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Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers FAQ

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Updated:May 26, 2022

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Updated:May 26, 2022
 

 

Overview

Q.  What are Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers?
A.   Cisco ® Catalyst ® 9800 Series Wireless Controllers are the next generation of wireless controllers built from the ground-up for intent-based networking. They are Cisco IOS ® XE-based and integrate the RF excellence from Aironet ® with the intent-based networking capabilities of Cisco IOS XE to create a best-in-class wireless experience for your evolving and growing organization.
The 9800 Series controllers are feature-rich and enterprise-ready to power your business-critical operations and transform end customer experiences:

1.     High availability and seamless software updates, enabled by hot and cold patching, keep your clients and services always on in planned and unplanned events.

2.     Secure air, devices, and users with the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series. Wireless infrastructure becomes the strongest first line of defense with Encrypted Traffic Analytics and SD-Access. The controllers come with built-in security: secure boot, runtime defenses, image signing, integrity verification, and hardware authenticity.

3.     Deploy anywhere to enable wireless connectivity everywhere. Whether on-premises, in public or private cloud, or embedded on an AP, the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series has multiple deployment and scale options to best meet your organization’s needs.

4.     Built on a modular operating system, open and programmable APIs enable automation of your day 0 to N network operations. Model-driven streaming telemetry provides deep insights into your network and client health.

Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers are available in multiple form factors to enrich your deployment options:

     Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller appliances

     Cisco Catalyst 9800-L

     Cisco Catalyst 9800-40

     Cisco Catalyst 9800-80

     Cisco Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controllers for Cloud

     Cisco Embedded Wireless Controller on Catalyst Access Points

Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controller product portfolio and positioning

Q.  What is the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller appliance?
A.   The Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller appliances are an addition to Cisco Catalyst access product family. The new wireless controller appliances are purpose-built for intent-based networks powered by fully programmable multi-core network processors. They offer high scale, performance, and resiliency to address deployment, starting from the medium-size campus to large enterprises and service providers.
Built with an agile Cisco IOS ® XE operating system, the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series appliances are industry-leading, secure wireless controllers that are always on and can be deployed anywhere.
Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller appliance comes with three form factors:

     Cisco Catalyst 9800-L Wireless Controller – a compact controller appliance that is the perfect complement to the small to medium-sized network deployment. Data ports can operate in 1GE and 10 GE mode supporting different SFP/SFP+ transceivers and up to 5 Gbps of throughput.

     Cisco Catalyst 9800-40 Wireless Controller – Fixed wireless controller with seamless software updates. Data ports can operate in 1GE and 10 GE mode supporting different SFP/SFP+ transceivers and up to 40Gbps of throughput.

     Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller – Modular wireless controller with 100GE modular uplink and seamless software updates. Fixed data ports can operate in 1 GE and 10 GE mode supporting different SFP/SP+ transceivers and up-to 80 Gbps of throughput. Modular Uplink provide flexible connectivity options supporting 10GE, 40GE, 100GE QSFP hot-swappable transceivers.

Seamless software updates include Software Maintenance Update (SMU) for Hot and Cold patching on wireless controllers, AP Service Pack for maintenance update on access points, AP Device Pack for introduction of new AP hardware into the network and Intelligent Rolling AP Upgrade for hitless controller and access point upgrade.
Q.  What are the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers for Cloud?
A.   The Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers for Cloud (C9800-CL) are an addition to the Cisco Catalyst access product family.
The next-generation virtual wireless controllers are purpose-built for intent-based networks powered by the Cisco IOS XE operating system, which supports model-driven programmability and streaming telemetry. They offer high scale, performance, and resiliency to address deployment, starting from distributed branches, medium-size campus to large enterprises and service providers.
Built with an agile Cisco IOS XE operating system, the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers for Cloud are industry-leading, secure wireless controllers that are always on and can be deployed anywhere.
Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers for Cloud are available to deploy in:

     Private cloud – Wireless controller for private cloud with seamless software updates runs the same Cisco IOS XE operating system as other Cisco Catalyst wireless platforms, enabling customers to deploy a virtual wireless controller inside their private data center on hypervisors like VMware ESXi, open-source KVM, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Cisco Enterprise Network Compute System (ENCS).

     Public cloud – Wireless controller for public cloud with seamless software updates runs the same Cisco IOS XE operating system as other Catalyst wireless platforms, enabling customers to deploy and fully manage a virtual wireless controller available on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace and Google Cloud (GCP) Marketplace.

Seamless software updates include Software Maintenance Update (SMU) for hot and cold patching on wireless controllers, AP Service Pack for maintenance update on access points, AP Device Pack for introduction of new AP hardware into the network, and Intelligent Rolling AP Upgrade for hitless controller and access point software upgrade.
Q.  What is the Cisco Embedded Wireless Controller (EWC) on Catalyst Access Points?
A.   The Cisco Embedded Wireless Controller (EWC) on Catalyst Access Points is a next-generation enterprise Wi-Fi solution in which the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller is embedded on Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points. Powered by Cisco IOS XE, the EWC adds another choice to the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series deployment options and provides a clear upgrade path as your network needs grow.
The EWC is specifically designed and built for single or multisite enterprise locations. Like the 9800 Series Wireless Controllers, the EWC on Catalyst Access Points is resilient, secure, and intelligent; is open and programmable; supports streaming telemetry; and yet is simple to deploy and manage.
Seamless software updates include Software Maintenance Update (SMU) for hot and cold patching on wireless controllers, AP Service Pack for maintenance update on access points, and AP Device Pack for introduction of new AP hardware into the network.
For EWC-specific information, please refer to the EWC FAQ.
Q.  What is the relative positioning among the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers?
A.   The Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers are industry-leading, secure wireless controllers that are always on and can be deployed anywhere. They offer high performance and resiliency to address deployments for different scale, from distributed branches to small and medium-sizes campuses to large enterprises.

