Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller vs. Fortinet Wireless LAN

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller
Score 7.7 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
Fortinet Wireless LAN
Score 6.7 out of 10
N/A
Fortinet headquartered in Sunnyvale, California offers Wireless LAN products.N/A
Pricing
Cisco 8540 Wireless ControllerFortinet Wireless LAN
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Cisco 8540 Wireless ControllerFortinet Wireless LAN
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 ControllerFortinet Wireless LAN
Considered Both Products
Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller
Chose Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller
Fortinet Wireless LAN controllers offer similar features and functionality. They for the same reason as Cisco, offer a feature-rich management console, especially when parred with Fortinet networking and firewall equipment. I believe the Cisco environments are more …
Fortinet Wireless LAN

No answer on this topic

Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
Cisco 8540 Wireless ControllerFortinet Wireless LAN
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 8540 Wireless ControllerFortinet Wireless LAN
Likelihood to Recommend
7.5
(26 ratings)
8.3
(3 ratings)
Usability
8.2
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Support Rating
9.0
(1 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
User Testimonials
Cisco 8540 Wireless ControllerFortinet Wireless LAN
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
Fortinet offers great Security features and is one of the leaders on that, and integrating Wireless LAN infrastructure with Access points proved to work rather seamlessly. Ease of management, single platform and ability to customize licensing as per needs were elements in favor of adding the Wireless LAN solution from Fortinet to our security portfolio.
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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
  • Really easy to configure
  • Really easy to manage
  • Great value for price
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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
  • In the web portal, it would be nice if you could create a customer, assign that customer all the devices in the solution, and have a single pane glass to manage them all. Right now you need to access different web links to manage the devices.
  • The security feature set could be a bit more sophistication, like an Arista AP which polices the air.
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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 offers excellent support. They will work with you until the solution is doing what it is designed to do, within its capabilities. They also do an excellent to follow-up with the end-user prior to closing the ticket.
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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
as a stand-alone product, the Fortinet wireless LAN solution isn't the most powerful, nor compelling out there. Others, like Cisco Meraki, offer great products, with added wifi features at a similar price point, but where Forti shines, is when integrated into a network with firewall enablement such as FortiGate. Overall, it stacks up well with others and is a solution that needs to be evaluated in a purchasing project.
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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
  • Less management cost
  • Less expensive to buy
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ScreenShots