The next generation of Wi-Fi, 802.11ac couples the freedom of wireless with the speed of gigabit Ethernet. This also translates in additional load on the backbone of the network, which has to deliver at least 3 times the capacity of the current gold standard, the 802.11n based network.
Cisco launched the Unified Access architecture to scale linearly with the increased load on the network with 60 Gbps Wi-Fi throughput on the Cisco 5760 Wireless LAN Controller and 40 Gbps Wi-Fi throughput on the Catalyst 3850 Series Switch with a built-in wireless controller. Both these platforms are based on the Cisco Unified Access Data Plane (UADP) programmable ASIC, which provides high performance and scale, common open APIs, and enables consistent QoS policies for both wired and wireless networks.
Aruba recently launched the 7240 series controllers with a throughput of up to 40Gbps claimed, with the same goal of delivering 802.11ac capable performance across the network. This controller is based on a generic network processor and not a purpose built ASIC like the Cisco controller.
Miercom performed a third-party evaluation to benchmark these products using IMIX (Internet Mix) packet traffic and test QoS traffic for high priority application. IMIX is traffic pattern consisting of a preset mixture of small, medium and large frame sizes used to emulate real-world traffic scenarios in a testing environment. We wanted to give you a sneak peek at some of the results.
Cisco 5760 is six times faster and Catalyst 3850 is 4 times faster as compared to Aruba 7240
The Cisco 5760, 3850 and the Aruba 7240 were tested for throughput using RFC 2544 and IMIX Traffic. The Cisco 5760 and 3850 performed extremely well by achieving 50 Gbps and 37 Gbps, whereas Aruba 7240 fell short by just achieving 8 Gbps, which is 20% of its advertised throughput.
It can be so easy to be mislead by vendors claiming incredible bandwidth gains offered by their new ’3 Spatial Streams’ wireless access points. The tricky part is that none of them are outright lying, they are simply describing a reality that nobody lives in. Cisco released the new 3600 series access points at CiscoLive London last week. We have also had fun showing the incredible bandwidth gains available through this extra stream -- but we did it with custom designed silicon to create a 4x4 radio. Why is this valuable to you? Is it not just ‘more is better?’ Hardly. The true genius being offered here is only clear when you understand some basics of how radios work. Multiple capabilities unique to Cisco come into play here such as ClientLink and CleanAir. Watch this ‘Fundamentals of Spatial Streams’ to arm yourself with knowledge you can apply right away. It will be the best 6 minutes of your life (today at least).
It is so critical that we make it easier for people to get on and off the network in a secure fashion. Cisco has made incredible strides merging access control platforms that have done well over the years yet still required heavier configuration and/or manual intervention. Not any longer…The Cisco Identity Services Engine or ISE, is a game changer that has already been well received by the market and yet just keeps improving.