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Ibrahima Thioub
Technology Manager at International School Of Dakar
Real User
Top 20
Highly stable, scalable, and secure

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features of Cisco Wireless are security and the ability to manage everything easily. Other solutions, such as Aruba are not as simple."
  • "Cisco Wireless does not have a dashboard that would make it easier for people to manage the solution, such as Cisco Meraki where you are able to monitor the network through the dashboard and everything is visible making it easier."

What is our primary use case?

We use Cisco Wireless for networking in an education center.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of Cisco Wireless are security and the ability to manage everything easily. Other solutions, such as Aruba are differentiation.

If you use the EAP for wireless security it is good. The only setback is the user has to have their own login, it is easy to do. If you make a user group for many students because they do not know the password. Having everyone use a group user account is not good. It is best for every student to have their own login. The connectivity will be better.

What needs improvement?

Cisco Wireless does not have a dashboard that would make it easier for people to manage the solution, such as Cisco Meraki where you are able to monitor the network through the dashboard and everything is visible making it easier. There are many things you can do with the dashboards. With Cisco Wireless if you have to manage the switches, backbone, or update the controllers you have to have someone with Cisco certification or know someone who can support you with the management of the solution. I have colleagues that have difficulties when I am away making changes to the Cisco Wireless devices and this is one of the reasons we are switching this solution to Cisco Meraki.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Cisco Wireless for approximately 14 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. However, I had some issues last month with older Cisco wireless solutions. The certificates for some access points had expired and did not want to connect to the WLC.
Finally, I found a solution and got them all to work fine.

Why did I say it is stable. Since, we had installed it from 2009 until 2020 we had no major problem.
We started with a single SSID then with 2 SSIDs then we went up to 4 SSIDs. All 3 used authentication with a radius server. The fourth was managed by the WLC as Guest wifi.
This situation had to be foreseen because Cisco had announced on June 30, 2016 the dates of discontinuation and end of life of the range of our access points. The end date of routine failure analysis and new service provision had been declared on December 29, 2017.
It took 4 years later to face this certification problem.
Our network system of Cisco was really user-friendly:
-With printing with google cloud before it is stopped.
Our new MYQ system is too
- With our IP phone system
- With all practices (Windows, Mac, Tablets, phones and chromebooks)
- With our accounting system.
We really say Alhamdoulila.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution has good coverage and people can have access quickly.

We have approximately 700 students with Chromebooks connecting to the network.

How are customer service and support?

I have not used technical support but if you want technical support it costs money.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used HPE and Apple wireless solutions previously.

How was the initial setup?

The installation of the solution is easy but it might not be for others. I have used the solution for a long time.

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

Cisco Wireless solutions should have a price reduction for educations centers. Education centers are there to help people grow and there are not large budgets. The solution tends to be expensive and it can cause difficulties when purchasing them here in Africa.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have evaluated other solutions, like Aruba through my nephew. This is the system he used at university in the US.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution to anyone, Cisco is the best. We are migrating to Cisco Meraki next week.

I rate Cisco Wireless a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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SP
Network and Security Engineer at SK international
Real User
A stable wireless networking solution with great documentation and technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "I like that Cisco Wireless is easy to implement. If you get stuck with any issues, they have ample documentation on the internet. It's easy to implement, and Cisco documentation is easily accessible."
  • "In the next release, I would like to see some AI capability deployed. Other competitors like Mist and Juniper already have it. So, AI features need to be introduced next year."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is to provide enterprise wireless solutions for employees. We're a system integration provider, and we have a number of customers. Our customers deploy our wireless solutions in an active-standby mode for better network stability. We mostly have customers who have standalone wireless controllers.

What is most valuable?

I like that Cisco Wireless is easy to implement. If you get stuck with any issues, they have ample documentation on the internet. It's easy to implement, and Cisco documentation is easily accessible.

What needs improvement?

