Wireless Access

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Controllers vs Central - when does it make sense to go for one or the other

Hello everyone,

First time posting and I'm still a bit of a newbie with Aruba products but I'm hoping the community can help me out with some decisions our company has to make.

 

We have a fairly old wireless infrastructure from Aruba that's due for a hardware refresh from the APs to the controllers. The APs (over 1000) are capable of up to 802.11n and the controllers are the 3600 and 6000 series models. The architecture is pretty much a centralized design with the controllers sitting in the data centers and the APs in the branches and campuses all homing back to them. We also have Airwave but I'm not sure how much we're utilizing its features other than looking at some utilization graphs and generating reports.

 

Since we want to refresh everything I've wondered whether we should go with a controllerless solution or stick with putting controllers out there. Any new APs we purchase will likely be the Instant AP versions since they're priced similarly. Our management is pretty keen on going everything cloud so they've asked whether Central is a viable option. They've even asked about that other vendor who's wireless product is also cloud based.

 

I guess my ask is whether it makes sense to purchase new controllers and maybe distribute them more so that they're all not at the DCs. Or go with Central or is going controllerless but keeping Airwave a third option? Is there a specific technical point or topology where it makes more sense to stick with physical controllers vs doing everything with virtual controllers like the IAPs with either Central or Airwave? I recently attended an Aruba conference where they talked about some of the new features and capabilities for their Mobility Controller and it does peak my interest. At the same time, everything I've heard about Central is that it's not quite as feature rich as doing things the traditional way (AP + controllers).

 

I'm asking everyone I know including our reps about this and I've also search through the threads here as well. I just like to get more opinions on the matter. :)

 

Thank you!

Contributor I

Re: Controllers vs Central - when does it make sense to go for one or the other

if you have had a controller base setup and would like comprehensive features, go controller based.

if you are new , and would like less wholesome features, go central based.
do note that central is reliant on both internet connectivity and is subscription based.
Contributor I

Re: Controllers vs Central - when does it make sense to go for one or the other

if you have had a controller base setup and would like comprehensive features, go controller based.

if you are new , and would like less wholesome features, go central based.
do note that central is reliant on both internet connectivity and is subscription based.
New Contributor

Re: Controllers vs Central - when does it make sense to go for one or the other

I know it's more for me to answer but what would constitute comprehensive  or advanced features?  Do things like remote APs not work with Central and are better managed via controllers?

 

 

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