In November, you may recall that Cisco knocked the industry on its backside with the announcement of the next generation of wireless controllers, the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series.

As the new addition to the Catalyst 9000 family, the Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers—which includes the 9800-80, the 9800-40, the 9800-CL and the embedded controller on a switch—are the controllers that bridge the intent-based networking portfolio. Powered by IOS XE, the Catalyst 9800 are always-on, secure and can be deployed anywhere.

Deploying software updates with no disruptions and rolling AP upgrades completely change the definition of “resilient”. This means they are always on and there’s absolutely no service interruptions when software updates or upgrades are deployed. In addition, this resiliency extends to the 9800 supports hot patching, which allows for fixes and patches to be updated on the go – all without shutting down the network.

Most secure means increased threat detections in encrypted traffic and automated macro/micro segmentation. Encrypted threats can now be detected on the wireless layer, with 99% accuracy, with Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA). But it doesn’t end there, as RF Snapshots, WPA3 and Trustworthy systems round out the controllers’ augmented security features.

Finally, with enhanced analytics through Cisco DNA, the Catalyst 9800 has features, such as programmable network processes and IOx infra support, that no other controller offers and provides completely flexibility in terms of management.

With many of the same features as the rest of the Catalyst 9800 Series family, the newly released appliance Cisco Catalyst 9800-L packs the same great functionality into a smaller box. The 9800-L is perfect for small-sized campus deployments and would be great for organizations in fields such as: education (K-12), retail and small healthcare offices.

The Catalyst 9800-L offers support for up to 250 access points and 5,000 clients and fits snuggly between the Catalyst 9800 embedded controller on Catalyst 9000 switch and the mid-range Catalyst 9800-40 controller in the on-prem section of the 9800 family. Not only that, but with flexible uplink options with a choice of either copper or fiber uplinks, the 9800-L is mGig ready and provides investment protection for customers.

As the follow-up to the Cisco 3504 Wireless Controller, the Catalyst 9800-L is a forward evolving product that allows for an increase in access point, client and throughput support. The new controller supports the latest Wi-Fi standard, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) but is also backwards compliant, supporting Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2) devices.

For more information on the Catalyst 9800-L, please click here.


Byron Magrane

Product Manager, Marketing