Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers

Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers

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Score 9.1 out of 100
Top Rated
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers

Overview

Recent Reviews

simplify the WLC Config

9 out of 10
January 18, 2022
We use two 9800-80 SSO Clusters as a replacement for the WLC8540. We are at the moment in the migration phase. In the end, there will be …
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What is Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers?

The Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 is a modular wireless controller with optional 100 Gigabit Ethernet (G) modular uplinks boasting seamless software updates for large enterprises and campuses, and security with ETA and SD-Access.

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Product Details

What is Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers?

The vendor presents their solution as built from the ground up for intent-based networking and Cisco DNA, and state the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers are Cisco IOS XE based and integrate the RF excellence of Cisco Aironet access points, creating a best-in-class wireless experience for your evolving and growing organization. The 9800 Series is built on an open and programmable architecture with built-in security, streaming telemetry, and rich analytics.

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Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers Technical Details

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 is a modular wireless controller with optional 100 Gigabit Ethernet (G) modular uplinks boasting seamless software updates for large enterprises and campuses, and security with ETA and SD-Access.

Ubiquiti WLAN and Fortinet Wireless LAN are common alternatives for Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers.

Reviewers rate Availability and Performance highest, with a score of 8.8.

The most common users of Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers are from Enterprises (1,001+ employees) and the Telecommunications industry.

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Reviews and Ratings

 (41)

Ratings

Reviews

(1-19 of 19)
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Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Cisco Catalyst 9800s is our main wireless LAN controller that manages WiFi networks for our offices and warehouses. We moved from older Cisco WLCs and had issues with deployment that required TAC support, but after that everything worked perfectly. The controllers are stable, easy to manage and configure. This new web interface is a welcomed upgrade.
  • Web GUI
  • IOS CLI
  • High availability
  • Ease of deployment of new access points
  • SSO is not so trivial to deploy
  • GUI revolution when moving from older controllers
  • Some functions are hidden too deep in GUI
The introduction of IOS CLI in the 9800 line of wireless LAN controllers is a game-changer for Cisco WLCs. It's easier to use by engineers who are familiar with Cisco products but new to the WLC world. Unfortunately, deployment takes a lot of overhead so setting it up for small enterprises feels like overkill.
When it comes to integration between WLC and Catalyst switches, unified IOS allows for reusing of scripts between platforms. Access points are managed by WLC so well that all that has to be done is tag the correct switch interface. Flex connect allows for reliable WiFi setup in remote sites.
Managing policies is easier than with older WLC models, allowing an extension of them across sites in a matter of seconds.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use this controller in our office to manage the internal and guest WiFi network. We also implement WiFi networks for our clients where this controller model is used. This new family of controllers has made our work easier because the CLI configurations use the Catalyst syntax, in fact, it is very similar to the Catalyst switches with which we are already very familiar. The web interface has been updated and is now more user-friendly.
  • Configuration and monitoring
  • Excellent performance
  • High availability
  • I would like to see heatmaps and more details for user tracking, but for that, you can use DNA Spaces and DNA Center instead.
With this controller, you can have a secure and reliable WiFi network in which the configuration is easy thanks to the fact that it is now Cisco Catalyst 9800-40 Wireless Controller. Its web interface is quite friendly. This controller is perfect for high user density scenarios like convention centers. One scenario where it may not be the best option is in a small office.
Having all these Cisco products in the same network has helped us a lot to have an approved, perfectly monitored, and managed WiFi network. We have control of all aspects of the WiFi network. In addition, you have complete visibility of the health of our wireless networks, heat maps, etc.
Surely, yes, now it is easier with the use of labels to assign AP groups or RF Profiles through the Web interface.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Catalyst 9800 was purchased to replace older Cisco WLC 5508, as well introduce WiFi 6 Capabilities to get WiFi up to current speeds. As the WLC 5508 is going end of support, it was time to upgrade to a more curent platform, as well as to make management and usability of WiFi overall easier. The Catalyst 9800 is used to manage around over 100 Access Points across different sites worlwide, either locally or using FlexConnect Mode. During the Rollout, the required Policies regarding WiFi are once configured on the Controller, and then rolled out dynamically to all APs that connect to it, which makes management, especially across different sites, much easier. Once Rollout is complete, a uniform configuration of all APs, no matter the physical Location, can be expected
  • modern, very fast WebUI
  • very structured Menus, that make sense
  • ease of configuration
  • CLI Syntax that finally makes sense, especially when comparing to older non-Catalyst WLC models
  • add more sub-genres to the main menu
  • make the product easier for people to use, that aren't working with it all day
  • make the initial setup menu, where policies can be attached to Tags etc. more accessible
  • When selecting APs from the Landing Page, make it possible to rename them immediately without having to switch to "Configuration" -> "Access Points"
Catalyst 9800 seems very suited for all current Cisco WiFi installations, as it finally introduces the same commands and syntax that are already well known from the Catalyst switch series. Especially in multi-site deployments, the 9800 makes a lot of sense. Once all policies, VLANs, SSIDs etc are setup once, they can be rolled out, no matter the physical Location, in a matter of seconds. This makes management of global WiFi Installations much easier and much more hassle free
Very easy to understand the CLI syntax, since syntax of other Catalyst products like Switches has been adopted. Seamless integration into new/current Cisco Catalyst APs. Very easy setup, even for remote sites using FlexConnect. Migration from old infrastructure worked without a problem, creating a mobility Group with old WLC and new Catalyst 9800 allowed Clients to roam freely between new and old WLAN infrastructure, without users even noticing. This allowed enough time for a smooth phase-out of the old WLAN infrastructure
Creating the policies itself is a little difficult and seems unnecessarily complicated, and not that self-explanatory. But once they are all setup, actually attaching them to WiFis is a matter of a few clicks, and can be scaled up very easily. Configurations can also be done very fine-grained. However, a wizard that guides you through the configuration would be very welcome
January 18, 2022

