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Flexible Deployment Options
With the flexibility to choose between cloud- and on-premises management, the Catalyst 9166 Series Access Point ensures network investment protection and unlocks the power of hybrid work. The Wi-Fi 6E-compliant access point takes advantage of the 6-GHz band expansion to produce a network that is more reliable and secure, with higher throughput, more capacity, and less device interference. The access points come with three 4x4 radios and provide a host of cutting-edge features.
With the industry’s leading network architecture (Catalyst) joining the industry’s leading cloud IT platform (Meraki), this access point provides an unparalleled network experience. For organizations that need solutions to power hybrid work, and that allow their people to work anywhere at any given time with elevated, secure, and connected experiences, the Cisco Catalyst 9166 Series Access Points are the best choice.
Operational management is not static, as customers are able to change their network management whenever they want. If a network with Cisco Catalyst 9166 Series Access Points was originally an on-premises deployment, it can be changed to cloud-based management without the need to purchase and redistribute additional hardware.
Cisco Meraki Cloud Management
Pairing the Cisco Catalyst 9166 Series Access Points with the Meraki cloud platform gives organizations a unified IT experience for network monitoring and management. The Meraki dashboard provides an intuitive and interactive web interface connecting your network to the industry’s leading cloud IT platform.
Through the dashboard, Meraki provides sophisticated and scalable tools to automate network optimization, deploy policy and segmentation configurations across thousands of sites and devices, and manage a full-stack network from SD-WAN to Access to IoT technologies. The platform supports over 3.5 million active networks around the world.
Working together, the Catalyst 9166 Series and Cisco Meraki offer such features as:
● Cisco DNA Spaces
● Cisco Identity Services Engine
● Meraki Health intelligent optimization and assurance
● Meraki Vision, smart cameras, and sensors for network closet monitoring
Cisco DNA and Catalyst 9800 WLC support
Cisco Catalyst 9166 Series Access Points can also be paired with Catalyst 9800 WLC and Cisco DNA Center. Cisco DNA Center allows you to understand your network with real-time analytics, quickly detect and contain security threats, and easily provide network-wide consistency through automation and virtualization.
Working together, the Catalyst 9166 Series and Cisco DNA offer such features as:
● Cisco DNA Spaces
● Cisco Identity Services Engine
● Cisco DNA Analytics and Assurance along with Intelligence Capture (iCAP)
Software configurable flex radio architecture for 6 GHz support
The Cisco Catalyst Wireless 9166 supports a software-defined flex radio which can be operated in either a 5 GHz or 6 GHz mode. This provides an option to operate the AP in either a dual 5 GHz configuration or a true tri-band configuration.
Tri-band configuration unlocks the use of the new spectrum in the 6 GHz frequency range, which provides additional channels to increase throughput and reduce interference and noise from legacy devices. 6 GHz support ensures that the CW9166 supports future technologies.
High-Performance 802.11ax compatible wireless
The CW9166 is a cloud-managed 4x4:4 802.11ax compatible access point that raises the bar for wireless performance and efficiency. Designed for next-generation deployments in offices, schools, hospitals, retail shops, and hotels, the CW9166 offers high throughput, enterprise-grade security, and simple management.
The CW9166 provides a maximum of 7.78 Gbps* aggregate frame rate with concurrent 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz radios. A dedicated fourth radio provides real-time WIDS/WIPS with automated RF optimization, and a fifth integrated IoT radio delivers Bluetooth scanning and beaconing.
With the combination of cloud management, high-performance hardware, multiple radios, and advanced software features, the CW9166 makes an outstanding platform for the most demanding of uses—including high-density deployments and bandwidth or performance-intensive applications like voice (Cisco WebEx) and high-definition video.
CW9166 and Meraki cloud management
Management of the CW9166 is through the Meraki cloud, with an intuitive browser-based interface that enables rapid deployment without time-consuming deployment complexity and time-consuming staging process. Since the CW9166 is self-configuring and managed over the web, it can be deployed at a remote location in a matter of minutes, even without on-site IT staff.
24x7 monitoring via the Meraki cloud delivers real-time alerts if the network encounters problems. Remote diagnostic tools enable immediate troubleshooting over the web so that distributed networks can be managed with a minimum of hassle.
The CW9166’s firmware is automatically kept up to date via the cloud. New features, bug fixes, and enhancements are delivered seamlessly over the web. This means no manual software updates to download or missing security patches to worry about.
