Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access Points vs. Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers

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 Wireless LAN Controllers
Score 8.9 out of 10
N/A
Cisco offers wireless LAN.N/A
Pricing
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco Wireless LAN 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 Wireless LAN Controllers
Considered Both Products
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access Points
Chose Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access Points
Easy to install[.]
Chose Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access Points
will post more feedback later.
Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Chose Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
I would say the Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers would be a top contender as the best enterprise wireless controller that I have used. It has so many features and settings that can be controlled compared to other vendors. The newer Cisco 9800 is a different technology. At …
Chose Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
The Cisco equipment is miles better than the comparable Aruba Networks Wireless LAN devices. I would not quite put them in the same category as not all features are comparable. You also gain a lot of support on the back end by going with a large brand like Cisco, including more …
Chose Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
We don't have an experience with another vendors in this segment; however, from the marketing materials and the demo we have seen, Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers were the best for our needs, as they provide a relatively easy deployment process and management process afterwards, …
Chose Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Regarding the Aruba system, in our environment, many more access points would be needed to cover the same area as the Cisco solution. This significantly impacted the value of the investment—more than double what we spent on the Cisco solution.
Chose Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
The solution from Aruba was more expensive at the time of the decision and Cisco wireless LAN controller know-how was already present in-house.
Chose Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Although Aruba has also a great set of hardware and software products, we already had a big Cisco investment in access-points that would only work with Cisco Wireless LAN controllers, so it was a natural path. We have also a big Cisco switching platform that works very well …
Chose Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Aruba Controller and it APs provided fewer features when it came to security and RRM. It couldn't scale and its GUI was not user-friendly at all. Meraki is our obvious choice when it comes to SMB, or managed WiFi for small enterprises. But with Meraki, only the control traffic …
Chose Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
I think Cisco WLCs have more options and more capability than Aruba.
Chose Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Aruba has some strengths compared to Cisco's wireless technology. When thinking about the features, Aruba has driven the enterprise wireless sector for a long time with a strong feature strength. There is not much difference these days, but Aruba still has some features like …
Chose Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Aruba controllers provide similar functionality to Cisco WLC. However, the Cisco web UI is a little easier to set up a new wireless LAN for new users.
Chose Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Xirrus/Aruba have interesting deployment methods. Their functionality is largely plug-and-play. They are less complicated to set up but still have similar functionality to Cisco.
Chose Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Cisco Wireless LAN controllers are very reliable, provide ease of managing multiple Access Points, and compared to other name brand Wireless LAN controllers, I found Cisco's be among the best . While Cisco can be more expensive, you get what you pay for, a more reliable …
Chose Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Aruba has some strong points than Cisco wireless. When you think of features, Aruba has driven the enterprise wireless sector for a long time with a rich feature set. Not much that difference in these days but Aruba still has some niche features like User-based firewall and …
Chose Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers
Aerohive is decent but used to be very buggy and support is poor. We actually use them for remote access more than wireless. I've used Aruba previously (4+ years ago), and it was more complex and expensive to manage, but was very feature-rich and had good monitoring. For our …
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco Wireless LAN Controllers
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 Wireless LAN Controllers
Likelihood to Recommend
9.8
(14 ratings)
9.5
(66 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
-
(0 ratings)
7.3
(1 ratings)
Usability
9.0
(1 ratings)
6.4
(2 ratings)
Availability
-
(0 ratings)
8.2
(1 ratings)
Performance
-
(0 ratings)
8.2
(1 ratings)
Support Rating
8.2
(4 ratings)
8.2
(4 ratings)
Implementation Rating
-
(0 ratings)
7.3
(1 ratings)
Configurability
-
(0 ratings)
7.3
(1 ratings)
Ease of integration
-
(0 ratings)
8.2
(1 ratings)
Product Scalability
-
(0 ratings)
7.3
(1 ratings)
Vendor post-sale
-
(0 ratings)
8.2
(1 ratings)
Vendor pre-sale
-
(0 ratings)
8.2
(1 ratings)
User Testimonials
Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access PointsCisco Wireless LAN 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
In a corporate environment that requires strong security and the ability to block / allow a large variety of users, the Cisco Wireless platform excels. The system is extremely robust and can provide literally a blanket of coverage, with very good performance. They also offer external/out doors access points which provide excellent performance. Because the system is well built and designed, you often go through the lifetime of the product (you really need to apply updates) with very little issues. However, when you reach the end of the support life on the box, it is not cheap at all to upgrade/replace. You really need to keep an eye on the current life cycle and plan accordingly for a replacement date and fund.