simplify the WLC Config

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use two 9800-80 SSO Clusters as a replacement for the WLC8540. We are at the moment in the migration phase. In the end, there will be around 3000-4500 aps on these Clusters.
  • Simplify the configuration.
  • Easy Overview of the AP Config.
  • CLI configuration.
  • At the Monitoring/Wireless/AP Statistics to have a refresh button.
  1. The new tags are very useful for us. Because of the different parts of the company we have separated wifis.
  2. In the past, you had to set the AP-Group for each new AP. In the New C9800, you can set these tags with the filters, based on the AP Hostname.
  3. The stagging of the apps also now better, because its easier to make the config over the CLI.
That the C9800 and the Cat 9k Switches share the same IOS is helpful. So you have nearly the same Software Version running over all the different Platforms. The Commands for troubleshooting are nearly the same.
Yes as I wrote before, the tags are very useful to have a regular config over all of the APs. So we have only to set the right AP Name, and then the Policy Tag, RF-Tag, and Site Tag are set to the right value.
Great contact to Wireless Innovate Program Team and TAC to solve our problems.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller is starting to be used in a few major branches offices across our organization and provides network and wireless connectivity. It is very scalable and full of new features for connectivity and fast support. It's meeting most of our company requirements so far. It is solving most of our wireless concerns and giving users a nice experience
  • WiFi 6 support
  • Wireless Management Control
  • Ease of configuration
  • The price stays a bit high
  • Nothing else so far, very good product
The new Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller is well designed for major branches. It has all the capabilities in terms of LAN, wireless, and security. It's a really powerful wireless controller with the very new last features that everyone must have like WIFI 6. The centralized access is really making our daily life easier.
We have been deploying Cisco 9800-80 wireless controller with others Cisco Catalyst 9300 switches, and it has been working like a charm. The 9800-80 is covering a major part of our wireless needs and the catalyst 9300 switches are doing the rest of their "usual" task, distribution, and access switching.
The policy management is very user-friendly. All the management aspect, for AP group, SSID, and so on is quite easy to handle even if it looks a bit different [from] "standard" WLC like 5500 series. It's providing lots of new features like wifi 6 support, ISSU for the upgrade with no downtime.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We highly depend on Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller when it comes to department connection, easy communication, and security thanks to the easy configuration of wireless networks. This software is programmable and makes increasing wireless network coverage easy. Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller also comes in handy when increasing bandwidth speeds - can support up to 80 Gbps. This software meets our company's wireless control and management needs.
  • Supports up to 80 Gbps data bandwidth
  • Scaling is easy
  • Better and centralized control of company wireless networks
  • Compared to other similar products, this software is costly.
If your company is always dealing with wireless networks' unavailability, downtimes, poor coverage, unsecured networks, and other wireless network-related problems, it is time to deploy Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless. With this software, you get secure networks, easy to configure and troubleshoot problems, better management, and better coverage among other benefits.
Extending and managing policies is easy with this software. Controlling and managing access points and wireless networks is easy.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We have several wireless networks for communication, connection, and security, and controlling and managing them has been easy with Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller. This software offers great features that centralize the management of wireless networks and also make remote configuration easy. The software offers a world-class wireless experience when it comes to managing company wireless networks. Finally, Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller is programmable and comes with some analytics features for better performance and security.
  • Stable 80 Gbps data bandwidth bandwidth.
  • Allows remote configuration.
  • The software is programmable for better performance.
  • Secure and also strong network.
  • Controlling wireless networks is easy.
  • Wi-Fi 6 support
  • Besides the high cost, everything else is amazing.
Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller is basically used to configure, manage and control wireless networks. Therefore if your business has wireless networks and you need centralized control and management platform, you can never go wrong with Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller. I recommend it having used it for some time now successfully.
Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller offers the best control and management to wireless networks and access points.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
As an IT expert, I have not used a better controller than Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller. What makes this software unique is the ability to control, secure, and manage LAN and other wireless networks remotely. With centralized access to company wireless networks, management becomes easy thereby ensuring smooth communication and connection. What's more, Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller is always available [with] no unplanned outages.
  • Better control and management of wireless networks[.]
  • Centralizes wireless networks making management easy[.]
  • Enhances network security[.]
  • Remote access makes configurations easy[.]
  • My experience with this software has been great.
If your business needs a wireless network controller, look no further because Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller offers some of the best features.
Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller is the best controller I have used and offers some of the best control and management features of Wireless networks.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
When it comes to maintaining communications, connections, and company networks from different access points, we trust Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller. The software works well and offers centralized control and management of wireless networks. The software solves all our wireless-related problems effortlessly thanks to its multiple features. In a nutshell, this software ensures better connectivity and support. In addition, the interface is great, and therefore using Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller is easy.
  • The software offers multiple features
  • Better network control and management
  • Better network performance and security
  • Wi-FI 6 support
  • It is not the cheapest option
If your business [has] multiple wireless networks and access points, then you need Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller for better control and management.
Management has always been easy with Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller. No bad encounters.
David Peck | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Our legacy Cisco Enterprise Wireless Network was ready for a refresh, and we looked at various configurations with different features. Ultimately, we wanted to have a platform that would allow us to begin to offer our end users a WiFi 6 network once their laptops have that capability. Next, we had to have a platform that continued to provide us [with] the top-notch security that everyone was already getting. Operational aspects were also very important to us. These new controllers really checked all the boxes that we were most concerned about.
  • Security
  • Support for WiFi 6 and 6E
  • Support DNA Spaces
  • Integration to our Cisco ISE environment
  • Cost always seems like an issue but consider your TCO
  • Figuring out what APs at what software version work with everything is confusing
These controllers are not for a small single-site business. We have dozens of locations scattered all over the country. This, I think, is the space where this Enterprise-grade wireless solution beings to shine very brightly. We manage hundreds of access points across three time zones, all from a single pane of glass. The system is really easy to manage on a go-forward basis. The only real barrier could be [the] upfront cost if you only have a few sites.
The Cisco Catalyst 9120 access points are an integral part of the overall wireless infrastructure as they are what allows our end-users to connect to the wireless controllers. Without these, we would be limited to older WiFi standards like AC11. These new wireless access points provide the WiFi 6 network access to our end-user community.
This is an area that Cisco really shines brightly. For example, we have a single guest network deployed across our footprint. When we want to update the password, we make one simple two-minute change, and the entire company has a new guest password. We basically manage all the hundreds of access points as easily as if they were just one. This was one of the main reasons we wanted to go with this platform because we knew that ongoing management would be easier.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use it as regional WLC for the Cisco Access Points. All the access points across the region will be managed by these WLCs through flex connect mode. Before, we [had] 2 WLCs per site to control the APs; it was very hard to manage since we have a lot of sites. With [Cisco Catalyst 9800-L Wireless Controller], we can manage it easily with a tag system and really friendly IOS web UI.
  • Tag system in iOS XE make it easier to use than AireOS
  • ISSU feature made upgrade to minimize downtime when upgrade
  • Flex connect mode to control access point remotely and switch the traffic in branch locally
  • Easy integration with other Cisco service like Umbrella
  • We had small issue with zero touch provisioning in version 17.3.3
  • I think there is a room to improve HA mechanism
  • I would like to see Cisco DNA space to be integral part of WLC, not an add on
