Cisco offers an extensive line of wireless networking products and technologies designed to provide anywhere, anytime access to information and resources and to facilitate collaboration among colleagues, partners, and clients. Cisco's wireless product portfolio includes the Small Business, Aironet and Meraki lines of wireless access points (APs) plus Cisco's standalone and modular Wireless LAN Controllers. Cisco's wireless solutions can help organizations of any size support the new paradigm of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) by converging their wired and wireless networks to achieve simplified deployment, uniformly high-performance, centralized management, consistent policy enforcement, and across-the-board security.
Cisco Converged Architecture for BYOD and Wired/Wireless Onsite Access
Cisco's Unified Wireless Network architecture can scale to as many as 18,000 access points with full Layer 3 mobility across central or remote locations such as enterprise campuses, college lecture halls, branch offices, and home offices. Cisco's Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers are components of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network and are designed to support the same level of security, performance, and ease of management for wireless LANs that companies expect in their wired infrastructure. This includes integrated mobility services such as VoIP, HD IP video, and secure guest connectivity. Cisco's Unified Wireless Network technology allows companies to create wireless ecosystems that streamline the way they do business and improve productivity through a mobile and connected workforce.
Progent's Cisco-certified wireless networking consultants can provide online or onsite expertise to help you design, deploy, manage, expand, upgrade, and troubleshoot converged wired/wireless networks of any size and for any venue. Progent also offers affordable online and onsite wireless site surveys to help you design and install a Wi-Fi network with custom-designed access point clustering optimized for your specific office layout, building structure, and application workloads.
Cisco Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst Wi-Fi Access Points
Cisco's Small Business, Aironet, Meraki and Catalyst families of wireless access points (APs) allow you to converge wired and wireless networks to provide the coverage, density, performance, security and manageability needed to support virtually any environment. These wireless access points range from entry-level, single-band 802.11b/g/n devices with data rates of 300 Mbps for very small businesses or home offices to dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac APs capable of supporting 200 or more clients per access point and offering sustained data rates of up to 5.9 Gbps. Cisco's current line of APs can be clustered to provide the scale to support environments with high client density and high usage rates of HD video applications.
Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Series Wireless Access Points
Cisco's Small Business 100, 300 and 500 series wireless access points are Linux-based devices designed as entry-level 802.11n Wi-Fi solutions for small offices. Many models in the Cisco Small Business family of wireless access points support Cisco's Single Point Setup technology, which makes it possible to configure, manage and troubleshoot a cluster of access points from a single device via a simple browser-based interface. All models support Power over Ethernet (POE) and feature QoS, rogue access point detection, and bridge mode for wirelessly connecting to a second Ethernet network. For more information about Progent's consulting expertise for Cisco Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Series Wi-Fi access points, refer to Cisco Small Business 100/300/500 Series planning and integration consulting.
Cisco's Aironet Family of Wireless Access Points
Cisco's Aironet family of indoor and outdoor wireless access points has for years been the top-selling AP solution. Aironet APs range from value-priced entry-level models to enterprise-class APs. The Aironet line span several generations of devices supporting the evolving 802.11x Wi-Fi standard. The latest Aironet APs support Cisco's Unified Wireless Network software and incorporate 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, which offers triple the performance as well as greater range and user density compared to the previous generation of devices. Cisco's current dual-band Aironet APs continue to support 802.11n at 2.4 GHz to accommodate clients not compatible with 802.11ac.
The oldest Aironet APs are legacy devices that have reached end of life status and are no longer fully supported by Cisco. Progent continues to support the entire Aironet family of wireless access points and can help you manage and troubleshoot your current Aironet Wi-Fi environment or upgrade efficiently to the latest Aironet technology. For details about Progent's support for both current and legacy Cisco Aironet wireless access points, see Cisco Aironet Access Point consulting services.
Cisco's Meraki Wireless Access Points
Cisco's family of Meraki dual-band 2.4/5 GHz indoor access points range from value-priced models for general use to enterprise-class devices that offer up to 5.9 Gbit/sec performance. All Meraki indoor access points feature next-generation capabilities such as self-configuring plug-and-play deployment, advanced security, BYOD support, built-in analytics, automatic over-the-web updates, and centralized cloud management for multiple sites. Each Meraki access point also includes two high-power client-serving radios with enhanced receive sensitivity plus a dedicated intrusion detection and prevention system (WIDS/WIPS) security radio that provides RF analysis and deep packet inspection at line rate.
