The Cisco Aironet 350 Series Standard and Rugged Access Points
The Cisco Aironet® 350 Series Access Point (AP) delivers a cost-effective, reliable, secure, and easily managed wireless LAN (WLAN) solution for enterprise, small- and medium-sized businesses (see Figure 1). The Cisco Aironet 350 Series leads the industry in performance, range, reliability, security and mobility. It is easy to deploy and manage and reduces overall cost of ownership.
- Support for inline power over Ethernet, simplifying and reducing the total cost of installation and ownership
- High-performance 100-milliwatt (mW) radio design with power management capabilities, delivering industry-leading throughput, range, and reliability
- Architecture that protects user investments by supporting future software features
- Available in two versions: standard and rugged. The standard AP has a plastic case, standard operating temperature, and integrated antennas. The rugged AP has an extended operating temperature range, external antenna connectors for auxiliary antennas, and a metal case for durability and plenum rating.
- IEEE 802.1x-based Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) services that provide centralized, user-based authentication and single-user, single-session encryption keys for hassle-free security administration and user-based privacy
- Automatic channel selection, Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), and BOOTP services to simplify installation and management of WLANs
- High-availability services, such as load balancing and hot-standby redundancy, for dependable performance
- Rich filtering options on both the Ethernet and radio side to provide performance and application tuning to meet specific business requirements
Figure 1 An AP is the center point in an all-wireless network or serves as a connection point between a wired and wireless network. Multiple APs can be placed throughout a facility to give users with WLAN adapters the ability to roam freely throughout an extended area while maintaining uninterrupted access to all network resources.
The Cisco Aironet 350 Series AP is available in a rugged version (AIR-AP352E2R-x-K9). This enhanced version includes two RP-TNC connectors for use with optional antennas, an extended operating temperature range of -20° to 55° C, allowing for placement outdoors in a NEMA case or in harsh indoor environments such as warehouses and factories, and a durable metal enclosure. With its metal enclosure, the Cisco Aironet 350 Series AP is UL 2043 certified, and designed to achieve plenum rating as defined by various municipal fire codes. The Cisco Aironet 350 Series AP is also available in a standard version (AIR-AP352E2C) with a plastic enclosure and two captured, nonremovable 2.2 dBi diversity dipole antennas.
The Cisco Aironet 350 Series extends end-to-end intelligent networking to the wireless access point with support for enterprise-class virtual LANs (VLANs) and quality of service (QoS). An ideal choice for enterprise installations, the Cisco Aironet 350 Series can manage up to 16 VLANs (Figure 2), which allows customers to differentiate LAN policies and services, such as security and QoS, for different users. For example, enterprise customers can use different VLANs to segregate employee traffic from guest traffic, and further segregate those traffic groups from high-priority voice traffic. Traffic to and from wireless clients with varying security capabilities can be segregated into VLANs with varying security policies. For example, VLANs allow educational institutions to secure faculty and administrator traffic from student traffic traveling over the same infrastructure. Implementing VLAN segmentation increases wireless LAN manageability and security.
Figure 2 Indoor Wireless VLAN Deployment
With support for 802.1p QoS, the Cisco Aironet 350 Series provides traffic prioritization for packets traveling to and from the access point over Ethernet. Delay-sensitive traffic, such as voice and video, can be prioritized over data traffic for improved user experience and optimal network utilization. Software and radio firmware upgrades provide the capability to upgrade to future QoS standards such as 802.11e. Supporting the voice prioritization schemes for 802.11b mobile phones, the Aironet 350 Series further enables quality voice-over-wireless-LAN solutions.
The Cisco Aironet 350 Series AP includes a 10/100 Ethernet uplink for seamless integration with existing wired LANs. To minimize installation costs, the Cisco Aironet 350 Series AP draws operating power from a powered Ethernet port. This line power configuration works with all Cisco line power-enabled devices such as Catalyst switches and line power patch panels (see Figures 3-5) A line power injector, included with the product, can also be used to power the Cisco Aironet 350 Series AP.
Figure 3 The AP can utilize a Cisco Catalyst 3524-PWR-XL for its power
Figure 4 A Cisco Catalyst Inline Power Patch Panel may be used to power the AP
Figure 5 Cisco also offers a power injector to power the Cisco Aironet 350 Series AP
The 100-mW transmit power and receive sensitivity of the Cisco Aironet 350 Series AP leads the industry in range and reliability. Antenna diversity and superior delay spread (multipath) characteristics of the Cisco Aironet 350 Series deliver improved performance even in harsh environments such as warehouses, factories, and metal buildings.
