Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access Points vs. Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access Points
Score 8.5 out of 10
N/A
Aruba Networks offers wireless LAN (WLAN) solutions via its variety of wireless access points.N/A
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.6 out of 10
N/A
The Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 is a modular wireless controller with optional 100 Gigabit Ethernet (G) modular uplinks boasting seamless software updates for large enterprises and campuses, and security with ETA and SD-Access.N/A
Pricing
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
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 Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Considered Both Products
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access Points

No answer on this topic

Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Chose Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Compared to older Cisco WLC, Catalyst 9800s are easier to manage and SSO HA is more reliable. Compared to Aruba IAP, the number of features is greater. Meraki is easier to set up but having a central controller gives greater control.
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Small Businesses
Ubiquiti WLAN
Ubiquiti WLAN
Score 9.1 out of 10
Ubiquiti WLAN
Ubiquiti WLAN
Score 9.1 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.6 out of 10
Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
Score 9.6 out of 10
Enterprises
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.6 out of 10
Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point
Score 9.6 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Likelihood to Recommend
8.0
(16 ratings)
8.1
(49 ratings)
Usability
9.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Availability
-
(0 ratings)
7.9
(48 ratings)
Performance
-
(0 ratings)
7.7
(49 ratings)
Support Rating
8.2
(4 ratings)
9.1
(1 ratings)
User Testimonials
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
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
For this specific product. It's pretty well suited for management of access points for not a huge campus, I would say for this specific one that I have. But I mean it can manage up to 5,000 access points. So it's a great product. Less appropriate would probably be really massive for the product that I own. The one, that version of it for what I have, I wouldn't say use it for something that's like this mega corporation, huge ginormous corporation because you need the higher end model of what I have. But in general it fits my needs, it fits what we need. It's the capabilities, but there's faster and better ones that I could have got if I needed it.
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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
  • Easily manages a large number of APs.
  • It can push out settings or a new OS to a large group of APs at once.
  • The GUI is very intuitive, and follows the model Cisco has created for many of their products.
  • It integrates well with our ISE environment for handling RADIUS requests.
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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
  • Room for improvement. We tend to update our firmware as soon as possible. We have hit a lot of various bugs and things that were caught in testing, but we're still pushed out live.
  • The sorting and searching of access points in the software could use some work essentially, especially cap sensitive things and things like that can be a little irritating to use.
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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
Reliability and Availability
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
No answers on this topic
Cisco
We have more than 500 APs located in 50 locations. Since the implementation of the new controller, we have not observed any major problems with the operation of the WiFi network. Employees observe an improvement in the availability and operation of the network; in new locations and when modernizing existing ones, we focus primarily on a WiFi network for employees rather than a cable connection.
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Performance
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
No answers on this topic
Cisco
The performance of the cisco 9800 wireless lan controller is quite good. One of the best features is that the network can keep running even if the cisco 9800 wireless lan controller is turned off. One of the downsides is that updates are a little bit complicated where in some instances you have to rebuild the VM where it's hosted
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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
Great contact to Wireless Innovate Program Team and TAC to solve our problems.
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Alternatives Considered
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
When comparing Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access Points to Cisco Meraki MR the most significant factors are pricing and license fees. At the current cost of one Meraki MR AP, we can deploy three Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access Points, providing equivalent functionality, coverage, and performance.
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Cisco
In old Cisco-fashion, the product is very reliable, and once setup just works. While it might not have all the bells and whistles in the WebUI, like other products may have, you have complete freedom of configuration on the CLI. Overall a great improvement from older generation WLAN controllers, and all in all a well suited successor
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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
  • We did replace several WLCs in our site with a redundant [Cisco Catalyst 9800-L Wireless Controller] and saved the cost
  • [Cisco Catalyst 9800-L Wireless Controller] with IOS-XE enable us to manage APs in our branches easily, easier than AireOS
  • ISSU enable us to do firmware upgrade with minimum downtime, a site with 24/7 activity will not be interrupted anymore
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ScreenShots