The Basics of Networking | Network Elements | Wireless LAN Controllers (WLC)

The Simple Definition

A WLC is a networking device that acts as a central management system for one or more WAPs. It is responsible for controlling the configuration, security, and performance of the WAPs in the network.

A wireless LAN controller (WLC) is like the conductor of an orchestra for your wireless network. It manages and coordinates the different wireless access points (WAPs) in your network, ensuring that they all work together seamlessly and efficiently.

Where do we see Wireless LAN Controllers?

Companies or environments where a single point of management is required. The question is managing multiple access points individually, versus managing one single device that manages all Wireless Access Points? – The answer is easy, but there are also valid uses cases why a company would manage a Wireless Access Point individually. Although the preferred method is by using a Wireless LAN Controller

A WLC also plays an important role in network security. It can be configured to enforce security policies, such as access control and encryption, across the entire wireless network. This helps to prevent unauthorized access to the network and protect against malicious attacks.

In addition to managing and securing the wireless network, a WLC can also provide advanced features such as Quality of Service (QoS), which allows you to prioritize different types of traffic and ensure that critical applications, such as voice and video, have the bandwidth they need. It also provides monitoring and troubleshooting features which allow the administrator to have a full view of the network and troubleshoot any issues that might occur.


What is next?

We will continue using this series to identify and describe multiple Network devices. How they fit in a typical network.

Other topics, part of this series

About the Author:

Andres Sarmiento, CCIE # 53520
With over 18 years of professional experience, Andres is a specialist in Unified Communications and Collaboration technologies, Enterprise Networks, and Network Security. He has consulted for numerous companies in South Florida, including Financial Institutions, on behalf of Cisco Systems. Andres has played a key role in several high-profile implementations, utilizing Cisco technologies such as Data Center, UC & Collaboration, Contact Center Express, Routing & Switching, Security, and Hosted IPT Service Provider infrastructures.

You can follow Andres using Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

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