If you have 50 - 250 access points distributed in branch offices, it's very easy to set up and customize every specific scenario/policy with a tag system in IOS-XE in [Cisco Catalyst 9800-L Wireless Controller]. But if you have a smaller number of AP, I would suggest you use embedded WLC in catalyst 9000 series switch or embedded WLC in AP 9100 AP to save the cost.
We are using Cisco Catalyst 9000 series switch along with Cisco ISE for policy enforcement. It was very easy to understand IOS-XE in [Cisco Catalyst 9800-L Wireless Controller] since its using the same IOS system as the Catalyst 9000 switch, and it's very easy to integrate with other Cisco products since it's in the same ecosystem.
[Cisco Catalyst 9800-L Wireless Controller] is a very easy to use tagging system in WLC9800-L, there was a learning curve to learn it for the first time, but once you get the concept, you can tag any WLAN profiles, policies, flex profiles, sites to each AP / AP group to suit your company's preference. The system is very scalable, so you can easily add a new AP and configure it as you like by just tagging.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The Cisco Catalyst 9800[-L Wireless] Controller is utilized across the entire organization, which includes both indoor, outdoor, and non-public areas of the facility. Multiple departments utilize the solution to provide a seamless WiFi experience across the campus. There are various administrative tasks that allow easier support of end-user issues and system-wide problems. The solution makes it easy to implement WiFi networks for temporary events.
  • Scalability
  • Ease of administration
  • Vast maintenance and troubleshooting tools
  • Initial cost is high
  • Very detailed but at times can be complex
  • Maintenance cost is high
The Cisco Catalyst 9800[-L Wireless] Controller is well suited for large campus environments. This allows the operator an easy way to administer the WiFi environment. There are a full array of options to onboard WiFi users and provide a secure experience. The solution also contains very robust maintenance tools to allow for WiFi system and end-user troubleshooting.
Having Cisco across the LAN allows for a consistent experience when installing, administering, and supporting the solution. Having one LAN vendor makes it much easier when support is required. There will be TAC teams that work with the full stack of Cisco solutions which [makes] it easier for finding a resolution to any problems.
The Cisco Catalyst 9800[-L Wireless Controller] is a full-featured solution that makes it easy to create, manage, and extend policies across the WiFi network. There [is] a vast list of features and options available to set WiFi policies. Cisco typically has the most comprehensive feature set for their WiFi setup. This can be used from the most simple to the most complex setups.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We have multiple access points across our company. Since [they were] not interconnected with each other, I was facing difficulty to manage all devices. We were really in need of one controller where all our AP's can [be] controlled in one place. So we planned to purchase this Cisco Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controller and it's really headed in the right decision. Now, it's easy to monitor all our network traffic. The best thing is we can configure our AP remotely no need to go to the department to configure. By this, it helped us to increase network performance and security as well.
  • Increase network performance and security
  • Easy to configure
  • Mainly we can manage large network traffic eazsily
  • Comparatively, [the] price is a little high
  • It will be loss for SOHO, only suitable for large network users
It has reduced all my users network disconnection issues. Mainly in our development team, all users need to connect to the client's remote server and work. Before implementing this controller, users were facing frequent network disconnection [and it] was very difficult for them to work and also very headache for us. But after implementing this wireless controller all our issues have been rectified and now users are working without any issues.
Since we have all other products in the same Cisco brands like AP's and firewalls, it became easy for us to configure this in our network. It is easily suited without any compatibility issues. The Cisco support team helped us to configure this device easily in our network and improve our network security.
After implementing it becomes easy for me to manage all our Access Points in one place. Now I am monitoring and managing all my network traffic in one place.
Onessimo Azevedo | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Our scenario has 2 WLCs in redundancy to cover in the event of a possible link or equipment failure, we used the WLC 2504 in the past and migrated a little over 1 year to the Catalyst 9800-L which currently supports up to 250 access points. Management is essential for our AP park at our headquarters with more than 70 access points. The WLC performs all the necessary settings on the access points when it is connected to the network. Our WLC sets the VLANs, security rules, authentication portal, and signal strength/range of the installed equipment. The configuration is quite simple and everything can be done via a friendly graphical interface.
