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Cisco Wireless OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Cisco Wireless is the #2 ranked solution in our list of top Wireless LAN tools. It is most often compared to Aruba Wireless: Cisco Wireless vs Aruba Wireless

What is Cisco Wireless?
With Cisco Wireless you will successfully plan, deploy, monitor, troubleshoot, and report on indoor and outdoor wireless networks - all from a centralized location.

Cisco Wireless is also known as Cisco WLAN Controller.

Cisco Wireless Buyer's Guide

Download the Cisco Wireless Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Cisco Wireless Customers
Aegean Motorway, Baylor Scott & White Health, Beachbody, Bellevue, Brunel University London, Bucks County Intermediate Unit , Chartwell School, Children's Hospital Colorado, Cisco Live Milan, City of Biel, City of Mississauga, Dundee Precious Metals, Electricity Authority of Cyprus, Erickson Living, Goldcorp, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Grupo Industrial Saltillo (GIS)
Cisco Wireless Video

Archived Cisco Wireless Reviews (more than two years old)

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JS
Senior Network Engineer at Best Buy Canada
Real User
Top 20
CleanAir and RRM technology is valuable for building commercial wireless infrastructure

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is wireless infrastructure for retail and enterprise usage.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has improved our organization.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of this solution are the Cisco CleanAir and Cisco RRM.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see less dependency on other products such as ISE and Prime for certain implementations.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for five years.

What other advice do I have?

Please always keep the Spectrum Expert (SE) connect mode. I feel is useful when troubleshooting.

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is wireless infrastructure for retail and enterprise usage.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution has improved our organization.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of this solution are the Cisco CleanAir and Cisco RRM.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see less dependency on other products such as ISE and Prime for certain implementations.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for five years.

What other advice do I have?

Please always keep the Spectrum Expert (SE) connect mode. I feel is useful when troubleshooting.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Ravi Ramachandran
Senior Manager at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Easier Manageability and in depth visibility of the entire wireless network

Pros and Cons

  • "Our organization has improved using this product because it helps enhance user experience. We use video communication a lot, like Skype. We used to get a lot of interference before and had a lot of issues during wireless voice or video calls. We get greater speed and performance with wireless now. It is nearly the same as a wired network."
  • "The product could be improved with interference reduction. Because wireless frequency interferes with microwave or Bluetooth technologies, this causes issues. A lot of users still use legacy wireless adapters and black box and they do not experience the speed that they could get using the latest technologies. The number of devices on the market makes wireless communications complex. If the problem of interference could be resolved it would further improve utility and ease of system design."

What is our primary use case?

We as a system integrators provide wireless solution for big enterprise and PSU's. This solution primarily focuses on giving secured wireless access to employees and internet access to guests. 

How has it helped my organization?

We have seen that Our organization and many other organization for whom we have provided wireless solution have improved using this product because it helps enhance user experience. We use video communication a lot, like Skype, lync, etc and earlier we used to get a lot of jitters and faced lot of issues during voice or video calls. Presently the technology as moved to 802.11ac wave 2 which gives more bandwidth to the end users connecting to the 5ghz band.

What is most valuable?

From a technical point of view, I think the major difference in feature set has been the granular application visibility and control that an wireless administrator has over the wireless network. The other valuable point would the ease with which one can give secured access to anyone coming with a laptop, mobile , tabs etc..

What needs improvement?

I think the technology is already at a level where it's good enough. In some ways, it's better than wired. But there is always a backlash when it comes to lack of accessibility. It's not the solution itself, as much as how it's deployed.

The product could be improved with interference reduction. Because wireless frequency interferes with microwave or Bluetooth technologies, which are hindrances to a genuine wireless connection. A lot of users still use legacy wireless adapters and they do not experience the speed that they could get using the latest technologies. The number of devices on the market makes wireless communications complex. If the problem of interference could be reduced it would further improve utility and ease of system design.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The latest version of this technology is stable. It is stable but, the devices that are accessing the network are very dynamic. It is not as much the solution that is unstable as that the devices accessing it are constantly changing.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is excellent. Wireless used to be a non-critical part of the network earlier and it started with speeds as low as 11 Mbps. Now you're seeing the speeds of five gigabits with Wifi 6. Wireless is an innovative technology, and it has been changing. Scaling is something we need to do very frequently to meet the demands for higher speeds, higher bandwidth, and higher coverages. 

You need wireless expertise during the design phase, but I think a typical network engineer with fundamental knowledge can take care of day to day operations quiet easily. Once it is deployed and implemented, the operational costs are very low.

How are customer service and technical support?

We get help from Cisco support whenever it is required. The level of service is excellent.

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

We definitely tried many solutions before going mainly with Cisco Wireless, including Ruckus and Aruba.

The major reason to go with cisco has been the support system. Nobody can beat Cisco when it comes to their support infrastructure and the SLA (Service Level Agreement) that they provide. The number of engineers who are available who are Cisco certified is much greater than those certified in Aruba or Ruckus. So anybody who deploys Cisco can easily get a Cisco Certified Engineer to take care of there wireless network.

How was the initial setup?

We do the entire deployment as well as the design. It takes around an average 20 days to complete the entire deployment for a 1000-user network.

Cisco support has been a major help because right from the beginning Cisco support strength and the technical licensing centers played a major part in the success of deploying in the Enterprise Network. People buy it because of this. There are other, cheaper products available with a lifetime guarantee but without any support. Cisco took care of the critical issues whenever we needed them to. 

What about the implementation team?

We are system integrators and we do have our own team who design and implement wireless solution..

What was our ROI?

We have definitely received a return on our investment because the major part of any wireless solution is the quality of connectivity. When you have good connectivity, you can access the environment, go inside the network and access production resources from a mobile device sitting basically anywhere. 

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

Cisco licensing is usually provided for 1 year, 3 years, or 5 years. You can get a hardware SLA or hardware and software SLA for a period of 5 years. Longer terms of SLA influences  the pricing.

License pricing also depends on the features that are being used.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Though cisco is our first choice, we have evaluated other options like Aruba and Ruckus.

What other advice do I have?

Whatever solution used, the design of the wireless network is the most important part of how well it works. I would plan on putting in 60% of the effort to the design and 40% to the deployment. In the designing phase, you must actually get into the network, look for interference issues, create proper wireless heat maps and place the wireless network connection points in the exact location where it is required. 

I would rate it an eight out of ten. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are Cisco Premier Partner
Learn what your peers think about Cisco Wireless. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
542,267 professionals have used our research since 2012.
DC
IT Infrastructure Architect at Plexus Corp.
Real User
Works reliably but the licensing is expensive

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for this solution is the provision of standard wireless access.

How has it helped my organization?

Service delivery is critical in our organization. Wireless access has enabled users to be mobile and as a result, more productive.

What is most valuable?

The most important feature for us is the standard service delivery. Once configured correctly, it is 95% reliable.

What needs improvement?

The cost model is expensive. The new licensing has no added value and seems to be Cisco's effort to take advantage of customers.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than ten years.

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for this solution is the provision of standard wireless access.

How has it helped my organization?

Service delivery is critical in our organization. Wireless access has enabled users to be mobile and as a result, more productive.

What is most valuable?

The most important feature for us is the standard service delivery. Once configured correctly, it is 95% reliable.

What needs improvement?

The cost model is expensive. The new licensing has no added value and seems to be Cisco's effort to take advantage of customers.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than ten years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
FawziSIYOUCEF
Senior Network Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Access to Real-Time Connectivity and Roaming Without Dropping Your Connection

Pros and Cons

  • "This increased mobility has helped our organization. We can talk to one another from different locations and stay in constant contact and with employees across the enterprise. Everyone has access to up-to-the-minute communications and all documents and applications on our network."
  • "Improvements can be made to the telemetry. The licensing gets in the way here. It makes it impossible to record the different flows across the wireless network."

What is our primary use case?

We have two main objectives. One is to provide a secure access network, that's secure wireless access across the network to our customers. The other is to provide access to our guests. Now, with the new centrally managed solution, we are able to leverage the interaction with the product and the different security solutions in the market. 

How has it helped my organization?

The tool has greatly improved the system interaction between employees. What I mean by that is with this wireless connectivity between networks, we have the ability to use mobile communication in remote and rural areas. Now we can leverage wireless work phones. This increased mobility has helped our organization. We can talk to one another from different locations and stay in constant contact with employees across the enterprise. Everyone has access to up-to-the-minute communications and all documents and applications on our network.

We can work together more effectively. Our customers who use the wireless LAN can roam around their office or to different floors without losing their connection. Similarly, using Voice over Wireless LAN technology, they can have roaming capabilities in their voice communications.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the new centrally managed solution. The interaction of the product with the different security solutions in the market. 

What needs improvement?

Improvements can be made in the wireless connectivity. Particularly, the wireless, rods and, microchips and other access point components. I think that Cisco can improve its product line. 

Additionally, improvements can be made to the telemetry. The licensing gets in the way here. It makes it impossible to record the different flows across the wireless network. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable. The scalability is interdependent and associated directly with our client's needs, budgeting constraints, and reach.

How was the initial setup?

The initial configuration and setup were very simple. On average it takes half an hour to build access points and deploy. After that, all that is left to do is register the access points.

For the Green Sheet Project Updates, we use the documentation to do the initial configuration of the access points and then deploy them as we need them. As for the physical controllers, this allows us to do things the way we like. 

Our clients could have five to ten engineers working, but they could all be working with different solutions, they're not dedicated to the wireless box.

What about the implementation team?

We are the wireless solution integrator, so we deploy the projects. We undertake the integration as well as convert the existing access points to conserve energy.

