Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller

Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller

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Score 8.6 out of 100
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Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller

Overview

Recent Reviews

Reliable Wireless Solution

9 out of 10
December 14, 2020
Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller has been a part of our IT infrastructure for more than 2 years now. We are mainly using it to manage our entire …
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Cisco Wireless Solutions

9 out of 10
November 08, 2019
It is used across our remote locations in Central America, including using local switching and AP 1852 connected to the WLC.
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Pricing

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What is Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller?

The Cisco 3504 Wireless (WLAN) Controller provides centralized control, management, and troubleshooting for small to medium-sized enterprises and branch offices.

Entry-level set up fee?

  • No setup fee

Offerings

  • Free Trial
  • Free/Freemium Version
  • Premium Consulting / Integration Services

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Features Scorecard

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Product Details

What is Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller?

A 802.11ac Wave 2 solution. Boasting a small form factor and a lot of punch, the 3504 controllers can manage a user's network but won’t take a lot of space doing so.

Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller Features

  • Supported: Enhanced security
  • Supported: Network stability
  • Supported: Connectivity
  • Supported: Network monitoring and analysis
  • Supported: Network Management
  • Supported: Secure access

Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller Competitors

Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller Technical Details

Operating SystemsUnspecified
Mobile ApplicationNo

Frequently Asked Questions

The Cisco 3504 Wireless (WLAN) Controller provides centralized control, management, and troubleshooting for small to medium-sized enterprises and branch offices.

Cisco Meraki Wireless Access Point, Aruba Instant Wi-Fi Access Points, and Ubiquiti Wireless WAN are common alternatives for Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller.

Reviewers rate Support Rating highest, with a score of 9.

The most common users of Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller are from Enterprises (1,001+ employees) and the Information Technology & Services industry.
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Comparisons

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Reviews and Ratings

 (103)

Ratings

Reviews

(1-17 of 17)
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Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Cisco has a huge experience crafting Wireless LAN Controller and this one is one the little flagship of the company. It addresses many business problems. It's Cisco and you can surely use their comfortable graphic user interface. The operating system used is the same for all the wlc lines and you can start to operate in minutes.
  • Strong wireless LAN control
  • Easy to add new Access Points
  • Easy to find rogue APs
  • Some issue between GUI and CLI
  • GUI need a style refresh
  • Debug is a true option only from cli
The Cisco Wireless LAN Controller 3504 is a small-medium controller best suited in a small environment where a dense AP presence is not the best option. If you have some AP, no anchor controller you can easily integrate this small one into a Cisco wifi controlled system, with Cisco ISE for instance acting as radius server and Portal Guest.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Currently, we utilize Cisco 3504 for small to medium-sized wireless deployments for our customer's wireless deployments where the total number is around 10-100 Apps. Primarily just for managing the access points centrally. Makes changes and deployments very easy and saves time. A more robust solution than the outgoing 2504.
  • High Availability.
  • Centralized Management.
  • Guest Wifi.
  • Cisco Reliability.
  • Microsoft AD integration would be nice.
  • license model is still bad.
  • Pricing is still on the extreme high side of the market.
Seems to work extremely well for small to mid-size implementations. We have not set up over 100 Apps, so it's possible it may work well for large networks as well, but the cost would be an issue for us. We definitely enjoy the centralized management functionality and age-old cisco hardware reliability, with no issues in almost 5 years.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller acts as the main WLAN controller for warehouses providing them with a WiFi network and allowing for 24/7 operation.
  • Well known interface
  • Reliable AP monitoring
  • Almost zero effort AP provisioning
  • Outdated GUI
  • Many features are hard to find
  • Monitoring features are lacking
If you are using Cisco routing and switching to Cisco Wireless WLAN Controller seems like the best choice. It can be used as a hub located in a data center that is managing access points in branch offices or you can use them per location. The less appropriate option might be remote locations without access to shared services where SDWAN solutions like Cisco Meraki might be a better option
Roni Peterson Alvarenga | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Our organization needed a corporate wireless network where it could perform authentication via Radius/NPAS, access network segmentation, and stability and reliability. Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller has provided us with such functionality in a robust and reliable way. We were already using the previous version of the solution, the Cisco 2504 controllers, so keeping the same solution, just upgrading it was the most coherent way.
  • Authentication with Radius/NPAS
  • Authentication with Radius/NPAS
  • QoS in different situations
  • The interface needs improvement, it is still complex to find some functions quickly
  • The price of the product is still a big limiter
  • The fragility of its physical structure, any impact, which is a little stronger, can cause damage to the product
Suitable:
Organizations that need greater security; need clear segmentations and unique accesses. Companies that appreciate quality and agile user service.