  • 10G Uplinks to improve the performance of network traffic.
  • Supports up to 5,000 connected clients.
  • Supports up to 250 access points.
  • Visibility of applications transmitted by users/groups in vlans.
  • 1x authentication portal with radius.
  • Compact 1RU.
  • To support more access points and customers to manage, it is necessary to purchase another performance license that we have not purchased.
I always recommend two WLCs instead of a single one to think about the failover scenario. It is very important to think about this detail. Catalyst 9800-L is for small to medium scenarios supporting up to 300 access points to purchase the performance license. Licenses can be extended over time without any problems. As the company grows, we buy more and enable our access points.
Our controller manages and automates the entire wifi network. We have automatic radio frequency control, access point range, 802.1x authentication, VLANs, DHCP server, visibility and control by applications in a layer 7 firewall, and also the quality of service, prioritizing certain sensitive traffic such as voice and video from our network. Our WLCs also manage to update the access points' firmware at the same time in the nighttime when there is no user connected.
Michael Nugent | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
BC systems is a 60 employee company and the Cisco Catalyst 9800-40 Wireless Controller meets all of our wireless requirements. This controller provides fast data transfer over a reliable wireless connection. We formerly used Linksys wireless and have found the upgrade to Cisco to be long overdue. We have not experienced any significant issues with the hardware. The module was relatively easy to configure, and we were up and running in a few hours.
  • Fast reliable data transfer. We have not experienced dropout.
  • Easy configuration and deployment. We were using the device in a few hours.
  • Management of the controller is user friendly and intuitive.
  • Price of the hardware and licensing usually has room for improvement.
The Cisco Catalyst 9800-40 [Wireless] Controller is able to handle all of our wireless needs with only some minor support hardware. We were looking for a higher level of service that we could have gotten with Linksys. I am very happy that we went with Cisco, the improvement has made my work more efficient.
No other Cisco products have been integrated with the Catalyst 9800-40 Wireless Controller at this time.
The interface is user friendly and intuitive which made it easy to get up and running in a few hours. I was not difficult to enable similar policies we deployed in our last system, and additionally increase our level of control within the network. The level of detail the Cisco controller allows when configuring policies is greater than I have observed in competitors products.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Cisco Catalyst 9800-CL Wireless Controllers are being used across the organization, being the university, as a whole. Main aspects to cope with are the connections between users, students, members of the community and other visitors that may be allowed to access the local net. It provides a reliable way of managing access of the participants.
  • Easy connection to routers
  • Seamless process
  • Easy to use and program
  • Size
  • Connections
  • Interface to routers
The controller is well suited for our environment where the number of users fluctuates and varies heavily by the day and also on the hours. Due to its versatility, it integrates well with the other servers and with the routers adapted to the main systems.
  • Cisco 1000 Series Integrated Services Routers (ISR 1000)
The university has deployed and installed a number of different systems that require a full integration of the various systems and operating systems. Cisco integrated routers allow you to implement the routers and other similar platforms into the different hardware that require integrations and communication with the systems managed in the organization.
The possibility to address all issues related to general and basic policies related to communication, access, and interfaces among users, IT experts, and visitors at the university is very important. It generates a standard way to implement the rules, policies, tasks, and reports that are requested.
Joyal John Peter | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Reseller
Review Source
It is being used by the whole department. The main business problem it addresses is Wi-Fi 6 compatibility.
  • Improved GUI
  • Support traditional Catalyst CLI commands
  • Ease of Deployment
  • Wi-Fi 6 Support
  • Support for traditional settings.
  • More documentation and guides.
  • Legacy model support.
For large-scale and state-of-the-art deployments. Not suited for small-scale deployments.
Yes having the same IP phone from Cisco makes it easy for deployment and compatibility.
Yes, compared to traditional controllers the new 9800 controllers provide a wide range of options and policies you can create for specific AP's as well as SSID's. It gives a wider range of policy to be mapped to multiple AP's making security policy management easier without the need for NAC.
December 11, 2020

