Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access Points vs. Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access Points
Score 9.2 out of 10
N/A
Aruba Networks offers wireless LAN (WLAN) solutions via its variety of wireless access points.N/A
Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller
Score 8.3 out of 10
N/A
The Cisco 5520 Series Wireless LAN Controller is a highly scalable, service-rich, resilient, and flexible platform that is ideal for medium-sized to large enterprise and campus deployments.N/A
Pricing
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco 5520 Wireless Controller
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco 5520 Wireless Controller
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco 5520 Wireless Controller
Considered Both Products
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access Points

No answer on this topic

Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller
Chose Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller
Cisco is the most stable company in switching parts including wireless, and it has the most powerful support team with a lot of online documents, community, and market share so when you get stuck, you can find support from anywhere. And usually, you won't need it as its product …
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco 5520 Wireless Controller
Small Businesses
Ubiquiti WLAN
Ubiquiti WLAN
Score 9.3 out of 10
Ubiquiti WLAN
Ubiquiti WLAN
Score 9.3 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.8 out of 10
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.8 out of 10
Enterprises
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.8 out of 10
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.8 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco 5520 Wireless Controller
Likelihood to Recommend
9.8
(14 ratings)
8.2
(13 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
-
(0 ratings)
9.1
(1 ratings)
Usability
9.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Support Rating
8.2
(4 ratings)
9.2
(7 ratings)
User Testimonials
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco 5520 Wireless Controller
Likelihood to Recommend
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
It is possible that we have a bad luck with the deployment. However, It is capable to perform enterprise-level security to fit some of the organization's standards. With Airwave and other tools, it's easy to manage and administrate your wireless environment. Make aware of the IPsec tunnel from each user to the controller if you are using Clearpass for NAC. If you have a remote office with local resources, you will need controller or IAP to route traffic locally. If you have many remote offices, you will need to deploy controllers or IAP in each office, which lead to additional cost and management.
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Cisco
I consider that its implementation is recommended for configurations where the amount of access points exceeds 50 devices and the performance exceeds 4 Gbps. In environments where the access point density is less than 10 units, we can use the option of Express Mobility.
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Pros
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • They offer both a controller-based and controller-less option. This allows customers of all sizes to deploy a wireless network without the upfront cost of controller hardware. A controller can be added later.
  • Aruba also offers Airwave which is a single management point for all AP swarms in the environment. It offers many reporting features as well as visual RF maps displaying heatmaps of the AP signals and client positioning.
  • The Aruba Access Point we have (224s and 225s) also offer both PoE and external power supplies for those smaller deployments that may not have PoE capable switches.
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Cisco
  • It has the ability to manage all Cisco access points that we have, regardless of the model. The limit is 1500 pieces of equipment.
  • The WLC enables roaming functionality in the localities, this helps with collections, wireless IP phones, and access with notebooks.
  • The WLC manages the quality of the "air" and "signal" of the 2.4ghz frequency, avoiding noise and interference.
  • The WLC has an interesting feature of visibility of the traffic of the internal network.
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Cons
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • We have had a bunch of these stop working after a power outages. We are guessing a surge or something caused them to stop working.
  • Some of the documentation is outdated. It seems they like to make changes to how things work and it usually mean less access and insight into the devices you manage.
  • The auto signal strength feature could use a little work. It seems like even when we turn it down all the way it tries ot increases the signal strength.
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Cisco
  • We have had some issues with access points losing their configurations and going offline. This is not a common issue and we are not entirely certain if it is a fault of the controller or the individual APs. That said, the controller does not appear to retain the knowledge of the offline AP which can be a management headache.
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Likelihood to Renew
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
No answers on this topic
Cisco
It works great and [we] will definitely renew.
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Usability
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Aruba Networks Wireless LAN is very intuitive to use. After the initial learning curve for the Aruba OS platform, it is straightforward. Day-to-day tasks, such as deploying an access point with a configuration, are very straightforward. Standard incremental system upgrades are also very intuitive. If you have any past experience with Aruba network switching or Cisco switching, the command structure is relatively similar.
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Cisco
No answers on this topic
Support Rating
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
It is a reliable and complete solution for providing wireless network to users. I had no technical problems during those years. The Aruba controller and access points have always worked very well and we have greatly improved the relationship with customers and we now have absolute control over the wireless network traffic. It has quality assurance and support with efficient service as well.
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Cisco
Cisco is always available if we need support. If they are unable to solve the problem right away, they will reach back to us in a timely manner and advise what we need to do. Their team provides additional guidance as well if we hit any stumbling blocks. Their service has been great.
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Alternatives Considered
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Cisco Aironet did not even compare to Aruba, Aruba was so far advanced from Cisco back when we used them. Aruba solved several business problems all in one ecosystem, all Cisco did was acted as somewhat intelligent Access Points. Aruba enabled us to leverage VoIP, use APs as VPN endpoints/devices, manage individual devices as assets, etc.
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Cisco
Cisco is the most stable company in switching parts including wireless, and it has the most powerful support team with a lot of online documents, community, and market share so when you get stuck, you can find support from anywhere. And usually, you won't need it as its product is very stable and reliable.
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Return on Investment
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Excellent uptime and reliability
  • If licensed properly, failover is easy
  • The newest version upgrade is somewhat cumbersome as they want us to replace hardware, which seems silly, so we are on the most current legacy supported version. Once unsupported, we will need to replace hardware.
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Cisco
  • [It provides] centralized management.
  • Implementing the [Cisco] 5520 [Wireless] Controllers offered us a huge improvement in administrative time over our previous Cisco 3850 deployment. Being able to see all of our APs on a single controller as well as centrally manage them is a great benefit. This also removed the need to deploy specific equipment in different IDFs throughout our Industrial locations and instead only requiring switches with Power Over Ethernet (POE) capability.
  • Wireless performance has improved with the deployment of our 5520s, which allows our plant operators to do their jobs more efficiently while on the move.
  • Having three Cisco 5520 Wireless Controllers provides tertiary redundancy for our wireless networks. The solution is elegantly simple. Preventing downtime is, obviously, a profound part of our supply chain capabilities.
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