Unsuitable:
Small businesses that don't need so much robustness in their wireless network. Environments that do not prioritize the use of a wireless network or that use it only as an auxiliary environment.
Bhupesh Pant | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I'm a big fan of the brand Cisco, and I'm always looking for ways to improve my wireless network at home and in our office. I was tired of the wireless network that didn't work well in my house, so I began to look for a new model of a wireless access point to solve the problem. I came to the conclusion that the Cisco 3504 provided the best solution, and I bought it. I'm buying it because it is the best wireless access point on the market and it is the most reliable. I had to change some new APs, and it helped me solve the problem in less than half an hour
  • I had to change some new APs and it helped me solve the problem in less than half an hour
  • Cisco 3504 wlan controller is a new generation wireless controller that can control up to 3504 access points and is made up of the latest technology. It's easy to use and configure, and allows you to control your wireless network from anywhere.
  • I must say that I am impressed with the Cisco WLC 5520. The wireless network is very important for us. We have about 1000 clients and we work in several offices. With this device we are able to control, manage and administer all the wireless networks of the company in a very efficient way.
  • I have been using the Cisco 3504 wlan controller for about 1 years now. I have found it to be very reliable, but cumbersome to setup and configure. The GUI is not very user friendly, but if you configure it a few times you get used to it. It is lacking in some of the latest features that are offered by other vendors. The power usage is pretty good and the amount of AP's you can add is pretty standard
  • Cisco is everywhere. If you are looking for WLAN, Switching, or other related products, Cisco is the 800 pound gorilla in the room. With this in mind, you'd figure that their wireless controller would be their flagship product, right? Unfortunately, this is not the case. For the price point, the 3504 is a pretty lackluster product.
  • I was given the task to setup a new wifi network in a very large building. With many departments and a complicated layout, we needed to have a solid router to handle all of the network traffic and throughput. I was given the task to find a reliable, robust and cost-effective solution. With the Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller, I was easily able to setup an autonomous access point with a few clicks. The cloud based controller software was easy to use and had many features I was able to utilize and control, all other things are perfect .
I was given the task to setup a new wifi network in a very large building. With many departments and a complicated layout, we needed to have a solid router to handle all of the network traffic and throughput. I was given the task to find a reliable, robust and cost-effective solution. With the Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller, I was easily able to setup an autonomous access point with a few clicks. The cloud based controller software was easy to use and had many features I was able to utilize and control.