In the next release, I would like to see some AI capability deployed. Other competitors like Mist and Juniper already have it. So, AI features need to be introduced next year. Cisco is the defacto brand in wireless technology, and they're a little bit behind. They need to introduce some AI features so we can introduce the customer to these new features.

Some training will help because Cisco's new offering, 9800, requires a lot of hands-on experience. This is because the Cisco 9800 controller is new compared to the previous models, like 2504 and 3504. It requires more hands-on experience to get familiar with the terminologies used in 9800. This is because there are some AP profiles and site profiles, and all these things we aren't familiar with. It's a good tool.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been implementing Cisco Wireless for the last five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Cisco Wireless is obviously very stable, and there's no doubt about that. When you go for Airwave, it's very stable. The new IOx is going to be stable, and we're deploying it for a couple of customers.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You can deploy it for whatever your user wants and their AP count. It's very good when it comes to scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Cisco technical support is great. Cisco is based in Texas and provides technical support in any manner. Cisco provides support to customers who require it for updates or break-fix IT.
Support is wonderful. We haven't had a problem.

How was the initial setup?

It's easy to set up and implement this solution. For a basic implementation, you can deploy it within two or three hours. This is for a basic deployment for publishing SSID and testing. At a granular level, you may need a week to deploy this solution. This is because, in wireless scenarios, you need to do tests and try different testing scenarios. It's a very good basic solution for deploying to the cloud.

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

From a pricing point of view, it's a little bit expensive compared to competitors like Aruba and others. But the product is also very promising and very stable. The hardware is wonderful. As a system integrator, it's okay, but you'll probably see it as expensive as a customer.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise potential users to implement Cisco wireless if they're implementing Airwaves. The old models like 2504 and 5508 work well with Airwaves. But it requires some specific knowledge to take that to the controllers and unplug the device. Some connectivity is derived from the core to the controller. You need to know what type of connectivity is required, what kind of access, and all those things. Cisco 9800 is a pure IOx, and it has a very straightforward configuration. It's very easy when compared to Airwaves.

On a scale from one to ten, I would give Cisco Wireless a ten for stability and performance. I don't have any issues with that.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator
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Learn what your peers think about Cisco Wireless. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
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Shrijendra Shakya
C.T.O at Sastra Network Solution Inc. Pvt. Ltd.
Reseller
Top 5Leaderboard
Stable and secure with good throughput and performance, managed from a single pane of glass

What is our primary use case?

We are implementing Cisco Wireless in various environments including hospitality (controller-based deployment along with room AP in 90+ room property), and corporate (both standalone and controller-based).

The wireless system has been integrated into the hotspot for guest access and enterprise authentication has been used for the employees. For authentication, both the inbuilt database and integration to FreeRADIUS has been used. We have also used AD in the corporate environment for authentication. The controller has been deployed in HA.

How has it helped my organization?

It has helped to provide mobility with committed throughput and performance.

Additionally, Cisco wireless solutions are very stable. This, with its rugged nature, has helped for overall efficiencies in information processing and daily operations.

It has enhanced the security of the enterprise and has given single-pane visibility for network monitoring.

It has provided excellent mobility and load balancing of the wireless endpoints to various APs, based on the built-in algorithms, both in 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the controller, single pane for the configuration, as well as the operation and monitoring of the wireless system.

Other important features are the detection of the rough AP, programmable API, network analytics, and the RF planning tool.

The product is very stable. The infrastructure is scalable and very durable.

With excellent support from the Cisco support team, this solution can be deployed in no time.

It is easy to troubleshoot and zone-based profiling is another excellent feature. Auto power calibration between AP sensing the environment is also a valuable feature. 

What needs improvement?

The regulatory domain seems to be hardcoded into the system and we need a simple way to change it in wireless APs.

Power level improvements and increased antenna dBi are needed when compared to other competitor vendors like Ruckus and HP Aruba.

The product pricing should be competitive compared to other vendors, as many products are coming up with good features like Cambium, Edge, and Core.

