Cisco offers an extensive catalog of wireless networking products and software tools intended to provide continual connections to data and resources and to promote collaboration among workers, associates, suppliers, and customers. Cisco's wireless products include the Small Business, Aironet and Meraki lines of access points (APs), plus Cisco's Wireless LAN Controller plug-ins and standalone devices. Progent's Cisco-certified wireless consultants can enable organizations of all sizes to utilize Cisco wireless technology to support the new model of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) computing by integrating their wired/wireless ecosystems to achieve simplified deployment, consistently high throughput, centralized management, enterprise-wide policy enforcement, high availability, and across-the-board security.
Cisco Security Architecture for Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and Wired/Wireless Access
The Cisco Unified Wireless Network solution can scale to as many as 18,000 access points with Layer 3 connectivity across local or remote venues like enterprise headquarters, college auditoriums, branch offices, and home offices. Cisco's Wi-Fi access points and controllers are part of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network and are engineered to deliver the same level of protection, performance, and manageability for wireless networks that companies expect in their wired infrastructure. Cisco's architecture includes integrated mobile services such as VoIP, IP video, and secure guest connectivity. Cisco's Unified Wireless architecture allows companies to create wireless ecosystems that improve the way they do business and enhance output via a dynamic and connected employee base.
Progent's Cisco CCIE network consulting services can provide remote or on-premises expertise to help you to design, configure, manage, upgrade, and repair converged wired and wireless networks of any size and for any venue. Also, Progent offers value-priced remote and on-premises Wi-Fi site surveys to help you to design and install a Wi-Fi network with customized wireless access point clustering optimized for your specific office layout, building characteristics, and intended application.
Small Business, Aironet and Meraki Access Points (APs)
Cisco's Small Business, Aironet and Meraki lines of APs allow organizations to converge wired and wireless infrastructure to deliver the accessibility, capacity, performance, security compliance and manageability required for practically any environment. Cisco's access points range from bare bones, single-band 802.11b/g/n devices with throughput of 300 Mbps for small companies or home offices to dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac APs capable of supporting 200 or more wireless clients per AP and delivering sustained data rates as high as 1.9 Gbps. Cisco's current selection of APs can be combined or clustered to deliver the capacity to handle sites with high client density and with a high incidence of video-intense application software.
Small Business Series of Access Points
Cisco's Small Business 100, 300 and 500 Family of access points are Linux-based units intended as entry-level 802.11n wireless solutions for light workloads. Most versions in the Cisco Small Business line of APs work with Cisco's Single Point Setup system, which allows you to set up, control and repair a group of wireless access points from one device through an intuitive web browser tool. All of the versions include Power over Ethernet (POE) and feature Quality of Service (QoS), rogue AP detection, and bridging for connecting to a second network.
The Cisco Small Business WAP121 Wireless-N AP is a wallmount, single-band 2.4GHz unit able to support 16 active 802.11n clients, has a 10/100 Ethernet interface, permits up to 4 AP devices and 40 active wireless clients per cluster, and can handle throughput of 300 Mbps. Cisco's Small Business WAP131 is a desktop dual-radio 802.11a/b/g/n AP that can handle 16 active wireless clients per radio for up to 32 wireless clients, features a GE LAN interface, and can support throughput of up to 300 Mbps for each radio. The WAP131 does not allow clustering. The Cisco WAP150 is a value-priced Wave 1 dual-radio AC/n AP that includes a one Gbit Power over Ethernet (PoE) port and can handle 16 clients from each radio with 867 Mbps throughput for AC devices and 300 Mbps for 802.11n devices. The Cisco WAP1501 supports 4 APs per cluster.
The Cisco Small Business WAP321 Wireless-N Access Point is a wall-mountable selectable-band (either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz) 802.11a/b/g/n 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 throughput of 300 Mbps for the selected radio. The Cisco WAP351 is a dual-radio 2.4/5 GHz 802.11n access point with a 5-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and can handle 32 active clients on each radio for a total of up to 64 clients, and support a data rate of 300 Mbps for each radio. The WAP351 AP does not allow clustering. Cisco's WAP361 is a dual-radio Wireless-AC/N access point that includes a 5 x Gb Ethernet LAN switch, can support 32 active WLAN clients on each radio, and offers 867 Mbps throughput for 802.11ac clients and 300 Mbps performance for 802.11n clients. The Cisco Small Business WAP361 supports eight access points for each cluster. Cisco's wall-mountable WAP371 Wireless-AC/N is a dual-radio device that supports 802.11n as well as the new 802.11ac IEEE Wi-Fi specification. The WAP371 Wireless-AC/N has a 10/100/1000 Ethernet interface, can support up to 32 wireless clients on each radio, and eight APs per cluster.
