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Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers

Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers

Overview

What is Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers?

The Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 is a modular wireless controller with optional 100 Gigabit Ethernet (G) modular uplinks boasting seamless software updates for large enterprises and campuses, and security with ETA and SD-Access.

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Recent Reviews

Great WLC

10 out of 10
June 29, 2023
Incentivized
We moved to two 9800 controllers about two years ago, replacing two 5520 WLCs. We are currently running two C9800s in high availability, …
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Video Reviews

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Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers Review
04:42
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Product Details

What is Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers?

The vendor presents their solution as built from the ground up for intent-based networking and Cisco DNA, and state the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers are Cisco IOS XE based and integrate the RF excellence of Cisco Aironet access points, creating a best-in-class wireless experience for your evolving and growing organization. The 9800 Series is built on an open and programmable architecture with built-in security, streaming telemetry, and rich analytics.

Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers Competitors

Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers Technical Details

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Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers Downloadables

Frequently Asked Questions

The Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 is a modular wireless controller with optional 100 Gigabit Ethernet (G) modular uplinks boasting seamless software updates for large enterprises and campuses, and security with ETA and SD-Access.

Ubiquiti WLAN and Fortinet Wireless LAN are common alternatives for Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers.

Reviewers rate Availability highest, with a score of 8.1.

The most common users of Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers are from Enterprises (1,001+ employees).
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Reviews and Ratings

(74)

Attribute Ratings

Reviews

(1-25 of 35)
Companies can't remove reviews or game the system. Here's why
Sebastian Kozankiewicz | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers replaced Cisco Wireless Airos. With the implementation of SD-WAN and improved reliability of connections from branches to DC, we eliminated local wireless controllers and consolidated all capwap connection to controller located in the DataCenter. WiFI service is crucial for us, in some locations we have reduced cable connections and we use "Wireless First". We have increased the number of Access Points to also connect IoT and IIoT devices located in our factories to the network. We test automatic robots in factories that use our WiFi network to communicate. The WiFi controller works in SSO mode and we want to use the controller installed in the Cloud as a "backup".
  • Easy configuration based on profiles and tags
  • Patching controller and Access Points with HA - no downtime for service
  • Managed by Catalyst Center
  • Azure cloud is not supported. Issue with the communication with radius sever.
If we are thinking about replacing old Cisco AireOS controllers with a new technology, we can only choose Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers. Configuration based on Profiles and SiteTag is convenient and easier compared to the previous configuration. You can see that the entire controller has been designed from scratch. Support for new AccessPoints in Wifi 6 offers great possibilities.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We are migrating from AireOs controllers. We use 9115 APs and industrial APs. We use wifi underground for mining and it's been a very nice experience compared to the old wlcs. We are pleased with the ease of use of the GUI and the new tag approach.
  • AP provisioning
  • Wifi 6/6e
  • Analytics
  • Interoperability with the old wlcs
  • Include 2600 aps
  • Improve on sso switch over stability
Migrating is necessary
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We use it to deploy our wireless infrastructure. Our organization wants all employees to use Wi-Fi as our main way to connect to services.
  • Configuration
  • Insight
  • Operations without down time
  • Migration from aireos
  • Better guides for virtual appliances
The web interface is great.
Bogdan Caia-Hoanăş | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
There are problems with the VM, but the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers's hardware versions are good
  • AP adoption
  • AP upgrade
  • Site management
  • The VM can have some normal specs needed
  • You can increase the free space
  • The debug should be more detailed
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers is a good solution but it's not the only one.
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Our Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers provide:
- centralised configuration of our wireless access points
- centralised traffic flow
- support for over 12000 APs
- support for over 60000 users
  • Compartmentalised configuration
  • High availability
  • Poor monitoring options
  • Site management is clunky but critical
The Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers work okay across our multi-campus business, however there are issues between roaming domains at times.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers is used to manage more than 1300 APs around 3 main campuses. Devices using WiFi are increasing and this leads to signal degradation and coverage issues.
  • Onboading
  • Tunnelling
  • Tagging
  • During the upgrades it should show that a chassis is about to restart or the restart hasn't happened as expected
  • Onboarding on batches of WAPs
It manages latest waps smoothly
June 29, 2023