Nathan Linkon | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller is a Wireless LAN Tool [that] we have been using in our organization for [a] long time. We also have wireless applications as well in our business. I believe that this [product] has solved all our [space problems] and [not] meeting on a frequent basis. Altogether, as our organization is bigger in size, [...] this software just seamlessly integrates and accommodates users too. I feel that the support being offered to users, including me, is quite satisfactory. [...] Even when I am in need, they send engineers [...] to fix it who have the right expertise, knowledge, and experience to do this. The support team also has some very effective equipment, which is also very good.
  • [...] One thing which always fascinated me is the user interface because it is very friendly in nature.
  • Also, with this tool, [my team and I] have started feeling more secure and safe because this platform does not require any such implementation. [A]ll the security patches happen on their own.
  • One of the main pros of this app is that because it is so compact, it makes this platform a very good travel option. [I]t is also portable [and] can be easily carried anywhere.
  • In spite of all the good things, I personally feel that it would have been much better if [...] there was a slightly easier experience [during access lists] overall.
  • Moreover, sometimes with this platform it becomes a little tricky to use the product.
  • Also, whenever someone makes a new firmware change, it [...] changes the software and makes the chance of templates almost impossible.
I would highly recommend this software to others because, first things first, it has so many numerous features which cater to different people and different businesses. Even this Cisco [3504 WLAN Controller] has some very light access points, which [is why] I think this is a good platform. [...] You should definitely try [Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller] out. When it comes to the support team here, I would like to say that this platform [offers] the world’s best wireless tools out there.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Moving from multiple wireless routers to a single Cisco 3504 controller was a breathtaking decision, it optimized our network in multiple ways such as network traffic, network monitoring, network stability and enhanced security and using the DNA features provides better management of user profile, groups and end points, we got a secure network access throughout the organization.
  • It comes with many inbuilt features so you don't need a separate monitoring or managing tools i.e. Cisco Clean Air Technology provides better network stability and security.
  • Cisco DNA SD Access makes it easier to manage user profile and groups.
  • It supports more than 100 AP and up to 3000.
  • Disaster management and auto recovery.
  • Lacking integration with third party software i.e. not Microsoft Active Directory.
  • There is a space for improvements for monitoring dashboard.
Suitable for detail network monitoring and analysis, managing high volume of users and for smooth network connectivity and power saving.
There is always a room for improvement in terms of integrating with new software or products and customization to meet upcoming customer requirements, better for indoor use can be optimized for outdoor use.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We are currently using the Cisco 3504 WLAN controller as our controller for guest wireless. We have the controller in our DMZ and use it as a foreign controller which connects to an anchor controller. We then use Cisco ISE to do the guest wireless authentication. This works really well for us and we have been very pleased.
  • The Cisco 3504 WLAN has a very easy to use GUI interface that makes it easy to configure.
  • We feel secure running this controller since Cisco is good about putting security patches out regularly
  • Integrating with Cisco light weight access points seems seamless and has been extremely easy
  • It would be nice if creating access lists were a little easier on the 3504.
Since we have nothing but Cisco lightweight access points in our environment, this controller is the best suited for us. The interaction between the controller and APs works really well. We are able to have our controller located in our datacenter and we have APs throughout the state that are able to connect back to the controller. We are able to manage everything from a central location which makes life easier for all of us. Users are able to go to any of our locations and automatically connect to the wifi and get to everything they need to.
Duncan Hernandez | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Cisco controllers have been around our company longer than I have. From my experience, it is great at managing our wireless networks. The biggest worry is security and those settings can be a hassle, but I think Cisco does a great job at the management options surrounding that. Managing our users has been easy as well.
  • Responsiveness
  • Mobility
  • Centralized management
  • Keeps getting more expensive.
  • Firewalls for guests.
  • Unified code.
Switching controllers is the biggest upside as these don't last forever. It's great that you can manage multiple sites from one controller and you don't have to configure each location one at a time. If you absolutely must have firewalls on guests, it may not be the best, but this is a really unlikely scenario.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We purchased the Cisco 3504 Series Wireless LAN Controller as a direct upgrade and replacement for an older 2000 series model. It was purchased to increase our WLAN deployment and get some much-needed performance increase. We are using it at multiple sites as a way to manage, upgrade, and configure Cisco access points.
  • The user interface is faster and more responsive than the previous model.
  • Well built and sturdy hardware.
  • Included racking equipment was a nice touch.
  • This generation, the prices on these seem to have increased.
  • Cisco could do a better job of phone support.
  • Also they still seem to lack their Cisco touch when it comes to licensing.
The 3500 series is something I would recommend to just about any business looking to manage their Cisco access points in a smoother and faster way. Rolling out a large amount of AP's in a short amount of time is probably the best part of the WLC system. As well as keeping up with a demanding workforce.
Umair Ali Khan | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller has been a part of our IT infrastructure for more than 2 years now. We are mainly using it to manage our entire wireless network including our head office and remote offices. All our access points are registered on it and we can view and control all our wireless users from a single dashboard.
We have two units in a HA pair and they have been working fine since the deployment.
  • Centralized management of Access points and WLANs
  • Centralized Management of users
  • Single pane of view for all wireless statistics
  • Auto Failover
  • Backed by Cisco's global support
  • Auto configuration backup is not available
  • OS upgrade in a HA pair
  • Better searching option in mac address filter list
  • Direct integration with microsoft AD without using ISE
Cisco has a wide range of wireless controllers and 3504 is the entry level controller. It can support up to 150 Access points. Therefore it is very well suited for medium sized enterprises , however small businesses can also use it in their networks but it is not so light on the budget and small businesses will find it very expensive.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
It's the main controller for our WiFi solution. Used across all branches and multiple offices. The main problem it solves is central WLC for AP which are in remote locations. Adding prime solution with WLC helps to understand the reporting of wireless users and WiFi usage patterns. Being small and lightweight its most efficient WLC out there.
  • AP management.
  • Guest WiFi solution.
  • User reporting.
  • User or client roaming.
  • More AP support.
  • Integration with firewall for Guest WiFi.
  • GUI could be improved.
Good for streaming telemetry. It's well suited for Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and Guest WiFi solution. For small offices and remote sites you can use Bonjour and Chromecast services as well. Same controller can act as centralized mode for campus environments and for lean branches deployments. It's not suited for large multi campus environments.
Cisco TAC is well known and SLA levels are great. Cisco support website and Cisco communities are another help for issues resolution. TAC is always supportive over Webex and helps to resolve issues pretty fast. This is another assurance for people to go with Cisco as the TAC capabilities are proven for all product lines.
Benjamín Marrón Rojas | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
As Cisco Partners, in our organization we have already implemented several 3504 devices for our small clients that do not need more than 120 Access Points. The problems solved by the 3504 controller are communication between all departments of the organization, focusing on mobility without the need to be physically in your workplace.
  • Mobility. There is no need to have wired devices.
  • High Availibility. By implementing two WLC 3504 we can create a solution that is redundant of the SSO type.
  • Easy to Deploy. Simply connect the equipment and through a wizard and we configure the WLC.
  • I think that the price is a little bit expensive in comparision with other vendors.
  • Maybe need to add a redundant power supply.
  • Maybe better time for booting the WLC.
The scenarios in which we could use the 3504 controller could be many, based on the size of the company or the place where it is intended to be placed. Since the WLC 3504 is limited to 150 Access Points and 3000 clients or connections we can say that it is It is better to implement this type of solution with small to medium-sized clients. If a higher density of users is required, a more robust equipment would be need to cover the total capacity for the wirelessly connected devices.
The support for this equipment is very good because they provide support only from engineers specialized in each area, and if necessary, the issue is scaled with another area for a solution. On the other hand they can attend to you 24 hours a day and if your device has a hardware-related issue, they send you a new device the next day so you have the least amount of disruption of service.
November 08, 2019

