Cisco's New Wireless 9100 Series APs
June 20, 2022
Cisco's New Wireless 9100 Series APs
Score 8 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points
My organization is using Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points to provide secure corporate wireless services to end-users and customers across our entire footprint. We have approximately 8000 APs deployed that support both corporate access as well as multiple guest services. Typically, our wireless service provides employees the freedom to collaborate and move freely through the various workspaces the company offers.
- Throughput is second to none in the industry.
- Reliability is very solid both from a service perspective and a hardware reliability perspective.
- Wireless scanning and channel decisions can be tuned to provide a very powerful and reliable user experience.
- Management software has been spotty, such as DNA Center (early versions pre v2).
- Software has been unreliable (mainly AirOS).
- Not supporting older APs has been when moving to new versions has been painful and caused multiple business complications such as audit support and mass AP replacements.
Do you think Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points delivers good value for the price?
Are you happy with Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points's feature set?
Did Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points live up to sales and marketing promises?
Did implementation of Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points go as expected?
Would you buy Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points again?
- Cisco was able to provide a product that met specific business requirements because they have offered a wide range of devices with various feature sets.
- 9100s have a 3rd radio that allows for a lot of additional security features
- 9100s have the same level of reliability and performance as the previous generation and continue to impress.
We have tested multiple other vendor devices and head to head they perform at the top of the list in almost every test. As we vetted the migration from our AirOS devices to Catalyst devices we labbed up these new APs and ran a wide range of head-to-head tests.
Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points has a number of devices in its portfolio that can meet pretty much any business need. Larger density sites can utilize APs with more radios that can serve more clients. Various technologies in the 802.11 spec allow for time slot sharing with can allow these APs to scale very well. There is also AP that are specifically designed for very small deployments that can be used to provide coverage in less used areas allowing for a great deal of diversity and scale options.
Deployment was very easy. Controllers were virtual allowing for very speedy deployment. The APs also use the same bracket as almost all previous generations which have allowed for a 1:1 swap in a lot of places. As we look to expand our deployments and refresh cycles we can reuse cabling and mounting hardware and in most cases, there is very little need for adjustments.
We use a lot of CAPWAP and remote controller deployments. The CAPWAP functions as an overlay technology and deploying controllers in geographical Data Centers has not affected performance. New architectures will use FLEXConnect and allow for more local egress options to be leveraged. The Cisco Controller Architecture allows for a great deal of flexibility as we can start with CAPWAP and migrate to Flex as we work through our project.
In testing, Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points outperformed all other APs in our testing. Performance was second to none in the testing lineup. Reliability has been proven over the many years we have used this product. The new 9100s have also not presented any hardware reliability issues for us so far. Some of the other vendors offer some nice to have features such as Bluetooth device diagnostics and very deep AI assurance.
We use Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points in every deployment we put out. Cisco has a wide selection of AP products and can typically meet any business need we have. We deploy larger 9130s in large offices in high-density locations and smaller APs in less heavily densely populated areas. USB support and 3rd party partnerships have allowed us to simplify wireless RF by not deploying duplicate wireless networks to support things such as digital signage.