Choosing The Best Cisco Wireless Solution For Your Business

Choosing the Best Cisco Wireless Solution for Your Business

Arraya Insights | February 8, 2016

Cisco has an extensive catalog of solutions available to organizations interested in increasing their wireless capabilities. With so many options to choose from, finding the one that’s the right fit canwireless-signal-symbol-shows-internet-connection_zJja4Vwu prove tricky. In order to help organizations more easily navigate this process, we’ve compiled a list of the four of the most popular wireless options on the market and how they can help.

  1. Cisco Unified Wireless

Cisco Unified Wireless provides the most control and the latest features. As a result, it’s currently the solution deployed by the majority of Cisco Wireless customers. In the traditional deployment method, Cisco Unified Wireless consists of AireOS-based Wireless LAN controllers with both Physical and virtual appliance options. The deployment modes include Local Mode, FlexConnect and Office Extend.

Cisco Unified Wireless:

  • Simplifies operations: Cisco wireless controllers reduce operational expenses by simplifying network deployment, operations, and management. Cisco Unified Wireless makes it possible to configure wireless policy, management, or security settings at any time through centralized provisioning and management. IT pros can respond to organizational growth thanks to Cisco’s scale-as-it-grows licensing model, available with all Cisco wireless controllers.
  • Centralizes control: Unified Wireless allows for wireless network performance to be optimized while lowering costs and increasing operational efficiency. Wireless controllers can be deployed to help centrally manage, secure, and configure access points throughout the organization.
  • Diversifies deployment options: As part of Unified Wireless, controllers can be chosen based on what best suits the customer’s deployment. The solution can then be scaled for any size of business.
  1. Cisco Converged Access

Organizations want high-performing Wi-Fi that will grow as they do. However, they also want the ability to utilize wired connections should the need arise. Organizations also want to experience the benefits of all of the above without tying their IT teams to time-sapping network management responsibilities.

Cisco Converged Access deployment mode can enable the integrated networking functionality organizations desire. In this method of deployment, a Cisco Catalyst 3850 switch is used as the launching point for linking wired and wireless connections. It allows for native wired-to-wireless (or vice versa) data conversions.

Cisco Converged Access also:

  • Supports expanding mobility. Cisco Converged Access mode is well-suited to handle the rising tide of mobile data taxing modern networks. The system’s Catalyst 3850 switch and the 5760 wireless controller work together to deliver improved bandwidth which makes juggling extra volume a breeze.
  • Offers visibility and reliability. The wireless-wired convergence of Cisco Converged Access provides IT with greater insight into the performance and usage of the corporate network. Cisco Converged Access also allows IT to achieve a level of policy consistency that wasn’t possible previously.
  • Addresses today’s IT concerns. Cisco Converged Access is capable of conducting innovative and leading-edge 802.11ac connections. It is also fully ready to process the demands placed on the network by video apps, smartphones, and overall high wireless density.
  1. Cisco Mobility Express

End users have enterprise-sized expectations for their business’ wireless capabilities. Their expectations have been driven skyward by technological advances which have given them an army of mobility-enabling and connection-hungry devices. Expectations are one thing. In many cases, the reality is that IT’s budget is often more in line with the SMB level than the enterprise.

Cisco’s Mobility Express is an on-premises Wi-Fi solution built to help smaller organizations address growing connectivity needs. It does this by merging a virtual LAN controller with Cisco Aironet access points to support cutting edge 802.11ac Wave 2 connectivity. This solution is sometimes referred to as “controller-less” because the controller functionality is built into the Access Points and doesn’t require a separate dedicated controller.

Mobility Express also:

  • Provides a unified approach. IT teams used to have to concern themselves with buying and maintaining a separate WLAN deployment. Mobility Express comes with a WLAN controller embedded directly in the solution itself, making life easier for IT while keeping costs down in the process.
  • Enhances network visibility. Mobility Express’ management feature puts control over the network in the hands of IT via a browser window or mobile app. This allows the team to maintain, supervise, and repair the network whenever needed.
  • Streamlines network administration. Mobility Express is primed to allow smaller IT teams to successfully manage their growing networks without having to add staff. This solution covers up to 25 access points and 500 clients for each virtual controller deployed on site.
  1. Cisco Meraki

Many data centers have been stretched thin supporting an increasingly mobile workforce. In addition to mobility, this workforce also counts on having multiple devices with which it can do its job. In order to guarantee the expected level of connectivity, data center footprints swelled and the accompanying management responsibilities fell on the IT team.

Cisco Meraki delivers a cloud-based architecture to replace the inefficient and insufficient legacy wireless networking solutions many companies rely on. Meraki’s routers, switches, security appliances, and more, give businesses of all sizes access to Meraki’s leading cloud networking service.

Cisco Meraki also:

  • Centralizes network management. Meraki gives IT the ability to manage its entire network from a browser-based dashboard. IT pros can adjust network needs, user access, etc., all from this access point, saving time on formerly time-consuming management tasks.
  • Automates updates. Meraki’s hardware is always connected to its global network of data centers. As a result, small but absolutely vital tasks such as optimization and updates are installed automatically. This keeps Meraki’s firmware always up-to-date.
  • Increases privacy. Meraki’s out-of-band management architecture helps ease the privacy concerns often associated with the cloud. This set up ensures a company’s data doesn’t pass through a Meraki data center, instead allowing it to live exclusively in a company’s own personal network.
  • Ensures reliability. Organizations can rest assured that Meraki’s services will be there when they need them. Meraki service level agreement promises 99.99% availability. Also, its servers are tested every five minutes, 24/7, to catch any issues that could lead to service interruptions.

Connect with Arraya’s wireless experts

The issue of connectivity is already top of mind for most in IT and that won’t change as organizational networking needs continue to grow. It comes down to being able to identify and deploy a wireless solution capable of helping your business address its goals now and down the road. That’s where our team comes in.

Arraya’s Cisco practice brings decades of experience working with customers to design and implement ground-breaking Cisco solutions for every engagement we participate in. Our commitment to innovative and outside-the-box thinking has long-endeared us to the customers we support. However, our approach gained even greater recognition recently when global IT distributor Tech Data honored our efforts with its Cisco Charged Innovation Award. Specific to Cisco wireless, our team includes a Cisco CCIE Wireless certification for excellence in wireless networking.

Want to talk wireless with a member of our team? Visit www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us to get the conversation started. Or, feel free to reach out to us on Twitter (@ArrayaSolutions) or on LinkedIn (Arraya Solutions) to learn more about who we are and how we can help.