Cisco's Meraki outdoor access points are IP67 rated, designed to operate in harsh outdoor environments, and tested for dust, shock, vibration and moisture. Meraki outdoor access points include a Gigabit Ethernet port and offer advanced features that include cloud management with network-wide visibility and control, 802.1X and native Active Directory integration, built-in antivirus scan (NAC), 1-click secure guest access and guest isolation firewall, application-aware traffic shaping, plus self-configuring mesh with MIMO and beamforming. For more information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco Meraki access points and management tools, refer to Cisco Meraki Access Point consulting services.
Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax Access Points
Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax APs are intended for deployments ranging from telecommuter homes to crowded convention centers. Cisco Catalyst 9100 APs are based on the 802.11ax specification, referred to as Wi-Fi 6, which in turn builds on the preceding 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) standard. As an improvement to 802.11ac, Wi-Fi 6 is able to use both the 2.4-Ghz and 5-GHz bands. Headline enhancements incorporated in Catalyst 9100 Series APs include MU-MIMO support for uplink traffic, dual NAVs for better reliability, Target Wake Time for reduced power usage in battery-dependent endpoints, adaptive power thresholds for more efficient spectrum utilization, and extended guard intervals for improved outdoor performance. All Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 APs support Cisco's Embedded Wireless Controller (EWC), accommodate as many as 200 clients per radio, and are powered by Cisco IOS XE Software. For more information about Progent's support for Cisco's Catalyst 9100 Series Wi-Fi 6 Access Points, refer to 802.11ax APs solution design, configuration, and debugging services.
Cisco 9800 Series Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers
Catalyst 9800 line of Wi-Fi 6-compatible wireless LAN controller appliances allow you to manage advanced Wi-Fi networks that incorporate 802.11ax APs. The 802.11ax standard, referred to as Wi-Fi 6, improves on prior generation 802.11ac (referred to as Wi-Fi 5) appliances by providing less latency and more reliable performance, allowing higher client user density, providing greater protection, saving energy for battery-dependent handheld devices, and offering more versatility for handling the latest types of Internet-of-Things endpoints. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 line Wi-Fi controllers feature always-on availability with transparent software updates, live patching, and the ability to connect additional Wi-Fi access points with zero service interruption. Advanced cybersecurity technologies include Cisco Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS), secure boot, and Cisco Software-Defined Access (SD-Access). Streaming telemetry permits you to track and understand network and endpoint health.
All appliances in the Catalyst 9800 line are powered by Cisco's IOS XE Software and operate with Cisco's DNA Center (DNAC) or Cisco Prime Infrastructure network management platforms. Cisco's Catalyst 9800 wireless LAN controllers can manage Cisco Aironet 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 Wi-Fi access points concurrently with Catalyst 9100 Series 802.11ax wireless APs. For more information about Progent's support for Cisco 9800 Series 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Controllers, refer to Cisco Catalyst 9800 line of Wi-Fi 6 wireless LAN controller appliances solution design, deployment, and debugging services.
Cisco Wave 2 802.11ac Wireless Network Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers allow fast communication, deployment, management, analysis and debugging for Cisco wireless appliances and services. Cisco offers both hardware and software-based wireless controllers for unified administration of WiFi networks, but WLANs with a large number of Wi-Fi APs are better served by hardware-based Wi-Fi controllers. Wave 2 wireless controller devices from Cisco deliver significant benefits over Wave 1 and older models including greater throughput, simultaneous support for 1G and 10G Ethernet, enhanced application visibility and control, and advanced, integrated protection.
Cisco's 3504 Wireless Controller is an entry-level appliance with a desktop form factor and intended for smaller businesses. You can use the 3504 model in a centralized WLAN architecture such as in small branch and home-based offices managed across the WAN via FlexConnect, or in mesh deployments where Ethernet cabling is limited. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller can handle as many as 150 wireless APs and 3,000 client users, delivers 4 Gbps throughput, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. Cisco's 3504 controller features a multi-gigabit Ethernet port and four 1-GB Ethernet interfaces. APs can be connected directly to the WiFi controller through two PoE ports. The 3504 wireless controller offers fast failover for access points and users, which provides nonstop availability for applications. As with other current Wave 2 wireless controllers from Cisco, the 3504 model has the integrated ability to work with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services Engine, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 wireless controllers.
