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New Member

Cisco 7500 WLAN Controller or 5508 Controller?

Good afternoon all-

I am in bit a predicament and looking for some feedback on a design choice.

We have a large campus environment with about 20 buildings all connected via fiber back to the primary data center at eitehr 1 G (mostly) and few with 10G Ethernet connectivity - so connectivity is not an issue. All of the resources reside at the Data Center (servers, storage, internet connectivity, print servers). There is no IT at any of the other buildings with the exception of building access layer and aggregation switches that funnel traffic back to the data center. All routing between the VLANS are done on a 6509e chassis, where the building terminate on.

We are getting ready to deploy an Enterprise wide WLAN across the entire campus, and the WLAN would need to support a multitude of users (guest, trusted, and others in between with varying degrees of access requirements). Est #of AP to be between 430 - 480. We know we want to centralized controller model - i.e. bring all the traffic back to the controller and profile / massage the traffic if necessary and then route the traffic as necessary. We are presented with two options the FLEX 7510 http://www.cisco.com/en/US/customer/prod/collateral/wireless/ps6302/ps8322/ps11635/data_sheet_c78-650053.html or the traditional 5508 WLAN controller

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/wireless/ps6302/ps8322/ps10315/data_sheet_c78-521631.html. We want to bring traffic back to the core since (a) everything has to hit the core anyway (b) ability to have better control on the traffic (c) minimize port configurations at the edge i.e. tunnel all traffic back to controller (d) create profiles based on user types (i.e. authenticated user from corporate issued hardware vs authenticated user from non-corporate device vs guest user) and treat / route traffic accordingly.

We expect the WLAN traffic to ramp up very quickly and expect the infrastucture to be a critical part of our daily operations. Reading through and talking with some folks, for the life of me, I cannot find any "performance" statistic for the 7510 Flex Cloud if this is inserted into the data path. It has 2x10G links, and that's all the performance that is mentoined in the data sheets. I have no doubt that this will work well in a 'cloud' model with the AP's deloyed in a H-REAP mode, but very concerned if I put the 7510 is data path for all wireless traffic - due to the unknows of this device, and its newness. I love that it (7500) has 2x10G compared to the 8x1G of the 5508, but also concerned that the 7500 contoller would be new flagship product with the 5508 being obsolete if I make a safe bet on the 5508.

So the questions I have are:

1) Has anyone deployed the 7500 in a centralized model with it sitting the data path for approximatley 430-480 N-class (1142) access points?

2) How does the performance of the 7500 compare to the 5508, for the number of AP's stated.

3) If deploying 7500 in a redundant model, can both 7500's be active-active or do they only work in an active-passive model?

4) If I can just broadcast a single SSID for all types of users, do I need a Integrated Services Engine (ISE) to profile them and separate the traffics

5) Any thoughts on the roadmap of the 5508 and what may happen to it light of the 7500 introduction?.

Sorry for the long read, but wanted to paint the scenario and my thoughts hoping to get a good response :()

TIA

Redder

3 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Accepted Solutions

Re: Cisco 7500 WLAN Controller or 5508 Controller?

ok so first things first. The flex connect only runs HREAP APs, so the traffic is not going to backhaul to the WLC it's going to be dropped to the local LAN.

So if you really want ti bring all the traffic back to the DC you should either go with the 5508 or the WiSM2. The 7500 will not be in the data path for the client traffic, except for guest if you anchor the WLAN.

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

HTH, Steve ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Please remember to rate useful posts, and mark questions as answered
Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Cisco 7500 WLAN Controller or 5508 Controller?

The 7500 only allows h-reap (flex connect) not any local mode AP's. Also you can only tunnel back guest traffic/open auth.

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

-Scott
*** Please rate helpful posts ***
Hall of Fame Super Silver

Cisco 7500 WLAN Controller or 5508 Controller?

Just to add about the ISE... you can profile, but having only one ssid might or might not work in your situation.  Also if you end up with remote sites or ap's in h-reap mode, currently ISE cant do any profiling.  If you go with the 7500 or 5508/WiSM2, they don't really do an active-active or active backup. They are both up and you can split the load or put all ap's on one, its up to you.  I usually split the load just to make sure both are working.  I don't want to all of a sudden loose the primary and then find out my secondary/backup is not working.

-Scott
*** Please rate helpful posts ***
6 REPLIES

Re: Cisco 7500 WLAN Controller or 5508 Controller?

ok so first things first. The flex connect only runs HREAP APs, so the traffic is not going to backhaul to the WLC it's going to be dropped to the local LAN.

So if you really want ti bring all the traffic back to the DC you should either go with the 5508 or the WiSM2. The 7500 will not be in the data path for the client traffic, except for guest if you anchor the WLAN.

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

HTH, Steve ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Please remember to rate useful posts, and mark questions as answered
New Member

Cisco 7500 WLAN Controller or 5508 Controller?

Stephen, thank you for the quick reply. I appreciate your input

Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Cisco 7500 WLAN Controller or 5508 Controller?

The 7500 only allows h-reap (flex connect) not any local mode AP's. Also you can only tunnel back guest traffic/open auth.

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

-Scott
*** Please rate helpful posts ***
Hall of Fame Super Silver

Cisco 7500 WLAN Controller or 5508 Controller?

Just to add about the ISE... you can profile, but having only one ssid might or might not work in your situation.  Also if you end up with remote sites or ap's in h-reap mode, currently ISE cant do any profiling.  If you go with the 7500 or 5508/WiSM2, they don't really do an active-active or active backup. They are both up and you can split the load or put all ap's on one, its up to you.  I usually split the load just to make sure both are working.  I don't want to all of a sudden loose the primary and then find out my secondary/backup is not working.

-Scott
*** Please rate helpful posts ***
New Member

Cisco 7500 WLAN Controller or 5508 Controller?

Scott- Thanks for the quick reply and followup on the ISE. We would use the ISE when all of the traffic is tunnelled back to the controller.

Reg. the active-active state, so if I put 1/2 my AP on Ctrl-1 and the 2nd half on Ctrl-2, and if CTRL-1 fails, can the AP's be configured to use CTRL-2 automatically or is there a manual process involved?

TIA

Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Cisco 7500 WLAN Controller or 5508 Controller?

It's part of your configuration. You specify that these AP's will have wlc1 as the primary and wlc2 as the secondary. So once wlc1 becomes unavailable, the AP's move to wlc2. Now you can make it a manual process to fallback to wlc1 if wlc1 comes back online or you can make this automatic.

Thanks,

Scott Fella

Sent from my iPhone

-Scott
*** Please rate helpful posts ***
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