Cisco Wireless Review

Captive guest network is one of the best, but AP concurrent client processing needs work


What is our primary use case?

Survey/design and deploy Cisco Wireless (3500/3600/3700) in hospitals/universities.  The object was 100% coverage with RTLS support.

The challenges are RF propagation control and saturation with RRM. Another is future-proofing capacity. In the 3700 series, ATF was the limiting factor in Cisco’s solution.

How has it helped my organization?

Compared to other solutions, captive guest network is one of the best isolation and tunneling. All other features of RF are average.

What is most valuable?

  • The ability to disable RRM or set hybrid RRM. This provides a more granular design of RF in the environment.
  • CLI controller/RF debugging.

What needs improvement?

  • RRM
  • ATF
  • Ortho-Polarization
  • AP concurrent client processing

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Performance issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would rate tech support 7.5 out of 10 on the RF side. Overall, it’s what you would expect for Cisco.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Switched to Cisco because of upper-level decision.

How was the initial setup?

Pretty straightforward if you understand RF and what the options mean on the WLC.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Aruba, Aerohive, Ruckus, UBNT, Mikrotik.

What other advice do I have?

I’ve been working with Cisco Wireless since 2008. Although CPI and controllers have come a long way, the AP is the limiting factor. There are a lot of assumptions in the controller algorithm.

Don’t just conduct a passive survey. Set up three APs and do an active survey with RRM enabled among three.

Cisco’s wireless solution is a seven out of 10, in my experience, compared to other solutions. It has limitations on the polarization processing.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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