Cisco Catalyst Controllers: Cloudy, with a chance of awesome
You read all about the recent news that Cisco Catalyst 9800 controller made an addition to its family with the Catalyst 9800-L. This new controller is specifically geared towards smaller sized environments. But how much do you know about a Catalyst controller that runs the gamut from small to large organizations: the Catalyst 9800-CL controller?
Debuting in November, when the first wave of the Catalyst 9800 family was announced, one of the great things about the Catalyst 9800-CL is that it can be deployed in either a private or public cloud.
This freedom to deploy your controller wherever you see fit is liberating for admins who want to have complete control over their network. This control is getting broader as Cisco recently announced that deployment has extended to Google Cloud Platform (GCP). With GCP, the Catalyst 9800-CL is now available for deployment on Amazon Web Service (AWS), VMWare ESXi, KVM or Cisco NFVIS.
Wherever you decide to deploy your controller, you have the ability to enable wireless connectivity anywhere. This allows the Catalyst 9800-CL to best meet your organization’s needs.
Not only does the Catalyst 9800-CL afford you the ability to deploy your controller anywhere you want, but it’s also very affordable. How affordable? How does free sound? Yes, that’s correct, the Catalyst 9800-CL is available as a free download from the Cisco Website.
This download isn’t a neutered version of the expensive version of the controller designed to frustrate you so that you’d eventually pay for the “real” cloud controller. This free version has a multitude of features such as: high availability through seamless software updates enabled by hot and cold patching. The Cisco cloud controller is rich in security features too and have: Cisco Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA), make sure Stealthwatch is installed for the complete solution, runtime defenses, image signing, DNA support and more. It just doesn’t end there.
That’s not all, if deployed on a private cloud, the 9800-CL can run be in Flex, local or SDA mode. One note: deployment on the public cloud means it can be run in Flex only (via Central Authentication and local switching) with support for high availability through seamless software updates enabled by hot and cold patching.
With multiple scale templates (small, medium and large) the Cisco Catalyst 9800-CL has up to 1.5 Gbps of throughput and supports networks that run up to 6000 access points and 64,000 clients. As far as controller set-up, it’s a breeze as an intuitive wizard boots up the wireless controller with the recommend parameters. You can also use it as a lab controller for all types of testing.
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