Wireless LAN (WLAN) controllers have been prevalent in large enterprise and campus WiFi deployments for over a decade. But controller-based architectures have not changed much since inception. In today’s world, where the density and quantity of WiFi networks has exploded, WiFi has moved from being a convenience to the exclusive way of accessing the network. As the diversity of clients and applications running on WiFi has simultaneously increased, controller-based architectures present serious shortcomings: complex management, high maintenance overhead, proprietary hardware, single point of failure, limited scalability and high cost.
The first generation of controller-less and cloud-based WiFi solutions served small-to-medium and distributed enterprises but they did not meet the needs of larger enterprise and campus deployments. Their poor performance, unreliability, limited scalability, lack of features, and the requirement of fundamental changes to the underlying network design kept large enterprises and higher education institutes from adopting controller-less and cloud WiFi solutions.