Cisco Wireless Solutions

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
It is used across our remote locations in Central America, including using local switching and AP 1852 connected to the WLC.
  • Simple to use.
  • Clean air technology.
  • No failures so far!
  • Licensing price is high.
  • Not fully compatible with DNA.
It is well suited for both local and remote branches and uses.
We have had no issues so far, so there has been no need to contact support.
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We started to globally deploy Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller (WLC) when 2504 went end of life. With a WLC it's possible to centrally manage all the access points of one or more sites. This makes management more convenient. So instead of configuring each single AP, it's possible to modify everything in just one place, such as firmware upgrades and that means fewer costs for maintenance.
  • Central management
  • High availability
  • CLI
  • Sometimes with the GUI it's not easy for a new deployment, so we often use CLI
  • Every new firmware changes the order of the CLI configuration making upload of a template impossible
  • They could make a similar code of IOS, in order to unify commands
Best use for a 3504 WLAN Controller is in a data center or in general in central and strategic sites, to control all the local and branch access points. I suggest creating a proper design considering that the maximum number of access points is 150. Avoid installing too many WLC or too few, otherwise, it would mean a waste of money.
This can open an entire chapter, since it's related to the Cisco TAC. It really depends who is taking charge of the ticket, but in general my experience is not that good since it's not easy to find a good engineer for wireless support. More often I found more skilled people while I was handling ISE issues.
September 05, 2019

Cisco WLC 3504 Review

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Reseller
Review Source
We currently use the Cisco 3504 for small to medium sized wireless deployments for our customer's wireless deployments. We haven't utilized the integration with SD-Access and DNA Center yet but plan to in the near future. We have been replacing the older 2500 series WLCs with these to get the added throughput and additional visibility they offer.
  • Centralized Management of wireless APs
  • Added visibility and analytics on traffic and utilization
  • Enhanced GUI thats easier to use and provides more details than its predecssors
  • Faster AP failover in the event you lose a controller
  • Would be nice to see SFP+ ports instead of 1 mGig port for additional connectivity options
  • The upgrade process could be more streamlined like Meraki where you can do everything from the GUI instead of having to login to Cisco.com, find the new version, upload it, etc.
The 3504 is great for mid size wireless deployments where you don't expect the number of APs to exceed 100. The platform is much faster than then older 2504 and have added a bunch of enhancements. I wouldn't recommend this for enterprise deployments due to its scalability. For deployments that scale multiple sites we have used a mix of 3504s and Meraki deployments.
The GUI is easier to navigate as compared to the 2504. Also the responsiveness of the GUI, the quicker failover capabilities and the enhanced visibility are all major improvements over the previous generation WLC.
As expected the support from TAC is second to none. Great for troubleshooting, configuration and hardware replacement if required.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use the 3504 as our foreign anchor to another institution's controller. So we can have shared access points, they are sending our wifi out, and on the way, anchoring the traffic to our controller. Its smart simple and working very well. And compared to its former model 2504, it is better because It supports SSO witch we also have configured.
  • Form factor
  • Capacity
  • Function level
  • When I have a 5g port why not also have a 10 g port?
The controller is good for sites where you have up to 150 access points, which is the maximum it can handle. Or, it will anchor the guest traffic out to the DMZ zone from other controllers. It can also be used for FlexConnect remote sites as the controller the APs are connecting to.
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