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A networking course that I follow mentions that we can centrally manage our APs in the cloud and that Cisco Meraki is a popular solution for that.

But then again, we can also have a Cloud-Based WLC deployment where we can, again, centrally manage our APs in the cloud.

Is there any major difference between these 2 services? When would I want to pick one over another?

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You can make a similar comparison of any cloud managed service vs. maintaining your own server.

With the managed service (Meraki) you connect your APs, configure your policies, and youre done.

With your own WLC, you have to maintain the server, configure backups, install the WLC, manage upgrades, patches, etc. You also have to manage security for your WLC.

Usually, it comes down to price vs convenience. Every network is different, and everyone has different budgets.

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  • Price vs. Convenience vs. Features. Not all implementations are the same. Meraki is generally considered very easy to use but often short on some features that may be important to more complex configurations. As for Meraki Cloud vs. other, basically as said, price, features, convenience of admin. There are no differences in the underlying technology, only the details of the selected product. It's all still standard based networking. Jan 3, 2023 at 1:32

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