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Compare Wireless LAN Controllers

Catalyst 9800-CL

Mobility Express

Catalyst 9800 embedded

3504

5520

Catalyst 9800-40

8540

Catalyst 9800-80

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Key Features

Ideal forMultiple scale options with a single deployment package Small, midsize, or multisite branchSmall campuses or distributed branchesSmall or midsize businessMidsize to large enterpriseMidsize to large enterpriseLarge enterprise and service providerLarge enterprise and service provider
Form factorVirtual machine softwareController function embedded on access pointsInstalled on Cisco Catalyst 9300 switchesDesktop1 RU appliance1 RU appliance2 RU appliance2 RU appliance

Deployment Mode

FlexConnect YesCentral authentication, local switchingNo, only SDAYesYesYesYesYes
Central mode (formerly local mode)Only private cloud-No, only SDAYesYesYesYesYes
MeshYes-No, only SDAYesYesYesYesYes
FlexConnect + MeshYesIn planNo, only SDAYesYesYesYesYes
OfficeExtendYes-No, only SDAYesYesYesYesYes

Scalability

Minimum access points11111111
Maximum access points6000 (local switching), 3000 (central switching)1002001501500200060006000
Maximum client support64,000 (local switching); 32,000 (central switching)20004000300020000240006400064000
Maximum RF tag support6000500 (AireOS 8.8)2001500250002000500006000
Maximum throughput2 Gbps1 Gbps-4 Gbps20 Gbps40 Gbps40 Gbps80 Gbps
Maximum access-point groups6000 policy tags, 6000 RF tags50200 policy tags, 200 RF tags15015002000 policy tags, 2000 RF tags60006000 policy tags, 6000 RF tags
Maximum FlexConnect Groups6000 site tags1-10015002000 site tags20006000 site tags
Maximum access points per group100100-100100100100100
Maximum WLANs4096166451251240965124096
Maximum VLANs409616-40944094409640944096

Platform Details

Interfaces or network I/O--1 x 5 Gb (1/2.5/5-G speeds supported, restrictions on other ports while over 1G) 4 x 1 Gb (2 PoE ports) 2 x 10 GE4x1/10 GE4 x 1/10 GE 8 x 1/10 GE
Redundant power----Yes (optional)YesYes (installed)Yes
Redundant fans-Fanless-Fanless up to 30°C; built-in fan above 30°CYesYesYesYes
Maximum power consumption-Up to 30W per AP depending on AP type-98W190W - 40.5 to -72 VDC with 48V DC PEM 85 to 264 VAC with AC PEM538WMaximum (DC): 750W Maximum (AC): 750W Maximum (out): 450W
Standard hardware warranty-Access Point Limited Lifetime Warranty-3 years3 years3 years3 years3 years
Standard software warranty-90 days-90 days90 days90 days90 days90 days

Features and Functionality

Access control lists (ACLs)YesYes-YesYesYesYesYes
Application Visibility and Control (AVC)YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Bidirectional rate limitingYesYes (AireOS 8.7)YesYesYesYesYesYes
Bonjour gateway-Yes (AireOS 8.8)-YesYes-Yes-
Cisco Compatible Extensions Call Admission Control (CAC)/Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM)YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Cisco VideoStreamYesYes (AireOS 8.8)-YesYesYesYesYes
Datagram Transfer Layer Security (DTLS)YesYes, for control-YesYesYesYesYes
Guest anchorYesIn plan-YesYesYesYesYes
Guest services (wired)--YesYesYes-Yes
Guest services (wireless)YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
High Availability with AP SSOYes - private cloud onlyNo SSO, master electionYesYesYesYesYesYes
High Availability with client SSOYes - private cloud onlyNo SSOYesYesYesYesYesYes
Integrated wireless policy engineYes - local profilingNo SSO-YesYesYes - local profilingYesYes - local profiling
Link Aggregation Group (LAG)-In plan-Yes, multigigabit port pegged at 1-G speedYes-Yes-
Mobility-L2-L2 and L3 (no new mobility)L2 and L3-L2 and L3-
QoSYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Radio Resource Management (RRM)YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Workgroup BridgeYesYes (AireOS 8.8)YesYesYesYesYesYes

Government Certifications

FIPSPlannedIn planPlannedIn planIn planPlannedIn planPlanned
Common criteriaPlannedIn planPlannedIn planIn planPlannedIn planPlanned
DISA Unified Capabilities Approved Product ListPlannedIn planPlannedIn planIn planPlannedIn planPlanned
USGv6PlannedIn planPlannedIn planIn planPlannedIn planPlanned