Platform

Positioning

Catalyst 9800-L

Lead physical controller for small to medium-sized campus

Catalyst 9800-40

Lead physical controller for medium-sized campus

Catalyst 9800-80

Lead physical controller for large enterprises and service providers

Catalyst 9800 for Private Cloud

Lead virtual controller for small, medium, and large campuses

Catalyst 9800 for Public Cloud

Virtual controller for small distributed branches

Catalyst 9800 Embedded Wireless

Wireless controller for distributed branch SD-Access deployments

Embedded Wireless Controller (EWC)

Wireless controller for midmarket and distributed branches

Q.  What is the portfolio transition from the Aironet wireless controllers to the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers?
A.   The Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers are industry-leading, secure wireless controllers that are always on and can be deployed anywhere.

Current Aironet Wireless Controllers

Transition to Cisco Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controller

Mobility Express

Embedded Wireless Controller (EWC)

Virtual Wireless Controller

Catalyst 9800 for Private and Public Cloud

2504 and 3504 Wireless Controllers (flex deployment)

Embedded Wireless Controller (EWC)

2504 and 3504 Wireless Controllers

Cisco Catalyst 9800-L, 9800 for private and public cloud, 9800 Embedded Wireless for SD-Access deployment

5508 and 5520 wireless controller

Catalyst 9800-40, 9800 for private and public cloud

7510, 8510, and 8540 Wireless Controllers

Catalyst 9800-80, 9800 for private cloud

Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller appliances

Q.  What is the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller appliance?
A.   Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series wireless controllers are an addition to Cisco Catalyst access product family. The 9800 Series controllers are purpose-built for intent-based networks powered by fully programmable multicore network processors offering high scale, performance, and resiliency to address deployments from medium-sized campus to large enterprises and service providers.
Built with the modular Cisco IOS XE operating system, the 9800 Series wireless controllers are secure controllers that are always on and can be deployed anywhere.
The 9800 Series consists of three controllers:

     Cisco Catalyst 9800-L Wireless Controller

     Cisco Catalyst 9800-40 Wireless Controller

     Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller

Q.  What deployment modes are supported on the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller appliances?
A.   Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller appliances support all deployment modes, including centralized wireless, Cisco FlexConnect ®, and fabric.
Q.  What is the 9800-L performance license (LIC-C9800L-PERF)?
A.   The 9800-L performance license lets you use the 9800-L with up to 500 APs, 10,000 clients and 9-Gbps throughput.
Q.  What is the scale and performance of the 9800 Series Wireless Controller appliances?
A.    

Table 1.           Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller appliances scale and performance

Product

Number of access points

Number of clients

Throughput

9800-L

250

5000

Up to 5 Gbps

9800-L with performance license

500

10,000

Up to 9 Gbps

9800-40

2000

32,000

Up to 40 Gbps

9800-80

6000

64,000

Up to 80 Gbps

Q.  What Access Point (AP) models are supported with the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller appliances?
A.   The 9800 Series Appliances will support all Wave 1 and Wave 2 Cisco Aironet access points, as well as Cisco Catalyst 802.11ax access points. Note that there is no support for 802.11n, a, b, and g access points.
Q.  What AP modes are supported with the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller appliances?
A.   The 9800 Series appliances support Cisco access points in Local mode (centralized and SD-Access deployment), FlexConnect mode, and Bridge and Flex+Bridge modes.
Q.  Can an existing AireOS wireless controller coexist with the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers?
A.   Yes, AireOS wireless controllers can coexist with 9800 Series wireless controllers. IRCM is supported with AireOS 8.5 MR3 (special), AireOS 8.5 MR4 (special), and AireOS 8.8 MR2 release.
Q.  What are the 9800-L SKUs/PIDs?
A.    

Table 2.           Cisco Catalyst 9800-L product information

SKU/PID

Description

Comments

C9800-L-F-K9

Cisco Catalyst 9800-L Wireless Controller Fiber uplink

Base and HA SKU (Fiber uplink)

C9800-L-C-K9

Cisco Catalyst 9800-L Wireless Controller Copper uplink/Base and HA SKU

Base and HA SKU (Copper uplink)

C9800-L-F-CA-K9

Cisco 9800-L Wireless Controller Fiber Service

Service 9800-L (Fiber)

C9800-L-C-CA-K9

Cisco 9800-L Wireless Controller Copper Service

Service 9800-L (Copper)

