Imagining a time without internet access at every stage of life seems unimaginable now. The Internet has been the greatest boon of the 21st century, and with wireless networking, man has advanced by leaps and bounds. It ensured high efficiency, better time management, increased productivity and less mess (no hanging copper wires). From homes to offices, students to professionals, Wi-Fi is everyone’s choice. This article will try to analyze the importance of a WLAN controller and its necessity within an organization.
What is a Wireless LAN Device?
A wireless LAN device, also known as a wireless access controller or WLC, is a centralized hub-like device dedicated to managing access points (APs). Network administrators use wireless LAN controllers combined with LWAPP (Lightweight Access Point Protocol) to manage large amounts of access points.
What is a WLAN Controller?
Wireless LAN controllers are also called WLANs. As part of the wireless architecture setup, WLAN controllers are responsible for managing wireless access points to enable secure network connectivity between different devices on a network.
The deployment of the wireless access controller is an integral part of the network design and architecture strategy. There are two types of deployments that use physical wireless access controllers:
It is a traditional and common type of wireless system. The network is mainly closer on site. Thus, the deployment, maintenance, authorization, upgrade and modification of features are easily controlled in the network.
Small branch offices and campuses use this deployment. It allows users to use their wired network and wireless connections using an access switch.
Wireless devices in a wireless network
1. Wireless Access Point
WAP is a hardware device that allows wired and wireless hosts to come together, including Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. It primarily uses the 802 series of wireless standards, commonly referred to as APs (access points). A single WAP is used to deploy corporate WLANs.
Wireless access points are used to manage, operate and configure networks independently with centralized management.
We can even extend our wireless connections to greater distances by installing access points at designated locations, thereby extending to custom ranges.
2. Wi-Fi Controller
All wireless device traffic is routed through the wireless gatekeepers. Additionally, it filters data traffic by prioritizing incoming data according to established quality policies.
It manages the local wireless network, which allows us to connect, configure, view and identify problems in the large organization’s network.
We can also configure, send and receive notifications about problems occurring on the wireless network traffic and on the entire bandwidth of the location, thanks to WLC.
3. Cisco Wireless LAN Controller
What is a Cisco Wireless LAN Controller?
Cisco WLAN controllers, used worldwide, are 802.11ac and ready for the upcoming standard. It is a faster and easier wireless network management and a highly optimized network device.
Benefits of a Cisco WLAN Controller
Flexibility – As Cisco is a universally known vendor for network devices, its WLAN controller offers flexibility based on various architectures. This means that the Cisco solution includes cloud-based and on-premises controllers that can manage all of your organization’s network deployment data.
Secure – Cisco offers an integrated security solution, a perfect answer to problems such as hacking and data breaches and leaks seen around the world. These features include access control lists, strong encryption, aircraft monitoring, and custom content management.
Availablity – Cisco Catalyst controllers provide simplified network management and availability for unstable network conditions, which means they limit downtime for upgrades and patches.
Why is a wireless LAN controller important?
The most likely feature of the controller is that we can use it wirelessly eliminating the need for cables. We can access mobiles and tablets to the centralized device on the same network and stay connected.
Is the WLAN controller a router?
Wireless LAN controllers are analogous to an amplifier in a home stereo, allowing devices to connect over a greater distance. The WLC extends bandwidth from a router to the network area needed to provide greater signal coverage to multiple devices at once.
Need a WLAN controller?
For a small or medium-sized business without a budget for senior administrators or IT specialists, a low-budget Cisco controller, Cisco Mobility Express, can help management. This handheld device is the solution to all technical problems.
How to access WLC?
GUI-based access with HTTP or HTTPS.
We can access it through the service port provided on the device itself.
CLI via Telnet, SSH and console port
How do we configure the switch to connect to the WLC?
We can configure the switch port to which the WLC is connected quite easily. This is a trunk port which is an IEEE 802.1Q port. We can also assign a VLAN to these interfaces.
How do I configure a Wireless LAN Controller or WLC?
Configuring the WLAN as the SSID in the access point is a simple task in itself. It is required by a user to access their wireless networks. If you want to configure, you can refer to the steps listed at https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/docs/wireless-mobility/wireless-vlan/70937-guest-internal-wlan. html
If we want a simple wireless network, we can set up a WLAN using a centralized wireless controller. With this single wireless access point, it is possible to work while roaming on campus or in the building. The implementation, configuration and maintenance of a WLAN network become more fluid with the controller.
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