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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's Cisco and like all our other Cisco products, chiefly switches, once you get it set up to your liking, it just runs itself after that. The reliability factor has been huge for us.
  • Ease in deploying new APs has been nice. We have a DNS record (and DHCP Option 43 as a fallback) that helps new AP find the WLC. The WLC takes it from there.
  • Good monitoring of connections, kicking people off, [and] blocking certain MACs are all useful features.
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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
  • Configuring wireless settings is very confusing because various settings are scattered all over the interface in different tabs
  • Lots of settings use Cisco's technical verbiage rather than common phrasing, so it's confusing what a lot of settings will do and requires researching the meaning before modifying the setting
  • The interface could be easier to use to do simple tasks such as reboot an access point
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Likelihood to Renew
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
No answers on this topic
Cisco
Although it is a very good product, support is easy and can manage by Level 1 support persons and downtime is too much less but still there is a cost factor matters which is consider by each organization. Furthermore, organizations also compare with other competitors so it is hard to pursue and defend the high prices.
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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
As I said before, the only thing we miss in our old model is the fact that the management interface never received an improvement in design. It has the same look and feels since it was launched. It's not that it's hard to use. It's just the case of could be modernized.
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Reliability and Availability
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
No answers on this topic
Cisco
Downtime fear is the first fear which IT persons look and want to eliminate as much as they can but eventually you have to face it as nothing is perfect. Cisco Wireless Lan controller are feasible to use and easy to manage and other than this their issue reported are pretty low so you can get the best up time. now it also depends on scenario as well as environment.
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Performance
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
No answers on this topic
Cisco
Cisco Wireless Lan controller are feasible to use and easy to manage and other than this their issue reported are pretty low so you get the better uptime. if your get the uptime then it means its a stable product in your environment. Product performance also depends on the product management and Cisco Wireless Lan controller management is easy so you can get the great output.
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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
As usual, the support from Cisco's TAC (Technical Assistance Center) is lacking. Granted, they always get the job done, but the amount of lead time on a non-emergency is enough to make you just handle it yourself. The good news is that if you ask for Cisco's assistance and forget about it, they'll jump on by the time you've forgotten where you were in troubleshooting it and have it fixed for you.
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Implementation Rating
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
No answers on this topic
Cisco
That was a great experience of having a new project and working on it. Although we got some hurdles and challenges but we overcome all the things and try to work efficiently for this. in this time Cisco support team also helps a lot an give pro tips which help us.
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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
The Aironet access points are used for employee WiFi access, and they integrate well with Meraki. They would offer a separate guest network, too, but the decision was made to physically separate the guest network, so even if a bad actor would gain access to the ethernet port of the AP, they'd still not see any company traffic.
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Scalability
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
No answers on this topic
Cisco
Cisco is a brand name and people trust on it. if any one thing about the networking then Cisco is among those brand which is count as trusted brand and people rely on it. Also it support is good so people can use it. Cisco Wireless Lan controller are easy to use and manage so it requires less effort.
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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
  • Positive impact 1. Our employees are able to move around anywhere in our 12-story building and have access to our corporate network. Employees are not tied down to an office and can easily move around to meetings and stay connected.
  • Because the equipment is so reliable, we do not have any unscheduled outages. Employees come in the building and connect without issues and have a sense that the wireless network "Just Simply Works."
  • When performing network maintenance, I usually have to block out several ours for our maintenance window. Upgrades sometimes do not go as smoothly as planned. This can be frustrating for the engineer.
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