Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller vs. Cisco Aironet 2800 Series Access Points

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller
Score 8.8 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
Cisco Aironet 2800 Series Access Points
Score 8.2 out of 10
N/A
The Cisco Aironet 2800 Series Access Points is 802.11ac Wave 2 compliant and supports multiuser MIMO (MU-MIMO).N/A
Pricing
Cisco 8540 Wireless ControllerCisco Aironet 2800 Series Access Points
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Cisco 8540 Wireless ControllerCisco Aironet 2800 Series Access Points
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 8540 Wireless ControllerCisco Aironet 2800 Series Access Points
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
Cisco 8540 Wireless ControllerCisco Aironet 2800 Series Access Points
Small Businesses
Meraki MR
Meraki MR
Score 9.2 out of 10
Meraki MR
Meraki MR
Score 9.2 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.7 out of 10
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.7 out of 10
Enterprises
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.7 out of 10
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Score 9.7 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Cisco 8540 Wireless ControllerCisco Aironet 2800 Series Access Points
Likelihood to Recommend
8.7
(25 ratings)
9.3
(26 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
-
(0 ratings)
9.1
(3 ratings)
Usability
8.2
(1 ratings)
6.6
(3 ratings)
Availability
-
(0 ratings)
9.1
(2 ratings)
Performance
-
(0 ratings)
9.5
(12 ratings)
Support Rating
9.0
(2 ratings)
6.8
(4 ratings)
Implementation Rating
-
(0 ratings)
8.2
(6 ratings)
Product Scalability
-
(0 ratings)
9.4
(11 ratings)
Vendor post-sale
-
(0 ratings)
7.3
(1 ratings)
Vendor pre-sale
-
(0 ratings)
5.5
(1 ratings)
User Testimonials
Cisco 8540 Wireless ControllerCisco Aironet 2800 Series Access Points
Likelihood to Recommend
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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Cisco
Cisco Aironet 2800 Series Access Points is very well suited for large enterprises and high-density environments. It is not well suited for high ceiling buildings like warehouses and storage places because of low antenna gain. In our main office, it is working very well. For around thirty or so wireless devices this access point works very well and after forty or so wireless devices it starts to suffer.
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Pros
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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Cisco
  • It has excellent signal strength and range.
  • It achieves great Gigabit speeds with multiple users using the wireless network at the same time in multiple locations.
  • The access point rarely falls.
  • Cisco reliability for warranty and support.
  • The access point prevents and handles interference.
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Cons
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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Cisco
  • CleanAir - Put this technology into all the APs.
  • GPS Tracker - I can't understand why only the Cisco 1570 has this option as well as larger Cisco 3800 APs. Why can't this be in all APs so they can be easily mapped in Google for positioning and later plotted for the coverage zone.
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Likelihood to Renew
Cisco
No answers on this topic
Cisco
Because until now I haven't had any issues or cases where I needed to create a ticket with Tac from Cisco related to their performance or availability. They have a small size that permits or allows you to install it in each place that you need to mount it, their design is small and appropriate for every kind of office.
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Usability
Cisco
Very well made product. Very stable. We have had no issues administering the 8540.
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Cisco
Lately we had less issues. Most probably because we reduced the number of Wireless LAN controllers. So less trouble for upgrades as well. We don't have any access point in stand alone mode. It's something I don't suggest, unless it's just for a small office and not for a larger company with different sites.
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Reliability and Availability
Cisco
No answers on this topic
Cisco
This access point does not usually randomly shut off. It can't happen but it's generally due to a power over ethernet failures which would could be considered a user error.
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Performance
Cisco
No answers on this topic
Cisco
Performance wise [Cisco Aironet 2800 Series Access Points] are among of the best pieces of technology we have on premise. I don't say that lightly, we have a lot of cool tech. But if you consider how many users are connecting to these day in and day out without a single blip when they're downloading large files, roaming to new AP's or needing a boosted signal at a far end of the range then these are unmatched.
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Support Rating
Cisco
It is a better product. The evolution is positive.
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Cisco
I believe that there is always room for improvement.
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Implementation Rating
Cisco
No answers on this topic
Cisco
Make sure to get a professional wireless assessment before purchasing AP's. That way you will only purchase what you need and know where the wiring infrastructure will need to be to streamline the installation and tuning process.
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Alternatives Considered
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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Cisco
D-Link Wireless access points and D-Link Wireless controllers were being used in our organization previously. They were working well with a small number of users. But as we started to expand wireless coverage and the user base started to grow they became less efficient and frequent disconnection and low-speed issues were faced. Cisco Aironet Access points overcome these issues and have been working great in our environment.
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Scalability
Cisco
No answers on this topic
Cisco
When it comes to deploying the Cisco Aironet 2800 Series Access Points in locations around the school district it has become easier as you get used to putting 4 screws in the mounting plate to the bracket and then slide the access point onto the bracket.
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Return on Investment
Cisco
  • Network engineers find it easier to [manage] high-stress levels since they're more reliable and robust.
  • Their initial cost is very high compared to other router providers, such as Juniper.
  • Their hardware dependability can be a big drawback if you run on a budget.
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Cisco
  • The main thing is you can set them and forget about them, they don't cause a lot of problems so you can focus on other things.
  • They have performed well, in areas where we needed more APs to offload, these can handle more users.
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