage of video-intensive applications. Even for businesses who do not need the performance of 802.11ac Wi-Fi, many of Cisco wireless devices have arrived at end-of-sale or end-of-support status, which can pose significant maintenance and compliance issues. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and on-premises support for a broad array of older-generation Cisco wireless products. Progent can also assist companies to assess the potential ROI for upgrading legacy wireless technology and can help in designing and executing cost-effective, seamless migrations. The following are a sample of Cisco older-generation wireless devices that Progent's consulting experts continue to support.
Legacy Cisco Aironet APs
Aironet 1000/1130AG family APs are ideal for offices and other locations which have little environmental variability. These access points have built-in antennas that offer dependable radio coverage patterns. The Aironet 1130G family WAP is offered for restricted locations that do not allow 5GHz transmission.
Aironet 1230AG/1240AG family access points are intended for more problematic RF situations like factories or above suspended ceilings which commonly call for flexible protruding antennas and durable enclosures. The Cisco 1240G family device is intended for restricted domains that do not allow 802.11a transmission.
Aironet 1500 Series lightweight outside wireless mesh APs deliver an economical, scalable, protected outdoor Wi-Fi mechanism for enterprise campuses and for public venues that require access for mobile phones or computers.
Legacy Cisco Wireless LAN Bridges
Cisco Aironet wireless LAN bridges offer a high-performance and multi-featured solution for connecting numerous LANs in a metro area or public wireless environment. Cisco wireless LAN bridges offer a flexible, manageable solution that satisfies the security requirements of public networking professionals. These devices handle both PTP and point-to-multipoint deployments with excellent coverage and support for data throughput as high as 54 Mbps.
Cisco wireless LAN bridges offer data rates dramatically faster than E1/T1 links for much lower cost, eliminating the need for expensive leased lines when connecting separate offices. Because wireless bridges carry no periodic charges, savings on leased-line bills quickly pay for the startup hardware investment. Private lines and even leased lines utilizing metal or optical cable often require high up-front expenses when they are impeded by obstacles such as freeways, railroads, or bodies of water. Cisco wireless bridges can be deployed rapidly an offer a fast return on investment.
Cisco 1300 Series outdoor access points/bridges can be deployed as independent access points, wireless bridges, or workgroup bridges. These devices have a tough cover and provide fast, cost-effective wireless connectivity between multiple fixed or mobile networks and users.
Cisco 1400 Series wireless bridges provide fast, reliable outdoor bridging for line-of-sight environments. They are housed in an all-weather cover that can hold up to harsh outdoor conditions and can operate in broad temperature ranges.
Legacy Cisco WLAN Controllers
Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers provide single-point management of WLANs by simplifying the control of common technologies such as integrated intrusion prevention system (IPS), fast RF management, automatic configuration, and full N+1 redundancy. Cisco WLAN controllers operate with lightweight access points to deliver enhanced throughput and high-end control capabilities.
Cisco WLAN Controllers provide the manageability, expandability, protection, and reliability that network managers need to create secure, large-scale wireless solutions, from satellite offices to small companies to headquarter campuses. Cisco's first-generation Wireless Controllers can be clustered to provide support for as many as 2400 WAPs for each roaming domain.
The Cisco WLCM or WLCM-E Module for IS Routers offers small-to mid-size businesses and enterprises an economical solution to deploy and control protected WLANs at satellite offices. These wireless LAN controllers manage as many as a dozen Cisco APs and are supported on Cisco 2800/3800 Series IS Routers and Cisco 3700 Series IS Routers. (To learn about Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router configuration and troubleshooting services.)
How Progent Can Help Your Company with Cisco Wireless Solutions
Progent can provide a Cisco-certified consulting professional to help your business to design, deploy, maintain and repair a converged wired and wireless environment incorporating a wide array of wireless products that provide the same security, scalability, and manageability you expect from your wired environment. Progent can assist you to maintain legacy wireless products from Cisco or migrate seamlessly to current 802.11ac-comaptible products. Progent's CISM, CISSP, and ISSAP security professionals can advise you about how to design protection into your WLAN and into your company's processes. Progent's disaster recovery consultants and business continuity consultants can help you to configure the HA features incorporated into Cisco's wired/wireless technologies so your converged infrastructure delivers continuing business value.
Progentís Wi-Fi Site Survey helps you to plan and implement a robust WLAN optimized for your environment, offering a Wi-Fi solution that delivers comprehensive coverage, high speed and density, QoS to accommodate IP video, enterprise-class security and compliance, and simplified management. Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey can be delivered remotely to cut time and expense, or on premises for more challenging environments.
For a more in-depth look at Progent's wireless consulting capabilities, visit Progent's Wireless Consulting.
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