Tri–radio aggregate frame rate of up to 7.78 Gbps*
A 6 GHz 4x4:4, 5 GHz 4x4:4 and 2.4 GHz 4x4:4 radio offer a combined tri–radio aggregate frame rate of 7.78 Gbps*. Technologies like transmit beamforming and enhanced receive sensitivity allow the CW9166 to support a higher client density than typical enterprise-class access points, resulting in better performance for more clients from each AP.
* Refers to maximum over-the-air data frame rate capability of the radio chipset, and may exceed data rates allowed by IEEE 802.11ax operation.
Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO)
With support for features of 802.11ax, the CW9166 offers DL and UL MU-MIMO and OFDMA for more efficient transmission to multiple clients. Especially suited to environments with numerous mobile devices, MU-MIMO and OFDMA enable multiple clients to receive data simultaneously. This increases the total network performance and improves the end-user experience.
IoT and Bluetooth Low Energy Radio
An integrated Bluetooth radio provides seamless deployment of BLE Beacon functionality and effortless visibility of Bluetooth devices. The CW9166 enables the next generation of location-aware applications while future-proofing deployments, ensuring it’s ready for any new customer engagement strategies.
Automatic cloud-based RF Optimization
The CW9166’s sophisticated and automated RF optimization means that there is no need for the dedicated hardware and RF expertise typically required to tune a wireless network. The RF data collected by the dedicated fourth radio is continuously fed back to the Meraki cloud. This data is then used to automatically tune the channel selection, transmit power, and client connection settings for optimal performance under even the most challenging RF conditions.
Integrated Enterprise Security and Guest Access
The CW9166 features integrated, easy-to-use security technologies to provide secure connectivity for employees and guests alike. Advanced security features such as AES hardware-based encryption and Enterprise authentication with 802.1X and Active Directory integration provide wired-like security while still being easy to configure. CW9166 will also support 192-bit encryption along with WPA3 support for added security of the wireless network.
One-click guest isolation provides secure, Internet-only access for visitors. PCI compliance reports check network settings against PCI requirements to simplify secure retail deployments.
Dedicated scanning radio delivers 24x7 Air Marshal and RF analytics
There’s no need to choose between wireless security (AirMarshal), advanced RF analysis, and serving client data. A dedicated scanning radio means that all functions occur in real-time, without any impact on client traffic or AP throughput.
The CW9166’s dedicated tri-band scanning radio security radio continually monitors the environment, characterizing RF interference and containing wireless threats like rogue access points. Containment is only possible in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies as 6 GHz requires Protected Management Frames (PMF).
Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) & Mobile Device Management (MDM) integration
Meraki Systems Manager natively integrates with the CW9166 to offer automatic, context-aware security. System Manager’s self-service enrollment helps to rapidly deploy MDM without installing additional equipment and then dynamically tie firewall and traffic shaping policies to client posture.
Application-aware traffic shaping
The CW9166 includes an integrated layer 7 packet inspection, classification, and control engine, enabling the configuration of QoS policies based on traffic type, helping to prioritize mission-critical applications while setting limits on recreational traffic like peer-to-peer and video streaming. Policies can be implemented per network, SSID, user group, or individual user for maximum flexibility and control.
Voice and video optimizations
Industry-standard QoS features are built-in and easy to configure. Wireless Multimedia (WMM) access categories, 802.1p, and DSCP standards support all ensure important applications get prioritized correctly, not only on the CW9166 but also on other network devices on. Unscheduled Automatic Power Save Delivery (U-APSD) and Target Wait Time feature in 802.11ax clients ensure minimal battery drain on wireless VoIP phones.
Self-configuring, self-maintaining, always up-to-date
When plugged in, the CW9166 automatically connects to the Meraki cloud, downloads its configuration, and joins the appropriate network. Administrators can schedule automatic firmware upgrades for their Dashboard network seamlessly. This ensures the network is kept up-to-date with bug fixes, security updates, and new features.
CW9166 will support all the latest and greatest analytics to provide AI/ML anomaly detection, server root cause analysis, wireless client scoring based on performance and connectivity metrics, and network benchmarking for networks of similar size and vertical. Along with these features, CW9166 will provide advanced location analytics via API and graphs in Dashboard to provide a clear picture of client density and their movement across the floor plan.
Choice of Mode
Cisco Catalyst 9166 Series Access Points can be managed either on-premises with Catalyst 9800 Wireless Lan Controllers (WLC) or cloud-managed through the Meraki dashboard. Customers have the flexibility to deploy these access points in one mode and migrate to the other mode in the future.