Cisco Catalyst 9100 Series Access Points
Cisco has aimed to go beyond the industry standard 802.1 AC and wishes to deliver the highest performing access points with the help of the Cisco Catalyst 9100 Access Point, inviting users to begin their Wi-Fi 6 journey. These products aim at providing a resilient and intelligent service by integrating the elements of security for mobile and IoT devices.
The main attraction of this access point is that it provides a higher bandwidth in addition to more dependable connections to the network, allowing for automation. Thus, these access points have garnered great interest ever since their inception and will, no doubt, continue to do so.
Access points are devices that have the ability to create a wireless local area network (WLAN), which is especially made use of in an office or any large building. It generally connects to a wired router, switch, or hub through an Ethernet cable, enabling the projection of Wi-Fi signals over an area. Cisco’s blog claims that this is a stepping stone into allowing a lot of great uses, like robotic and advanced applications in virtual and augmented reality.
In fact, these ensure a reliable, secure, and scalable wireless network capable of handling all extra devices in addition to the data transfer that such a mass integration is bound to result in. Such access points are the foundation of a highly efficient network.
Features of Cisco’s Catalyst 9100 Access Points
Catalyst 9100 Access Points come with a wide range of features aiming to provide better networking opportunities that ensure security and scalability. Some of these features are listed below:
- Moving beyond industry standards- With the help of RF ASIC, Cisco’s Catalyst 9120, in pairing with Cisco’s DNA assurance, makes it possible to ensure an analyzable intelligence and visibility. This data allows for more efficiency in the running of any network.
- Meeting new requirements like IoT expansion- With its multilingual support and IoT protocol based applications, IoT devices can reduce energy consumption by up to three times in addition to more secure networking. This permits the hosting of connected devices, perhaps even life-saving devices in the future or robots in retail and manufacturing. In addition to regular hosting, this also ensures a lack of downtime, which is of paramount importance to certain applications.
- Protection of investments- With the support of NBASE-T and IEEE 802.3 bz Ethernet, network traffic can be seamlessly offloaded without bottlenecks. The Multigigabit technology allows Category 5e or 6 cables, reaching speeds of up to 10 Gbps.
- Latency reduction- The Catalyst 9100 access points allow for 100+ devices in each access point with latency-sensitive applications like voice-over-internet protocol and video conferencing. This is three times more than earlier standards.
- Customization- The Catalyst 9120 access points are equipped with custom RF ASIC with real-time analytics. With the help of the custom RF ASCI and a dedicated third radio, high-density situations can be well handled with some features like RF interference mitigation and rogue detection taken care of. The Cisco DNA Assurance makes sure that users gain RF intelligence and visibility, and all these factors contribute to an efficient network.
- Reliability- With assured connectivity at all times, Cisco’s Catalyst 9100 access points ensure that they are always dependable. With roaming features for better Wi-Fi, this seamless experience ensures a network that is clear of any issues.
- Capacity- The Wi-Fi 6 enables low latency and high capacity network, with over a 100 devices able to communicate simultaneously. Future developments include support for OFDMA and MU-MIMO in order to dole out resources and higher bandwidth.
Vision and Intent
Scott Harrell, senior vice president and general manager of enterprise networking at Cisco, says – “Best-effort’ wireless for enterprise customers doesn’t cut it anymore. There’s been a change in customer expectations that there will be an uninterrupted unplugged experience. It is now a wireless-first world.”
Keeping with this expectation, Catalyst 9100 access points are indeed a step in the right direction, aiming to provide a better networking experience that is safe, reliable, and secure. In addition, with a large number of devices it supports and its IoT-friendly design, it is bound to be a product aimed at shaping the future.
Built on Cisco’s silicon and communicating with the help of pre-8021ax protocols, there is a rich sensor providing timely insights about the happenings of the wireless network to IT in real time. This allows for the timely detection of any network or connectivity problems and enables their solving in a quick and efficient manner. This also reduces any security concerns and makes any issues obvious before the damage is done.
In addition to Wi-Fi 6, the access points also allow for visibility and communication with Zigbee, BLE and Thread protocols, supporting uplink speeds of 2.5 Mbps, 100 Mbps, and 1 Gbps. All these speeds are supported on category 5e cabling (which is a first in the industry) and 10GBASE-T cabling.
This is keeping in mind Cisco’s firm belief that wired networks must constantly evolve if any improvement in wireless networks is to happen. So this may be considered an attempt to drive changes into the access layer, which would certainly drive higher bandwidth needs at the core and boost aggregation layers, says Harrell.
This will undoubtedly be a huge step for networking, with significant changes possible at the access layer with many enterprises more than eager to adopt these changes. Cisco believes these access points are crucial in revolutionizing many technologies, even resulting in tech that could cause the difference between life and death, like VR-based surgery, reducing geographic constraints in certain cases, and allowing the tech to be widespread.
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