LIC-9800-DTLS-K9

Cisco 9800 Wireless Controller license

Optional DTLS license

LIC-C9800L-PERF

Cisco Catalyst 9800-L Wireless Controller performance license

Optional performance license

LIC-C9800L-PERF=

Spare Cisco Catalyst 9800-L Wireless Controller performance license

Spare optional performance license

C9800-AC-110W

Cisco Catalyst 9800-L Wireless Controller Power Supply

9800-L PSU

C9800-AC-110W=

Cisco Catalyst 9800-L Wireless Controller 110W AC Power Supply

9800-L 110W AC PSU

C9800L-RMNT

Cisco 9800 Wireless Controller Rack Mount Tray

9800 Rack mount tray

C9800L-RMNT=

Spare Cisco 9800 Wireless Controller Rack Mount Tray

Spare 9800 Rack mount tray

Q.  What are the 9800-40 SKUs/PIDs?
A.    

Table 3.           Cisco Catalyst 9800-40 product information

SKU/PID

Description

Comments

C9800-40-K9

Cisco Catalyst 9800-40 Wireless Controller

Base and HA SKU

C9800-40-CA-K9

Cisco Catalyst 9800-40 Wireless Controller (service only)

Service SKU for customer sale

LIC-C9800-DTLS-K9

Cisco 9800 Wireless Controller DTLS license

Optional DTLS license

C9800-AC-750W-R

Cisco Catalyst 9800-40 750W AC power supply reverse air

Default power supply

C9800-AC-750W-R=

Cisco Catalyst 9800-40 750W AC power supply reverse air (spare)

Spare power supply for RMA or to add a redundant power supply

Q.  What are the 9800-80 SKUs/PIDs?
A.    

Table 4.           Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 product information

SKU/PID

Description

Comments

C9800-80-K9

Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller

Base and HA SKU

C9800-80-CA-K9

Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller (service only)

Service SKU for customer sale

LIC-C9800-DTLS-K9

Cisco 9800 Wireless Controller DTLS license

Optional DTLS license

C9800-AC-1100W

Cisco Catalyst Wireless Controller 1100 AC power supply

AC power supply

C9800-AC-1100W=

Cisco Catalyst Wireless Controller 1100 AC power Supply

Spare AC power supply

C9800-DC-950W

Cisco Catalyst Wireless Controller 950W DC power supply

DC power supply

C9800-DC-950W=

Cisco Catalyst Wireless Controller 950W DC power supply

Spare DC power supply

C9800-18X1GE=

Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 GE Module

Optional modular GE uplink

C9800-10X10GE=

Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 10GE Module

Optional modular 10 GE uplink

C9800-1X40GE=

Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 1 Port 40G Module

Optional modular 1-port 40 GE uplink

C9800-2X40GE(=)

Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 2 Port 40G Module

Optional modular 2-port 40GE uplink

C9800-1X100GE(=)

Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 1 Port 100G Module

Optional modular 1-port 100 GE uplink

C9800-BLANK

Cisco 9800 Module Blank

Blank for module slot

Q.  What are the HA SKUs for the Cisco Catalyst 9800-40 and 9800-80 wireless controllers?
A.   For 9800-L wireless controller HA SKU (fiber uplink) is C9800-L-F-K9.
For 9800-L wireless controller HA SKU (copper uplink) is C9800-L-C-K9.
For 9800-40 wireless controller HA SKU is C9800-40-K9.
For 9800-80 wireless controller HA SKU is C9800-80-K9.
Q.  When will the Cisco Catalyst 9800-L wireless controller support copper or fiber uplinks?
A.   There are two different versions of the 9800-L controller. One will support a copper uplink and the other fiber uplinks.
Q.  What is the SKU for the redundant power supply for the Cisco Catalyst 9800-L controller?
A.   The SKUs for the 9800-L redundant power supplies are C9800-AC-110W and C9800-AC-110W=.
Q.  What is the SKU for the redundant power supply for the Cisco Catalyst 9800-40 controller?
A.   The SKUs for the 9800-40 redundant power supply is C9800-AC-750W-R=.
Q.  What is the SKU for the redundant power supply for the Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 controller?
A.   The 9800-80 wireless controllers by default ship with redundant power supplies, AC or DC based on power supply selection at the time of order placement.
Q.  What are the SFP/SFP+ optics supported with the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller appliances?
A.    