The controller pricing is high compared to other vendors like Ruckus. Pricing should be lowered to target the SMB market, where many other vendors have dominance. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Cisco Wireless for 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is excellent.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Cisco Wireless is very much Scalable, based on the forecast you have and the controller you choose. It's just about adding the license.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is excellent.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have been using other products like Cambium, Ruckus, and HP. Before we implement Cisco, we had read a lot of reviews of its stability and durability, and indeed, it was true.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

The installation team was highly skilled and certified.

What was our ROI?

The ROI is excellent.

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

The pricing depends on the requirement, so proper planning and an RF analysis help to properly size the solution and get the best pricing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We previously evaluated Cambium and Rukus.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is that this product should be the first choice to adopt when deploying a wireless solution. If cost is a factor then proper sizing will help to reduce it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: we are system integrator and cisco partner.
TX
IT at a manufacturing company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Has good technical support, offers very good performance, and scales well

Pros and Cons

  • "We've found the technical support to be helpful and responsive."
  • "Older versions are complex to configure and implement."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is primarily used to connect users to the internet. It's the main product we use for this purpose.

What is most valuable?

The performance is very good. 

The solution has proven to be quite stable over the years. It's one of its most valuable aspects.

The scalability is very good.

We've found the technical support to be helpful and responsive.

What needs improvement?

If it was even more stable, that would be ideal. The stability is good, however, it's always something that can be improved upon. 

Older versions are complex to configure and implement.

The pricing of the product is quite high compared to other solutions.

For how long have I used the solution?

I started using Cisco in 2012. I've been using it for a long time. It's been about nine years or so at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've found the stability to be very reliable. It doesn't crash or freeze. There are no bugs or glitches. It's very good overall. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You can scale the product easily. If a company needs to expand it, it can do so. It's not a problem.

More than 100 users are using it in our organization.

I'm not sure if we have plans to continue to use it or not. That's more of a management decision. However, I would be happy to keep using Cisco, as it is a very good product.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've reached out to technical support in the past. The service is good. I'd say that the response time is fast, and the support is professional. We've been quite happy with the level of service we are provided.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I also have experience with Ruckus, Ubiquiti, and Huawei wireless solutions.

How was the initial setup?

The older product has an installation that is complex, and not easy to configure. This is the disadvantage of older Cisco products. It's possible that they've sorted this out and newer versions are much easier to configure. The wireless controller on older devices is just very difficult. With the older versions, you need to tag some columns, for example. It's just a more complex process.

I was not the person who originally configured the solution and therefore can't speak to how long the deployment actually took.

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

The solution is quite expensive. It doesn't offer the best pricing on the market. There are cheaper options.

What other advice do I have?

We are customers and end-users. We use it in our organization. We don't have a business relationship with Cisco.

We are using the latest version of the solution. We are using an older version. I do not have the version number on hand.

On a scale from one to ten, I would rate this product at a nine. It's very reliable and we've been very happy with its overall capabilities so far. It does not disappoint.

I'd recommend the solution to other organizations.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Marc Gaethofs
ICT manager at a real estate/law firm with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 10
A highly stable solution held back by limited controllers

Pros and Cons

  • "This solution is highly stable. We have only had one issue in seven years."
  • "The flexibility on the controllers isn't that great."

What is our primary use case?

We have a business center with about 600 tenants. We use Cisco wireless throughout our business center. We have a coverage shortfall for WiFi access for our customers.

We have 600 users in our building spread between roughly 20 to 25 different companies. We all have different needs and different security issues. 

What needs improvement?

The flexibility on the controllers isn't that great.

We always have to inject a third-party if we want to do things on social media, etc. If you have a guest network, you can make some connections with guest networks within your social media account — that's not the case with the standard solution from Cisco. You always have to get a third-party solution.

