Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller Reviews

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Reviews (1-23 of 23)

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May 18, 2021
Raman Sehgal | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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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, database, etc. I had a great experience overall by using it, as I always had a fast connection even at 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 with no major notable issues in our system
  • Don't have built-in VPN protocols
  • No per-device usage log of particular applications
This is best suited where we want to work 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; the price does not justify the use of such a powerful solution.
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December 18, 2020
João Almeida | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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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.
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December 17, 2020
Christopher J Evans | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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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.
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December 15, 2020
Agha Kamran | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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The Wireless controller by Cisco (model 8540) used as the network controller by all employees of the organization and has been a great networking tool for reliable data bandwidth in all nationwide offices of the company until we shift to the latest product from Cisco. This wireless controller addressed our data needs and the availability of our network for cloud servers and employees. It has a large AP capacity to provide high data bandwidth across all users.
  • The Wireless Controller has the capacity of more than a thousand APs at a time without degrading the network capabilities.
  • Application is available for Wireless Controller to monitor and manage the network.
  • High bandwidth availability for all APs, even during high traffics.
  • Network security is great with strong algorithms.
  • No cons found except the cost is bit high, but it's actually worth its price.
Great contribution by Cisco in the field of wireless networking and it's really worth it to have Cisco Wireless Controllers if data flows are high and the organization's business depends highly on network health and security. It is a very good product for large enterprises populated with data servers and a large number of users. It is not a general home wireless router, so people must not confuse themselves and it is not appropriate for home use or small offices with limited data usages.
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December 15, 2020
Masud Kamal | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
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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.
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May 19, 2021
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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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 from the walls if there is lots of electrical wiring within them. It's to be somehow expected as most wifi solutions have these issues.
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May 04, 2021
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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These routers are best in terms of security and network speed. This series of router gives some of the best features like high performance and high density. Provide and 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.
  • 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 lose your work unsaved due to irregular internet connectivity outages. Also it is made on a very secure platform. Your network is safe from unwanted hacking. It is almost impossible to penetrate into network operating on Cisco routers.
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December 15, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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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.
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February 06, 2021
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller is one of the best corporate wireless networking solutions. We used it in our whole organization for a long period until we upgraded to another Cisco solution. It has been very helpful to manage complete wireless networking and data bandwidths across the enterprise. The capability of managing and monitoring a big number of APs through remote application makes this controller an obvious choice for medium and large organizations. We experienced overall great results while using Cisco 8540 as it made things [a] lot easier for us to manage and provide uninterrupted wireless solutions to large number of users across the organization.
  • Capacity for large number of Access Points.
  • High end and easy management of data bandwidth with full throughput across the APs.
  • Great network security.
  • Cost is high.
Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller provides a complete solution for wireless networking with large number AP's capacity and can manage the bandwidth and data needs easily for big organizations with complex networks. It is [the] best solution for organizations and businesses who have to provide [a] wireless network to [a] large number of users without deviating from quality thresholds.
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January 15, 2021
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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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.
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January 09, 2021
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
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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.
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December 21, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
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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.
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December 15, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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The Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller is being used in concert with other great Cisco products to allow us to accurately monitor our wireless traffic and traffic patterns. The security and fortitude of this controller is something that I have yet to find a match for. I have used different controllers for different setups, but for my current project, the 8540 controller provides a great value for the money.
  • Security
  • Acceleration
  • Access point monitoring
  • Initial setup can be complex.
  • Granularity
This controller, much like almost all of the other Cisco controllers I have used, provides a strong and stable wireless experience that has security and an interface that are second to none. Once you are familiar with this it will be a breeze to run and something that will end up saving you time in the long run due to the information it is able to provide.
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December 14, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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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.
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December 09, 2020
Mark McCully | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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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.
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December 09, 2020
Rashid Hassan | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller has been used by our organization for over a year as primary router for wireless connectivity of the employee's systems and data centers. It was a great experience overall and always got a fluid and fast connection even at highest data traffic times. It was used by the whole organization and efficiently solved the bandwidth issues and cloud connectivity of major accessories like printers, data bases, servers etc. in nationwide work places.
  • It supports the latest Wifi-Gen6 specifications, which include improved bandwidth.
  • The setup is easy and support from Cisco is great.
  • Exceptional support for more than a thousand access points at great data throughput.
  • Chromecast support service is another big plus with this wireless controller.
  • No per-device usage log of particular applications.
  • No built-in VPN protocols.
  • Cost is high.
It is great for large organizations with big number of employees/users and have to deal with high data bandwidth usage in their businesses. Not suitable for small scale businesses or home usage as it's setup cost will not suite them in terms of ROI. The product is exceptionally great and serves the purpose very well and I would highly recommend it to people for network setup of their organizations.
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December 09, 2020
NAKIA EPLEY | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
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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.
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December 08, 2020
Duncan Hernandez | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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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.
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December 10, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
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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.
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December 07, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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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.
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December 07, 2020
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
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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.
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November 20, 2019
Carlos Zacarias Hernandez | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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It is an amazing product by Cisco with high performance.
  • It uses the protocols 802.11BGN/AC/AX with technology 6.0.
  • The roaming solutions are amazing, a great experience for users, on Mac and Windows.
  • No need for infrastructure replacement; it is robust for this solution.
  • It is the best solution wireless for on-premise, with controller.
  • The education is only functional with some methods of authentication.
  • I can use the solution with restricted bandwidth Internet.
For industry manufacturing for heat ambients
It is a better product. The evolution is positive.
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June 24, 2019
Richard Dean | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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We use the Cisco 8540 WLC as a regional controller. We have multiple sites where the APs register back to these for centralized administration. It makes it easy to turn up new sites and troubleshoot existing site issues.By using AP groups we can make changes to many APs at a site with one action, by adding a new SSID or adjusting settings instead of having to touch each AP.
  • 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.
  • The help information is sometimes not very clear. An item may have a reference number next to it, at the bottom of the page it will have an explanation, but sometimes they are too brief to make sense.
  • If they can somehow add debugging on the page instead of requiring us to go through the CLI to collect the debug ut put, that would be great.
It is well suited as a regional wireless controller. It handles a lot of APs easily. With one location to make changes it save lots of working hours when updates are required.
Very well made product. Very stable. We have had no issues administering the 8540.
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Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller Scorecard Summary

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.
Categories:  Wireless LAN

Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller Technical Details

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Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Who uses Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller?

The most common users of Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller are from Enterprises and the Telecommunications industry.