Supported SFP/SFP+ optics

SFP-10G-SR

SFP-10G-LR

SFP-10G-ER

GLC-EX-SMD

GLC-SX-MMD

GLC-LH-SMD

GLC-ZXSMD

GLC-TE

SFP-10G-SR-X

SFP-10G-LR-X

DWDM-SFP10G-30.33=

SFP-10G-AOC2M

SFP-H10GB-ACU7M

Q.  How do I switch from 1G to 10G or 10G to 1G uplinks?
A.   No special operation - replacement of SFP or SFP+ enabled 1G or 10G links.
Q.  Are power supplies and modules hot swappable in the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller appliances?
A.   Yes, the power supplies and modules are hot swappable.
Q.  Can the 9800-40 and 9800-80 be deployed using two post rack mounts?
A.   Yes, the 9800-40 and 9800-80 can be deployed using two post rack mounts. The 9800-L is only a one rack mount.
Q.  Is Cisco IOS XE Software preinstalled when shipping?
A.   Yes. It ships with 16.12 as default software version from factory.
Q.  What is the product warranty for the 9800-L, 9800-40, and 9800-80 wireless controllers?
A.   1-year limited HW warranty. Please check for details - https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/warranty-listing.html.
Q.  What is the maximum power draw for the 9800-L, 9800-40, and 9800-80 wireless controllers?
A.   9800-L draws 110W of power
9800-40 draws 381W of power
9800-80 with modules draws 600W of power
Q.  What is the Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) for the 9800-L, 9800-40, and 9800-80 wireless controllers?
A.   MTBF for C9800-L is 100,000 hours
MTBF for C9800-40 is 123,450 hours
MTBF for C9800-80 is 85,450 hours
Q.  Can I configure the 9800-40 to be an HA/standby wireless controller to the 9800-80 wireless controller, or vice versa?
A.   No, high availability is supported only between the same model of wireless controllers as active and standby.
Q.  Is there a redundancy port in the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller appliances?
A.   Yes, a separate copper and fiber RP port is available. Only one can be used at the same time for HA connectivity between active and standby wireless controllers.
Q.  Are the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller appliances Wi-Fi certified?
A.   Yes.
Q.  Are the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller appliances Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS), Common Criteria (CC), and Department of Defense Unified Capabilities Approved Products List (UCAPL) certified?
A.   Yes, the Cisco Catalyst 9800 series Wireless Controllers are FIPS via a Compliance Review for the 17.3 and via NIST Validation for 16.12.  For a listing of all Cisco Compliance Reviews go to https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/industries/government/global-government-certifications/fips-140.html  Cisco is fully committed to the CR and NIST validation process and will continue to pursue certifications for newer versions of software on the C9800.
Q.  Does the customer replace the entire appliance for a power supply failure?
A.   No, the power supply is field replaceable, with no requirement to replace the appliance.
Q.  Are the uplink modules in the 9800-80 field replaceable?
A.   Yes, all the modules are field replaceable.
Q.  When does the customer replace the entire appliance?
A.   For any component failure except for the power supply and uplink modules, the entire appliance should be replaced.

Cisco Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controllers for Cloud

Q.  What are the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controllers for Cloud?
A.   The Cisco Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controllers for Cloud (9800-CL) are the next generation of enterprise-class virtual wireless controllers built for high availability and security. They are based on an x86 CPU and run a modern operating system, open Cisco IOS XE Software, which supports model-driven programmability, streaming telemetry, and patching.
The Cisco Catalyst 9800-CL provides customers flexibility and complete customization in deployment modes and feature richness in private and public clouds. It delivers high-speed, secure wireless services with differentiating features like zero-touch access point provisioning, high availability, application visibility and control, and more. The Cisco IOS XE Software enables customers to deploy a virtual wireless controller inside their private data center on hypervisors like VMware ESXi, open-source KVM, Cisco ENCS, Microsoft Hyper-V, or in a public cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud Platform (GCP) with the same enterprise-class networking features and services that they currently have on their hardware-based appliance, all configured and monitored via standard programmable interfaces.
Q.  What is the customer value proposition for the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controller for Cloud?
A.   Work environments are transforming to digital workplaces. To provide an always-on network with the desired performance for high-density environments, enterprises must deliver a wireless network that accommodates digital workspace transformation requirements with the efficiency and flexibility of a Virtual Machine (VM) deployment to move businesses at much higher speeds. The Cisco Catalyst 9800-CL is the next generation of enterprise-class virtual wireless controllers. It runs Cisco IOS XE Software and provides customers flexibility to deploy in private and public clouds. The benefits of the virtual version of the next-generation wireless controller include:

     Agility - Faster time to test, deploy, and roll out wireless network and services.

     Scalability - Option to scale up to 6000 access points and 64,000 wireless clients on a single virtual instance and can be quickly replicated, spawning multiple virtual instances to manage the increasing demands of wireless networks.

     Global footprint - Availability of the same virtual controller software in different regions for private and public clouds provides customers flexibility to deploy and manage the wireless network the way they want, quickly and efficiently.

     Cost-effectiveness - Customers who already have a VM environment in a private or public cloud can benefit from operational cost savings by deploying a virtual controller, since it can reside with other VMs sharing existing virtualization infrastructure with no extra cost of hardware, power, and rack space.

     Ease of operation - Customers have the flexibility to deploy a next-generation virtual wireless controller as a VM, benefiting from ease of operation and deployment to remote locations. The VM form factor makes it easy to dynamically scale to support the needs of a rapidly growing enterprise, enabling a much more efficient use of resources by adding more CPU and storage resources. By moving to a VM-based deployment that has more memory and compute, more services can be managed on the network.