The Cisco WAP561 802.11n Selectable Band AP includes one 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN interface and dual radios that offer 450 Mbps throughput for each radio, support 64 clients for each radio, and allow 16 access points per cluster. Cisco's WAP551 is like the WAP 561 but features a single selectable band. The Cisco Small Business WAP571 and WAP571E (the ruggedized outdoor model) are dual-band 2.4/5 GHz Wireless-AC/N wireless access points incorporating two Gb Ethernet ports with link aggregation, 3x3 MIMO, and up to 1.9 Gbps throughput with 1300 Mbps on 11ac and 600 Mbps on 802.11n. Both wireless access points can handle 32 clients on each radio and 16 WAP371 access points per cluster.
The Aironet Family of Access Points
The Aironet portfolio of wireless APs has for years been the market leading AP solution. Aironet APs range from entry-level devices to enterprise-class units. Cisco's Aironet family span several generations of devices compliant with the evolving Wi-Fi specification. Cisco's latest portfolio of Aironet access points work with Cisco's Unified Wireless Network software and incorporate 802.11ac technology, which offers triple the performance as well as greater coverage and density than the previous generation of APs. The current dual-band Aironet access points can support 802.11n at 2.4 GHz for client devices without 802.11ac radios.
The oldest Aironet access points are legacy devices that have come to end-of-sale status and are not fully supported by Cisco. Progent continues to provide technical support for the complete Aironet family of wireless access points and can help you to manage and troubleshoot your existing Aironet wireless environment or move cost effectively to the latest Aironet technology. For more information about Progent's support for current and legacy Aironet wireless access points, see Aironet access points planning and support.
Meraki Access Points
Cisco's portfolio of Meraki dual-band 2.4/5 GHz indoor APs range from budget-friendly devices for general use to advanced units that offer as high as 2.5 Gigabit per second performance. Each Meraki indoor AP provides high-end capabilities such as self-configuring deployment, advanced security, BYOD support, built-in analytics, automatic web-based updates, and unified cloud management for multiple sites. Every Cisco Meraki indoor access point also includes two high-power radios with boosted reception as well as a dedicated radio that offers intrusion detection and prevention system (WIDS/WIPS) security for threat detection and deep packet inspection at line rate.
Meraki outdoor access points are IP67 rated, built to operate in harsh outdoor environments, and able to resist dust, shock and humidity. Meraki outdoor access points include a 1 x Gbit Ethernet port and deliver advanced capabilities that include cloud-based management with network-wide control, 802.1X and native Active Directory integration, built-in antivirus scan, 1-click secure guest access and guest isolation firewall, Layer 7 traffic shaping, plus self-configuring mesh with beamforming. To find out more about Progent's support for Cisco's Meraki APs and cloud management, refer to Meraki access points system design and troubleshooting.
Cisco Wave 2 Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Wave 2 Wi-Fi controllers enable realtime communication, provisioning, administration, analysis and debugging for Cisco Wi-Fi devices and services. Cisco offers both hardware and software-based Wi-Fi controllers for centralized management of WiFi environments, but WLANs with many Wi-Fi access points are better served by hardware-based Wi-Fi controllers. Current generation Wi-Fi controller devices from Cisco deliver major advantages in comparison to Wave 1 and older products such as greater throughput, simultaneous support for both 1G and 10G interfaces, enhanced application visibility and control, and hardened, built-in protection.
Cisco's 3504 Wireless Controller is a value-priced appliance with a desktop enclosure and designed for smaller businesses. You can use the 3504 in a centralized WLAN architecture such as in lean branch and home-based offices managed over the wide-area network with Cisco FlexConnect, or in bridge installations where Ethernet cabling is sparse. The 3504 Wi-Fi controller supports up to 150 access points and 3,000 client users, delivers 4 Gbps throughput, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 3504 WiFi controller includes a Cisco Multigigabit port and four 1-GB Ethernet interfaces. Access points can be connected to the controller through two Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports. The 3504 wireless controller features fast failover for APs and users, which provides uninterrupted availability for apps. Like other current Wave 2 wireless controllers available from Cisco, the 3504 model has the built-in capability to communicate with Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Cisco Mobility Services Engine, and Cisco 5520 and 8540 WLAN controllers.
The Cisco 5520 WiFi Controller, offered in a 1RU enclosure, is intended for larger enterprises and campus environments and can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh architectures. The 5520 wireless controller can handle as many as 1,500 wireless APs and 20,000 clients, offers 20 Gbps performance, and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 5520 model controller features two 10 GE ports and incorporates solid-state storage, backup fans, optional backup power supplies, and subsecond failover for nonstop availability.
