The Cisco® 5500 Series Wireless Controller, shown in Figure 1, is a highly scalable and flexible platform that enables systemwide services for mission-critical wireless networking in medium-sized to large enterprises and campus environments. Designed for 802.11n performance and maximum scalability, the 5500 Series offers enhanced uptime with:
• Superior performance for reliable streaming video and toll- quality voice
• Sub-second stateful failover of all access points and clients from the primary to standby controller
Figure 1. Cisco 5500 Series Wireless LAN Controller
Optimized for high-performance wireless networking, the Cisco 5500 Series Controller offers improved mobility and prepares the business for the next wave of mobile devices and applications. The 5500 Series supports a higher density of clients and delivers more efficient roaming, with at least nine times the throughput of existing 802.11a/g networks.
The 5500 Series automates wireless configuration and management functions and allows network managers to have the visibility and control needed to cost-effectively manage, secure, and optimize the performance of their wireless networks. With integrated Cisco CleanAir® technology, the 5500 Series protects 802.11n performance by providing cross-network access to real-time and historic RF interference information for quick troubleshooting and resolution.
The Cisco 5508 Wireless Controller supports Cisco Application Visibility and Control(AVC), the technology that includes the Network-Based Application Recognition 2 (NBAR-2) engine, Cisco's deep packet inspection (DPI) capability. The NBAR-2 engine can classify applications, applies quality of service (QoS) setting to either drop or mark the traffic, and prioritizes business-critical applications in the network. Cisco AVC uses NetFlow Version 9 to export the flows to Cisco Prime™Infrastructure or a third-party NetFlow Collector. The 5508 also supports Bonjour Services Directory to enable Bonjour Services to be advertised and utilized in a separate Layer 3 network. Wireless Policy engine is a wireless profiler and policy feature on the Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller that enables profiling of wireless devices and enforcement of policies such as VLAN assignment, QoS, ACL and time-of-day-based access.
Base access point licensing offers flexibility to add up to 500 additional access points as business needs grow. The licensing structure supports a variety of business mobility needs as part of the basic feature set, including the Cisco OfficeExtend solution for secure, mobile teleworking and Cisco Enterprise Wireless Mesh, which allows access points to dynamically establish wireless connections in locations where it may be difficult or impossible to physically connect to the wired network.
Table 1. Cisco 5500 Series Wireless LAN Controller Features
• Supports 12, 25, 50,100, 250, or 500 access points for business-critical wireless services at locations of all sizes
• Wired speed, nonblocking performance for 802.11n networks
• Provides both real-time and historical information about RF interference impacting network performance across controllers, via systemwide Cisco CleanAir technology integration
• Supports corporate wireless service for mobile and remote workers with secure wired tunnels to the Cisco Aironet® 1130 or 1140 Series Access Points
• Extends the corporate network to remote locations with minimal setup and maintenance requirements (zero-touch deployment)
• Improves productivity and collaboration at remote site locations
• Separate SSID tunnels allow both corporate and personal Internet access
• Reduced CO2 emissions from decrease in commuting
• Higher employee job satisfaction from ability to work at home
• Improves business resiliency by providing continuous, secure connectivity in the event of disasters, pandemics, or inclement weather
Comprehensive End-to-End Security
• Offers control and provisioning of wireless access points (CAPWAP)-compliant DTLS encryption to help ensure full-line-rate encryption between access points and controllers across remote WAN/LAN links
Enterprise Wireless Mesh
• Allows access points to dynamically establish wireless connections without the need for a physical connection to the wired network
• Available on select Cisco Aironet access points, Enterprise Wireless Mesh is ideal for warehouses, manufacturing floors, shopping centers and any other location where extending a wired connection may prove difficult or aesthetically unappealing
High Performance Video
• Integrates Cisco VideoStream technology as part of the medianet framework to optimize the delivery of video applications across the WLAN
• Other Indicators: Sys, ACT, Power Supply 1, Power Supply 2
Physical and Environmental
• Dimensions (WxDxH): 17.30 x 21.20 x 1.75 in. (440 x 539 x 44.5 mm)
• Weight: 20 lbs (9.1 kg) with 2 power supplies
• Temperature: Operating temperature: 32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C); Storage temperature: -13 to 158°F (-25 to 70°C)
• Humidity: Operating humidity: 10 95%, noncondensing. Storage humidity: up to 95%
• Input power: 100 to 240 VAC; 50/60 Hz; 1.05 A at 110 VAC, 115W Maximum; 0.523 A at 220 VAC, 115W Maximum; Test Conditions: Redundant Power Supplies, 40C, Full Traffic.
• Heat Dissipation: 392 Btu/hour at 110/220 VAC Maximum
• UL 60950-1:2003
• EN 60950:2000
• EMI and susceptibility (Class A)
• U.S.: FCC Part 15.107 and 15.109
• Canada: ICES-003
• Japan: VCCI
• Europe: EN 55022, EN 55024
Tables 3 and Table 4 list the ordering and accessories information for Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controllers.
Table 3. Ordering Information for Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controllers
Cisco SMARTnet® Service 8x5xNBD
5500 Series Wireless Controller for up to 12 Cisco access points
5500 Series Wireless Controller for up to 25 Cisco access points
5500 Series Wireless Controller for up to 50 Cisco access points
5500 Series Wireless Controller for up to 100 Cisco access points
5500 Series Wireless Controller for up to 250 Cisco access points
5500 Series Wireless Controller for up to 500 Cisco access points
2 Pack 5500 Series Wireless Controller for up to 500 Cisco access points each (1000 access points total)
Cisco 5508 Series Wireless Controller for High Availability
Table 4. Accessories for Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controllers
5500 Series Wireless Controller Redundant AC Power Supply
5500 Series Wireless Controller Fan Tray
5500 Series Wireless Controller Spare mounting kit
Additive Capacity Upgrade Licenses
Tables 5 and 6 list additive capacity upgrade licenses for the Cisco 5500 Series.