Great WLC

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We moved to two 9800 controllers about two years ago, replacing two 5520 WLCs. We are currently running two C9800s in high availability, and using them to manage 1300+ Cisco Aironet APs and WiFi access for 8000+ users in 84 buildings and outdoors.
  • Easily manages a large number of APs.
  • It can push out settings or a new OS to a large group of APs at once.
  • The GUI is very intuitive, and follows the model Cisco has created for many of their products.
  • It integrates well with our ISE environment for handling RADIUS requests.
  • Depending on the version of IOS, it can be buggy. I have had several TAC calls that resulted in applying either a work-around, or upgrading the IOS.
  • The error logs are a bit difficult to use. Errors and typical user associate/disassociate logs are all lumped together, so sometimes finding what you are looking for is like finding a needle in a haystack.
  • One feature I miss from Prime Infrastructure is the ability to mass-configure settings on a large group of APs. Some of this exists within this controller, but many options, like templates, were lost, and never added to DNAC.
This is suited for a large enerprise with a high number of access points. It can handle many SSIDs, security, portals, and anything else a large environment would need.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
The Cisco Ctalyst 9800 WLC provides wireless connectivity to our users. We have two for redundancy, and transistioned from Cisco 5508's.

As far as scope of use, the 9800 provides Business and Guest wireless to ~5000 employees, and ~5,000 guests daily. So far it has been great to work with, and I look forward to expanding it's deployment.
  • WAP Image Management
  • Troubleshooting and Alerting
  • Ease of provisioning new AP's
  • The search bar in the top right, where you can search for an AP for example. I wish it would give the option to bring up the config version of the page instead of only the management. It's a pain to navigage to the config side of things, and manually search for the AP
  • Also related to my above note, when using the menu for search it's not super intuitive
Enterprise wireless is where this device will shine.

I think really the only area this wouldnt do well is in a smaller environment where there aren't too many users and/or WAP's
June 09, 2023

Wireless Guru

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Mainly use it as wireless management and controlling, I like the telemetry feature via DNAC to get more client performance insight as well as easy deployment on access points
  • Enhanced deployment and mitigating new AP join and does not automatically advertise first 16 SSID unlike AIROS
  • More client performance status and assurance to detail user performance and pinpoint
  • Easy patching
  • when you filter APs or client it clears the filter, wish it stays till you clear it by you.
  • sometimes GUI and CLI do not sync real time that may need improvement
Its really good for business that is fully wireless vested or heavily wireless connected, this product can provide a lot of in depth features and controlability
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We use it to connect Wireless APs over multiple site locations to support up to 5000 personal
  • Easy interface
  • Easy setup
  • NA
Handles upwards of 200 APs. Stress tested the APs and they worked really well. Works really well on a layer 2 environment with locations throughout the state. Doesn't need as many APs as the 9500 series Wireless Lan Controller.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
we use them in mixture of manufacturing and warehouses. They are much easier to configure then AirOS models. Like the added troubleshooting capabilities.
  • troubleshooting
  • ability to sort by columns
  • iOS commands
  • explinations that svi are not need for all vlans
  • Mapping of dependancies (policies, tags etc)
  • different configurations for AP join
much better option than AirOs. Configuration can be gui or CLI
February 21, 2023

Most adopted WLC

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
ResellerIncentivized
The most adopted product for WLAN network controller revampning. It is often used as centralized controller for multisite wireless network. The cloud version is increasingly widespread
  • Scalability
  • Flexibility in configuration
  • Splash page implementation
  • Difficult compatibility with previous CISCO WLC
  • Some bugs in firmware for previous series compatible AP
  • Compatibility with legacy AP could be improved
Well suited for complete revamping with new AP and cloud installation. Less appropriate for partial revamping, especially due to compatibility and new licenses price
February 11, 2023

