5520 wireless controller1

Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller

5520 wireless controller2

Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller

Recent trends suggest that unless upgrades are made to current wireless infrastructures, these networks are going to get bogged down in the coming years. By 2019, the way people use their devices are expected to change as more devices—which will all be incrementally faster—will enter the workplace. In addition to the overall number of devices increasing, the tasks that they perform will also evolve. Video streaming usage is expected to increase 13-fold and take up to 74% of total mobile data traffic, according to the 2015 Cisco Visual Networking Index Mobile Forecast Study (CMFS).

And while bandwidth intensive applications, such as video, will be the main culprits that chew up your wireless infrastructure, there are other factors that will slow down your networks too. The CMFS reports that by 2019, 53% of fixed IP traffic will be Wi-Fi, which means that wireless will be exceeding wired traffic by 21%. Couple that with an estimated 85% of enterprises implementing some sort of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy by the end of the decade—perhaps tripling the amount of devices on your workplace LAN—and increased video isn’t the only thing you will be worried about.

But it’s all not just extra laptops, mobile devices and streaming videos, the Internet of Everything (IoE) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) traffic will be vying for your wireless network too. The CMFS study says that 28% of device connections will be from M2M traffic.

It sounds hopeless, but it’s not.  In order to keep up with the way your customers will consume data, your wireless infrastructure is going to need to adapt.

A new Miercom testing report comparing the Cisco 8540 Wireless Controller and the Cisco 5520 Wireless Controller with Aruba’s 7210 and 7240 Wireless Controllers proves that Cisco is releasing products today that are thinking of tomorrow. With the Cisco 8540 and 5520 supporting the scale and performance necessary for the 802.11ac Wave 2 deployments, these controllers help your wireless infrastructure adapt to the upcoming future demands of your customers.

After Miercom—the leading, independent test center—put both companies’ products through a battery of tests, the testing company concluded that the Cisco controllers were faster, more efficient and possessed a better overall throughput than its Aruba counterparts.

When it came to the battle of large enterprise and service provider network controllers, the Cisco 8540 more than doubled the throughput of the Aruba 7240 with small and medium sized packets. The Cisco controller beat Aruba’s controller when pitted with an IMIX real-world mixture of traffic packet sizes too.

The efficiency of the Aruba 7240 compared to the Cisco 8540 left something to be desired. Tests showed that while both controllers support the 40 Gbps of network –connectivity bandwidth, only the Cisco 8540 effectively used most of its bandwidth to transport any packet sizes. The Aruba 7240 only used 30 percent of its bandwidth when trafficking small-packet and IMIX test traffic.

The tests garnered similar results for the medium to large-sized enterprise controllers as the Cisco 5520 and Aruba 7210 both showed that they could support 20 Gbps of network bandwidth. Yet the Cisco 5520 was the more robust machine as it filled between 85 and 95 percent of its bandwidth, while Aruba filled less than 25 percent with most packet sizes.

Cisco proved far superior to Aruba when it came to TCP throughput performance too. The Cisco products were proved to be 50 percent better than the Aruba products for 20-MHz channels and 116 percent better for 40-MHz channels. Cisco’s Dynamic Bandwidth Selection (DBS) achieved the highest throughput, while Aruba simply does not support DBS.

To learn more about the Cisco 8540 and 5520, click here.


Palani Karuppan

Product Manager

Cisco Wireless Networking