Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller

Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller

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Score 8.8 out of 100
Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller

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9 out of 10
October 22, 2021
Cisco Routers are considered the best Routers. [They] provide a lot in Routing & Throughput Services. I have used Cisco Routers for the …
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What is Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller?

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.

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Product Details

What is Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller?

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.

Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller Technical Details

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Reviews and Ratings

 (48)

Ratings

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(1-25 of 27)
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Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We are using Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller across the whole organization as a router for ensuring the best wireless connectivity among all departments and all cloud resources. It has resolved most of our networking and cloud connectivity issues. It has also eliminated our issues related to bandwidth and uptime. It is providing us uninterrupted connectivity to our databases and other cloud resources at faster speeds and [with] ultimate security. Overall, we found it a very economical solution.
  • Faster access to the databases
  • Faster access to cloud resources
  • Very good uptime
  • Bandwidth issues eradicated
  • Uninterrupted connectivity
  • Ultimate security
  • Lacks in VPN protocols
I recommend using Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller as an economical solution for assurance of best wireless connectivity across departments and cloud resources. It can resolve most of the networking and cloud connectivity-related issues. It can also eliminate the issues related to bandwidth. It can provide uninterrupted connectivity to cloud resources and databases at high speed with security.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use the 8540 Cisco Wireless Controller to manage our wireless access points throughout the campus. The controller makes it easy to manage the over 600 access points we have. the controller integrates with our Cisco prime infrastructure and allows us to easily see coverage and bandwidth problems. The scope of our wireless service covers all students faculty and staff including visitors when on campus for various events.
  • Manages multiple access points.
  • Easily push out WAP code updates.
  • Easily deploy new SSIds.
  • Easier to integrate with Cisco ACS.
  • Redundant power supplies.
  • Third party integrations.
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller is well suited to manage and support a very large and complex wireless infrastructure. It is a stable platform that is able to communicate with a wide variety of cisco access point models. It may not be well suited for a small organization with inexperienced networking or wireless engineers.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Cisco Routers are considered the best Routers. [They] provide a lot in Routing & Throughput Services. I have used Cisco Routers for the configuration of Site to Site VPN for secure connection to our sub-branches, which provides a secure network over the organization. Also, it is used for providing DHCP options for access points and LAN users. Hence, it serves a secure connection and provides [the] best security on a network.
  • Throughput of the interface is excellent.
  • [It] supports multiple routing protocols.
  • [It] provides good bandwidth.
  • [It is] easy to configure.
  • It provides [a] limited number of ports. For multiple networks, we need to add extra interface.
  • [It is] costly compared to other similar products available in [the] market.
I would ask users [that] if [they were] looking for the most reliable and trustworthy router solution, then I will strongly recommend [they] go with the Cisco [8540 Wireless Controller]. The [Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller] provides a secured network [and is] easy to configure so that beginners can easily manage the device.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use Cisco routers in our projects mostly because they’re known for better resource management over better wireless connectivity. [The] Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller provides control, management, and diagnosing under one roof for service providers and large project deployments. [The] Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller offers the pliability to support various deployment modes in the same controller. Also, this can be a very economical solution as it provides consecutive connectivity to network databases and other resources in the cloud efficiently with more secure packets.
  • Super scalability with the support [of] over 1000 access points and over 15000 clients
  • Integrated services for application control and transparency and software-based segmentation with accuracy
  • Ability to develop highly secure mobile server strategy and infrastructure with available services
  • Implementation cost is high.
  • [The] user interfaces seem old-fashioned and can be improved.
  • Their Software Defined Networking approach is good, but slowly evolving.
In general, Cisco routers contain many varieties which cover every possible networking environment and usage. Cisco routers can be used for small companies and office rooms, larger enterprises, industrial data centers, and other cloud service providers. Also, Cisco CCNA is widely popular among networking certifications so many professionals are widely available for service. Reliability and robustness are key features when it comes to networking. I think Cisco is doing a great job by proving over and over becoming the market leader.