Cisco's 8540 Wireless Controller, offered in a 2 rack unit form factor, is a top-of-the-line WiFi controller designed to support enterprises, service providers, and large campuses. The 8540 Wireless controller can be run in centralized, distributed, and mesh deployments and supports up to 6,000 access points and 64,000 clients. The 8540 WiFi controller can deliver throughput up to 40 Gbps and supports up to 4,096 VLANs. The 8540 controller 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 cut the time and expense required to configure, manage, and troubleshoot wireless networks by centralizing control of critical tasks like provisioning APs, applying consistent policies across wired/wireless LANs, supporting enterprise-wide Quality of Service for IP voice and HD video, monitoring and optimizing network health, activating intrusion prevention tools to guard against unauthorized access and DoS threats, and managing IPv6 clients. Cisco has designed wireless LAN controllers for organizations of all sizes and can provide desktop or rackmount appliances, modular plug-in controllers for Cisco routers and switches, and switches with built-in wireless network controllers.
Cisco's Wave 1 wireless LAN controllers include Cisco CleanAir technology to minimize RF interference and produce self-healing wireless networks for maximum 802.11n and 802.11ac throughput and security. Integrated Bonjour Gateways allow discovery, advertisement and policy across the enterprise for Apple applications. For fault tolerance, Cisco wireless controllers support access point and client stateful switchover by enabling a standby high-availability controller to synch with a primary wireless controller for access point license tabulation, CAPWAP state and roaming keys, and AP CAPWAP state. If the main controller goes down, thousands of wireless access points and clients can failover at subsecond speeds to the secondary wireless network controller.
Cisco's Wireless Controller Module for ISR Routers with UCS-E provides entry-level 802.11n and 802.11ac support for Cisco 2900 and 3900 Series routers deployed by small to medium-sized businesses and branches. This affordable and expandable module can support up to 200 APs and as many as 6000 wireless clients. (To learn about Progent's remote and onsite consulting support services for Cisco routers, see Cisco router configuration and troubleshooting services.)
Catalyst 3650 Series are 1RU form-factor switches intended for small to mid-size businesses and branch offices and have an integrated wireless controller with the capability to handle up to 40 Gb of wireless throughput per switch and 25 APs and 1000 wireless clients on each switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series are 1RU switches intended for mid-size and large organizations and include an integrated wireless LAN controller supporting up to 40 Gb of wireless capacity on each switch and support for up to 50 APs and up to 2000 clients. The WiSM2 is an add-in blade for Catalyst 6500 Series switches that include a built-in wireless network controller designed for mid-to-large size enterprises and able to deliver 20 Gbps throughput and with support for 1000 wireless access points and up to 15,000 wireless clients. (To learn about Progent's online and onsite consulting support for Cisco Catalyst switches, refer to Cisco switches deployment and troubleshooting services.)
Cisco 2500 Series Wireless Controllers are entry-level desktop devices that streamline the provisioning and management of wireless LANs for SMBs and branch offices. The 2500 Series wireless LAN controller supports 5 to 75 wireless access points and up to 1000 clients and can deliver throughput of up to 1 Gbps.
The Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller is an expandable 1RU unit intended for mid-to-large sized businesses and campus environments and can manage up to 500 APs and 7,000 wireless clients while providing 8 Gbps performance. The Cisco 5760 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU device intended for mid-to-large campuses with support for 1000 wireless access points and 12,000 clients and delivering throughput of 60 Gbps to accommodate high client densities and high usage of media-rich applications.
The Cisco Flex 7500 Wireless Controller is intended to manage thousands of wireless remote sites from one location, eliminating the need for a Wi-Fi controller at every remote site. The 1RU rackmount Flex 7500 allows you to establish a private cloud to deploy, track, manage, and troubleshoot as many as 6000 APs and 64,000 clients while supporting 1 Gbps throughput. The Cisco 8500 Series Wireless Controller is a 1RU rackmount appliance engineered to monitor and control Wi-Fi networks for large campuses or service providers and can scale to handle 6000 access points and 64,000 wireless clients while delivering 10 Gbps performance.
To find out more about Cisco WiFi controllers, visit Cisco wireless controllers consulting and integration.
