Effective centralized management for wireless access points
November 15, 2019

Effective centralized management for wireless access points

Aaron Oberman | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller

We have three Cisco 5520 Wireless Controllers which are administered centrally by our network team. We are utilizing all three controllers both redundantly as well as for load balancing our access points at 14 different sites. The 5520 controllers have enabled us to more efficiently manage our wireless network through the central management features as well as ease of configuration.
  • Centralized management has been the greatest factor in our preference for the 5520 controllers.
  • The web portal administration site is intuitive and granular. We have enjoyed the ease of administration on through the portals.
  • We have been very pleased with the effectiveness of Dynamic Channel Assignment (DCA) and Transmit Power Control (TPC) Algorithms. These feature settings (out of the box) have worked nearly flawlessly for us.
  • We have had some issues with access points losing their configurations and going offline. This is not a common issue and we are not entirely certain if it is a fault of the controller or the individual APs. That said, the controller does not appear to retain the knowledge of the offline AP which can be a management headache.
  • Centralized Management.
  • Implementing the 5520 controllers offered us a huge improvement in administrative time over our previous Cisco 3850 deployment. Being able to see all of our APs on a single controller as well as centrally manage them is a great benefit. This also removed the need to deploy specific equipment in different IDFs throughout our Industrial locations and instead only requiring switches with Power Over Ethernet (POE) capability.
  • Wireless performance has improved with the deployment of our 5520s which allows our plant operators to do their jobs more efficiently while on the move.
  • Having three Cisco 5520 Wireless Controllers provides tertiary redundancy for our wireless networks. The solution is elegantly simple. Preventing downtime is obviously a profound part of our supply chain capabilities.
We used standalone Cisco 3850 switches prior to implementing Cisco 5520s. While 3850s are individually a cheaper solution, the limitations only being able to manage the access point directly connected to that particular device was too much of a limitation. We also appreciated the interface and features of the 5520s more so than the 3850s.
I'm rating this an 8 only because we have always had good support with our Cisco products. I have never personally opened a TAC case on any of our 5520 controllers.

Do you think Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller delivers good value for the price?

Yes

Are you happy with Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller's feature set?

Yes

Did Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller live up to sales and marketing promises?

Yes

Did implementation of Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller go as expected?

Yes

Would you buy Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller again?

Yes

The 5520s are a perfect fit for us since our deployment is just shy of 400 access points. This gives us plenty of room to grow with the max concurrent sessions set at 280,000. For much larger enterprise solutions this would be a limitation and you would need to look at more robust solutions.

Evaluating Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller and Competitors

Yes - Cisco 3850 Switches
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
  • Vendor Reputation
  • Existing Relationship with the Vendor
A member of our network team had previous experience with this product and couldn't say enough good things about it. We are happy we made the purchase!