Our solution is prehistoric — it's seven years old. Still, they have perfectly served all of our needs. But now the market is changing. Because of COVID-19, more and more people are using wireless solutions. They're using Teams. They have bandwidth issues. That's a limitation with Cisco — you have to change all your APs again.

There's no way to upgrade it to make it faster and better, overall. The only thing you can do is add more access points, but then you have to license each access point. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is highly stable. We have only had one issue in seven years. We had one issue with our controllers. We upgraded our controllers and there was a little bug, but that was solved very quickly.

Also, we've never experienced any downtime.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable, but there is a break-level replacement cost.

We expanded seven years ago. If we want to expand further, we'll have to replace our controllers and add new access points. So expandable? Yes, but it's pricey.

How are customer service and technical support?

Cisco has a great support team. We pay a lot for support, but they are very accurate. They are very fast. They are very good and they have great knowledge.

We have a very good partner for technical support. We have a contract with them. The support is always great but it's limited to just one product.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is fairly complex because we have a lot of VLANs in order to enhance our customers' user experience.

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

This solution is expensive, but you get value for your money.

Cisco is not cheap. That's actually an understatement. Our Cisco partners want us to partner with Cisco Meraki solutions because their cloud platform is monthly-based. We pay roughly $2,000 a year with our current subscription.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution to other users. If you're interested in Cisco, Meraki is a good choice, but they are lagging a little bit behind in terms of technology. If you compare Aruba with Mist, Mist has the most advanced wireless solutions that you can possibly get at the moment.

After over seven years of use, overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of seven.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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CC
Cisco Network Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
It works, but it is complex and expensive

Pros and Cons

  • "It is good, and it works."
  • "It requires a few tweaks in order to stabilize it. Its portal is complex. Cisco solutions are complex in general."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for users within the company. We have a separate network for them. We have another network for outside people. 

What is most valuable?

It is good, and it works.

What needs improvement?

It requires a few tweaks in order to stabilize it. Its portal is complex. Cisco solutions are complex in general.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Cisco Wireless for about ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have to do a few tweaks in order to stabilize it. We have tweaked its configuration through their support center, and we even got a third-party vendor out here to kind of take a look at it, which improved it a little but not a hundred percent. We have several users who get dropped from the Wi-Fi every once in a while. APs also don't typically work. They just stop working. We have to reboot them, and they magically work. 

With all the testing that we have done with Aruba for the last six to seven months, we have not had this problem. This is one of the key points why we are switching over.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. Pre pandemic, we probably had about 1,100 people. Post pandemic, we probably have a quarter of that because most people work from home now.

How are customer service and technical support?

They have been supportive. We have opened tickets, and we got decent support. They are still not perfect in their support. 

It does take time to get through to them unless it is a down situation, which we really never had. Wireless is not a major asset when it comes to the network because most people are tethered into the local area network. It sometimes takes an hour or two for the tickets to get assigned. We have also opened support tickets with Aruba, and the ticket gets assigned and resolved within ten minutes. Aruba's technical support is definitely more responsive.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't here when they installed it, but I'm sure it was complex.

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

Cost is one of the reasons why we are switching to Aruba. Aruba is significantly lower than Cisco in price. 

We do the licensing on a three-year basis. Cisco makes licensing very difficult.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend Cisco Wireless based on the needs. You probably need a certification in order to run it effectively. If you are going to do it, do it, but just be aware of the complexity of their solutions. It is good, and it works. It is not a bad product, but they make licensing very difficult. It also takes a little while to get hold of somebody in technical support as compared to other vendors.

We are going to swap Cisco Wireless with the Aruba platform because of better stability, price, and technical support.

I would rate Cisco Wireless a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Wojciech Kaczor
Board Member and Co-Owner at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Helpful support, easy to set up , and offers good stability

Pros and Cons

  • "The support is very good. Technical support is very helpful."
  • "For all products on the market, the availability of the products may not be ideal. We're waiting on a lot of products simply due to the fact that there's a material shortage. We've ordered products and have had to wait three or four months for anything to get delivered. This is not just Cisco. It's a problem on the market for all components which include semiconductors."