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

As far as pricing and licensing go it really depends. I think that it would be better to have more flexible licensing mostly for our clients because then we could commercialize those solutions and position them for a more broader market segment. The pricing depends on the size of the project and the support from the client side.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated other options for our client's needs. We evaluated solutions based on the client's budget and system requirements. In Nigeria, we need to take weather conditions into account. Our solution has to be temperature resistant. Cisco offers stable, portable, aerobics products.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise someone considering this solution to be prepared. Understand your needs. Undertake a very clear site survey to be in a position to present the best-adjusted solution. If you don't do your due diligence you can buy a very good product response, but it won't resolve the wireless coverage problem; the key is to deploy a strategic wireless solution and adjust the parameters as needed. As well as being able to scope access points.

I rate this solution an 8 out of 10. I give it an 8 because it's a general rating of the overall product. Cisco is a network and security technology provider. Their strength lies in the network and security solution. The wireless solution can be built better.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
SS
Senior Technical Consultant at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Consultant
A stable solution for those who need security

Pros and Cons

  • "Security is an important feature for my customers, and I am able to offer this to them with our Cisco products."
  • "The classic Cisco wireless interface is difficult for users to learn."

What is our primary use case?

I use the Cisco wireless network at my company. I also sell all of the Cisco solutions, and most of these are for wireless networks. I also sell the related security products.

How has it helped my organization?

Security is an important feature for my customers, and I am able to offer this to them with our Cisco products.

What is most valuable?

I find the most valuable feature to be the security. People in Thailand consider their machines to be valuable, and this is their way of protecting them.

What needs improvement?

At this time, Cisco solutions integrate with other Cisco products. This is necessary in order for them to work completely. I would like to see better and easier integration with third party products.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

My impression as a re-seller is that the Cisco products are stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the product depends very much on the customer and their needs.

At this time I have approximately ten customers, including the Airport of Thailand.

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

I have used other vendors for security related products.

How was the initial setup?

At this time, I feel that setting up these products is complex and difficult for customers to understand. I have found that the classic Cisco wireless interface is difficult for users to learn.

What about the implementation team?

The deployment time for these solutions is approximately two weeks.

We have less than five people to assist with deployment of these solutions.

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

I think that the solution is expensive because the customer has to pay for a full year, at a minimum, in up-front costs.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Ibrahima Thioub
Technology Manager at International School Of Dakar
Real User
Top 20
Helps with the visibility on our network

Pros and Cons

  • "It helps with the visibility on our network."

    What is our primary use case?

    Solve WiFi problems, getting the best WiFi coverage. This was our challenge. The addition of different WLANs by division pushed us to change the configuration of our controller, DHCP and the RADIUS server with NPS.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Between 2011 and 2013, we had a lot of problems with our WiFi, especially with the AD. However, with the addition of the RADIUS, it helped. In 2014, it was made better with the configuration of five new WLANs in FlexConnect mode and our environment improved.

    What is most valuable?

    Our number of students increased by 35% (more than 600 students) and we used different devices (Mac OS X, Windows, Chrome OS for grade 4 through grade 12, Android, and iOS), which need a very good roaming sensitivity between access points. The separation of our WiFi for guest, staff, SP staff and two for students, and setting up one IP address for user help to have visibility on our network.

    What needs improvement?

    Everything is online NWEA TestTaker, Google classroom and courses. This is why we need to have better WiFi coverage. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We really have good stability. Because classes and work work well.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Everything in the cloud and the cloud printing are working find. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer service is only good for money. While technical support is more flexible and they go straight as needed.

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

    Yes, the network was horrible and everything was cascading. That's why we use cisco.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward because we only had one WLAN SSID.

    And after we went in second step by adding a radius for the certificates only.

    What about the implementation team?

    Yes, we implemented that through with vendor team. Their level of expertise is very good.

    What was our ROI?

    Cisco is good but it expensive. That's why for me there is no better.

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

    We have 10 Cisco 1552E and i ordered 10 more. 

    Now, i have the release for 8.0 and 8.5 for my wlc but i stay with 7.4.100 software version.

    I will stay with Cisco and see next time Insha ALLAH.

    The coverage will be extended and the dead zones will be covered.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    For the first configuration, we used apple access points and the HP procurve and D'Link switches.

    What other advice do I have?

    I noticed with the 1552E access points, the local mode has more coverage than the flexconnect mode.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    SA
    Assistant Manager ICT at Fauji Foods Limited
    Real User
    Their manageability is very good

    What is our primary use case?

    I have Cisco routers, switches, firewalls and wireless access points installed on my corporate network.

    How has it helped my organization?

    They are good, but my observation is that their signal strength and range is not that good. But their manageability is very good.

    What is most valuable?

    Manageability.

    What needs improvement?

    Signal strength and range.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What is our primary use case?

    I have Cisco routers, switches, firewalls and wireless access points installed on my corporate network.

    How has it helped my organization?

    They are good, but my observation is that their signal strength and range is not that good. But their manageability is very good.

    What is most valuable?

    Manageability.

    What needs improvement?

    Signal strength and range.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PN
    Technical Account Manager at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Easy to use but the configuration interface could be easier

    What is our primary use case?

    It's very useful in terms of mobility. Before this solution you would have to find a product to connect to and to have a security ICU. Now it's much easier with personal customization.

    What is most valuable?

    Ease of use is the most valuable feature. 

    What needs improvement?

    The configuration interface could be easier. They should make roaming easier and should fix it so that when you cross a building you can keep the signal.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It has very good scalability. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I would rate their technical support a seven out of ten because the solution's support can always use improvement. 

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

    We…

    What is our primary use case?

    It's very useful in terms of mobility. Before this solution you would have to find a product to connect to and to have a security ICU. Now it's much easier with personal customization.

    What is most valuable?

    Ease of use is the most valuable feature. 

    What needs improvement?

    The configuration interface could be easier. They should make roaming easier and should fix it so that when you cross a building you can keep the signal.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It has very good scalability. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I would rate their technical support a seven out of ten because the solution's support can always use improvement. 

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

    We previously used Aruba. Their technique is the same but it's easier with Cisco.

    How was the initial setup?

    You need to learn the technology but after that the setup is easy.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate it a seven out of ten. It's good but it's not a ten because there are some specific technicalities they can improve on. I would recommend using this technology. 

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    RR
    Network and Security Team at a energy/utilities company with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    Easy setup but it's complicated to integrate a network access control with authentication with an ISE engine

    Pros and Cons

    • "The initial setup was quite easy. We have a very good relationship with our integrator and our integrator has a good relationship with Cisco. The integrator that installs Cisco is quite knowledgeable about the technology. They are trained and have a good relationship with their tech. We cannot be experts in each domain and we have to be supported by an integrator."
    • "When you integrate a network access control with authentication with an ISE engine it's really complicated to put in place."

    What is our primary use case?

    We have an ISE solution, WiFi controller, Access Points, and a wifi controller. We have to integrate all of these components with each other and we do that with Cisco's solution and a local Cisco partner. The performance is better than before. We had an issue with the phone wifi but no other real issues. It fully integrates with ISE. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    We work in energy so we manage electric networks and gas networks. Someone had to move across the building and keep contact with the operator onsite for when there is an issue with the network so, for us sometimes it is a problem with gas. It's really important for us to stay connected with phone wifi. We have to study a lot of scenarios because if we have a data center on a remote site and if we lose the connection to the data center the telephone and the wifi has to continue to work. We connect to Cisco wifi and we're able to solve the issue. Even in emergencies, we can respond to a customer's needs. 

    What needs improvement?

    When you integrate a network access control with authentication with an ISE engine it's really complicated to put in place. Even if you're only using Cisco products you have a new algorithm and you have old material. For us, it's complicated because we have to maintain old parts or devices. We purchase new devices and we maintain several SSID which is not really recommended by Cisco. They prefer to have one and to dispatch based on the condition.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's stable. Although we have had an issue but it's not related to Cisco technology. It's to do with the position of the access points. They move it and it's good. They don't like to see a box so they move it which is an issue. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was quite easy. We have a very good relationship with our integrator and our integrator has a good relationship with Cisco. The integrator that installs Cisco is quite knowledgeable about the technology. They are trained and have a good relationship with their tech. We cannot be experts in each domain and we have to be supported by an integrator.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate it a seven out of ten and I would recommend this solution. 

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    CU
    Network Consultant at Destek A.Ş.
    Consultant
    It's a bit expensive but it's professional and works properly

    How has it helped my organization?

    It's cloud-based. We only work with on-premise devices and usually the prices are good for our customers. 

    What is most valuable?

    The license and prices are great. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Their technical support is very good and important. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is basic and simple. 

    What about the implementation team?

    I implemented myself. 

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

    It's a bit expensive but it's professional and works properly. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate it a nine out of ten. No product can be a ten out of ten and there are some security issues. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    It's cloud-based. We only work with on-premise devices and usually the prices are good for our customers. 

    What is most valuable?

    The license and prices are great. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Their technical support is very good and important. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is basic and simple. 

    What about the implementation team?

    I implemented myself. 

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

    It's a bit expensive but it's professional and works properly. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate it a nine out of ten. No product can be a ten out of ten and there are some security issues. 

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    MO
    Senior Operation Manager at ATG Systems
    Real User
    Has easy digital effects, it's easy to use, and has good stability but their technical support can take too long to resolve issues

    Pros and Cons

    • "Cisco Wireless is mostly stable with a low downrate and the signal rate is good. It is also easy to use."
    • "One of our customers complained about the ripple, that some of the data was incorrect. We opened a ticket and brought it to their attention that maybe some of the data was not correct. As of now, it has been two months since we opened the ticket and the issue still hasn't been resolved."

    What is our primary use case?

    Most of our clients are in the office or on campus and they don't like to use cables so they use Wireless. We are partners with Cisco and our customers ask us which kind of product to use, we also have access to Cisco Advisor so we advise our clients to use Cisco Wireless. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    We also use a Cisco AP in our office and it is more secure than other devices so the accretion system is stronger than others.

    What is most valuable?

    Cisco Wireless is mostly stable with a low downrate and the signal rate is good. It is also easy to use. 

    What needs improvement?