Q.  What does “CL” stand for in the 9800-CL model number?
A.   “CL” in the 9800-CL model number stands for the cloud option within the new Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers. The 9800-CL is the next generation of enterprise-class virtual wireless controllers that runs Cisco IOS XE Software and provides customers flexibility to deploy in private and public clouds.
Q.  Are there multiple Cisco IOS XE Software images to install private and public clouds for different scale?
A.   No, there is a single Cisco IOS XE Software image that can be used to deploy VM in private or public cloud for any scale. Customers can go to Cisco.com to download a Cisco IOS XE Software image for VMware ESXi, open source KVM, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Cisco ENCS to deploy in a private cloud and can also go to Amazon Market Place or Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to deploy and manage the wireless controller in a public cloud.
Q.  What mechanisms support onboarding access points with the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controller for Cloud?
A.   For easy onboarding of access points, the customer can use the Plug and Play functionality of Cisco DNA Center for private cloud, or the Cisco Plug and Play Connect server for private and public cloud. The customer can also use any regular Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points (CAPWAP) discovery methods, such as Layer 3 CAPWAP discovery, locally stored wireless controller IPv4 or IPv6 address discovery, DHCP server discovery using option 43, DHCP server discovery using option 52, DNS discovery, and others to onboard Cisco access points on private and public cloud.
Q.  Which Cisco access points are supported with the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controller for Cloud?
A.   All 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 indoor and outdoor Cisco Aironet access points and 802.11ax Cisco Catalyst 9100 access points are supported.
Q.  Is there a tool to migrate my existing AireOS wireless controller configuration to the Cisco IOS XE Software based wireless controller configuration?
A.   Yes, there is an integrated tool in the WebUI of the 9800-CL that can help you migrate your existing AireOS wireless controller configuration. The same tool is also present in Cisco Prime ® Infrastructure, and a standalone version is available on Cisco.com, which can help in migrating an existing AireOS wireless controller configuration.
Q.  Is programmability supported on the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controller for Cloud?
A.   Yes, the 9800-CL runs a modern operating system, the open Cisco IOS XE Software that supports model-driven programmability and streaming telemetry.
Q.  How many Cisco access points and wireless clients are supported for private cloud?
A.   The 9800-CL is the next generation of enterprise-class virtual wireless controllers that runs Cisco IOS XE Software and supports up to 6000 access points and 64,000 wireless clients on single VM in a private cloud.
Q.  What are the different scale options supported by the 9800-CL for a private cloud?
A.   While installing VM in a private cloud using a single Cisco IOS XE Software image, the customer will have the flexibility to choose different templates based on their wireless scale requirements. Three templates (small, medium, and large) are supported while installing VM. Based on the template selected, CPU and memory are allocated, which in turn will decide how many access points and clients can be supported.

     Small template: Up to 1000 access points and 10,000 wireless clients

     Medium template: Up to 3000 access points and 32,000 wireless clients

     Large template: Up to 6000 access points and 64,000 wireless clients for FlexConnect and SD-Access deployments

Q.  What is the maximum throughput supported in a private cloud?
A.   The 9800-CL, when deployed in a private cloud, supports up to 2.1 Gbps of throughput.
Q.  What deployment modes are supported for a private cloud?
A.   The 9800-CL when deployed in a private cloud supports Cisco access points in Local mode — centralized and SD-Access deployment, FlexConnect mode, and Bridge and Flex+Bridge modes.
Q.  Will the private cloud support all the features supported on the appliance?
A.   Yes. The 9800-CL, when deployed in a private cloud, will support all the features and deployment modes supported by the hardware appliance with 2.1 Gbps of throughput.
Q.  Will a private cloud support high availability?
A.   Yes. The 9800-CL, when deployed in a private cloud, will support high availability with access point and client Stateful Switchover (SSO) between VMs residing on the same or different virtualization infrastructures.
Q.  Can the 9800-CL work as a guest anchor when deployed in a private cloud?
A.   Yes. The 9800-CL can be configured as a guest anchor wireless controller when deployed in a private cloud.
Q.  What management capabilities are available for the Cisco Catalyst 9800-CL when deployed in a private cloud?
A.   When deployed in a private cloud, the 9800-CL can be managed using the onboard Cisco IOS XE Software WebUI, using Cisco Prime Infrastructure, Netconf/YANG, and the Cisco IOS Software CLI. The 9800-CL has been designed to work with Cisco DNA Center, using the Cisco DNA Center appliance.
Q.  Can Cisco DNA Center manage the Cisco Catalyst 9800-CL for automation and assurance?
A.   Yes, the 9800-CL, when deployed in a private cloud, can be managed from Cisco DNA Center for automation and assurance workflows.
Q.  What hypervisor tools and functionality are supported for a private cloud?
A.   The Cisco Catalyst 9800-CL runs Cisco IOS XE Software and can be deployed as a VM inside the customer’s data center on hypervisors such as VMware ESXi, open-source KVM, Microsoft Hyper-V, and as Cisco NFVIS on the Cisco ENCS.
Table 5 lists the supported functionality on different VMware tools.

Table 5.           Supported functionality on VMware tools.

VMware functionality

vCenter

vSphere client

VM snapshot

Yes

Yes

VM migration

Yes

N/A

VM backup and restore

Yes

N/A

NIC teaming

Yes

Yes

vMotion

Yes

N/A

For Hyper-V, the NIC teaming and checkpoint features are supported.
Q.  What network adapters are supported for a private cloud?
A.   The Cisco Catalyst 9800-CL runs Cisco IOS XE Software and can be deployed as a VM inside a customer’s data center on hypervisors such as VMware ESXi, open-source KVM, Microsoft Hyper-V, and as Cisco NFVIS on the Cisco ENCS.
Table 6 lists the supported network adapters for VMware ESXi, open-source KVM, and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors.

