Cisco Wireless LAN Controller Deployment Models

Wireless LAN Controller deployments could be in different forms. Placing the WLCs in a different location may affect how many APs you can enforce. This article can help you in deciding what kind of wireless LAN Controller deployment do you want to implement.


Unified or Centralized WLAN Controller Deployment

Centralized management near the core serves as the center of operation of the wireless network. The access points and the data from wireless users utilize the CAPWAP tunnel to enforce security policies that affect all of the Wireless Access Points (WAPs) across the wireless network.

In this kind of setup, usual wireless LAN controllers can support up to 6000 Wireless Access Points. That is a big plus in the factor of scalability. A large organization uses this kind of setup for its excellent scalability. If the wireless access controller’s supported capacity is exceeded, we will just have to add more WLC to the wireless network.Wireless LAN Controller



Cloud-Based Wireless LAN Controller Deployment

Wireless access controllers can also be placed on the Cloud. Expectedly, the wireless LAN controllers in this setup exist as virtual machines rather than physical devices. The lower number of access points that can be controlled in this setup limits the scalability feature of this deployment. Usually, a cloud-based wireless access controller can accommodate up to 3000 access points, which is still a lot and is ideal for a medium-sized wireless network.

If the number of access points exceeded the supported WAP, cloud-based WLAN controllers can easily be added because of the unlimited on-demand capability of the Cloud technology. Wireless devices communicate to the physical device and forward all data to the network operations center to control the WLAN controller.Cloud-Based Wireless LAN Controller Deployment



Embedded Wireless LAN Controller Deployment

There are smaller organizations, such as small school campuses, mid-size hospitals, government offices, etc., that only need less than 200 access points. Embedded wireless LAN controllers can handle this scale, especially when they have few wireless devices only. Embedded wireless access points are usually co-located to the stack of switches on site.Embedded Wireless LAN Controller Deployment



Mobility Express Wireless LAN Controller Deployment

For relatively small branch locations, you might not want to have a dedicated wireless access controller. The wireless controller function is co-located with the access point that is installed on-site. Mobility Express WLAN controller can accommodate up to 100 APs.Mobility Express Wireless LAN Controller Deployment



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