Table 5. Ordering Information for Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controllers Additive Capacity Licenses (e-Delivery Product Authorization Keys [PAKs])
Cisco SMARTnet Service 8x5xNBD
Primary upgrade SKU: Pick any number or combination of the following options under this SKU to upgrade one or many controllers under one product authorization key
5 AP Adder License for the 5508 Controller (eDelivery)
25 AP Adder License for the 5508 Controller (eDelivery)
50 AP Adder License for the 5508 Controller (eDelivery)
100 AP Adder License for the 5508 Controller (eDelivery)
250 AP Adder License for the 5508 Controller (eDelivery)
Table 6. Ordering Information for Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controllers Additive Capacity Licenses (Paper PAKs)
Cisco SMARTnet Service 8x5xNBD
Primary upgrade SKU: Pick any number or combination of the following options under this SKU, to upgrade one or many controllers under one product authorization key.
5 AP Adder License for the 5508 Controller
25 AP Adder License for the 5508 Controller
50 AP Adder License for the 5508 Controller
100 AP Adder License for the 5508 Controller
250 AP Adder License for the 5508 Controller
The additive capacity licenses allow for the increase in access point capacity supported by the controller up to a maximum of 500 access points. As an example, if a controller was initially ordered with support for 250 access points, that capacity could be later increased to up to 500 access points by purchasing a 250-access-point additive capacity license (1x-LIC-CT5508-250A).
A certificate with a PAK is required to add additional access point capacity on the Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller.
The certificate may be expedited via email. If a paper certificate is required for customs, it should be ordered to ship via U.S. mail. Each additive capacity license and PAK must be registered prior to installation.
Ordering and installing the Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller additive capacity licenses is a three-step process:
1. Select the correct SKU for email or paper delivery.
3. Install the license on the Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller (see Installing License).
Please review the Cisco Wireless LAN Controller Configuration Guide, Release 6.0 or later, for detailed ordering, registration, and installation information for the 5500 Series additive capacity licenses.
Electronic delivery of the same PAKs is available by ordering the e-License SKUs as listed in Table 5. If a paper certificate is required, please use the SKUs listed in Table 6.
PAK Certificate Registration
Customers are required to register a PAK certificate for all upgrade licenses for the Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controllers. Customer email address and host name are required to register the PAK certificate at: http://www.cisco.com/go/license.
Installing License on Cisco WCS Server
Follow these steps to install a license file. If you need additional help, contact Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) at 800 553-2447 or email@example.com.
1. Install Cisco WCS software if not already completed.
2. Save the license file (.lic) to a temporary directory on your hard drive. (You will receive an email from Cisco with an attached license file)
3. Open a supported version of the Internet Explorer browser.
4. In the location or address field, enter the following URL, replacing IP address with the IP address or host name of the Cisco WCS server: https: // <IP address>.
5. Log in to the Cisco WCS server as system administrator. (Be aware that usernames and passwords are case-sensitive.)
6. From the Help menu, select Licensing.
7. On the Licensing page, from the Command menu, select Add License.
8. On the Add License page, click Browse to navigate to the location where you saved the .lic file.
9. Click Download. The Cisco WCS server imports the license.
Table 7 shows the optional DTLS license for Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controllers.
Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) is required for all OfficeExtend deployments to encrypt the Data Plane traffic. Customers planning to install this device physically in Russia must order the controller with DTLS disabled and then obtain a physical PAK in order to enable a DTLS license and should not download the license from Cisco.com. Please consult your local government regulations to ensure that Data DTLS encryption is permitted.
If a customer chooses SWC5500K9-60, SWC5500K9-70 or SWC5500K9-72, DTLS Data Encryption is enabled by default. When a customer orders the 5500 Series and chooses either SWC5500LPE-K9-70 or SWC5500LPE-K9-72 in the Optional Licenses tab, data DTLS Encryption is disabled.
The DTLS Paper PAK license is designated for customers who purchase a controller with DTLS disabled due to import restrictions but get permission to add DTLS support after initial purchase. This optional DTLS license is required for Cisco OfficeExtend deployment.
Table 7. Optional Licensing for Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controllers (PAKs)
Step 8. Choose the release that corresponds to the SW running on your WLC
Step 9. Choose the NON LDPE software release: AIR-CT5500-K9-X-X-XX.aes
Step 10. Complete the remaining steps to download the software
Service and Support
Realize the full business value of your wireless network and mobility services investments faster with intelligent, customized services from Cisco and our partners. Backed by deep networking expertise and a broad ecosystem of partners, Cisco professional and technical services enable you to successfully plan, build, and run your network as a powerful business platform. Our services can help you successfully deploy the Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller and integrate mobility solutions effectively to lower the total cost of ownership and secure your wireless network.
The Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller is designed for 802.11n performance and offers maximum scalability for enterprise and service provider wireless deployments. It simplifies deployment and operation of wireless networks, helping to ensure smooth performance, enhance security, and maximize network availability. The Cisco 5500 Series Wireless Controller manages all the Cisco access points within campus environments and branch locations, eliminating complexity and providing network administrators with visibility and control of their wireless LANs.