Table 6.           Supported network adapters

Adapter

VMware ESXi

Open-source KVM

Microsoft Hyper-V

vNIC adaptors support

VMXNET3

 

 

E1000E

VIRTIO

NetVSC

E1000

 

 

Q.  Can an existing AireOS wireless controller coexist with a 9800-CL private cloud?
A.   Yes. An AireOS wireless controller can coexist with a 9800-CL private cloud. Inter-Release Controller Mobility (IRCM) is supported with AireOS 8.5 MR3 (special), AireOS 8.5 MR4 (special), and AireOS 8.8 MR2 release.
Q.  How many Cisco access points and wireless clients are supported for a public cloud?
A.   The Cisco Catalyst 9800-CL is the next generation of enterprise-class virtual wireless controllers that run Cisco IOS XE Software and support up to 6000 access points and 64,000 wireless clients on a single VM in a public cloud.
Q.  What are the scale options for a Cisco Catalyst 9800-CL wireless controller for a public cloud?
A.   The 9800-CL in a public cloud supports a single template, which will install resources on virtualization infrastructure to support up to 6000 access points and 64,000 wireless clients on a single VM. The 9800-CL in a public cloud supports three templates – small, medium, or large – for different wireless scale requirements.
Small template: Up to 1000 access points and 10,000 wireless clients
Medium template: Up to 3000 access points and 32,000 wireless clients
Large template: Up to 6000 access points and 64,000 wireless clients
Q.  What deployment modes are supported for a public cloud?
A.   The Cisco Catalyst 9800-CL supports Cisco access points in FlexConnect mode when deployed in a public cloud. It will also support FlexConnect central authentication and local switching deployment when the access points are configured in FlexConnect mode.
Q.  What is the maximum throughput supported in a public cloud?
A.   Since the C9800-CL, when deployed in public cloud, support FlexConnect Local switching deployment only, there is no data traffic that goes to the wireless controller.
Q.  Will a public cloud support all the features supported with FlexConnect deployment?
A.   Yes. The 9800-CL, when deployed in a public cloud, supports all the features supported for FlexConnect central authentication and local switching deployment.
Q.  Will a public cloud support high availability?
A.   When deployed in a public cloud, the Cisco Catalyst 9800-CL supports FlexConnect local switching deployment only. There is no need to support access point and client SSO in the public cloud. If for any reason a Cisco access point loses connectivity to the wireless controller, that Cisco access point moves to standalone mode and will be able to serve new and existing wireless clients with no network downtime.
Q.  Is guest anchor supported in a public cloud?
A.   No, guest anchor deployment is not supported when the 9800-CL is deployed in a public cloud. For guest onboarding, the WLAN can be configured with local web authentication or central web authentication, and traffic will be switched locally from a Cisco access point to reach the guest portal.
Q.  What management capabilities are available for the Cisco Catalyst 9800-CL wireless controller when deployed in a public cloud?
A.   When deployed in a public cloud, the 9800-CL can be managed using the onboard Cisco IOS XE Software WebUI, Netconf/YANG, or Cisco IOS Software CLI.
Q.  Is managed VPN mandatory to deploy the Cisco Catalyst 9800-CL wireless controller in a public cloud?
A.   Yes, managed VPN is mandatory to deploy the 9800-CL in a public cloud.
Q.  Can the Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000V (CSR) be used to deploy managed VPN in a public cloud?
A.   Yes. The Cisco CSR can be used to deploy managed VPN when the 9800-CL is deployed in a public cloud.
Q.  For public cloud deployment, where are the AAA server and Active Directory (AD) located?
A.   When deployed in a public cloud only, the 9800-CL supports FlexConnect central authentication and local switching deployment. It is recommended to locate the AAA server and AD in the customer’s on-premises data center.
Q.  What is the recommended EC2 instance for a public cloud deployment?
A.   The recommended Amazon EC2 instance when the 9800-CL is deployed in a public cloud is “c5.xlarge” for the small template, “c5.2xlarge” for the medium template, and “c5.4xlarge” for the large template.
Q.  Is the Cisco Catalyst 9800-CL available in all regions for public cloud deployment?
A.   Yes, the 9800-CL is available in all regions for deploying a virtual wireless controller in a public cloud.
Q.  Is the Cisco Catalyst 9800-CL available in the AWS GovCloud region?
A.   Yes, the 9800-CL is available in the AWS GovCloud region to deploy a virtual wireless controller.
Q.  Can I have multiple managed VPN connections from every branch to terminate on a cloud router?
A.   Yes. Multiple VPN connections can be established from every branch router to the Cisco CSR for direct reachability from Cisco access points in the branch to the 9800-CL when deployed in a public cloud.
Q.  Can I deploy an N+1 wireless controller in the public cloud for high availability?
A.   Yes. An N+1 wireless controller can be deployed with the 9800-CL in the public cloud, configuring a primary, secondary, and tertiary wireless controller per access point.
Q.  Can I have a hybrid model, with a wireless controller in the cloud configured as a secondary controller for access points joined on a private cloud?
A.   Yes, the 9800-CL, when deployed in a public cloud, can be configured as a secondary or tertiary wireless controller per access point when access points have joined the wireless controller in a private cloud as primary controller.
Q.  What is the SKU/PID for the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controllers for Cloud?
A.   The SKU/PID is C9800-CL-K9. There is a single PID/SKU for private and public cloud.

