Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller vs. FortiAP

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller
Score 7.5 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
FortiAP
Score 4.9 out of 10
N/A
FortiAP is an access point from Fortinet.N/A
Pricing
Cisco 8540 Wireless ControllerFortiAP
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Cisco 8540 Wireless ControllerFortiAP
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 ControllerFortiAP
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
Cisco 8540 Wireless ControllerFortiAP
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 9.8 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 8540 Wireless ControllerFortiAP
Likelihood to Recommend
7.3
(26 ratings)
7.0
(2 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
-
(0 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Usability
8.2
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Support Rating
9.0
(1 ratings)
10.0
(2 ratings)
User Testimonials
Cisco 8540 Wireless ControllerFortiAP
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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Fortinet
Any rollout is well suited for a FortiAP - from small office networks, to large warehouse deployments. Adding additional APs to your network is simple and easy. Monitoring is simple with Forticloud monitoring. Configuring the devices can be as complex or as simple as you need. Adding additional Fortinet devices (I have switches and firewalls) makes the network even more secure and easy to manage - all devices working in tandem make monitoring much easier
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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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Fortinet
  • Built sturdy for harsh environments.
  • They perform and/or surpass performance levels shown on their data sheets.
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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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Fortinet
  • Deploying your first AP is a little confusing - you need to register it with Fortinet, and then deploy it. I am a master now, but this took me call to support to understand how to roll these out.
  • Adding them in to the correct folders on Forticloud took a little bit of figuring out, but again, once I had it it was simple.
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Likelihood to Renew
Cisco
No answers on this topic
Fortinet
This is an excellent product for an SMB - cost isn't outrageous and deploy is simple. I can monitor my network without breaking the bank.
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Usability
Cisco
Very well made product. Very stable. We have had no issues administering the 8540.
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Fortinet
No answers on this topic
Support Rating
Cisco
It is a better product. The evolution is positive.
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Fortinet
Fortinet support is outstanding! They are second to none. They pay attention to details and the needs of the customer.
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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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Fortinet
FortiAP does not fall short compared to other vendors. They have all the features other vendors offer at a much more competitive price-point, which makes purchasing FortiAP a lot more attractive.
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Return on Investment
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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Fortinet
  • Increased overall coverage of wireless for my users - no more calls about dropped wireless (our cell service is very spotty).
  • Easy to roll out - no issues here.
  • Expensive - you are paying for a business, not a home use devices - sticker shock might happen initially.
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