Cisco WLC: the good and the bad.
June 18, 2019

Cisco WLC: the good and the bad.

David Langford | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

5520 Wireless Controller

Overall Satisfaction with Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers

We employ multiple Cisco WLCs of multiple types. We provide wired and wireless telecommunications services at 43 convention centers nationwide. We deploy Cisco WLCs at each convention center to manage the access points at that physical facility.
  • Upgrades and manages software upgrades on the access points. This is an automated deployment model were the WLC manages the upload and booting of new OS images on the AP.
  • Gives good statistics of current uses of the network. The homepage of the WLC has developed over time, and as a high-level manager, it presents me with a good dashboard to see what the network is doing at a high level.
  • Integration with Apple iOS. The new features give me the ability to observe network performance from the perspective of a user on the network, where previously I could only see the perspective of the network itself.
  • Giving good statistics about how devices see the network.
  • Being able to drill down in depth on how a particular device is using the network (think NetFlow type data).
  • Reporting. There is very little reporting capability, leaving that to Cisco Prime Infrastructure, which not all of us have.
  • ROI is good on the hardware but bad on SmartNet. SmartNet is very expensive.
  • On the positive note, the Cisco WLCs can be placed in an HA configuration, allowing for nonstop operations, even during OS upgrade.
  • Aruba Networks Wireless LAN (WLAN)
I think Cisco WLCs have more options and more capability than Aruba.
In large, high-density wireless networks in complex RF environments (eg. stadiums, convention centers, etc.), the WLC performs very well. In small offices or small spaces, the Cisco WLC is not always affordable.