Cisco WLC 3504 Review
September 05, 2019
Cisco WLC 3504 Review
Score 8 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Cisco 3504 WLAN Controller
We currently use the Cisco 3504 for small to medium sized wireless deployments for our customer's wireless deployments. We haven't utilized the integration with SD-Access and DNA Center yet but plan to in the near future. We have been replacing the older 2500 series WLCs with these to get the added throughput and additional visibility they offer.
- Centralized Management of wireless APs
- Added visibility and analytics on traffic and utilization
- Enhanced GUI thats easier to use and provides more details than its predecssors
- Faster AP failover in the event you lose a controller
- Would be nice to see SFP+ ports instead of 1 mGig port for additional connectivity options
- The upgrade process could be more streamlined like Meraki where you can do everything from the GUI instead of having to login to Cisco.com, find the new version, upload it, etc.
- Reduces our dependencies on Netflow and other AVC tools since its now built into the GUI
The GUI is easier to navigate as compared to the 2504. Also the responsiveness of the GUI, the quicker failover capabilities and the enhanced visibility are all major improvements over the previous generation WLC.
As expected the support from TAC is second to none. Great for troubleshooting, configuration and hardware replacement if required.
It's small form factor, speed and feature rich GUI make this one of the best WLCs available for mid size wireless deployments. Other vendors like Aruba for example have a much less intuitive GUI thats much harder to navigate from a management perspective. Cisco has done a good job to make sure whether you are an expert or a not you can still find your way around to manage you wireless infrastructure, similar to how the Meraki management portal looks and feels.
The 3504 is great for mid size wireless deployments where you don't expect the number of APs to exceed 100. The platform is much faster than then older 2504 and have added a bunch of enhancements. I wouldn't recommend this for enterprise deployments due to its scalability. For deployments that scale multiple sites we have used a mix of 3504s and Meraki deployments.