Nilufa Hossain | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Since its beginnings, the Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller has served as our router for wireless connectivity to the company's networks. We use it throughout the organization and have solved spare capacity and cloud connectivity concerns for critical components, such as servers and databases. Cisco [8540] Wireless Controller is the most comprehensive and it’s what I’ve been using. As compared with other manufacturer's products, it offers advanced functionality and integration. It comes with excellent documentation and is easy to understand. Even the oldest controllers can still support the latest APs. It works thanks to the Cisco infrastructure. It can deliver high performance when the Wi-Fi tuning is done correctly.
  • The installation and maintenance of the wireless network are straightforward and reliable.
  • It can handle more than a thousand APs simultaneously without compromising network performance. Additionally, it allows us to have full control and flexibility over all access points.
  • Many cloud connectivity issues have been addressed, including multi-protocol compatibility with security features.
  • Wireless range should be extended and pricing should [possibly] be reconsidered for some organizations.
  • Some complex configurations can be hard to get and set up without professional assistance.
  • The location of the device can have a significant effect on the wireless signal. Some VPN solutions may be available by default.
[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.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The [Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller]s are being implemented and are used across our organization. It has solved our problem of weak and slow internet. After using Cisco Router, we are having fun with the fast speed network access [now that] it has become easy for us to perform our tasks. In short, it is a perfect solution to address all the network-related business problems like security.
  • We can prioritize the traffic that is beneficial for us and limit unwanted traffic.
  • The network [is] pretty reliable and, above all, the most secure.
  • The routing protocols are easily managed and supported using Cisco.
  • Documentation
  • Pricing
  • Prolonged installation time
For our setup this router is perfect. Companies [that want] to have advanced network management should go for it and [also anyone who] wants to make a better connection between the main office and other departments as well. It is not so appropriate for large firms and with many complex networks and the price makes it a bit absurd.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The IT department of our organization [has been] using [the] Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller since last year for providing wireless connectivity and resolution of networking issues among all departments in our organization. It is highly efficient to eliminate bandwidth-related issues and provides fast connectivity to our databases deployed on cloud infrastructure. It ensures network security and fast network speed. It is, overall, an economical solution against its latest and modern alternatives.
  • [It provides] network security.
  • [It provides] faster network speed.
  • Price is economical against its modern alternatives.
  • [It is] scalable to match the change in requirements.
  • [It offers] excellent network performance.
  • [It has] excellent connectivity to the cloud resources.
  • Built-in VPN protocols are necessary but missing.
I definitely recommend using Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller for providing wireless connectivity and resolution of networking issues. It can eliminate all bandwidth-related issues and provide faster connectivity to cloud infrastructures. The network security and fast network speed are few among many benefits of using it. It is quite economical against [the] latest and modern alternative products.
Aatif Nizami | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller is a router that is used in my company for all wireless connectivity for the last few years. By using this router, I always had a fast connection even at the highest data traffic times. We can easily manage all the access points in the network using this wireless controller. We can connect centrally with all access points.
  • It is easy to manage and configure [the] wireless connection.
  • It [provides] great network security while using this router.
  • Multiple SSIDs can be created.
  • [The] range of this router is high [so that it can] connect easily.
  • [The] cost is [a] little high as well as maintenance.
  • Proper training [is] required to use.
  • [The] setup and configuration of the router require a skilled person.
  • [The] reboot option should be improved when moving [from] the idle state.
We can use this router for all network wireless connectivity. This will help us allow multiple users access [to] the same internet. We can create different networks for different domains like HR, Admin, operation, etc. through different SSID creation.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
This product is currently being used by the Accounting department on campus. It's primarily used to address all of the department's connection needs. We can get more information for the required MAC Address of the users/clients on the current session. We can set it up based on our requirements and have our own restrictions and grant access for a particular MAC address or a user.
  • Strong reliable connection
  • User-friendly GUI
  • Good overall cost of the device
  • The Wireless Range could be wider.
  • The positioning of the device has great effect on the wireless signal.
  • It can be hard to setup.
It is well suited for big wide-open areas with few walls blocking the wireless signal from the device to the end-user. It is not very suited for offices with lots of walls and closed spaces as the signal can sometimes bounce [off] the walls if there is [a lot] of electrical wiring [in] them. [However,] it's to be expected as most wifi solutions have these issues.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller has been used by our organization for many years as our main router for wireless connectivity of our employees' systems. It is used by the whole organization and efficiently solved the bandwidth issues and cloud connectivity of major accessories like servers, databases, etc. I had a great experience overall by using it, as I always had a fast connection even at the highest data traffic times.