Cisco's 5520 Wireless Controller, offered in a 1RU package, is intended for larger enterprises and campus environments and can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures. The 5520 Wi-Fi controller supports up to 1,500 Wi-Fi access points and 20,000 users, delivers 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 subsecond failover for uninterrupted availability.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, available in a 2 rack unit form factor, is a high-end WiFi controller designed to support large enterprises, service providers, and large campus environments. The 8540 WiFi controller can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments and can handle up to 6,000 Wi-Fi access points and 64,000 clients. The 8540 Wireless controller offers throughput up to 40 Gbps and supports 4,096 VLANs. The 8340 comes with four 1-GB or 10GE ports and features solid-state storage, redundant power supplies, backup fans, and rapid failover.
Wave 1 Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco wireless controllers cut the time and cost needed to configure, monitor, and troubleshoot wireless networks by offering single-point control of tasks like setting up APs, enforcing consistent policies throughout wired/wireless LANs, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service (QoS) for voice and video, tracking and troubleshooting network health, activating security tools to defend against unauthorized access and DDoS threats, and managing IPv6 clients. Cisco has designed wireless network controllers for businesses of any size and offers standalone desktop appliances, modular add-on wireless controllers for Cisco routers and Catalyst switches, and Catalyst switches with built-in wireless LAN controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 WiFi controllers incorporate Cisco CleanAir technology to avoid signal interference and create self-optimizing wireless networks for top 802.11n and 802.11ac throughput and protection. Integrated Bonjour Gateways permit discovery across the enterprise for Apple applications. For high availability (HA), Cisco wireless network controllers support access point and client stateful switchover by permitting a standby HA wireless controller to synch with a primary controller for AP license tabulation, CAPWAP state and roaming keys, and access point CAPWAP state. In case the primary controller fails, thousands of APs and clients can failover at subsecond speeds to the secondary wireless LAN 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 routers used by smaller businesses and branches. This value-priced and expandable module can support from five to 200 access points and up to 6000 wireless clients. (To learn concerning Progent's remote and on-premises consulting support for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router configuration and troubleshooting support.)
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU form-factor switches designed for small to mid-size businesses and satellite offices and have an integrated wireless LAN controller with the capability to handle up to 40 Gb of wireless throughput for each switch and 25 APs and 1000 clients per switch. Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU rackmount switches designed for midsize businesses and large enterprises and include an integrated wireless LAN controller with up to 40 Gb of wireless throughput on each switch and the ability to handle up to 50 access points and 2000 wireless clients. The Wireless Services Module2 (WiSM2) is a plug-in blade for Catalyst 6500 Series switches that include a built-in wireless network controller designed for mid-to-large size businesses and capable of 20 Gbps throughput and able to handle up to 1000 wireless access points and up to 15,000 wireless clients. (To find out concerning Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Cisco switches, see Catalyst switches deployment and management support.)
Cisco 2500 Wireless Controllers are value-priced desktop units that streamline the deployment and management of wireless networks for small to medium-sized enterprises and branch offices. The 2500 Series wireless LAN controller can handle 5 to 75 access points and 1000 wireless clients and offers sustained data rates of up to 1 Gbps.
The Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller is an expandable 1RU appliance designed for medium-sized to large businesses and campus environments and can support up to 500 wireless access points and 7,000 wireless clients while providing 8 Gbps throughput. Cisco's 5760 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU appliance designed for mid-to-large campuses with support for up to 1000 access points and 12,000 wireless clients and providing performance of 60 Gbps to accommodate high wireless client densities and high amounts of media-rich mobile applications.
The Cisco Flex 7500 Wireless Controller is designed to manage massive collections of wireless remote sites from one datacenter, eliminating the need for a wireless controller at each branch. The 1RU Flex 7500 appliance allows you to build a private cloud to configure, track, maintain, and troubleshoot up to 6000 APs and up to 64,000 wireless clients while handling 1 Gbps performance. Cisco's 8500 Wireless Controller is a 1RU rackmount device engineered to monitor and control Wi-Fi networks for very large campuses or service providers and can be expanded to handle up to 6000 APs and 64,000 clients while offering 10 Gbps throughput.
For more information about Cisco WiFi controllers, see Cisco Wi-Fi controllers consulting and integration.