Administrators can configure the radio transmit power (1, 5, 20, 30, 50, and 100 mW) on the Cisco Aironet 350 Series to meet specific coverage requirements and minimize interference. In addition to an AP with two captured 2.2 dBi antennas, an AP with two RP-TNC connectors is offered for more challenging applications, where a broad portfolio of removable antennas can be used to further increase range and reliability.
Wireless LAN security is a primary concern. The Cisco Aironet 350 Series secures the enterprise network with a scalable and manageable system featuring the award-winning Cisco Wireless Security Suite. Based on the 802.1X standard for port-based network access, the Cisco Wireless Security Suite takes advantage of the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) framework for user-based authentication (Figure 6).
Figure 6 The Cisco Wireless Security Suite is an Enterprise-Class Security System Based on the 802.1X Architecture
The Cisco Wireless Security Suite interoperates with a range of client devices. It supports all 802.1X authentication types, including EAP Cisco Wireless (LEAP), Extensible Authentication Protocol-Transport Layer Security (EAP-TLS) and types that operate over EAP-TLS, such as Protected Extensible Authentication Protocol (PEAP), EAP-Tunneled TLS (EAP-TTLS) and EAP-Subscriber Identity Module (EAP-SIM). A wide selection of Remote Access Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) servers, such as the Cisco Secure Access Control Server (ACS), can be used for enterprise-class centralized user management that includes:
- Strong, mutual authentication to ensure that only legitimate clients associate with legitimate and authorized network RADIUS servers
- Dynamic per-user, per-session encryption keys that automatically change on a configurable basis to protect the privacy of transmitted data
- Stronger WEP keys provided by pre-standard Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) enhancements such as message integrity check (MIC), per-packet keys via initialization vector hashing and broadcast key rotation
- RADIUS accounting records for all authentication attempts.
The Cisco Aironet Series offers simplified installation and configuration, for rapid, anytime, anywhere installation, configuration, and management (see Figure 7). The series supports Web-based management and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) features to aid monitoring, troubleshooting, software download, and event logging.
The frequency agility option of the Cisco Aironet Series takes the guesswork out of channel configuration. In this mode, the AP automatically scans the area and selects the least-congested channel. The installer does not need to be aware of the settings of other Cisco APs in the coverage area. For enterprise management, the Cisco Aironet Series provides support for Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) to enable auto discovery of Cisco Aironet APs and bridges using Cisco enterprise management applications such as CiscoWorks2000. Additionally, Cisco Aironet APs support standard SNMP Management Information Base (MIB) II, Cisco Aironet Series private MIB, and 802.11b MIB. Cisco Aironet Series APs can also be managed via the console or the Telnet interface.
Figure 7 The Access Point Management System's Express Setup screen provides all the settings required for basic configuration of the access point.
All Cisco Aironet Series APs feature load-balancing services. Up to three APs, configured for different channels, can be colocated to achieve aggregate peak capacity of 33 Mbps for a single coverage area. Load-balancing policies based on number of users, error rates, and signal strengths redistribute users to deliver more balanced collision domainsimproving overall performance for installations covering a large number of users.
Broadcast and multicast filtering also enhance scalability. Filtering allows administrators to select the amount of such frames that enter the WLAN, conserving the shared bandwidth. Layer 3 IP Net and IP Socket filters are also provided.
For business-critical deployments, a Cisco Aironet AP can be configured as a redundant hot standby to another AP in the same coverage area. The hot-standby AP continually monitors the primary AP on the same channel, and assumes its role in the rare case of a failure of the primary AP.
Cisco offers a comprehensive WLAN solution including APs and bridges, a variety of client adapters supporting all popular operating systems, a broad selection of antennas, as well as a security server and enterprise management applications.
Because it is a part of the Cisco Aironet Series, the Cisco Aironet 350 AP delivers the high level of security, manageability, scalability, and cost-effectiveness needed to deliver ubiquitous enterprise wireless services that extend user mobility and enhance overall productivity. Table 1 provides specifications on the Cisco Aironet 350 Series AP.
Table 1 Cisco Aironet 350 Series Specifications
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|Data Rates Supported|
|Network Architecture Types|
|Media Access Protocol|
|Available Transmit Power Settings|
|Range (typical @ 100-mW transmit power setting with 2.2 dBi diversity dipole antenna)|
Operates license free under FCC Part 15 and complies as a Class B device; complies with DOC regulations; complies with ETS 300.328, FTZ 2100, and MPT 1349 standards; rugged version complies with UL 2043
|Encryption Key Length|
|Virtual LAN (VLAN) Support|
|Quality of Service (QoS) Support|
|Automatic Configuration Support|
|Remote Configuration Support|
|Plenum Rated Enclosure|
|Input Power Requirements|