Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller vs. Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller
Score 8.2 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
Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller
Score 7.6 out of 10
N/A
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller is a highly scalable, service-rich, resilient, and flexible platform. It provides centralized control, management, and troubleshooting for high-scale deployments in service provide, enterprise, and large campus deployments.N/A
Pricing
Cisco 5520 Wireless ControllerCisco 8540 Wireless Controller
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Cisco 5520 Wireless ControllerCisco 8540 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
Cisco 5520 Wireless ControllerCisco 8540 Wireless Controller
Considered Both Products
Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller

No answer on this topic

Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller
Chose Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller is an upgrade from the 5520. It has only one RU appliance when compared to the Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller, which has two. The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller connects to more access points and is a higher speed network than the 5520.
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
Cisco 5520 Wireless ControllerCisco 8540 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
Cisco 5520 Wireless ControllerCisco 8540 Wireless Controller
Likelihood to Recommend
7.9
(13 ratings)
7.4
(26 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
9.1
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Usability
-
(0 ratings)
8.2
(1 ratings)
Support Rating
9.2
(7 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
User Testimonials
Cisco 5520 Wireless ControllerCisco 8540 Wireless Controller
Likelihood to Recommend
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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Cisco
[Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller's] software quality has been shed in recent years. The only problem I have with it is its inability to work with older Cisco Access Points. However, that's to be expected for any deployment. While the controller's UI works well, some areas could be improved. API integrations lack flexibility. [I feel] it's time for policy redesign. It can be a little difficult to determine coding quality.
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Pros
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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Cisco
  • The GUI on the Cisco 8540 WLC is much better designed than other Cisco products. Its easy to navigate between the different settings to find what is needed.
  • The AP groups allows touching multiple APs at one time.
  • It also allows us to create standard SSIDs that can be used at all sites that connect back to it, this saves a lot of time instead of hitting each site with a local controller.
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Cons
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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Cisco
  • Code quality is a bit hit and miss. This will be great for a while, then things will be bad for a while, then we'll do it again. The UI of the controller works, but could do with a refresh, and I would like to see some improvement on layout and organization.
  • The constant code/firmware upgrades and the QA of new code could be better.
  • Maybe the compatibility with old Cisco Access Points could be improved, but it's normal in all kinds of deployments.
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Likelihood to Renew
Cisco
It works great and [we] will definitely renew.
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Cisco
No answers on this topic
Usability
Cisco
No answers on this topic
Cisco
Very well made product. Very stable. We have had no issues administering the 8540.
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Support Rating
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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Cisco
It is a better product. The evolution is positive.
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Alternatives Considered
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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Cisco
We have [done] some work before with the Cisco 3504 product, but the more recent Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller provides a wider range of capabilities for managing the wireless network and each individual device [and] also being able to handle more users. Unfortunately, we didn't test and deploy equivalent products from other concurrent companies.
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Return on Investment
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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Cisco
  • The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller allows you to reduce your hardware footprint of wireless controllers deployed in your environment. Instead of having a controller per site deployed, you can have a couple of 8540 controllers in your data center that can handle up 6000 Access Points.
  • Some of the savings on hardware cost is offset by the cost of redundant WAN circuits. The access points will continue to function when connectivity to the Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller is unreachable, but it will not allow any new connections in that wireless environment.
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