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Beginner

AeroHive vs Cisco Wireless Solutions

Hey all,

I've worked with AeroHive for a few years. Mostly AP230's and AP250's. I'm in a new role now and working with Cisco wireless platforms. The difference is kind of making my head spin.

One of my customers has about 20% Lightweight Access Points and it looks like their traffic is tunneled to the WLC before going anywhere else. The other APs are "CAP" rather than "LAP" but they appear to be tunneling their traffic too. My other customer has their AP's running in FlexConnect mode w/ local switching, so the traffic is switched by the AP without having to come back to the controller first, but the AP's apparently still need the WLC online to even function at all? If this is true, this all seems absolutely insane to me.

With AeroHive, a central management platform (the HiveManager) can monitor and configure access points, but the access points also store their configuration locally and can perform completely autonomously. You can SSH into the AP and configure it via CLI on an individual basis too. If the HiveManager is rebooted or offline, the APs continue to function just fine, and even boot up just fine without being able to talk to the HiveManager once they pull their initial configuration. I can also push test configuration changes to a single AP, groups of APs or all APs easily. Auto discovery of the HiveManager can be performed w/ local DNS entries. I can upload facility maps right into HiveManager, place the AP objects on them and view channel overlap and RSSI info. Seems like I have to use Cisco Prime to do this kind of thing with Cisco APs? All this and the HiveManager runs as a virtual machine without requiring proprietary hardware.

Is there no analog to this kind of functionality in Cisco's world of WLC's? Is this why they bought Meraki? I know you can create FlexConnect groups and basically apply configurations to groups of APs, but everything still feels lacking compared to what I'm familiar with from AeroHive. Still very new to this so looking for advice on understanding this stuff. AeroHive seems to provide the best of both worlds from lightweight and autonomous APs simultaneously? Auto-discovery and auto-provisioning + individual AP control and autonomy. Maybe all the Cisco gear I'm working with is just a decade old or something? I mean we are having to use Internet Explorer to access the WLC GUI's for crying out loud. The more I see Cisco GUI's, the more I think they should just stick to making switches.

Here's some of the gear: WLC model 5508, WLC model AIR-CT5760 WLC, WLC model 8540, AP AIR-CAP3702I-B-K9, AP AIR-CAP2702I-A-K9, AIR-LAP1142N-A-K9, AP 2602I.

Thanks for any insight and opinions.

 

 

3 REPLIES 3
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VIP Mentor

Re: AeroHive vs Cisco Wireless Solutions

"so the traffic is switched by the AP without having to come back to the controller first, but the AP's apparently still need the WLC online to even function at all? If this is true, this all seems absolutely insane to me."

 

It is NOT true. Once WLC is not reachable, AP goes to standalone mode and operate with certain restrictions (depend on how you configure authentication,etc)

 

" Seems like I have to use Cisco Prime to do this kind of thing with Cisco APs? All this and the HiveManager runs as a virtual machine without requiring proprietary hardware."

 

Yes Cisco prime is NMS for Cisco wireless, it can be run on VM as well.

 

"Here's some of the gear: WLC model 5508, WLC model AIR-CT5760 WLC, WLC model 8540, AP AIR-CAP3702I-B-K9, AP AIR-CAP2702I-A-K9, AIR-LAP1142N-A-K9, AP 2602I."

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/wireless/compatibility/matrix/compatibility-matrix.html 

 

Keep this compatibility matrix as a guide. Some of above products are EoL (5508/5760 & most of those APs). Software point of view better to stay 8.5.x (I am sure 1142 last supported in 8.3.x)

 

HTH

Rasika

*** Pls rate all useful responses ***

 

Highlighted
Hall of Fame Master

Re: AeroHive vs Cisco Wireless Solutions

Just to add, this is new to you so you need to get use to what the platform can do. This is an on-prem solution and not cloud. Let’s start by looking at your gear:

WLC model 5508 - Old and is end of sale
WLC model AIR-CT5760 WLC - Converged access and no longer supported, this is different than AireOS that runs on the 5508/8540
WLC model 8540 - Newer and is still supported on newer code

AP AIR-CAP3702I-B-K9 - End of sale
AP AIR-CAP2702I-A-K9 - End is sale
AIR-LAP1142N-A-K9 - End of support
AP 2602I - End of sale

You need to understand the difference between AireOS and Converged Access. CA is no longer supported and was a big flop. Customer moved from CA to AireOS because AireOS was just better. Don’t go into a new vendor wireless and compare with another because that will just limit you on what you currently know and will not allow you to grow. Many people on this forum don’t even use a management platform because they can use automation or maybe they have a smaller network that is manageable. Just read through the various features on AireOS and I guess CA since you have to support that too, but understand what is end of sale and end of support and how to migrate to something newer is the key here.
-Scott
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Participant

Re: AeroHive vs Cisco Wireless Solutions

And also just to add that Cisco does also have virtual versions of their WLC too - but they obviously have some limitations compared to hardware applicances.
https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/wireless/virtual-wireless-controller/index.html (old)
https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/wireless/catalyst-9800-cl-wireless-controller-cloud/nb-06-cat9800-cl-cloud-wirel-data-sheet-ctp-en.html (new)
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