    One of our customers complained about the ripple, that some of the data was incorrect. We opened a ticket and brought it to their attention that maybe some of the data was not correct. As of now, it has been two months since we opened the ticket and the issue still hasn't been resolved. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is stable. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is scalable. We can easily upgrade. We have around fifty users and we require two engineers for maintenance. It's used on a daily basis.

    Our clients on the university campus have a plan to increase their users.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Their technical support is okay. It depends on the issue that you're experiencing. Sometimes they take too long. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is not complex. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We also looked at Rocket Software. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I would advise someone considering this product to use it. 

    I would rate this solution an eight out of ten because it has easy digital effects, it's easy to use and, has good stability. 

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
    ITCS user
    Owner at JOAT
    Real User
    The devices and licensing aren't worth the cost and the range of APs are mediocre at best

    What is our primary use case?

    A small office at the time that needed the ability to host network services that changed daily.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Overall cost per unit including licensing was too high for the value. The range of the APs was not excellent but mediocre at best. 

    What is most valuable?

    The ability to control any device from the cloud.

    What needs improvement?

    Significantly reduce the licensing fees.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

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

    Checking out alternatives right now.

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

    Don't use Cisco Meraki. While pretty, the devices and licensing aren't worth the cost.

    What is our primary use case?

    A small office at the time that needed the ability to host network services that changed daily.

    How has it helped my organization?

    • Overall cost per unit including licensing was too high for the value.
    • The range of the APs was not excellent but mediocre at best. 

    What is most valuable?

    The ability to control any device from the cloud.

    What needs improvement?

    Significantly reduce the licensing fees.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

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

    Checking out alternatives right now.

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

    Don't use Cisco Meraki. While pretty, the devices and licensing aren't worth the cost.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    RD
    President/Owner at RDC Networks
    Real User
    Advanced security category blocking is a great way to secure what people are doing and seeing

    What is our primary use case?

    We implement this in the hospitality industry and need to control internal secure LAN/Wi-Fi users and offer external Wi-Fi to our customers while keeping the system secure. This product allows us to do that.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Cisco Meraki is easy to use, and the mesh is flawless over 37 locations. We can order and have a direct shipped product without ever having to program it onsite. Just inject it into the template, and all is cookie stamped.

    What is most valuable?

    Advanced security category blocking is a great way to secure what people are doing and seeing to prevent malware from getting into the network.

    What needs improvement?

    A mobile app would be great to see if the system is up, and some minor tools, but not to add or remove rules. Improvement here would be appreciated.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    MF
    Network Specialist at Bethel Park School District
    Real User
    The configuration is simple. The controllers are reliable, and the support is second to none

    What is our primary use case?

    We have over 5000 students in grades 1-12 and have on average 200 users on wireless during school hours with no issues.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have had Cisco 3502, 3602 and 3702 access points, a total of 284 diploids. And for over five years, we've only had two access points that failed.

    What is most valuable?

    The configuration is simple. The controllers are reliable, and the support is second to none.  The system works for us.

    What needs improvement?

    Price is a concern. Although Cisco has an excellent solution, being competitive in the market is important.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Three to five years.

    What is our primary use case?

    We have over 5000 students in grades 1-12 and have on average 200 users on wireless during school hours with no issues.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have had Cisco 3502, 3602 and 3702 access points, a total of 284 diploids. And for over five years, we've only had two access points that failed.

    What is most valuable?

    The configuration is simple. The controllers are reliable, and the support is second to none.  The system works for us.

    What needs improvement?

    Price is a concern. Although Cisco has an excellent solution, being competitive in the market is important.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Three to five years.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Grant Dickson
    Presales Engineer with 51-200 employees
    Reseller
    The most valuable feature for us is the management of the systems.

    Pros and Cons

    • "The most valuable feature for us is management of the systems. We can easily access all features."
    • "Probably more in terms of how much power it's using. Right now it just seems like it doesn't have enough power. Maybe that is all indicated, but says exactly how much power it's using."

    What is our primary use case?

    Right now, this is our primary connection for the network. We have all of our end devices connect to that. All workers connect to wireless, rather than a wired connection, so they all have laptops. 

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature for us is management of the systems. We can easily access all features.

    What needs improvement?

    Probably more in terms of how much power it's using. Right now it just seems like it doesn't have enough power. Maybe that is all indicated, but says exactly how much power it's using.

    When it comes to wireless controllers you have issues where you want to take an access point computer to a wireless controller, you have to configure the iOS for it. That's just cumbersome and it takes time. It just is not as convenient so not having to do that would be nice. I think it's a little more complicated than that to convert the iOS file when you're doing the wireless controller where you're going to have them converted.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability of the power was an issue for us recently. The access point seems to have enough power, but it turns out it did not have enough power.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I did not use technical support. After an hour of trouble-shooting, I figured it out on my own.

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

    We have prior experience with Cisco Meraki, which is a powerful solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    It's fairly straightforward. They are not always wireless, and that can cause some complications. But, otherwise it is not complicated at all.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I am a reseller.
    it_user901734
    User at renault
    Real User
    RX-SOP helps to optimize roaming, but the controller web-interface could be better

    Pros and Cons

    • "There are a lot of valuable features and functions. One example is CleanAir to detect and troubleshoot interference issues. Another is RX-SOP to optimize roaming."
    • "The web interface for Cisco controllers could be better. It could be more user-friendly. Sometimes I have to remember how to access some functionalities or how to enable or execute some functions. If it were more user-friendly it would save time."

    What is most valuable?

    There are a lot of valuable features and functions. One example is CleanAir to detect and troubleshoot interference issues. Another is RX-SOP to optimize roaming.

    What needs improvement?

    The web interface for Cisco controllers could be better. It could be more user-friendly. Sometimes I have to remember how to access some functionalities or how to enable or execute some functions. If it were more user-friendly it would save time.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Three to five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I have not encountered any issues around the stability of this product. I'm satisfied with this aspect. It provides good functionality and hierarchy for a wireless network.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    For the moment, I haven't had any issues with scalability.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    As of now, I have not had to contact technical support. I generally resolve all problems by myself.

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

    I moved to Cisco because it's a solution that many companies use. I already had experience with Cisco routers and switches, so it was easier to configure and to manage Cisco products.

    How was the initial setup?

    I found the initial setup really easy because the facts, the documentation, explanations, and support are available on the internet. If I had any problem I could find the solution on the internet. There are a lot of facts and documentation there.

    What was our ROI?

    The ROI generally takes four to five years.

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

    This product's pricing is good. It's not too expensive.

    Whether the pricing is a good value depends on the product. I was looking for some Cisco products and found that some are expensive, like the Cisco Spectrum Expert Wireless adapter.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I have compared it with some other products like Aruba and Aerohive to see what the functionality and performance are like. I have seen, for example, that the Aerohive already has some access points in the new 802.11ax. It's the new transmission technology that provides wireless bandwidth to 4 or 5 Gbps. I haven't seen any Cisco products like that, so I think they are a little late in this regard.

    What other advice do I have?

    I started first with the 1440, without a wireless controller in an autonomous access point. Two years after that, I moved to the 2504 Wireless Controller - a 40-access-point deployment. The next year I was working in a car manufacturer's warehouse. I managed three warehouses. One of them was a 5520 with 300 access points. Another site was with the 5508 with less than 200 access points.

    I would rate Cisco Wireless at seven out of 10 because, when we compare it with other solutions like Aruba or Aerohive, Cisco is behind in technology and just a little more expensive. Aerohive, as I mentioned, has some access points in the new 802.11ax standard and Aruba, in many cases, is more user-friendly to configure and to manage.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Muklit Chopra
    Technical Specialist at Wipro Technologies
    Consultant
    Installation is easy and the Guest feature works well

    Pros and Cons

    • "The Guest feature is pretty good."
    • "Sometimes I've seen some issues come up with the interference. That's an issue users face at times. It becomes very complex when you have a lot of wireless interference in the area, or in your office. It's because of the environment of Cisco. Maybe, in the future, they can work on this area, and fix this issue."

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary use case is for enabling the users to connect wirelessly to the network, to give them seamless mobility if they go to a meeting room. It's always-on connectivity.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Having Cisco switches in the network also benefits the wireless. Having both in the same network has advantages in regards to compatibilities. It's also pretty easy to get it up and running in a short time, so that's a big advantage. Having the same vendor, Cisco, for switches and wireless, we can roll out more features without having to worry whether they will be supported or not.

    What is most valuable?

    The Guest feature is pretty good.

    What needs improvement?

    Sometimes I've seen some issues come up with the interference. That's an issue users face at times. It becomes very complex when you have a lot of wireless interference in the area, or in your office. It's because of the environment of Cisco. Maybe, in the future, they can work on this area, and fix this issue.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The wireless controller runs smoothly, without any issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    For Cisco Wireless, you need to have Cisco access points and a Cisco controller to get it running, but if you want to expand your infrastructure in Wireless, you just need to buy a new AP and get it installed. It's pretty easy.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Tech support for Cisco Wireless has been pretty good. They have helped us through problems.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup was straightforward. It's a very complex switch, but if you have a person with the ability to follow the steps, it will be up and running.

    What other advice do I have?

    Cisco wireless is a pretty good product. I would definitely recommend buying it. If you are looking for a wireless solution I would definitely recommend going with Cisco Wireless.

    I rate Cisco Wireless at about eight out of 10. It's pretty good, it's very compatible with other Cisco products.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Service integrator.
    VP
    Senior Manager at a tech vendor with 11-50 employees
    MSP
    Allows us to logically to segregate traffic between multiple types of endpoint devices

    Pros and Cons

    • "Cisco Wireless technology allows us to logically segregate networks, to segregate the traffic between multiple types of endpoint devices, connected to the network. For example, corporate laptops are connected to one network, corporate iPhones will go through a different network."
    • "With Cisco Wireless we have DNA technology for the frequency in which it operates, so that in case of any frequency interference it can look for and switch to another frequency, where there no interference."