Cisco Embedded Wireless Controller (EWC) on Catalyst Access Points

Q.  What is the Cisco Embedded Wireless Controller on Catalyst Access Points?
A.   The Cisco Embedded Wireless Controller on Catalyst Access Points is a next-generation enterprise Wi-Fi solution in which the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller is embedded on Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points.
The Embedded Wireless Controller (EWC) on Catalyst Access Points is specifically designed and built for single or multisite enterprise locations. Like the 9800 Series Wireless Controller, the EWC on Catalyst Access Points is resilient, secure, and intelligent; is open and programmable; supports streaming telemetry; and yet is simple to deploy and manage.
Q.  What operating system does the Embedded Wireless Controller run?
A.   The EWC uses the same code as the 9800 Series, so it runs Cisco IOS XE.
Q.  Which Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points can run the Embedded Wireless Controller?
A.   All Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points (the 9115AX, 9117AX, 9120AX, and 9130AX Series) can run the EWC.
Q.  What are the scale limits for the Embedded Wireless Controller on Catalyst Access Points?
A.   The Cisco Catalyst 9115AX and 9117AX Series Access Points running the EWC support up to 50 access points and 1000 clients. The Cisco Catalyst 9120AX and 9130AX Series running the EWC support up to 100 access points and 2000 clients.
Q.  Can the access point running the Embedded Wireless Controller also service wireless clients?
A.   Yes, the access point running the EWC can also service clients at the same time.
Q.  Can 802.11ac Wave 1 or Wave 2 access points join an Embedded Wireless Controller network?
A.   802.11ac Wave 2 access points can join an EWC network and service clients, but they cannot run the EWC function on the access points. Please note that the EWC on Catalyst Access Points does not support 802.11ac Wave 1 access points.
Q.  Can I mix and match different access points in an Embedded Wireless Controller deployment?
A.   Yes, you can mix and match different Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Points in an EWC deployment.
Q.  What are the EWC SKUs/PIDs?
A.    

Table 7.           Ordering specifics for Embedded Wireless Controller on Catalyst 9100 Access Points

SKU/PID

Description

C9115AXI-EWC-x

Cisco Catalyst 9115AXI Access Point, internal antenna

C9115AXE-EWC-x

Cisco Catalyst 9115AXE Access Point, external antenna

C9117AXI-EWC-x

Cisco Catalyst 9117AXI Access Point, internal antenna

C9120AXI-EWC-x

Cisco Catalyst 9120AXI Access Point, internal antenna

C9120AXE-EWC-x

Cisco Catalyst 9120AXE Access Point, external antenna

C9120AXP-EWC-x

Cisco Catalyst 9120AXP Access Point, professional install

C9130AXI-EWC-x

Cisco Catalyst 9130AXI Access Point, internal antenna

Note:      x = regulatory domain. Please visit https://www.cisco.com/go/aironet/compliance for details.

Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller licensing

Q.  Do I need any licenses for the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers?
A.   There are no licenses required to boot up a 9800 Series wireless controller. However, in order to connect any access points to the 9800 Series controller, Cisco DNA licenses are required. Each access point that connects to the 9800 Series controller requires a Cisco DNA license to be entitled to connect.
Q.  Is it mandatory to have Cisco DNA licenses for every access point to connect to the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series controllers?
A.   Yes. It is mandatory to have a Cisco DNA license for every access point that is connected to the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers. If there are not sufficient Cisco DNA licenses to cover all the access points connected to a Cisco Catalyst controller, an out-of-compliance message will be displayed. This out-of-compliance message will be purely informational and will not impact the functionality of the wireless deployment.
Q.  What are the steps I have to undertake for licensing after purchasing a Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series controller up to day 1?
A.   You need to follow the steps below to enable day 1 licensing:

1.     Create a Smart Account.

2.     Register the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series controller using the Smart Account.

3.     For customers who are refreshing WLCs:

a.   Deposit existing Cisco DNA licenses, if any, into the Smart Account.
b.   Leverage offers to migrate existing perpetual licenses to Cisco DNA licenses.

4.     For customers who are scaling up their deployments and for new customers:

a.   Purchase Cisco DNA licenses for access points connecting to the 9800 Series controller.
b.   Configure the license level on the box post-bootup.
Q.  Is a Smart Account mandatory for the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers?
A.   Yes, a Smart Account is mandatory for the 9800 Series.
Q.  How do I create a Smart Account?
A.   Refer to https://www.cisco.com/go/smartlicensing to create Smart Accounts.
Q.  How do I register my Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller upon purchase?
Q.  What happens if I don’t register my Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series controller?
A.   If the device is not registered it will be in evaluation mode for 90 days. After the expiration of the evaluation period, a device that is not registered will display syslog evaluation expiration messages. These error messages are purely informational and will not affect the functionality of the wireless controller.
Q.  How do I deposit my existing Cisco DNA licenses into my Smart Account?
A.   Customers who have Cisco DNA licenses and don’t have Smart Accounts will have to deposit the licenses into the Smart Account. This can be done by contacting the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC).
Q.  How do I migrate my existing perpetual licenses to Cisco DNA licenses?
A.   You can leverage wireless promotions in order to migrate your perpetual access point licenses to Cisco DNA licenses. All access points must be covered by Cisco DNA licenses.
Q.  What are the Smart Licensing levels that Cisco Catalyst controllers support?
A.   There are four levels of licenses that are supported on Cisco Catalyst controllers. The controllers can be configured to function at any one of these four levels.

     Cisco DNA E: At this level the Cisco DNA Essentials features set will be supported.

     Cisco DNA A: At this level the Cisco DNA Advantage feature set will be supported.

     NE: At this level the Network Essentials feature set will be supported.

