Cisco Support Community
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Welcome to Cisco Support Community. We would love to have your feedback.

For an introduction to the new site, click here. And see here for current known issues.

New Member

Aironet vs Airspace Solution

Would any one want to comment about the plus and minus between these two wireless solutions? My understanding is that Aironet is "thick" (smart) AP solution whereas Airspace is "thin" (dump) AP solution. In terms of manageability, the Airspace solution is better and easier since all the configuration and parameters are controlled at the central location. Am I correct? If we are going to build a new wireless infrastructure (about 5 to 30 AP) today, would Airspace a better way to go than Aironet solution?



Re: Aironet vs Airspace Solution

Not necessarily.

Using a WLSE centralizes the management of "thick" APs (WLSEs are a Very Good Thing!).

The decision really boils down to what the network is intended to support, security considerations, mobillity/roaming, current infrastructure, AP and node counts .... even things like whether or not / how much multicast traffic the network must support.

Somewhere in the neighborhood above there's things like budget, support levels, criticality of the WLAN ...

For example: think about what happens when your central controller goes brain dead .... your entire WLAN is down (redundant controller? sure, what's your budget?) In this example, chances of all "thick" APs taking a dump at the same time are pretty slim. A single controller (i.e., single point of failure) going belly-up and taking out your wireless infrastructure is much more likely.

If a WLSE dies, the basic functionality of the WLAN remains intact, if the WLSM dies, the basic functionality of the WLAN remains intact. You can have "standby APs" and standby APs doing WDS coordination (for the cost of another AP .... < ~US$600-800).

Bottom line: we need more info.

What will the WLAN support? How critical is it? what kind of throughput? What's the existing infrastructure? (etc, information related to the above text).

Good Luck


New Member

Re: Aironet vs Airspace Solution

Thanks for the info.

We don't really have wireless today. Only got one wireless AP (850) which was used as a 'test/lab' equipment.

Our campus have 3 multi-story buildings. Each floor in a building has couple small conference room (10 ppl), and one of the building have a very large conference room (holding 100 people). Each floor has about 200 people (to give a sense about the size of the building). What we want is to offer 2 small conference rooms with wireless services, plus wireless for the big conference room. It is expected that 80 to 100 users will be at the big conference room (for quarterly meeting) and they will use their wireless laptop for network connection. Primary usage would be Exchange/Outlook services, some file sharing (via Microsoft networking), and some database access services to retrieve data or review reports.

Our local Cisco account team gives us an impression that Airospace is the way to go, and Aironet is not going to be the primary focus for Cisco in the future. Not sure how valid his statement is, however.

The budget is about 25k. The idea is that should be able to cover 4 wireless AP, one Airospace controller and the wireless management tool (forgot the name).

BTW, what is WLSE? Is it the wireless management tool for Aironet solution? Or, it could be used for either Airospace or Aironet?


New Member

Re: Aironet vs Airspace Solution

4 AP's are going to be pretty tight to cover 80 to 100 users. Figure about 8-10 users per AP for Max. Performance. You may want to get a site survey by your local reseller.

4402-16. You probably don't need the WCS (LWAPP Management Tool). The controller tools work fine.

WLSE only works on the Aiornet Solution. I would push towards the Airospace if you can. More expensive to get into but more stable, flexible and scalable.


CreatePlease login to create content