      What is our primary use case?

      Cisco Wireless FlexConnect mode is for branches where the traffic can be switched locally. There is centralized switching for the corporate side where the wireless controller will be in the headquarters, and the branches will only have access points. We have the flexibility to use Cisco's FlexConnect for the branches and centralized switching for the corporate network. Combining these feature ensures the traffic flow for the wireless is being controlled and provides the best wireless scenario for the branches. You don’t need to go to the controller each and every time.

      How has it helped my organization?

      Cisco Wireless technology allows us to logically segregate networks, to segregate the traffic between multiple types of endpoint devices, connected to the network. For example, corporate laptops are connected to one network, corporate iPhones will go through a different network.

      What is most valuable?

      With Cisco Wireless we have DNA technology for the frequency in which it operates, so that in case of any frequency interference it can look for and switch to another frequency, where there no interference.

      Another feature of Cisco Wireless is that we are able to operate APs in multiple frequencies by grouping the APs into multiple groups, so we can operate the wireless in one group at 2.4 gigahertz and the other group at 5 gigahertz. This allows us to group the APs based on the business case or on the bandwidth.

      What needs improvement?

      There are a couple of shortcomings in Cisco Wireless right now. I don't see a policy model for the wireless technology solution. If Cisco could bring the wireless architecture around with the controls, it would lead to being able to fine-tune the configuration a little better.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      Cisco Wireless' stability is quite good as of now. The recent APs are coming with a backbone of up to 5 MBPS throughput, and that is quite okay.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      The scalability is good.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      The technical support is good.

      How was the initial setup?

      We need to do a site survey, AP placement, and wireless configuration: Which are we going to configure, how are we going to get it authenticated, how will we go into control? So we need to have a plan. That's not only for Cisco, it's true for whichever wireless we need to deploy. We need to have a proper plan in place, but configuration-wise it is straightforward. It is simple.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      The shortlist was Aruba and Cisco. The features are more or less the same, but the cost is also important.

      What other advice do I have?

      Cisco Wireless has been around for quite some time. Cisco is a leader and its Wireless product is very reliable, so investing in it is a safe bet.

      I would rate this solution at eight out of 10 because of the availability of support, and its stability.

      My most important criteria when selecting a vendor are the 

      • product knowledge
      • support from the vendor and the availability of the technical staff to support it.
      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      TA
      Manager at a tech vendor with 11-50 employees
      Real User
      Secure solution, it's easy to distribute the SSID, and I like the controller

      Pros and Cons

      • "The main features are that it's secure and it's easy to distribute the SSID and control it. I also like the controller."
      • "There is a problem with the controller. When we have to restart the controller, it does not show the time. We have to manually configure the time when we restart it. I have read about this issue, to get some information, and all answers are about having to connect it with a time server, which is very difficult."

      What is our primary use case?

      We use it to distribute our internet connection. We use it in some departments for accessing systems, but in the main, it is for internet access. The performance of the network, the connection and stability, are very good. Perfect.

      What is most valuable?

      The main features are that it's secure and it's easy to distribute the SSID and control it. I also like the controller.

      What needs improvement?

      There is a problem with the controller. When we have to restart the controller, it does not show the time. We have to manually configure the time when we restart it. I have read about this issue, to get some information, and all answers are about having to connect it with a time server, which is very difficult.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      One to three years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      As a wireless solution, it's very stable.

      What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

      No issues with scalability.

      How are customer service and technical support?

      I tried to get support, to get a solution for this "time" problem I mentioned. We have other Cisco products and the support is perfect. But for the wireless, we haven't gotten an answer to this problem.

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

      We were using another option. It was not professional, something like D-Link. We had to configure each router separately. That's why we use Cisco, because I like the controller.

      There is a company here, a Cisco partner or distributor. They advised us to use the system, and they brought it to us.

      I have also used another Cisco product but at another company, Cisco Meraki. It's easier in terms of the configuration and the cloud. I liked it.

      How was the initial setup?

      You only have to set up the controller and everything is working; all the configuration. I like it.

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

      It's good to compare pricing, but it's Cisco and I trust Cisco.

      What other advice do I have?

      I would strongly advise any company, but especially in business, to use this wireless solution.

      I rate Cisco Wireless at nine out of 10 because, as I said, I like the performance, stability, the easy implementation and the controller. There is just that one problem with the controller, so that's why I gave it a nine and not 10.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      it_user572145
      Manager Corporate IT at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
      Vendor
      Provides good coverage and the stability is the best part of the solution

      Pros and Cons

      • "The most valuable feature is the coverage."
      • "The GUI could be made more user-friendly. There should also be a dashboard where it can showcase how many end-users are connected to a particular access point."

      What is our primary use case?

      The primary use is for wireless connectivity.

      What is most valuable?

      The most valuable feature is the coverage. Also, the management provides the most important security features in these devices.

      What needs improvement?

      The GUI could be made more user-friendly. There should also be a dashboard where it can showcase how many end-users are connected to a particular access point.

      For how long have I used the solution?

      More than five years.

      What do I think about the stability of the solution?

      We have not run into any issues related to stability.

      How is customer service and technical support?

      Technical support has been very good.

      How was the initial setup?

      We feel that it's complex in terms of manageability. You require a skilled person to handle it.

      What was our ROI?

      The ROI is good because the stability is so good from Cisco.

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

      I feel the product's pricing is a good value.

      Which other solutions did I evaluate?

      We did not evaluate anything else because Cisco is a brand name for networking devices.

      What other advice do I have?

      When implementing this solution, you require the right partner to be in place to support it, that is the first requirement.

      I would rate this solution at nine out of 10. The best part of the solution is the stability. Also, the easy usage of the switches They are automatically switched on and get their configuration. I don't need any technical person to look at it.

      Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
      it_user504159
      CEO at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
      Consultant
      Authentication enables employees from around the world to log in with their own credentials

      Pros and Cons

      • "Authentication is the important feature for us. My IT staff no longer has to look after catering to clients who come from overseas."

        What is our primary use case?

        I have deployed it in a factory. I have a lot of people who come to visit from all over the globe. People come from Southeast Asia, from Europe, from South America, from the US, etc. We need to have a common platform wherein people who visit are able to log in to the corporate network. They do not need to do a guest login, they can just log in as they usually do. That's the primary use.

        How has it helped my organization?

        Since we have a central server from which our authentication is run, a user who comes from, let's say, California, doesn't have to ask any for credentials. He just comes to my network, logs in with his own username and password, and he gets access to his database. Authentication has played a big role for us, and it has given us mobility.

        My IT staff no longer has to look after catering to clients who come from overseas. My staff members are busy doing their own work, and that overseas client or any other person is able to do his work without intervention from IT. This authentication scenario has saved us a lot of problems. Earlier, we had to create a guest user, give him a VPN, ensure that he logged in to his own network, and that he got access to his data. We don't have to do that now.

        What is most valuable?

        Authentication is the important feature for us.

        What needs improvement?

        There are certain features which I would want which are not there. There is always a wish list, that my WiFi should give me one, two, three, four, five. Certain things come, certain things don't, and certain things come at a cost. It fulfills about 75-80 percent of what I'm looking for. Things on my wish list are available at an additional cost but I can live without those thing, so I'm fine with it. 

        For how long have I used the solution?

        Three to five years.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        It has been a fairly stable network, I have not had many problems with it. We had to upgrade the iOS once or twice, but that's about it. After that, we have not really had a problem.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        We had to upgrade our access points. It's had been about six or seven years that those had been in. Scalability-wise, some of the old iOS is not supported on the new controller, but that's fine. We accepted that and we now have two products. We now have a 3800 deployed.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        We have had a decent experience so far with Cisco technical support. We've not had any issues, so I would say the support has been good.

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

        Before this solution we did not have any wireless solution, we had a stand-alone wireless. My global team wanted Cisco, so we went with Cisco. But, in a couple of other places, we've used Aruba and we're quite satisfied with it as well.

        But it's something like when you prefer a certain flavor of coffee. It's not that you don't like the other coffee, but you like coffee A better than coffee B. It's just the comfort level or maybe you feel better with a certain product. So there's nothing wrong with the product that I'm currently using. I'm using Cisco and I'm quite satisfied with it. Otherwise, given a choice, given the funds, if someone were to say, “What is the next thing that you would like to move to?” because my experience with the alternate product has been really good, I would switch to that.

        How was the initial setup?

        The setup is not really complex. It was quite easy. We had to refer to a couple of things, but I come from a background where I have that kind of experience, so it was easy for me.

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

        The pricing is okay. I believe it is competitively priced. But it is not just the price by itself, it's the price and the technical features. The features also play a big role. It has to give me the relevant output. That is more important. Price is secondary. Price will not play a very big role because if it does not deliver what I need... For example, if I were to buy a car without an engine, that's still a car, but it is of no use. I might as well buy a car that works.

        They have simplified the licensing. Now there is a single license that is required. Earlier, multiple licenses were required. Single licensing is good. As a customer, I don't need to keep an inventory of multiple licenses.

        What other advice do I have?

        Up until now, it has been a good product, so go ahead with it. It works well. We have been happy with it for the last four years.

        Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Installation partner.
        Nabin Dev
        CCIE, Sr. Network Engineer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
        Real User
        FlexConnect allows us to have multiple locations and a central WLC to control them

        Pros and Cons

        • "For me, there are two important features: 1) WLAN grouping – Allows us to have different groups and, within those groups, specific WLANs, so there is no overlapping. 2) FlexConnect – Enables us to have remote offices at different locations. We can have a central WLC to control all the locations."
        • "There is room for improvement regarding HA issues and Radius integration."

        What is our primary use case?

        We use it to provide Wi-Fi solutions at business centers, malls, for healthcare, and in public parks.

        What is most valuable?