  • It uses the latest wifi 6 specifications, which include improved bandwidth.
  • It has the capacity of more than a thousand APs at a time without degrading the network capabilities.
  • It effectively solved many problems with cloud connectivity [and] no major notable issues in our system.
  • [It doesn't] have built-in VPN protocols.
  • [I would appreciate] per-device usage logs of particular applications.
This is best suited where we want to work [and] in an environment that does not cause us to lose our unsaved work due to irregular internet connectivity outages. Also, it is made on a very secure platform. It is less appropriate where we have a small number of devices [as] the price does not justify the use of such a powerful solution.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
These routers are best in terms of security and network speed. This series of routers gives some of the best features, like high performance and high density. [They] provide excellent scalability and are also very good economically. They are designed and programmed in such a way that they won’t allow traffic from unwanted sources, like outsiders and cyber hackers.
  • Connectivity speed
  • Secure connection
  • Efficient and effective
  • Not easy to configure on your own
  • [A] bit costly for small enterprises
  • Sophisticated and complex to install
This is best suited where you want to work in an environment that does not cause you [to] lose your work [or have it] unsaved due to irregular internet connectivity [and] outages. Also, it is made on a very secure platform. Your network is safe from unwanted hacking. It is almost impossible to penetrate into [the] network operating on Cisco routers.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller is one of the best things to get a good wireless experience on Windows, iOS, and Android. I have worked mostly on Windows for last four years and never experienced any compromise on speed for all the access points. This can be a more valuable way to monitor any access point and manage it. It has a leading position in the queue due to flexible RF settings. When we use the second-layer redundancy, we are unable to connect to a secondary wireless LAN controller over UI.
  • Wireless management
  • You can upgrade different modes within the same controller
  • Interface is user friendly
  • This is quite expensive
  • Most of the time if errors occur, it gives very few details about them
We can see the traffic flow to the wireless LAN controller and can get full details about the user and at which frequency and AP they are connected. It is user friendly to most of the configurations (e.g., HA configuration, global configuration of AP, etc.). Sometimes it needs more than one refresh to get the data populated in some browsers.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller is being used to monitor and access APs within the network and office. It's monitored and maintained by the IT department but we have guest networks that users connect to. So any issues go through IT. It makes management a whole lot easier.
  • Monitoring
  • Security
  • Deployment
  • Cost
  • Implementation
  • Setup
For a bigger large-scale company with multiple network layers and levels that cause issues for monitoring and implementing the wireless solution. Best for businesses with many access points, larger teams, and more technical savvy.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller is high speed controller for networking mostly for large organizations.With flex connect, it is used with access points for many big groups in our organization. Its highly secure wireless and guest access is very secure. Its interface is very easy to adapt and is very secure. It allows for deploying multiple access points, which is a great pro for a WLAN.
  • Supports a large number of access points that help us quickly manage Cisco configurable points and resolve technical issues.
  • We can have a Cisco-supported WAN with maximum customization in its configuration; if the connection for the servers is down, it would not be too much trouble to navigate the system controller.
  • It supports smart networks, which is also an excellent quality of this wireless controller.
  • We have multiple units--one is active and others are for backup. We are able to control entire wireless network without any interruptions. Everything is implemented automatically and optimally.
  • 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.
It's well suited where the company or the organization has a large group of access points. The controller should be compatible with other groups also. The secured system for guest access is also great.
João Almeida | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller to centrally manage a WiFi network for a Smart City project in Portugal. It is being used by our research lab to measure mobility statistics and other parameters, besides providing free network access to the population in the area where the project was deployed (in a coastal region).
  • Easy to setup and deploy the wireless network.
  • Full control and customization of all Access Points.
  • Security features and multi-protocol support.
  • Price can be a little bit overwhelming for some organizations.
  • Some advanced configurations are not easy to grasp without support.
  • There could be some VPN solutions embedded by default.
In case one needs to manage a complex network with a significant number of access points, Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller is an appropriate solution since it can handle well a large amount of nodes and allows a detailed and customized configuration of each one of the APs in an individual way. For a small number of devices, the price does not justify of use of such powerful solution.
Christopher J Evans | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller is one of the best for high-scale network deployments. We use the Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller on our company grounds for various needs as our enterprise network architecture involves both end-users (employees) and IoT devices. While employees need wireless access with their laptops, the logistics department requires wireless access for their handheld inventory devices to keep track of in and out inventory. Consequently, the Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller is used across the whole company.