Legacy Cisco Wireless Bridges and Controllers Supported by Progent
The introduction of the 802.11ac standard for Wi-Fi effectively obsolesced previous generations of Wi-Fi products for many environments that require high densities of clients and high usage of HD video applications. Even for organizations who do not require the bandwidth efficiency of 802.11ac, many Cisco wireless products have reached end-of-sale or end-of-support status, which can present serious maintenance and compliance issues. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants provide online and onsite support for a broad array of earlier-generation Cisco wireless products. Progent can also help organizations evaluate the business case for updating legacy wireless technology and can help plan and execute cost-effective, non-disruptive upgrades. Below are a sample of legacy wireless products from Cisco supported by Progent.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless Bridges
Cisco wireless LAN bridges provide a high-speed and multi-featured technology for integrating numerous LANs in a metropolitan situation or public access environment. Cisco Aironet wireless LAN bridges provide a versatile, manageable technology that satisfies the security requirements of wide-area networking specialists. These devices support both PTP and P2MP configurations with excellent range and support for traffic throughput up to 54 Mbps.
Cisco Aironet wireless bridges deliver data rates substantially faster than E1/T1 connections for far less cost, doing away with the requirement for costly leased lines when linking different buildings. Since bridges carry no recurring costs, the expenses saved on connection services rapidly pay for the startup equipment costs. Self-installed private lines and even leased lines made of metal or fiber-optic cable often require considerable up-front costs if they are impeded by barriers like highways, train tracks, or lakes and rivers. Cisco wireless bridges can be deployed rapidly with a fast return on investment.
Aironet 1300 family outdoor access points/bridges can be deployed as independent wireless access points, wireless bridges, or wireless group bridges. These appliances have a ruggedized cover and provide high-speed, economical wireless interfaces between numerous fixed or mobile environments and users.
Cisco Aironet 1400 wireless bridges provide high-performance, reliable outdoor connections for LOS applications. These devices are housed in a durable cover that is optimized for harsh outside environments and function within extended temperature ranges.
Legacy Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco's WLCM or WLCM-E Wireless LAN Controller Module for Integrated Services (IS) Routers offers small-to medium businesses and large corporations an affordable solution to implement and control secure WLANs at satellite offices. These devices manage as many as 12 Aironet lightweight access points and are installable in 2800/3800 Integrated Services Routers and 3700 Integrated Services Routers.
The Cisco 2106 Wireless LAN Controller operates together with Cisco Aironet lightweight access points and Cisco's Wireless Control System (WCS) to provide centralized wireless network functions. Cisco's 2106 Series WLC handles as many as six Cisco Aironet lightweight wireless access points, making it an affordable alternative for multi-controller architectures common for enterprise satellite office installations. The Cisco 2106 Series Wireless LAN Controller may also be used for single device solutions for small and midsize company environments. The Cisco 2106 WLC includes eight Ethernet ports, two of which can provide power directly to Aironet lightweight APs.
Cisco's 4400 Series WLC offers centralized wireless LAN features for mid-size to enterprise environments. The Cisco 4400 Series Wireless LAN Controller operates in conjunction with Aironet lightweight wireless access points, the Cisco Wireless Control System, and the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance to support business-critical wireless data, voice, and video applications. Cisco's 4400 WLC offers real-time communication between Cisco lightweight APs and other wireless controllers to deliver centralized security policies, intrusion prevention system functions, outstanding RF control, quality of service (QoS), and mobility.
How Progent's Consultants Can Help Your Company with Cisco Wireless Technology
Progent can provide a certified CCIE or Cisco Certified Network Professional to help you design, deploy, manage and troubleshoot a converged wired/wireless ecosystem that integrates a wide range of wireless products that offer the same security, scale, manageability and performance you demand from your wired technology. Progent can help you maintain legacy Wi-Fi solutions or upgrade efficiently to the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology. Progent's CISA, CISM, CISSP, GIAC, and ISSAP security consultants can show you how to build protection into your wireless network and into your business processes. In addition, Progent's disaster recovery consultants and business continuity planners can help you configure the high availability (HA) technology incorporated into Cisco's wireless and wired products so your converged network provides non-stop business value.
Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey helps you plan and deploy a robust WLAN customized for your facilities, providing a wireless solution that delivers seamless coverage, high performance and capacity, QoS features to support voice and video IP, enterprise-class security, and easy management. Progent's Wireless Site Survey services can be performed online to save time and cut costs, or on premises for more challenging environments.
For a further discussion of Progent's wireless integration and troubleshooting services, see Progent's Wireless Network Consulting.
Contact Progent about Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Solutions
To get in touch with a Progent service representative about consulting support for Cisco wireless technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.
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In order to get in touch with Progent about engineering help for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.