Wireless Controllers VS. Wism Modules

Answered Question
Jan 19th, 2009

We are in the process of upgrading from autonomous mode to Lightweight AP's. We have about 200 access points in the campus. My question is is it better to get a wireless controllers that could only handle up tp 100 AP's or a Wism module that can handle 300 APs and has better redundancy directly connected to our distribution Cat 6509? If we go for WisM module, we only need 2 of this since it can cover all our AP's plus backup incase one fails. If we go for the controllers, we have to get 4 to 6 of this. Which one do you think is better? We also have 4 6509 that has plenty of slots for the Wism module. Every opinion counts TY in advance.

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Correct Answer by wesleyterry about 5 years 2 months ago

Here is what the WiSM Q&A (http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/modules/ps2706/ps6526/prod_qas0900aecd8036434e.html) says:

Q. What is the advantage of deploying the Cisco WiSM?

A. The advantages of deploying the Cisco WiSM include:

• Lower costs for deployments of more than 300 access points

• Continued investment protection for customers with existing Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series or Cisco 7600 Series Routers

• Tighter wired and wireless integration for enterprise-scale deployments in the same chassis

• Fewer managed nodes in the network

• Scalability to 7200 access points

With that said, the first bullet speaks for itself. If you have 300 APs, then there is an economy of scale. But if you haven't priced this out already, it may be cheaper to get your redundancy from the 4400 series then buying 2 WiSM's for just 200 APs.

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Correct Answer
wesleyterry Mon, 01/19/2009 - 18:42

Here is what the WiSM Q&A (http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/modules/ps2706/ps6526/prod_qas0900aecd8036434e.html) says:

Q. What is the advantage of deploying the Cisco WiSM?

A. The advantages of deploying the Cisco WiSM include:

• Lower costs for deployments of more than 300 access points

• Continued investment protection for customers with existing Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series or Cisco 7600 Series Routers

• Tighter wired and wireless integration for enterprise-scale deployments in the same chassis

• Fewer managed nodes in the network

• Scalability to 7200 access points

With that said, the first bullet speaks for itself. If you have 300 APs, then there is an economy of scale. But if you haven't priced this out already, it may be cheaper to get your redundancy from the 4400 series then buying 2 WiSM's for just 200 APs.

bauti1428 Mon, 01/19/2009 - 18:51

Thank you for the fast response. Our AP's will grow this year for we are also deploying VOIP. I think WiSM is the way to go for us.

wesleyterry Mon, 01/19/2009 - 18:54

If you can afford it, then the WiSM is the way to go.

The only other consideration is to make sure you have a Supervisor that supports the WiSM. However, I really don't know what Sup does or does not support it.... Maybe they all do...?

bauti1428 Mon, 01/19/2009 - 18:57

We currently have sup2's but we just got approve for a network upgrade and we are getting 2 6509E with sup 720's and still debating between a 6513E sup720 or the nexus 7018 for server farm. The Wism module only supports sup720's.

wesleyterry Mon, 01/19/2009 - 19:03

Good, just making sure it wasn't overlooked. You'd be surprised how many people overlooks the details (like the other post about the SFPs..., our first wireless solution was purchased without any knowledge of requiring SFPs... so it was an unwelcome cost)

bauti1428 Tue, 01/20/2009 - 05:52

Thank you everybody with the answers with this. SFP's is not an issue for us. We have a bunch of them. :-)

Leo Laohoo Mon, 01/19/2009 - 18:47

Please note that a WiSM actually contains 2 WLC-4404 inside a blade. Each "side" (A/B) can control up to 150 LWAP. The WiSM is connected the 6500 chassis via a logical backplane.

When you purchase a WLC-440X, consider the SFP module to connect the WLC to your floor/distro/core switch too.

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