        For me, there are two important features:

        1. WLAN grouping – Allows us to have different groups and, within those groups, specific WLANs, so there is no overlapping.
        2. FlexConnect – Enables us to have remote offices at different locations. We can have a central WLC to control all the locations.

        What needs improvement?

        There is room for improvement regarding HA issues and Radius integration.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        More than five years.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        No real issues with stability. It’s pretty stable. We can have a backup, and restoring is easy.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        Scalability depends on the design. It supports most variations like VOIP and Multicast. At times, we may face interference issues with other devices like 3G, 4G, or smartphones.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Cisco TAC (technical assistance center) is one of the best tech support teams around.

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

        I did use HPE's Aruba solution, but not that extensively.

        How was the initial setup?

        The initial setup is straightforward. Anyone who knows VLAN and radio/frequency concepts can set it up. It’s pretty self-explanatory.

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

        Pricing is a bit on the high side compared to its competitors but we have to consider the support and usages of the solution.

        Licensing is now RTU and smart licensing. We need three types of licenses, one for the:

        • APs
        • HA
        • controller.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        HPE Aruba.

        What other advice do I have?

        I would rate Cisco Wireless at eight out of 10 because of its ease of installation on virtual platforms, on appliances. It is easy to maintain and configurations are straightforward. It provides the flexibility to create and integrate with many social Wi-Fi solutions. It is a reliable and stable solution. The ROI is very good.

        Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Cisco Gold Partner.
        it_user524856
        Network Enginer with 1,001-5,000 employees
        Vendor
        Identity PSK helps save SSIDs but software quality for Aironet Series APs needs work

        What is most valuable?

        Identity PSK helps save SSIDs.

        What needs improvement?

        The software quality could be improved, in particular for the new Cisco Aironet Series 2800/3800 Access Point which is pretty Linux-based.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        One to three years.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        We have encountered issues with stability.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        No issues with scalability.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Tech support could be improved. It really depends on the TAC engineer you happen to have on the phone.

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

        Previously we used Cisco WiSM and then WiSM2.

        How was the initial setup?

        The initial setup was pretty…

        What is most valuable?

        Identity PSK helps save SSIDs.

        What needs improvement?

        The software quality could be improved, in particular for the new Cisco Aironet Series 2800/3800 Access Point which is pretty Linux-based.

        For how long have I used the solution?

        One to three years.

        What do I think about the stability of the solution?

        We have encountered issues with stability.

        What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

        No issues with scalability.

        How are customer service and technical support?

        Tech support could be improved. It really depends on the TAC engineer you happen to have on the phone.

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

        Previously we used Cisco WiSM and then WiSM2.

        How was the initial setup?

        The initial setup was pretty straightforward.

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

        Never pay the full GPL price.

        Which other solutions did I evaluate?

        Extreme Networks, HPE, Huawei.

        What other advice do I have?

        This is still a reliable and useful product but other vendors are catching up.

        Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
        it_user908133
        Manager / IoT Evangelist Solution Business Strategy at a manufacturing company with 1-10 employees
        Real User
        Secure solution that enables us to do video and web conferencing

        Pros and Cons

        • "The most valuable feature of this solution is its security"

          How has it helped my organization?

          We don't have to use cables anymore and it gives us a variety of connections. We can do video conferencing and web conferencing, so it has been great. 

          What is most valuable?

          The most valuable feature of this solution is its security. Cisco is very well known for security.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          More than five years.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          In terms of performance, it's really good. I have never seen it go down, at least in the office environment. Deploying it in the factory may be our next use case. A lot of noise occurs in the factory, so it could be difficult to deploy a wireless solution there. That could be a challenge.

          The factory environment requires more high-density capability and there are other challenges affecting the factory environment. It's a harsh environment, but I see that Cisco's user-case allows deployment in a factory environment.

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

          The pricing is high. It could be cheaper. Cisco is known for its high pricing.

          What other advice do I have?

          Security and support are important factors when looking at this kind of solution. Cisco is more expensive but you have to compare the security and support you are getting. The support, in particular, is very critical, especially if you are in a conference call and the sound breaks off. You need them to get back to you quickly.

          Cisco is a large company, the number-one company, and those are important factors when selecting a vendor. The other factor is the pricing, in addition to support and security.

          I rate Cisco Wireless at 10 out of 10 because I have never had a problem. I am a happy customer.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          CB
          Senior Network Administrator at Lebanese American Univeristy
          User
          Device profiling allows us to have different policies applied, but many wireless controllers' firmware have bugs in their new releases

          What is our primary use case?

          We use it for WiFi for Internet, Intranet access, and VOIP in a high density area campus environment.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Wireless Voice over IP (VOIP) on a diversity of VOIP phones along with Cisco Jabber, Cisco phones, and Ascom.

          What is most valuable?

          Device profiling allows us to have different policies applied by ISE to wireless clients.

          What needs improvement?

          Many wireless controllers' firmware have bugs in their new releases, which are not stable, especially in an environment with many wireless AP (WAP) types.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          More than five years.

          What is our primary use case?

          We use it for WiFi for Internet, Intranet access, and VOIP in a high density area campus environment.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Wireless Voice over IP (VOIP) on a diversity of VOIP phones along with Cisco Jabber, Cisco phones, and Ascom.

          What is most valuable?

          Device profiling allows us to have different policies applied by ISE to wireless clients.

          What needs improvement?

          Many wireless controllers' firmware have bugs in their new releases, which are not stable, especially in an environment with many wireless AP (WAP) types.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          More than five years.
          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Sr. IT Consultant at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
          Consultant
          We are able to handle a high volume of large data transfers

          What is our primary use case?

          To provide better WiFi reception in our office suite, while using fewer APs to cover the space.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Ability to handle a high volume of large data transfers, incorporating office maps for placement and MDM control.

          What is most valuable?

          Coverage Mesh design PoE Web interface access Simplicity and aesthetics

          What needs improvement?

          The model we are using (Meraki MR16) has already been discontinued, for a better product line, so I believe the improvements needed have already been addressed.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          Three to five years.

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

          The coverage range is far superior to the model that we were using.

          What is our primary use case?

          To provide better WiFi reception in our office suite, while using fewer APs to cover the space.

          How has it helped my organization?

          Ability to handle a high volume of large data transfers, incorporating office maps for placement and MDM control.

          What is most valuable?

          • Coverage
          • Mesh design
          • PoE
          • Web interface access
          • Simplicity and aesthetics

          What needs improvement?

          The model we are using (Meraki MR16) has already been discontinued, for a better product line, so I believe the improvements needed have already been addressed.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          Three to five years.

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

          The coverage range is far superior to the model that we were using.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          ITCS user
          Network Architect at ProCom Consulting
          MSP
          The ability to deploy and seamlessly manage wireless devices at our corporate office and remote locations

          What is our primary use case?

          Cisco Wireless gave us the ability to deploy and seamlessly manage wireless devices at our corporate office and remote locations.

          How has it helped my organization?

          It gave us the ability to view wireless traffic, unwanted devices on the network, and how they affected overall network performance.

          What is most valuable?

          The ability to deploy wireless access points with templates. The ability to use campus maps to see access point coverage.

          What needs improvement?

          Most definitely the cost. 

          For how long have I used the solution?

          More than five years.

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

          I am not a fan of Cisco's software pricing model. Their management software is far too expensive.

          What is our primary use case?

          Cisco Wireless gave us the ability to deploy and seamlessly manage wireless devices at our corporate office and remote locations.

          How has it helped my organization?

          It gave us the ability to view wireless traffic, unwanted devices on the network, and how they affected overall network performance.

          What is most valuable?

          • The ability to deploy wireless access points with templates.
          • The ability to use campus maps to see access point coverage.

          What needs improvement?

          Most definitely the cost. 

          For how long have I used the solution?

          More than five years.

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

          I am not a fan of Cisco's software pricing model. Their management software is far too expensive.

          Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
          HK
          Wireless Network Engineer at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
          Real User
          Makes network configuration easier, the hardware is very reliable

          How has it helped my organization?

          In general, for the wireless LAN controller, Cisco is coming up with new solutions every day, they're improving their products. Networking is getting serious, becoming easier to be done for clients, configurations are becoming easier to be done. 

          What is most valuable?

          Cisco 5500 Wireless Controller, for example, has a number of features: 

          • supports a lot of access points
          • better GUI
          • better management
          • better control. 

          If an issue comes up, the GUI of this particular wireless controller is well supported, very good to use.

          Recently, one of our clients had a problem with their wireless connection at their location. The problem was that they were using the old series for the access points. We suggested that they use Cisco Aironet 3800 Series Access Point because, if you go to the actual data sheet of the access point, there are way more lines, the radio is better, the broadcasting system is better, the control is better.

          What needs improvement?

          Maybe the actual Cisco products can also be made cloud-based, though it would be competing with the Meraki. But I think that would improve the market. It would improve configuration. It would help the clients a lot, because if everything was cloud-based, we could just guide the clients through the situation, so they could do the configurations on their own. It would help the clients to save money as well.

          For how long have I used the solution?

          Less than one year.

          What do I think about the stability of the solution?

          Everything is fine. Cisco products are perhaps the most reliable on the market. While deploying, we have never faced an issue.

          Different issues come up for the different companies because they need different things done in their networks, so that depends on the company. But in the deployment, hardware-wise, there isn't any problem. There is always room for the improvement but, from my perspective, no problems with stability.

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

          I did not switch to Cisco. We suggest products based on the clients' needs. It depends on the different scenarios we come across. It depends on the clients, what their requirements are and what their budgeted is, because Cisco is more on the expensive side, as compared to Aruba, but I must say Cisco's quality is unmatched, for sure.

          How was the initial setup?

          It’s a standard thing. For the switches it's a standard thing, for the router it's a standard thing, same with the wireless LAN controller or the access points. It's not difficult. For a person who's doing it for first time, it's going to be complicated, but once you get used to it, it’s pretty much the same thing all the time.

          What other advice do I have?

          My suggestion would be to go with Cisco products.

          Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
          it_user840198
          IT Director at a educational organization with 1-10 employees
          Real User
          Allows us to deploy a wide range of wireless products with stable WiFi

          Pros and Cons

          • "The switches can even detect cable issues which quite often can be the main cause for a call-out within my business."

            What is our primary use case?

            Devices are used across campuses covering three elementary schools and one high school; over 1000 students. The devices that are in use are MR33 with 200 installed.

            Hardware features:

            • Three radios: 2.4 and 5 GHz, dual-band WIDS/WIPS
            • 2-stream 802.11ac and 802.11n, up to 1.3 Gbps
            • Integrated BLE radio
            • 2x2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wave 2
            • Up to 1.3 Gbps aggregate dual-band frame rate
            • 802.3af PoE compatible

            How has it helped my organization?

            It give us scalability, integrated enterprise security and guest access, it's self-configuring, plug-and-play deployment. It’s allowed us to deploy a wide range of wireless products, with industry-class WiFi that’s stable and able to grow with our needs.

            What is most valuable?

            • The latest 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wave 2 WiFi
            • Four port Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 switch
            • 1.3 Gbps aggregate dual-band frame rate
            • 24×7 real-time WIPS/WIDS, spectrum analytics, and WiFi
            • Integrated BLE Beacon and scanning radio
            • Integrated enterprise security and guest access
            • Optimised for voice and video
            • Self-configuring, plug-and-play deployment

            What needs improvement?

            Cost. 

            Also, it is slow to update configurations, with cloud access, no way to configure devices locally, network data information is hard to find.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            One to three years.

            What other advice do I have?

            The device works very well and distributes a good signal across the four sites. Overall, during my brief use of the Meraki MR33, I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of its features. Deploying a full Meraki system provides even more features, allowing you to break down the network and identify specific points of failure. The switches can even detect cable issues which quite often can be the main cause for a call-out within my business. I would rate it nine out of 10.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            Michael Rhoades
            Manager Information Technology at a mining and metals company with 1,001-5,000 employees
            Real User
            The controller is hard to beat; we can deploy our network anywhere we need it

            What is our primary use case?

            We have an advanced pervasive Cisco wireless deployment across five sites in the US. We are an industrial manufacturer that has a very harsh RF environment. We make powder metal which, when in the air, makes wireless a nightmare.

            We use/have used: Cisco 5520, 5508, 4400, 3504, 2504 and NME-AIR (ISR based module) controllers.

            • APs today are 2800 and 1500 Series APs.  We have in the past used 1200, 3500 Series APs.
            • We do a large wireless VOIP deployment at all sites too using Cisco 7921 and 8821 wireless phones.
            • We do OEAP WLC for teleworkers with 1810t APs connected to a 3504 in our DMZ
            • We have a MSE server for CleanAir
            • Prime for management
            • Work group bridges to passive IOT devices (Cranes, network PLCs,  cameras, etc.)
            • Bridges to other remote buildings

            How has it helped my organization?

            We have wireless in nearly every inch of our building for voice and data access.  We can deploy our network anywhere we need it to be. It works very well. Our environment as a powder metal manufacturer makes WiFi very hard. It is like a rain storm and headlights. Cisco’s product has made a big difference in our plants.

            What is most valuable?

            The detail in the controller is hard to beat.

            What needs improvement?

            Always getting the latest and great is important to me. I think as long as they keep staying on top of their product it will be a good thing. No major issues other than the fact that it is not the easiest to use without experience. If you need a simpler setup, look at Meraki.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            More than five years.
            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            it_user842922
            Team Lead - Network and System Engineer at a non-tech company with 501-1,000 employees
            Real User
            Clean Air Solution can detect non-WiFi signals, change channel to avoid unwanted signals

            Pros and Cons

            • "This product has a Clean Air Solution, which means it can detect non-WiFi signals. It not only signals but it can also detect that what type of device it is coming from. And if it needs to change the channel in order to avoid that unwanted signal, it can do so and that way the client machine will have better performance."
            • "If needs to provide more visibility. It can detect and do it, but as technicians we don't have a lot of visibility into seeing exactly what's happening. It doesn't give us a lot of log information for us to troubleshoot. They probably have additional software you need to purchase to get that kind of information. But I think not all companies can afford additional software to see those kinds of details. So if the wireless controller already had, built-in, those types of things for the technician or wireless engineer, it would be more attractive for the end-user."

            What is our primary use case?

            Primary use is for connecting staff and students' laptops, iPads, and Chromebooks.

            How has it helped my organization?

            Most of wireless controllers' features are similar, but what sets WLC, the Cisco wireless controller, apart is that it has an end-to-end solution, meaning that it's running off of Cisco switches, and a Cisco router. So all the platform, from routing to switching, is Cisco. Therefore, having a wireless controller, we can actually manage the quality of service seamlessly.

            If we had chosen another product then it may not understand, or we may have to make it jump through hoops, to make it more seamless. Since across the platform, Cisco has an end-to-end solution, that sets it apart from the other vendors.

            As far as the technology, pretty much everybody offers almost the same thing. It's just that they name it differently. Other than that they're the same. So the above is the reason we went with the Cisco. 

            Also, because I'm Cisco Certified as far routing, switching, etc., I understand their technology. So on top of it, that also helps. I don't have to actually reinvent the wheel to make it work. So it's a  cost savings for the company, because they already hired somebody who understands Cisco products. It's a combination of those things, so we chose the Cisco wireless controller.

            What is most valuable?

            This product has a Clean Air Solution, which means it can detect non-WiFi signals. It not only signals but it can also detect that what type of device it is coming from. And if it needs to change the channel in order to avoid that unwanted signal, it can do so and that way the client machine will have better performance.

            Also, we have also a test environment. Cisco offers a smaller version, between 25 and 50 access point controllers. It's $2000, very inexpensive. I have it in my test environment so I can do tests before I actually implement in production. That helps.

            What needs improvement?

            If needs to provide more visibility. It can detect and do it, but as technicians we don't have a lot of visibility into seeing exactly what's happening. It doesn't give us a lot of log information for us to troubleshoot. They probably have additional software you need to purchase to get that kind of information. But I think not all companies can afford additional software to see those kinds of details. So if the wireless controller already had, built-in, those types of things for the technician or wireless engineer, it would be more attractive for the end-user to use WLC, more than any other product.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            More than five years.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            It's very, very stable. We have hardly ever had any problems with it as far rebooting itself, or it couldn't handle the load it had, given how we initially we sized it. It hasn't caused any problems.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            We've had no issues with scalability. We initially started with two controllers; as far as a failover we used technology called N+1. But N+1 did not suit our environment because we have about 750 access points throughout the campus. E1 access point can only hold 500. If that ever happened, it would mean another 250 would be hanging out there. So we changed that to 1:1. We now have four controllers. Now we're able to handle up to 1,000 access points. So scalability wasn't a problem. And, if we have to have more we could still do it. So scalability is very seamless.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            I would give an A+ to tech support. It depends what kind of issue you have, they have different categories. They can remote in to view our screen and see what the problem is and can give us a recommendation and then we change it, if we think it's necessary. If it would be helpful for us then we do it, during off hours.

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

            I have always used Cisco. I have friends and colleagues who have used Aruba and other things. As I mentioned earlier, they're very similar as far the access points go. They have a similar technology, Clean Air, etc., they have it. 

            The only problem is, as I mentioned, they are not using Aruba switches or routers, etc. So when an issue arises they have to finger-point to a different vendor. So I try to avoid that kind of different vendor finger-pointing. If I can have the same vendor solution and it's stable and works well, why not use them that way. If there's any problem, it is one vendor, there is no finger-pointing.

            How was the initial setup?

            it's not really complex. If you're familiar with the technology you should be able to follow through with any of the wireless controllers or Cisco's. They're very intuitive. If you know the terminology you just have to follow through.

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

            As far as I know Cisco is very competitive, price-wise.

            Talk to your third-party vendor. It all depends on the company size - how many employees, how big the building is. If it's wireless, and you have only 50 employees but you're using a large building floor, in that case you need many access points. But if you have 50 employees using two or three rooms, then you probably don't need it and it's going to be high density, so there is a different design. So you need to talk to a subject matter expert. Talk to them and design accordingly.

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            When I joined this company they already had a modular for 6509 switches. So from there I migrated to a 5508 Controller. So at the time it was much easier, since the company was already are using a Cisco wireless controller. It would have been much easier for migration to the 5508. 

            We did talk to Aruba about their solution and, I think, price-wise it was very similar and that's the reason we stayed with Cisco.

            What other advice do I have?

            I rate this Cisco solution an eight out of 10. To bring it up to a 10, as I mentioned earlier, you have to get a Cisco Prime in order to view  signal strength and what's going on, which is an additional cost. You have to buy another product to manage WLC, so why not have Cisco Prime built into WLC so there is one product? That way you wouldn't need to have to buy additional software or licenses to manage WLC. It's basically: WLC manages access points, Prime manages WLC. So why not all under one umbrella, that way you don't have to jump through multiple pages to look and troubleshoot. If all is in one place it would be much easier.

            If it's the first time you're implementing it, there is a different way of doing it. Now, I think, Cisco offers a different type of a wireless controller. It can be cloud-based, it can be on a switch module, or it can be just an appliance. So it's based on what your environment looks like and what kind of failover you want. Based on your needs, that's how you have to design. 

            Also, look into other products and evaluate them yourself. Have a demo on your site for Aruba or Cisco and see, regarding the high density, how many clients are connecting to one access point and where the breakpoint is, those kinds of things. Evaluate yourself and go with whatever makes sense for your company.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            it_user836463
            Operations at a comms service provider with 11-50 employees
            Real User
            Captive guest network is one of the best, but AP concurrent client processing needs work

            Pros and Cons

            • "Compared to other solutions, captive guest network is one of the best isolation and tunneling."
            • "The ability to disable RRM or set hybrid RRM provides a more granular design of RF in the environment."
            • "Improvement needed in RRM, ATF, Ortho-Polarization, AP concurrent client processing."