What is our primary use case?

We use the solution for our company as well as for our clients. 

What is most valuable?

What's the most important for us is the reliability of this product, and that's it. We are sure that they work fine and they are fully developed and add great new functions.

The support is very good.  Technical support is very helpful.

The initial setup is easy - especially in the Mobility Express solution.

The stability is very good. 

What needs improvement?

Cisco proposed a new version of their product, however, I don't have any requirements which are not already met.

For all products on the market, the availability of the products may not be ideal. We're waiting on a lot of products simply due to the fact that there's a material shortage. We've ordered products and have had to wait three or four months for anything to get delivered. This is not just Cisco. It's a problem on the market for all components which include semiconductors.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for 20 years. I've used the solution for a long time. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've never faced any stability issues. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We use this solution for medium enterprises. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I'm very satisfied with technical support. The technical support of Cisco is the best on the market. They are very helpful and responsive. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I also work with Fortinet. I have much more experience with Cisco. I don't have so much experience with Fortinet.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. It's not overly difficult or complex. A company shouldn't have any issues with the process. 

What about the implementation team?

As integrators, we can install the solution for our clients. 

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

They have different products which can be used by some customers, from small and medium to large enterprises. The portfolio is very wide. It's difficult to say if they are expensive or not as they have expensive products, however, they are very scalable and great for very large objects.

Maybe they are a little bit above the average on the market, however, for what you get, mostly it's worth it.

What other advice do I have?

I'm a system integrator. I'm a Cisco partner. The company is a Cisco Gold Partner.

Cisco is great due to the fact that there is so much documentation online. It's very easy to research it and learn it and to troubleshoot if you need, simply due to the fact that there's so much shared knowledge out there. I'm not sure if that;'s the case for any other solution. 

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
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JA
Domain Architect at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Scalable, great for large enterprises, and has good technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "The stability of the solution is good."
  • "The new licensing model isn't as good as what they had before."

What is our primary use case?

I've worked with system integrators and I have deployed the product on multiple types of environments. I've worked at the corporate offices. I've worked on 3G, 4G offloading, public Wi-Fi networks, et cetera.

How has it helped my organization?

You don't have to manage or deploy multiple types of Wi-Fi networks for different use cases. With something like Cisco, your one Wi-Fi solution can cover most or all of your use cases.

What is most valuable?

It is a good fit for large enterprises or even service providers.

Overall, it's a good solution.

The product is very scalable. 

It's configured well and it supports a lot of configuration options such as the proper corporate SSIDs, tunneling features, and integration with Cisco NACs, or other third-party NACs.

The stability of the solution is good.

The technical support has been helpful.

What needs improvement?

The third-party integration capabilities could be better. It still works within Cisco-related products, however, third-party integration is still something that needs some relaxing.

The new licensing model isn't as good as what they had before.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been dealing with the solution for more than a decade. It's been 10 or 11 years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It can scale into whatever level I want to go to. The actual wireless is quite scalable. Scalability is not any trouble.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've been satisfied with technical support. They are helpful and responsive.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I've also used Aruba. I actually prefer Aruba to Cisco.

How was the initial setup?

The solution has a moderate level of complexity when it comes to the initial setup. It's not too difficult. However, it's not as straightforward as one would hope, either. 

Depending on what type of network the customer wants, the deployment time varies. It can be either one SSID or a proper BYOD case with a corporate SSID, depending on the solution. 

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

With the new licensing model, the DNA licensing model, it's a bit on the expensive side. It used to have an option for the perpetual and subscription-based models, however, now they've started pushing you to the subscription models.

What other advice do I have?

I'm a Cisco partner.

I'd rate the product at a nine out of ten. Overall, we've been happy with the capabilities of the product.

That said, if I had to choose between Cisco and Aruba, I'd probably choose Aruba.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
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