WLC 4402 vs 2821 ISR with controller card

Unanswered Question
May 4th, 2009

Hello everyone, I just want to get everyone's opinion on which way to go for a wireless controller. Basically, I am deploying a wireless N environment. As a result, I either have to get a 4400 series controller or a Cisco 2821 router with the controller card. I only need to control 6 devices, but my problem is that the 2106 WLC or the 2811 router only has 100mb ethernet. This would bottle neck my wireless N speeds so I want to go with a gigabit controller solution. SO, the big question is would you all reccomend the 4400 WLC or the Cisco 2821 ISR router with the wireless controller card? If you have a particular reason for going one way or the other, I'd appreciate that as well.

I have this problem too.
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ericgarnel Mon, 05/04/2009 - 09:46

You answer your own question in terms of bottleneck. Another option would be an isr router with a gig interface such as the 3845.

My preference would be to go with the controller

joneschw1 Mon, 05/04/2009 - 09:58

Yeah, the 2821 has gig interfaces as well and my pricing is about the same. Why do you prefer the controller route?

Leo Laohoo Mon, 05/04/2009 - 17:03

I agree with everyone else. WLC is a preferred option because if your router dies or requires a hardware maintenance, your AP's and/or WLAN will be down.

The 2100, on the other hand, have limitations. One of which is Link Aggregation. Only the WLC and the WiSM support LAG.

gamccall Tue, 05/05/2009 - 07:49

The WLM is basically a 2106 on a card. I have not configured or played with one of these things, but I would very carefully doublecheck to verify how fast the backplane connection is on that thing- i.e. does it cap out at 100 megs too?

Also, network uplink speed is not the only performance limitation on these things. They don't handle multicast well, they can't act as a mobility anchor, etc. The 4400 is a much more capable box in many different ways.

Roman Rodichev Tue, 05/05/2009 - 20:12

Cisco 2821 has a 87 Mbps backplane throughput.

2851 = 112Mbps

3825 = 179Mbps

3845 = 256Mbps

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