The Controller with NoS

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The 9800-CL is being used now to check the software stability of the IOS-XE, as this is software is new for Cisco. Being an AireOS user for forever, I am a bit hesitant about going there, especially since the last 3560 OS was a catastrophe.
I have been using this for the past year, basically for testing, and using the new AP's. The hardware is robust which is expected from Cisco. the software is great which i didn't expect it to be. Cisco seems that they put efforts in developing it. The tags are great way to manage the WLC resources efficiently, the upgrades, the features, even though some of them are not meant for the WLC, but as the SW is built for all Catalyst family you may see stuff and wonder why they are here (EIGRP, Routing... etc).

This month I am configuring it to replicate my production environment with 17.3.2a to do a PoC on wayfinding with DNA spaces. which I expect the WLC can handle easy with the performance license it has.
  • Control Plan segregation
  • MultiSite Configuration
  • Programmability
  • On-prem stable solution, while others are going for cloud.
  • Security and support
  • Documentation
  • Analytics
  • Licensing model
[Well suited for] Small enterprise or office with a small number of clients that do not require complex integration and feature sets.
It doesn't work well in large enterprises and when the load is high, due to the hardware limitations and licensing scale. [Not suited] when there is no support available at the site, it requires an experienced engineer to configure and troubleshoot.
This is the new wireless family they are introducing, in the next couple of years everything will go EoS, and the catalyst will remain. As we own a large wireless network, having the access points to be the same would benefit us in operation and HW failure since we are in the testing stage of the 9800. I guess if it is not going to improve the network it will be able to equally operate it as the 8510.
The tags and the new architecture of the 9800 family is a great way to manage the polices and AP. Even the CPU of the WLC itself, Cisco has invested on such architecture, and seems its paying of. Again, the problem appears on the license Cisco is proposing: it's complex and pricey, plus has to be bought with each AP, even if you do not have DNA.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The 9800-CL is being used as a central controller for multiple locations' Access points to register. Some locations have been using 9800-CL as a noncentral controller. The other advantage of using the 9800-CL is it can be built on any x86 server UCS, etc. and is easy to deploy. We have also used it as a mobility anchor in some locations
  • Cloud-based, no appliance needed, no hardware cost
  • Supports any x86 architectures, Cisco, HP, IBM any server to be used to deploy this controller virtually
  • Some open DDTS don't allow older access points
  • To use as a central controller, the previous image doesn't let you use overlapping IP space between different locations using a central controller
I believe this is the new way controllers can be used. For supporting anywhere less than 100 Access points, everyone should move towards using 9800 CL and implement on any low-end server. In cases where 500+ Access points are installed, an appliance-based controller may be used, or a CL version with a powerful server can be used such as UCS with many cores.
Cisco UCS is a great product to implement the 9800-CL on. Very easy to manage the controller remotely. Currently, my environment is an all-Cisco shop, which helps significantly. The 9800-CL allows CLI-based configuration and GUI as well. CLI is very similar to IOS XE. As long as you are familiar with Cisco CLI, this is very easy.
I have the ability to configure tags, policies, and priorities with great ease using the controller's GUI. A very helpful way to tag the sites so that it is easy to track the APs. Centralized policies and their management, I can have certain APs have a certain profile, advertise certain SSIDs, and with 2.4GHz vs 5, and many more options.