A great Cisco WLC that finally runs on IOS XE
January 25, 2022
A great Cisco WLC that finally runs on IOS XE
Score 10 out of 10
- Cisco Catalyst 9800-L Wireless Controller
Overall Satisfaction with Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers
Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers were 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"
Do you think Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers delivers good value for the price?
Are you happy with Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers's feature set?
Did Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers live up to sales and marketing promises?
Did implementation of Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers go as expected?
Would you buy Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers again?
- improving WiFi speeds by up to 5x
- Once initial setup is complete, adding more APs or even complete new sites is a matter of minutes, whereas before it was a matter of days.
- making WiFi speeds usable, to that users can choose between LAN vs WLAN, without noticing speed differences
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
Stellar performance, while setup is fairly manageable and once setup, just works. The CLI Syntax is coherent, which makes management over CLI possible for admins that aren't using Cisco products all day every day. In General, new WLC added some very good new features in the Software (e.g. new WebUI), while keeping the realiability of previous products
No outages so far, perfect uptime. Product has been used only for ~6 months so far, so no opinion can be given on the uptime/availability on a long-term perspective of things. Usually for Cisco products, this has not been an issue in the past, so I am expecting the same for the new Catalyst WLAN Controllers
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
In old Cisco-fashion, the product is very reliable, and once setup just works. While it might not have all the bells and whistles in the WebUI, like other products may have, you have complete freedom of configuration on the CLI. Overall a great improvement from older generation WLAN controllers, and all in all a well suited successor
Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers 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