The initial deployment process is quick and easily adaptable to current architecture with its programmability functions. Flexible on centralized architecture for defining guest access to temporary network members. Finally, Cisco name makes us feel more secure as it is the sector leader in the network infrastructure market.


  • Guest access deployment is useful--in particular, to keep non-members out of the main network backbone while you still give guests access flexibility.
  • Increased end-point visibility--It is vital for the cyber-sec team with its centralized rule pushing and log records across the whole wireless backbone.
  • Device classification and user groups. Company-owned desktops and laptops, handheld logistics devices (IoT), and employee-owned devices are all easily managed with specific network rules and policies.
  • Cisco DNA support--allows us to easily manage the network devices.
  • Scalable up to thousands of end-point devices with no performance lost.
  • Initial warranty term could be more extensive.
Definetely for medium to large enterprises. If your company grounds are spread out on a large area or a campus, the Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller would be the proper wireless network solution. It provides lots of Cisco network and security capabilities. If you have fewer than 500 devices on your network, you could go for cheaper options.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use the Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller at the organization level for wireless connectivity and data control. It is an exceptional tool with a lot of benefits and fits our needs well, as we have a large number of employees and APs to distribute and manage bandwidth among. Our Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller always perfectly achieves KPIs of benchmarked data distribution at high speeds with controllable bandwidth and 99.99% uptime.
  • High-speed data transfers
  • Large number of APs
  • Best wireless control for large organizations
  • Support application control
  • Costly solution.
  • New and advanced products have been introduced by Cisco, so it is a little old now.
It is a very fine and reliable solution for organizations with a high number of APs and does its job very well in keeping things aligned and controlled for high-volume data traffic in most cases. If you are looking for a more advanced solution, Cisco has also introduced their latest model with some additional features, so it would be not suitable for those looking for the most advanced controller.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We have been using Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller for a few months now for our employee's systems. Overall we think it is a solid product with a very fast connection. We are using this in the whole organization and this effectively solved many problems with our cloud connectivity with no major notable issues in the system.
  • Full control of access points.
  • Ease of managing Wireless Networks
  • Great experience for users
  • Simple set up
  • Customizable
  • A bit pricy
  • Don't have built-in VPN protocols
[Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller] is great for medium to larger size businesses with a lot of employees as it provides high traffic usage in the businesses. The ROI for smaller businesses is too high for most uses. Fits well as it is more of an enterprise solution with almost no downtime. If you do have the money it is worth it for its superior features.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Cisco 8540 Wireless Controllers are being used in our organization to tie in all our wireless Cisco gear and our many different wireless networks into an easy-to-manage, and easy-to-use centralized management system. It solves the problem of having several separate systems to manage directly.
  • Nicely made hardware
  • Large but strong rails that can keep up with the weight
  • Redundant power supplies and fans for great backup
  • Still trying to get the hang of Cisco Smart Licensing
  • Could be easier to configure the initial controller setup (a better wizard?)
  • Not sure its going to be in everyone's network budget
Its a pretty easy sell if you're already using Cisco APs and having to manage them separately. In fact its your only real choice if you have existing Aironet devices. Managing them on another vendor's controller is only asking for issues. If someone asked, I would push them toward both Cisco APs and controllers to make their life easy, if they can swing it.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We are using our Cisco router across our WAN for authentication and encryption. We are also using it to segment our network to protect our customers' and employees' data. We are also it to monitor real-time threats to constantly gather intelligence to lessen the chance of both internal and external attacks.
  • We were quite impressed how easy it was to initially setup although if you want to configure anything more complex, you will probably need to get a vendor involved like we did.
  • After initial setup, we created VPN sessions for numerous corporate clients.
  • We have been impressed with how the router has provided speed to our users.
  • One of the few downsides is the higher price point.
  • Like I already mentioned, you will probably need to get a third party vendor involved to get a more complex structure setup depending on how big of an organization you are.
A Cisco router can be used when an organization needs a highly efficient and streamlined appliance that can handle heavy workloads at peak times.