     NA: At this level the Network Advantage feature set will be supported.

For a more detailed overview on Cisco Licensing, go to: cisco.com/go/licensingguide
Q.  How are the Smart License levels configured for Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers?
A.   License levels can be configured through the WLC UI and Cisco DNA Center. Following are sample configurations for license levels:

     Config t

#license air level ?

air-network-advantage AIR Network advantage License Level

air-network-essentials AIR Network essential License Level

#license air level air-network-essentials addon?

air-dna-essentials AIR DNA essential License Level

#license air level air-network-advantage addon?

air-dna-advantage AIR DNA advantage License Level

Q.  Can I mix different licensing levels for the access points connected to the same Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series controller?
A.   A 9800 Series controller requires all access points connected to that controller to have the same license level. Since the license level is set up at the controller level, the access points connecting to the controller will have to be at the same license level.
Q.  How can I track my Cisco DNA license consumption on a Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller?
A.   Cisco DNA license consumption can be tracked through the Cisco DNA Center appliance. Cisco DNA Center will help to track license entitlement, license levels, license mode, and license consumption.
Q.  Is there licensing enforcement on the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller?
A.   The 9800 Series wireless controllers perform soft enforcement by displaying an out-of-compliance message if sufficient Cisco DNA licenses are not available to cover all the connected access points. There is no hard enforcement and hence no impact on wireless functionality.
Q.  What happens when the Cisco DNA subscription term expires for access points connected to a Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller?
A.   Upon expiration of the Cisco DNA term, customers have two options:

     Renew the Cisco DNA license term.

     Configure the controller at the Network Essentials or Network Advantage license level.

Q.  What is the impact of hardware RMA on the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series controller’s licensing?
A.   There is no impact on licenses due to hardware RMA. Customers can reconnect their access points to the new wireless controller post-RMA without any licensing impact.
Q.  I noticed that WLC-AP-T was removed from DNA configurations. What has changed?
A.   Short answer: not much. WLC-AP-T was an included component in the AIR-DNA configuration. We have recently implemented a change and removal of WLC-AP-T does not cause any functional change. WLC-AP-T isn’t required from license check point of view. It is covered by network stack essentials/advantage. WLC-AP-T was supposed to reflect AP adder license previously, however the same feature set and value is derived via network stack licenses now making WLC-AP-T redundant.

Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller and Cisco DNA Center integration

Q.  What is the minimum Cisco DNA Center release version needed to support the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller?
A.   Starting with Release 1.2.8 of Cisco DNA Center, the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers will be supported for automation and assurance workflows.
Q.  Will Cisco DNA Center support the 9800 Series wireless controllers for all deployment modes?
A.   Yes, starting with Release 1.2.8 of Cisco DNA Center, all deployment modes, including centralized wireless, FlexConnect, and fabric (SD-Access) will be supported for automation and assurance workflows.
Q.  Will Cisco DNA Center support all form factors of the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers?
A.   Cisco DNA Center will support the following form factors of the 9800 Series:

     Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller

     Cisco Catalyst 9800-40 Wireless Controller

     Cisco Catalyst 9800-L Wireless Controller

     Cisco Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controller for private cloud

     Cisco Embedded Wireless Controller on Catalyst Access Points

Q.  What is the supported scale for Cisco DNA Center Release 1.2.8 with the 9800 Series wireless controllers?
A.   Cisco DNA Center Release 1.2.8 will support 3000 access points and 25,000 wireless clients for the 9800 Series wireless controller.
Q.  Can I learn configurations from a brownfield AireOS wireless controller and transfer them to a Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller?
A.   Yes. Cisco DNA Center will learn configurations from an AireOS wireless controller and automate the supported design workflows for a site. The customer can provision a new Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller with the learned design. There is no need to manually convert the configuration in the above scenario.
Q.  How do I push advanced configurations that are not supported using Cisco DNA Center?
A.   CLI templates can be used as a mechanism to push advanced configuration onto Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers.
Q.  I have an existing Cisco Prime instance. Can Cisco Prime and Cisco DNA Center coexist?
A.   Yes. In a coexisting scenario, you can use Cisco Prime and Cisco DNA Center for the following:

     Cisco DNA Center for assurance and Cisco Prime for automation and reporting

     Cisco DNA Center for automation and assurance and Cisco Prime for additional monitoring and reporting functionalities

Cisco does not recommend using both Cisco Prime and Cisco DNA Center for automation and configuration changes.
Q.  Does Cisco DNA Center Release 1.2.8 support all assurance workflows for the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers as supported today with AireOS wireless controllers?
A.   Yes. All assurance workflows supported in Cisco DNA Center Release 1.2.8 for AireOS wireless controllers will be supported for Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers.

Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller product documentation and migration

Q.  Where can I find the data sheet for the 9800-80 wireless controller?
Q.  Where can I find data sheet for the 9800-40 wireless controller?
Q.  Where can I find the data sheet for the 9800-L wireless controller?
Q.  Where can I find the data sheet for the 9800-CL wireless controller?
Q.  Where can I find the data sheet for the Embedded Wireless Controller on Catalyst Access Points?
A.   EWC Datasheet
Q.  Where can I find FAQs for the Embedded Wireless Controller on Catalyst Access Points?
A.   EWC FAQ

 

 

 

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