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

            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.
            Claudio Rosa
            System Engineer at a mining and metals company with 10,001+ employees
            Real User
            Supports real-time applications such as VoIP and Video Conferencing over wireless

            Pros and Cons

            • "It can provide support for real-time applications, such as VoIP and Video Conferencing over wireless infrastructure."
            • "The bind configuration between a physical port and an IP address is missing."

            What is most valuable?

            Mobility device support. It can provide support for real-time applications, such as VoIP and Video Conferencing over wireless infrastructure.

            How has it helped my organization?

            For industrial IT (sensors, programmed logical controllers, trains, ports, mines) and IT for offices, we can support real-time information, reducing risk for people, speeding up time to market and giving real-time access to information and communications.

            What needs improvement?

            This is a good product but some basic configurations were missed such as:

            • The bind configuration between a physical port and an IP address
            • Health check for authentication/authorization server.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            Three years.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            No.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            No.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            Seven out of 10. They are slow to answer.

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

            Yes. We switched due to company decisions.

            How was the initial setup?

            Complex. The solution works for beginners with basic implementations.

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

            It is an expensive solution.

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            Yes, Aerohive and Aruba.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            it_user423258
            IT Admin at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
            Consultant
            Coming from another network vendor background I was surprised at how easy the controller was to configure.

            What is most valuable?

            A couple of features stood out: the most important feature was the ease of installation. Coming from another network vendor background I was surprised at how easy the controller was to configure. The ability to build policies based on device and application type is very powerful. The controller has a built in best practice analysis engine that will not only give your setup a best practice score, but also automatically change settings to increase the score. The controller automatically implements advanced Cisco wireless features like Cisco clean air, coverage hole detection, client load balancing and band steering amongst other things.

            How has it helped my organization?

            Business systems reach was significantly increased through extensive wireless coverage throughout the entire company head office building (5 stories). The technology also enabled the client business to safely provide internet access to guests, through the Cisco lobby administrator portal, which the receptionist manages without intervention from the IT department.

            What needs improvement?

            Rack mount brackets must be automatically included in the cost. Aesthetically the 2504 chassis has room for improvement. Product is not the cheapest on the market, can be more competitively priced.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            This solution has been running for a year. We have dual Cisco 2504 wireless controllers for high availability (software version 8.1.102.0). Managing 40x 1702 Cisco wireless access points.

            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

            The issue we encountered was enabling radius authentication for the employee wireless network. Most of the issue was Windows server related though.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            The two controllers running side by side was extensively tested by die client: during production the primary controller was unplugged and within a few seconds the access points registered to the secondary controller. The client even went as far as unplugging various access points to test if the coverage hole detection worked, and was not disappointed. There was never a need to restart the controllers or any of the access points.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            The project was sufficiently scoped from the beginning which prevented any scalability problems.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            Customer Service:

            Good.

            Technical Support:

            Good, provided there is a maintenance contract in place.

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

            The previous solution consisted of a wireless controller and 15 access points. There was a lot of labour hours that had to be wasted on fine tuning the wireless settings, the wireless network just did not meet the clients expectations. The issues were escalated to the distributor and the vendor directly, which made resources available on site but still took days to get stable.

            How was the initial setup?

            Very straightforward. The new software version introduced a wizard which guides you through most of the initial configurations in a few simple steps.

            What about the implementation team?

            Working as a solutions architect for an IT service provider I did the scoping and implementation for the client.

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

            The pricing on the Cisco devices can seem high, but compare apples with apples and it will become clear that Cisco is not that expensive. The controllers need to have licenses for the access points that it manages, so plan ahead and have enough licenses ready for the amount of access points in the environment.

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            • HP MSM 720 wireless controller.
            • Aruba instant access points with built in controllers

            What other advice do I have?

            The underlying wired infrastructure is important, make sure it has enough capacity so avoid causing bottlenecks on the wireless network. If possible keep the network on a specific vendor for ease of management and support.

            Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: W'ere partners with Cisco.
            it_user195360
            Senior Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
            Consultant
            There's no logical order to setup what you need, but with some reading, it's totally feasible.

            What is most valuable?

            Security features

            How has it helped my organization?

            We can deploy a simple guest captive portal to allow guests to connect to the internet.

            What needs improvement?

            More languages on the captive portal.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            I've been using Cisco WLAN Controller 2106 for about one year.

            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

            I had to reboot the controller a couple of times to force correct EAP key exchange.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            I had to reboot the controller a couple of times to force correct EAP key exchange.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            Since it's a very small controller, I was already prepared for a small deployment.

            How are customer service and

            What is most valuable?

            Security features

            How has it helped my organization?

            We can deploy a simple guest captive portal to allow guests to connect to the internet.

            What needs improvement?

            More languages on the captive portal.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            I've been using Cisco WLAN Controller 2106 for about one year.

            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

            I had to reboot the controller a couple of times to force correct EAP key exchange.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            I had to reboot the controller a couple of times to force correct EAP key exchange.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            Since it's a very small controller, I was already prepared for a small deployment.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            Customer Service:

            Not used at all.

            Technical Support:

            Not used at all.

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

            No previous solution used.

            How was the initial setup?

            A bit complex. There's no logical order to setup what you need, but with some reading, it's totally feasible.

            What about the implementation team?

            I implement it myself. I work for a Cisco partner.

            What other advice do I have?

            Plan the network first and decide if this box is big enough for your deployment.

            Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are CISCO partners.
            it_user184644
            Senior Network Engineer at a government with 501-1,000 employees
            Vendor
            The monitoring system has room for improvement however centralized management is a valuable feature

            What is most valuable?

            From a technical perspective, the ease of centralized management and provisioning. Also the possibility of a single breakout point to the LAN which helps confine user traffic without additional setup.

            How has it helped my organization?

            Before 2008 all hosts were connected to the wired infrastructure. Introducing a wireless infrastructure is probably the biggest single improvement in the network area we have had over the last few years. For example, employees can access their documents during a meeting, suppliers can give a presentation, and visitors can access the internet, etc. without going through the process of wiring and reconfiguring switches.

            What needs improvement?

            The monitoring system has room for improvement. All the pieces of data are collected but it is not always easy or possible to present it the way you like it.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            For about six years with the initial single controller setup. We moved to a dual controller setup in active/standby mode two years ago.

            Cisco WLC 5508 with Cisco Wireless Control System and 2600/3600 series access points

            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

            We did not have any issues with the deployment of the single controller setup. Later on, with the deployment of the second controller, we have had some minor issues which were swiftly resolved by the supplier team with some help from the vendor.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            No issues so far.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            The product is scaled for 500 APs. At this moment we have little under 450 APs connected without any scalability issues.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            Customer Service:

            8/10 for both the vendor and supplier.

            Technical Support:

            9/10 for both the vendor and supplier.

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

            No, the Cisco WLC is our first wireless solution.

            How was the initial setup?

            Initial setup was straightforward. Then again, initially we started with only the very basic capabilities of the Cisco WLC.

            What about the implementation team?

            Both implementations were performed by a supplier team with support from an in-house team for integration into the local network. I would rate the expertise of the supplier team a solid 8/10.

            What was our ROI?

            We are a non-profit organisation. ROI was not the main drive to buy this product as manageability and reliability were.

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            We are bound to a supplier and therefore can choose from a limited number of vendors. We use Cisco for our wired equipment, it is then reasonably to first have a look a Cisco‘s wireless solution.

            What other advice do I have?

            The Cisco WLC has many features. Plan carefully which to use before you start to implement.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            ITCS user
            Project Manager at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
            Consultant
            Guest WiFi is an option but older WAP's can be an issue as the firmware makes them problematic

            What is most valuable?

            Scalability

            How has it helped my organization?

            Multiple SSID's Ability to offer WI-FI to guest in a secure environment

            What needs improvement?

            None.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            Two years. (WLC 5508)

            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

            Older WAP's can be an issue as the firmware makes them problematic. Requires upgrading the WLC firmware to see units properly.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            None.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            None.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            Customer Service: 8 out of 10. Technical Support: 8 out of 10.

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

            Several. Cisco is more scalable and actually less costly…

            What is most valuable?

            Scalability

            How has it helped my organization?

            • Multiple SSID's
            • Ability to offer WI-FI to guest in a secure environment

            What needs improvement?

            None.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            Two years. (WLC 5508)

            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

            Older WAP's can be an issue as the firmware makes them problematic. Requires upgrading the WLC firmware to see units properly.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            None.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            None.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            Customer Service:

            8 out of 10.

            Technical Support:

            8 out of 10.

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

            Several. Cisco is more scalable and actually less costly over time.

            How was the initial setup?

            Fairly straightforward - need to understand the Cisco way of breaking things out but otherwise no issues.

            What about the implementation team?

            We implemented it in-house.

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

            Approximately $20,000 with no additional costs.

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            • Meraki
            • SonicWALL

            What other advice do I have?

            Understand your need. Let the need drive the purchase not the other way around.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            ITCS user
            IT Networks and Security Manager at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
            Vendor
            Pros: certificate authentication, ACL for Guests. Cons: Reporting, Active Passive Failover on Controller.

            What is most valuable?

            • Certificate based authentication
            • ACL for Guest

            How has it helped my organization?

            Right now more than 90% of our employees connect on wireless only. That minimizes a huge CapEx on LAN infrastructure. Users can connect from any of the offices of banglalink. Roaming is the biggest advantage we have got so far. For security purposes, certificate based authentication ensures that only banglalink employees can connect to those SSID.

            What needs improvement?

            • Reporting
            • Active Passive Failover on Controller

            For how long have I used the solution?

            More than four years.

            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

            No issues encountered.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            No issues encountered.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            No issues encountered.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            Customer Service:

            Good.

            Technical Support:

            Good.