Wireless Controllers 9800

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
part of network transformation from MSP to internal IT OPS managed solution
it resolves mobility and manageability across all our sites, we have around 500 APs connected to this product and utilizing Cisco PRIME version 3.9 to be able to manage all the sites, the product has enabled our organization to complete network transformation
  • Guest Access separation
  • ease of implementation
  • monitoring
  • to many menus to go through
  • faster on-boarding of APs
with a large deployment a centrally managed Controllers is Recommended, we have optioned to manage the N+1 pair of controllers using Cisco Prime version 3.9 to ease the deployment process and monitoring part of it
Sergiu Campian | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We use the Cisco 9800 wireless lan controller in our enterprise environment in order to manage our wireless access point globally for al our offices. We appreciate the advanced services that can be used such as layer 3 roaming, air quality management and advanced security. The flexible deployment options are also a big plus.
  • manage a large number of APs
  • troubleshoot wireless issues
  • easy deployment of new networks
  • adding wireless coverage maps would be a plus
  • improve the UI/UX
  • add functionality to log flitering and filtering of APs
  • better reporting
The cisco 9800 wireless lan controller is well suited for large enterprise environments that require centralized management and security for their wireless network. For example a large university campus or a global enterprise. The WLC will allow administrators to manage and secure all APs. It might be not suitable for a small business network or for home use where a simpler wireless router could cover the needs.
February 11, 2023

C9800

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
The use case for the C9800s are managing our APs. Having mgig and 10gb Ports on the WLCs bring better performance for WiFi 6E
  • Performance
  • Reliablility
  • support of new technologies
  • compatibility with older APs like 2702
  • VLAN Grouping not working properly with fixed IP
  • connection issues with older hardware like RF Guns
Basically the C9800s are suited for most of the environment. For small sites, you can safe money by using the cloud version. And for bigger sites there are also performance appliances.
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
we use it for the wifi 6 access in addition to dna and ise for the security

we gaim im wifi stability

  • fast
  • easy upgrade without consequence in production
  • interface
  • less bug
interface parameter is well
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
I work everyday with the 9800 WLC and it's a very reliable product.
Tons of new features gets added frequently, it's nice to see it as the future of Cisco Enterprise Wireless
  • Manage wireless users
  • Good GUI
  • Programmability is on point
  • Stability against crashes
  • capturing tools
  • debugging more friendly
compared to aireos is much more modern and usable. the CLI is standardised finally.
compared to other vendors is much more capable.
February 07, 2023