We were also really impressed with power consumption of the router. We found it to be quite eco-friendly. It allowed us to cut down on our power costs which is a big cost to us in our data centre.
Mark McCully | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We leverage the Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller to centrally manage our corporate wifi in our Chicago office and a few satellite offices in the midwest. The Cisco 8540 allows us to seamlessly bring up new sites and AP's into the wireless framework - pushing out configurations and security settings very easily. We are also able to setup a guest wifi network for secure guest access. The Cisco 8540 is easy enough to use that we don't need to have a dedicated wireless networking engineer - it is mostly "set it and forget it".
  • Easy to learn and administer day-to-day
  • Easy to setup and manage Access Points
  • Multi-protocol wireless access
  • Enterprise-class software updates & support
  • Could be less expensive
  • Cisco support can be frustrating to work with at times
  • May have too many features for a SMB
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller is an enterprise-class appliance. It provides capabilities to manager a wireless network geographically dispersed across a WAN. This may be overkill for a small to medium sized company. The 8540 has high availability features that fit well in an enterprise environment that can't afford downtime. The Cisco 8540 controller is easy to setup and connect it to your internal authentication mechanism as well via Radius or LDAP.
December 09, 2020

Ideal for larger settings

NAKIA EPLEY | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We are an outsourced IT company so we have multiple clients. We have about 3-4 of our clients that have Cisco 8540 Wireless Controllers and use other Cisco products as well. These clients use them companywide. One client in particular needed to have very solid wireless capabilities and when they upgraded to this model, they saw a much better experience.
  • Wireless capabilities
  • The security is very good
  • The integration to everything else is convenient for us as the IT professionals and for their organization.
  • Definitely need to have some guidance in learning the product
  • Configuration can be a little rough the first few times through, would definitely recommend professional installation and configuration
For this in particular, it would not be an ideal setup for a smaller organization--it would be complete overkill. Definitely ideal for the larger settings. Wireless experience/connections in particular are the main needs that I see for clients moving to (or already using) this model.
December 08, 2020

A good wireless solution!

Duncan Hernandez | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller is key to managing all of our different access points. I like that we have full control of the access points as well. I have not noticed any outages yet and our users have not reported any issues. For remote workers, a dependable wireless controller like this is key.
  • Full control of access points.
  • Very customizable Wi-Fi.
  • Features are plentiful.
  • Pricy.
Since we work from home now, we need to have options of access points should one not work. Therefore, configuration on these are vital. For a less appropriate situation, I'd say that a small start up business probably could get away with something much less expensive and that this particular [controller] would be beneficial when the company starts growing rapidly.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We have about 300 AP's i use throughout our facility. Along with managing our wireless network access points, it has become a reliable piece of equipment that suites the needs of our team and scope of word.
  • Setup was simple enough, if your have basic networking skills
  • Swapping AP lines and running new drops from those AP's is simple.
  • Multiple deployed modes in the same controller if needed.
  • Design itself is clunky
  • Having to configure POE as opposed to it just being on
  • Cost was a little high
Large volume deployments suite this model well. Its simple enough to setup and operate and with the Cisco tag, you know the product works.
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use the Cisco 8450 Wireless Controller to manage and monitor all the Wireless Access Point across the offices. This is up to 50 AP's across two wireless controllers.
  • Managing Wireless Networks
  • Preventing Rogue APs
  • Segregating Wireless Networks
  • Expensive
  • Cumbersome to manage
While you can never go wrong with Cisco you pay a hefty price just for the brand and there are other products out here that do the same job equally if not better.
The security on the units is top notch but the management (as with anything Cisco) leaves a lot be desired in term of streamlining.