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

            We previously used an Aruba solution and we switched because Cisco had a flexible deployment model, it is easy to operate, and has a stable OS.

            How was the initial setup?

            Initial setup was, of course challenging. However, with the vendor, we worked hard on troubleshooting issues. For example, redundancy during controller failover was very challenging as the AP was taking long time to join with controller.

            What about the implementation team?

            We implemented it in-house.

            What was our ROI?

            I think we got our ROI within a year.

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

            We have two controllers in our 55 offices with more than 175 APs. It costs us around 100k. Currently we don't buy any support from OEM or a vendor, and we keep all necessary APs in stock. For the controller it costs us around 3k yearly.

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            We compared it to Aruba which was our existing solution.

            What other advice do I have?

            Fantastic product for an indoor wireless solution. Smooth seamless AP handover, excellent Tech support, integration with other peripherals (AD, Cert server, SIEM etc.) and stable hardware. These are the reasons you should choose this product.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            ITCS user
            IT Manager at a educational organization with 51-200 employees
            Vendor
            Central control of all APs is a valuable feature. Better training is needed.

            What is most valuable?

            Central controlling of all APs.

            How has it helped my organization?

            It has enabled the organization to become cable-free.

            What needs improvement?

            Training support for clients is needed.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            3 years - Cisco Wlan Controller 5508

            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

            No issues encountered.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            No issues encountered.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            No issues encountered.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            Customer Service: Excellent. Technical Support: Middle.

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

            No other solution was used.

            How was the initial setup?

            Pretty Straightforward. …

            What is most valuable?

            Central controlling of all APs.

            How has it helped my organization?

            It has enabled the organization to become cable-free.

            What needs improvement?

            Training support for clients is needed.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            3 years -

            Cisco Wlan Controller 5508

            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

            No issues encountered.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            No issues encountered.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            No issues encountered.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            Customer Service:

            Excellent.

            Technical Support:

            Middle.

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

            No other solution was used.

            How was the initial setup?

            Pretty Straightforward.

            What about the implementation team?

            A vendor(Xiamen WisDom Net), They have 3 CCIE engineers in routing and switches but not in Wi-Fi, They quickly improvee their Wi-Fi skills and even I improved a lot.

            What was our ROI?

            High.

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            We invited 6 vendors that offered Cisco, Juniper, Aerohive brand Wi-Fi solutions to evaluate and compare products.

            What other advice do I have?

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            it_user173814
            Manager, IT Infrastructure at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees
            Vendor
            The ability to group APs to specific VLANs gives us a lot of flexibility. The GUI needs work.

            What is most valuable?

            • Scalability
            • Enterprise Wireless Mesh
            • Number of interfaces
            • High Performance Video

            How has it helped my organization?

            In our company we have employees spread across multiple floors which requires more APs than we originally have. This new WLAN Controller accommodates us very well. It also has the great feature of grouping APs to specific VLANs which gives us a lot of flexibility.

            What needs improvement?

            Overall i haven't had any major complaints. I have noticed though when grouping interfaces, sometimes if you need to delete a previously created interface group there can be glitches. The GUI can be improved on.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            This specific model (Cisco 5508 Wireless Controller ) - 1 year

            Cisco WLAN controller in general - over 10 years

            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

            No. The setup was pretty simple and straight forward.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            None encountered.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            None encountered.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            Customer Service:

            They do just fine.

            Technical Support:

            Very good. On the 2 occasions that I had to contact support I got immediate assistance and the reps were very knowledgeable and able to resolve my issues in little to no time.

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

            We have always used Cisco.

            How was the initial setup?

            The intial setup was very straight forward. Like most of Cisco devices the initial setup asks you some questions and you can select what you want to use as default or change. I did the preliminary setup then everything else from the GUI.

            What about the implementation team?

            Implementation was done in-house.

            What was our ROI?

            The increased productivity and low downtime from the wireless network is worth every cent spent. The different teams can roam the building while staying connected.....100%

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

            The initial set-up cost including the device was approximately $7500. There is no day-to-day cost besides the power it uses since the device just about maintains itself. Unless adding new APs or subnets to the wireless network there is no need to touch the controller really.

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            No, we stuck we Cisco since that's what we have been using all these years.

            What other advice do I have?

            No, we stuck we Cisco since that's what we have been using all these years.

            Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Cisco Partner
            it_user172686
            Network Administrator & Information at a media company with 501-1,000 employees
            Vendor
            Have clear ideas about the requirements or goals for the company before implementation

            What is most valuable?

            The easy way to integrate it with the existing network. Also, at the implementation, the simple management of the access points in a centrally console.

            How has it helped my organization?

            Before the implementation in 2006, we had 20 stand-alone access points where the administration tasks were complicated; any change has to be made in each AP.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            Since August 2006.

            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

            Not really.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            Until now they are very stable, but in some cases in which we had a problem there was a fix to solve the problem.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            No issues encountered.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            Customer Service:

            Good, 9 out of 10

            Technical Support:

            Good, 9 out of 10

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

            No, this product is the only one I have used.

            How was the initial setup?

            As in the majority of new implementations there is a lack of knowledge of the products, but with some time and a lot readings at the end was easily.

            What about the implementation team?

            It was a mixed schema; the case study and the initial implementation was made by a vendor, then, the tune up was made by us.

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            No, it was the only one because all the network infrastructure is Cisco: Total compatibility.

            What other advice do I have?

            Have clear ideas about the requirements or goals for the company before implementation and have a good case study.

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            ITCS user
            Senior Manager of Network at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
            Consultant
            Reliable product. Ability to handle huge amounts of traffic needs to be improved.

            What is most valuable?

            No configuration required on access points and better monitoring.

            How has it helped my organization?

            We have been deploying in different companies and their wireless communication has improved.

            What needs improvement?

            Access Points are unable to handle huge traffic and if one user start downloading other user bandwidth speed is affected.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            Multiple Times. 4402, 4404, 5508

            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

            Yes we did have issues. The start access points were unable to join the controller but we managed. There was an issue with User Authentication with lDAP.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            None encountered.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            What is most valuable?

            No configuration required on access points and better monitoring.

            How has it helped my organization?

            We have been deploying in different companies and their wireless communication has improved.

            What needs improvement?

            Access Points are unable to handle huge traffic and if one user start downloading other user bandwidth speed is affected.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            Multiple Times.

            4402, 4404, 5508

            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

            Yes we did have issues. The start access points were unable to join the controller but we managed.

            There was an issue with User Authentication with lDAP.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            None encountered.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            None encountered.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            Customer Service:

            It was good.

            Technical Support:

            It was good.

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

            Our customer used Linksys access points and they had problems with their connection so they decided for WLAN.

            How was the initial setup?

            Start the controller. The initial setup process will start the you need to configure multiple parameters, and the configuration is done.

            What about the implementation team?

            I implemented myself for multiple companies.

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

            No day-to-day cost.

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            Yes different WLAN Controller models.

            What other advice do I have?

            Good product and good reliability

            Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
            it_user172665
            Network Engineer with 51-200 employees
            MSP
            Simple to have a guest network but cost could be improved

            What is most valuable?

            Unified management, reporting, stability, and most importantly seamless roaming

            How has it helped my organization?

            Network wide SSID’s and passkeys help the day to day function of the IT staff. Simple to have a guest network.

            What needs improvement?

            The cost could be improved.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            2 Years

            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

            Deployment for the WLAN controllers is very simple with a proper plan of your organization’s requirements. I have deployed this across large university campuses, vpn tunnels, and small businesses.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            I have had very few issues with appliances or access points dropping off.

            What do I think about the scalability of the

            What is most valuable?

            Unified management, reporting, stability, and most importantly seamless roaming

            How has it helped my organization?

            Network wide SSID’s and passkeys help the day to day function of the IT staff. Simple to have a guest network.

            What needs improvement?

            The cost could be improved.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            2 Years

            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

            Deployment for the WLAN controllers is very simple with a proper plan of your organization’s requirements. I have deployed this across large university campuses, vpn tunnels, and small businesses.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            I have had very few issues with appliances or access points dropping off.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            This goes back to properly planning your deployment. The smaller WLAN controller’s don’t grow well.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            Customer Service:

            10 out of 10

            Technical Support:

            10 out of 10

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

            I haven’t switched anyone but we do often deploy Ubiquiti Unifi equipment for our smaller clients

            How was the initial setup?

            Like all things Cisco, this can be as simple or complex as you want it. Most implementations are very simple to start.

            What about the implementation team?

            It is done in-house.

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            We evaluated Aruba, Ruckus, and Ubiquiti.

            What other advice do I have?

            Do your research! Make sure this product fits your needs.

            Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Cisco Partner
            it_user172002
            Specialist IT Consultant with 1,001-5,000 employees
            Vendor
            Management & Monitoring features need to be improved. Integration with other Cisco products is helpful.

            What is most valuable?

            There are many valuable features including security, availability, scalability, integration With Cisco products, WEB Portal for guest users, and Cleanair.

            How has it helped my organization?

            The main improvement was the mobility of Notebooks, Tablets, SmartPhones and Warehouse functions.

            What needs improvement?

            Management, and Monitoring features need to be improved and the inclusion of a Cloud-based solution.

            For how long have I used the solution?

            4 years

            What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

            Remote APs cannot work without Main Controller when using 802.1x Authentication.

            What do I think about the stability of the solution?

            No issues encountered.

            What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

            No issues were encountered.

            How are customer service and technical support?

            It was OK! We had some problems and always checked them with the TAC.

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

            We used MOTOROLA/SYMBOL. It is an solution with no innovation and less features than Cisco Wireless Solution.

            How was the initial setup?

            No, It was simple.

            What about the implementation team?

            I am an consultant and I implement for our clients.

            Which other solutions did I evaluate?

            Motorola and Aruba.

            What other advice do I have?

            That is a good solution, pay attention on Compatibility Matrix with some APs.

            Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Cisco Select Partner
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