As a network administrator keeping up with the methods of today is more challenging, and not relying solely on traditional ways of configuration and management is demanding. APIs have become a buzz word, and supporting it shows that your device is next-gen. But in reality, APIs only work at the application layer; as network engineers we are more interested in looking at what’s cooking and what we need to cook at Network Layer. So NETCONF/YANG and Open Config, working at the Network Layer, become a necessity to achieve programmability and telemetry and provide a true next-gen wireless controller. In addition to these methods, getting consistent data flow information is very essential for better visibility and on-box Python which enables scripting on the device itself.
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controller apart from blending Cisco network leadership with Cisco RF innovation is built on top of Cisco IOS XE - open and flexible operating system optimized for a new era of enterprise networks. With Catalyst 9800 running Cisco IOS XE helps reducing complexity related to business and network allowing customers to qualify and deploy new services faster.
Miercom was engaged in independently assessing Cisco’s next-generation enterprise wireless architecture, with Catalyst 9800, alongside the latest competitive offerings of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE-Aruba), Ruckus and Huawei Technologies focusing on aspects such as high availability offering a consistent performance, flexibility in terms of deployment (physical or virtual), ease of use & comprehensive security with unbeatable programmability and telemetry using popular standard models (YANG, NETCONF, RESTCONF) and on-box Python scripting for fulfilling the needs of next generation wireless campus
Cisco Catalyst 9800 wireless controller proved to be miles ahead in the race over the competitor offerings, in terms of High Availability, Security, Deployment Flexibility. The key thing was to assess the true next-generation wireless capability by supporting the modern methods of data extraction and configuration on devices. Touching the programmability aspect both at the application and the network layer is the basic necessity to sustain the claim of next-generation wireless architecture and Cisco Catalyst 9800 turned out, as expected, to be a clear winner in terms of providing a fully-loaded ammunition for open and programmable infrastructure.
Miercom found out that Aruba supports XML/RESTful API, Ruckus supports RESTful API and Huawei supports limited APIs; none of the vendors supported YANG/NETCONF models or on-box python making Cisco Catalyst 9800 unbeatable, supporting YANG and NETCONF/RESTCONF, along with traditional APIs, and on-box Python scripting.
Miercom verified that for security and traffic modelling, competitor offering samples traffic to be captured using sFlow which collects at best one or two of 100 packets while still being subject to false alarms, blurred analysis and missed packets. Full NetFlow offered by Cisco allows monitoring 100% of packet flow through hardware without impacting performance and enabling traffic monitoring & analysis at a very granular level.
Cisco Catalyst 9800 wireless controllers are built on Cisco IOS XE operating system which offers a rich set of open standards based programmable APIs and model driven telemetry that provide an easy way to automate day 0-N network operations. Model-driven streaming telemetry provides deep insights into your network and client health.
Miercom report proves that Cisco does not compromise at all to offer a robust next-generation wireless network infrastructure with purpose-built high availability, unmatchable security, deployment flexibility and on top of it - the power of programmability with open standard based models.
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series wireless controllers makes a complete package of being always on and secure while at the same time proving that there’s more to programmability than just the equation “Programmability=API”.
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Most of the times while considering for wireless controllers, we look at what are the options available for deployment – physical appliance for my large campus or virtual appliance deployed on private/public cloud? Or a wireless controller embedded on a switch? (really?!) The next question you would have in mind is about scale – will it be scalable enough to cater the needs of my network without impacting the operational cost? Will it have a footprint that is limited to being minimum?
How happy you would be to know that the answer to each and every option/question is a single “Yes”! Well that “Yes” is provided by Cisco Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controller which brings together the perfect concoction of Cisco network leadership with Cisco RF innovation. Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controller is built on top of Cisco’s RF excellence & wireless innovations along with Cisco IOS XE - a modern, programmable and modular operating system.
Miercom independently assessed Cisco’s next-generation enterprise wireless architecture, with Catalyst 9800, alongside the latest competitive offerings of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE-Aruba), Ruckus and Huawei Technologies focusing on aspects such as high availability offering a consistent performance, flexibility in terms of deployment (physical or virtual), ease of use & comprehensive security with unbeatable programmability and telemetry using popular standard models (YANG, NETCONF, RESTCONF) and on-box Python scripting for fulfilling the needs of next generation wireless campus
Already leading with the prowess of Cisco Catalyst 9800 wireless controller over the competitor offerings, in terms of High Availability and Security, it was such a delight (as expected) to see how Catalyst 9800 fared in aspects of deployment flexibility and programmability.
Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers can be deployed anywhere- on prem, in cloud (public/private), on switch- to enable wireless connectivity everywhere. Catalyst 9800 has multiple form-factors to enrich customer’s deployment options and scale options to best meet your organization’s needs.
A sneak peek at competitive offerings and we come to know that Aruba offers wireless controllers in many appliance forms, but often require an additional layer of an appliance/VM called “Mobility Master” to manage clusters of the wireless controller appliances which increases CapEx and OpEx by multiple folds while offering extremely low scale for its virtual appliances and not offering a product which integrates the wireless controller with a switch. On the other hand, Ruckus offers an appliance-based wireless controller platform, with the same functionality in a software package but with extremely limited data plane traffic capacity. Still it lacks wireless controller capability on a switch. Huawei offers wireless controller integrates into the switch with some feature differences but does not offer its wireless controller in a software version for public or private cloud.
Miercom tested and proved that only Cisco provides the true flexibility and ability with Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers to offer both an unmatchable scale and deployment option in:
Private Cloud – Customers can deploy a virtual wireless controller inside their private data center on hypervisors like VMware ESXi, open-source KVM and Cisco ENCS.
Public Cloud – Customers can deploy and fully manage a virtual wireless controller that is readily available on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace.
Embed on a Switch – Customers can deploy a wireless controller on a switch which comes as a software package in Catalyst switching platforms enabling wireless with seamless software upgrades
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series wireless controllers may surely be synonymous to high availability & security but it certainly strikes the chords of being a perfect and complete next-gen wireless controller by adding on top of that synonym - “Deploy Anywhere”.
Please download complete Miercom report here.
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