Reliable and simple WLC
March 10, 2022

Reliable and simple WLC

Tomasz Piekarski | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Modules Used

  • Cisco Catalyst 9800-L Wireless Controller

Overall Satisfaction with Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers

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

Do you think Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers delivers good value for the price?

Yes

Are you happy with Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers's feature set?

Yes

Did Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers live up to sales and marketing promises?

Yes

Did implementation of Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers go as expected?

No

Would you buy Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers again?

Yes

  • Security improvement
  • Reduced management tasks
  • SSO high availability reduces downtime in case of hardware failure
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.
We had some software issues with controllers crashing due to a memory leak. SSO worked as intended but both controllers crashed 3-4 times a day. After patching it and rearranging virtual port channels, controllers have been working perfectly without any issues for over a year.
Since solving the issue I mentioned above, we have not had any unplanned outages.
Managing policies is easier than with older WLC models, allowing an extension of them across sites in a matter of seconds.
Compared to older Cisco WLC, Catalyst 9800s are easier to manage and SSO HA is more reliable. Compared to Aruba IAP, the number of features is greater. Meraki is easier to set up but having a central controller gives greater control.
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.