Buggy software

Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Very buggy and it needs a lot of improvements. The mix support between AirOS and Catalyst AP's is very troubling
  • Client debug
  • Interface
  • Support mix AirOS and Catalysts APs
Very good for a large scale environment. Very expensive for midsize buildings like small to mid warehouses
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Cisco Catalyst 9800s is our main wireless LAN controller that manages WiFi networks for our offices and warehouses. We moved from older Cisco WLCs and had issues with deployment that required TAC support, but after that everything worked perfectly. The controllers are stable, easy to manage and configure. This new web interface is a welcomed upgrade.
  • Web GUI
  • IOS CLI
  • High availability
  • Ease of deployment of new access points
  • SSO is not so trivial to deploy
  • GUI revolution when moving from older controllers
  • Some functions are hidden too deep in GUI
The introduction of IOS CLI in the 9800 line of wireless LAN controllers is a game-changer for Cisco WLCs. It's easier to use by engineers who are familiar with Cisco products but new to the WLC world. Unfortunately, deployment takes a lot of overhead so setting it up for small enterprises feels like overkill.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We use this controller in our office to manage the internal and guest WiFi network. We also implement WiFi networks for our clients where this controller model is used. This new family of controllers has made our work easier because the CLI configurations use the Catalyst syntax, in fact, it is very similar to the Catalyst switches with which we are already very familiar. The web interface has been updated and is now more user-friendly.
  • Configuration and monitoring
  • Excellent performance
  • High availability
  • I would like to see heatmaps and more details for user tracking, but for that, you can use DNA Spaces and DNA Center instead.
With this controller, you can have a secure and reliable WiFi network in which the configuration is easy thanks to the fact that it is now Cisco Catalyst 9800-40 Wireless Controller. Its web interface is quite friendly. This controller is perfect for high user density scenarios like convention centers. One scenario where it may not be the best option is in a small office.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers were purchased to replace older Cisco WLC 5508, as well introduce WiFi 6 Capabilities to get WiFi up to current speeds. As the WLC 5508 is going end of support, it was time to upgrade to a more curent platform, as well as to make management and usability of WiFi overall easier. The Catalyst 9800 is used to manage around over 100 Access Points across different sites worlwide, either locally or using FlexConnect Mode. During the Rollout, the required Policies regarding WiFi are once configured on the Controller, and then rolled out dynamically to all APs that connect to it, which makes management, especially across different sites, much easier. Once Rollout is complete, a uniform configuration of all APs, no matter the physical Location, can be expected
  • modern, very fast WebUI
  • very structured Menus, that make sense
  • ease of configuration
  • CLI Syntax that finally makes sense, especially when comparing to older non-Catalyst WLC models
  • add more sub-genres to the main menu
  • make the product easier for people to use, that aren't working with it all day
  • make the initial setup menu, where policies can be attached to Tags etc. more accessible
  • When selecting APs from the Landing Page, make it possible to rename them immediately without having to switch to "Configuration" -> "Access Points"
Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers seems very suited for all current Cisco WiFi installations, as it finally introduces the same commands and syntax that are already well known from the Catalyst switch series. Especially in multi-site deployments, the 9800 makes a lot of sense. Once all policies, VLANs, SSIDs etc are setup once, they can be rolled out, no matter the physical Location, in a matter of seconds. This makes management of global WiFi Installations much easier and much more hassle free
January 18, 2022

simplify the WLC Config

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We use two 9800-80 SSO Clusters as a replacement for the WLC8540. We are at the moment in the migration phase. In the end, there will be around 3000-4500 aps on these Clusters.
  • Simplify the configuration.
  • Easy Overview of the AP Config.
  • CLI configuration.
  • At the Monitoring/Wireless/AP Statistics to have a refresh button.
  1. The new tags are very useful for us. Because of the different parts of the company we have separated wifis.
  2. In the past, you had to set the AP-Group for each new AP. In the New C9800, you can set these tags with the filters, based on the AP Hostname.
  3. The stagging of the apps also now better, because its easier to make the config over the CLI.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We highly depend on Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller when it comes to department connection, easy communication, and security thanks to the easy configuration of wireless networks. This software is programmable and makes increasing wireless network coverage easy. Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller also comes in handy when increasing bandwidth speeds - can support up to 80 Gbps. This software meets our company's wireless control and management needs.
  • Supports up to 80 Gbps data bandwidth
  • Scaling is easy
  • Better and centralized control of company wireless networks
  • Compared to other similar products, this software is costly.
If your company is always dealing with wireless networks' unavailability, downtimes, poor coverage, unsecured networks, and other wireless network-related problems, it is time to deploy Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless. With this software, you get secure networks, easy to configure and troubleshoot problems, better management, and better coverage among other benefits.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
We have several wireless networks for communication, connection, and security, and controlling and managing them has been easy with Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller. This software offers great features that centralize the management of wireless networks and also make remote configuration easy. The software offers a world-class wireless experience when it comes to managing company wireless networks. Finally, Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller is programmable and comes with some analytics features for better performance and security.
  • Stable 80 Gbps data bandwidth bandwidth.
  • Allows remote configuration.
  • The software is programmable for better performance.
  • Secure and also strong network.
  • Controlling wireless networks is easy.
  • Wi-Fi 6 support
  • Besides the high cost, everything else is amazing.
Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller is basically used to configure, manage and control wireless networks. Therefore if your business has wireless networks and you need centralized control and management platform, you can never go wrong with Cisco Catalyst 9800-80 Wireless Controller. I recommend it having used it for some time now successfully.
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