Legacy Cisco Access Points, Bridges and Wi-Fi Controllers Supported by Progent
The introduction of the 802.11ac standard for wireless connectivity largely made obsolete the earlier generations of Wi-Fi devices for many environments that have high densities of clients and high usage of HD video software applications. Even for businesses who do not currently require 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 provide online and onsite support services for a wide array of older-generation Cisco wireless products. Progent can in addition assist organizations to evaluate the business case for upgrading legacy wireless infrastructure and can help in designing and executing cost-effective, seamless migrations. The following are a sample of Cisco legacy wireless products that Progent's consultants continue to support.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Access Points
Aironet 1000 or 1130AG family access points are designed for offices and similar sites which have minimal environmental variability. These devices include integrated antennas that offer predictable radio range profiles. The Cisco 1130G family product is available for restricted locations that do not permit 802.11a/5GHz operation.
Cisco Aironet 1230AG/1240AG family wireless access points are designed for more problematic RF environments like manufacturing plants or above ceiling structures which often call for adjustable external antennas and rugged metal enclosures. The Aironet 1240G family AP is designed for restricted domains that do not allow 802.11a transmission.
Cisco Aironet 1500 Series lightweight outdoor mesh access points deliver a cost-effective, scalable, protected outdoor wireless network technology for campus areas and for public sites that require access for mobile phones or computers.
Legacy Cisco Aironet Wireless Bridges
Cisco wireless bridges provide a high-throughput and multi-featured technology for integrating multiple local area networks in a metro situation or public wireless environment. Cisco Aironet wireless bridges provide a versatile, easy-to-use solution that meets the security demands of WAN professionals. They support both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint implementations with excellent range and support for traffic rates up to 54 Mbps.
Cisco wireless bridges deliver data rates significantly higher than E1/T1 links for far less cost, doing away with the requirement for costly leased lines when linking different offices. Since bridges have no recurring charges, the expenses saved on leased-line services quickly pay for the startup hardware investment. Private lines and in some cases leased lines using copper or fiber-optic cable often result in high startup expenses in cases where they are separated by barriers such as highways, train tracks, or lakes and rivers. Cisco Aironet wireless LAN bridges can be deployed quickly with a fast return on investment.
Aironet 1300 outdoor access points/bridges can be implemented as stand-alone wireless access points, wireless bridges, or wireless group bridges. These appliances have a ruggedized enclosure and offer high-speed, economical wireless connectivity between multiple fixed or mobile networks and clients.
Cisco Aironet 1400 wireless bridges provide high-performance, reliable outdoor bridging for line-of-sight (LOS) applications. They include a durable cover that can hold up to harsh outdoor conditions and operate in wide temperature ranges.
Legacy Cisco WLAN Controllers
Cisco Wireless Network Controllers provide single-point management of wireless LANs by streamlining the handling of common technologies including intrusion prevention, fast RF management, automatic configuration, and full N+1 redundancy. Cisco WLAN controllers operate with lightweight access points to deliver superior performance and advanced administration functions.
Wireless LAN Controllers (WLCs) offer the control, expandability, security, and fault tolerance that IT managers require to build safe, large-scale wireless networks, from branch locations to small businesses to headquarter campuses. Cisco's first-generation Wireless Network Controllers can be configured together to provide support for as many as 2400 WAPs for each roaming domain.
Cisco's WLCM or WLCM-E Controller Module for Integrated Services (IS) Routers provides small-to mid-size businesses and enterprises an affordable solution to deploy and control protected wireless LANs at branch offices. These wireless controllers supervise as many as 12 Cisco Aironet APs and are installable in 2800/3800 Integrated Services Routers and 3700 Routers. (To learn concerning Progent's online and on-premises consulting services for Cisco routers, refer to Cisco router configuration and management services.)
How Progent's Engineers Can Help You with Cisco Wireless Solutions
Progent can provide access to a Cisco-certified consultant to help you to design, deploy, maintain and troubleshoot a converged wired/wireless ecosystem incorporating a broad array of wireless devices that offer the same security, extensibility, and manageability you expect from your wired network. Progent can assist you to manage early-generation wireless solutions from Cisco or migrate seamlessly to current 802.11ac-comaptible products. Progent's CISM and CISSP security consultants can show you how to design protection into your wireless network and your company's processes. Progent's disaster recovery planning consultants and business continuity planning consultants can show you how to set up the HA technology built into Cisco's wireless and wired technologies so your converged infrastructure delivers significant business value.
Progentís Wi-Fi Site Survey assists you to plan and implement a state-of-the-art wireless network optimized for your environment, offering a wireless solution that delivers seamless coverage, high speed and density, QoS to support IP video, advanced security, and easy management. Progent's Wi-Fi Site Survey can be delivered remotely to reduce time and costs, or onsite for more complex situations.
For a further discussion of Progent's wireless integration capabilities, visit Progent's Wireless Support Services.
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