Aruba Networks announced a few days ago a new cloud-managed Wi-Fi solution that combines the simplicity of a cloud service with the performance, manageability and reliability of enterprise-grade Wireless LANs (WLANs). We are glad to host this article as it’s important to be updated about where the Enterprise Wi-Fi market is going, even when designing an SMB solution.
* * *
The Aruba cloud Wi-Fi solution combines the new Aruba Central cloud-based management service with Aruba Instant access points (APs) – including the new Instant 155 wireless and wired AP, the new Instant 220 series 802.11ac wireless AP, and a new version of Aruba Instant OS, to meet the requirements of diverse, distributed organizations and mid-sized networks. Offering 10x faster Wi-Fi speeds than competitive solutions and all the features of a traditional enterprise-class WLAN, Aruba’s cloud Wi-Fi solution allows branches to benefit from the ease of cloud management without the usual compromises. In addition, Aruba is expanding its switching portfolio with the new Aruba S1500 Mobility Access Switch, optimized for cloud Wi-Fi and designed for both large, distributed enterprises and smaller locations.
Unlike previous generations of cloud solutions, the Aruba cloud Wi-Fi solution doesn’t sacrifice critical enterprise capabilities such as performance, resiliency and flexibility for simplified, cloud-hosted management. With Aruba’s solution, organizations get up to 10x faster Wi-Fi connections than competitive cloud Wi-Fi solutions, guaranteed wired and cellular uplink failover options, 100% survivability in the event of a WAN link failure, and the choice of cloud subscription or on-premise management. In addition, Aruba offers the only WLAN that extends from corporate to branch and home, with a single architecture and single point of policy and management. This eliminates the architecture dilemma faced by many organizations with central sites and remote locations that are struggling to find a way to manage their branches and remote workers as a seamless part of their organization. Aruba’s enterprise-grade cloud Wi-Fi solution offers an ideal, distributed architecture that links into an enterprise’s central management and policy infrastructure.
Key benefits of the Aruba cloud Wi-Fi solution include:
- Faster Speeds, Better Performance: The Aruba Central database was designed with web-scale performance to allow users to quickly access large amounts of management data in the cloud. In addition to demonstrating 10x faster speeds than competitive solutions at high density, the Aruba cloud Wi-Fi solution includes the new Aruba Instant 155 AP, providing 450Mbps performance in 802.11n, and the new Instant 220 series APs providing up to 1.3 Gbps performance. Combined with Client Match and airtime fairness, which allow more clients to move faster on the network, always-on scanning to avoid performance-slowing interference, and optimized Wi-Fi channel use and power to speed client connections, Aruba’s cloud Wi-Fi delivers significant improvements in WLAN performance.
- Enterprise-class Resiliency and Reliability: Aruba’s cloud Wi-Fi solution is the only WLAN that is 100% functional without a wide-area network (WAN) link and the only one that delivers redundant wired uplinks, as well as fast failover VPN links to other sites. In addition, Aruba Central is hosted at multiple locations with multiple providers, ensuring maximum availability around the world.
- Architectural Affordability: Aruba offers the only WLAN that can deliver a single architecture across controller-based and cloud-based Wi-Fi deployments. This allows organizations to cost-effectively deploy one solution across headquarters, branch and home, with flexible cloud-based, on-premises and free, on-AP management options. Aruba’s WLAN is also singular in its offering of both local and centralized authentication options. In addition, the subscription includes expert technical support for Aruba Central, enhanced with rich online knowledge bases and community support at no extra charge.
Aruba channel partner, PacketLogix, Inc. is an active beta for the new Aruba Cloud Wi-Fi solution and is impressed with the opportunity it offers both new and existing customers. “By providing a simple way to manage networks virtually, Aruba’s cloud Wi-Fi solution solves several problems for our customers,” said Ben Russell, Senior Systems Engineer, PacketLogix, Inc. “Cloud-based management is an ideal IT solution for organizations that have multiple locations to support and limited resources to do so. There is no doubt that these customers can benefit from the conveniences and efficiencies of Aruba’s new cloud Wi-Fi solution.”
“With the increasing affinity of enterprise IT towards cloud-based applications and services, it’s no surprise that cloud-managed Wi-Fi is becoming an increasingly popular solution for a wide range of organizations, especially the distributed enterprise,” said Rohit Mehra, Vice President, Network Infrastructure, International Data Corp. (IDC). “Cloud Wi-Fi can deliver greater ease of use and automation to strapped IT departments and keep costs low for the enterprise. That said, organizations don’t want to sacrifice the robustness, performance and reliability of traditional wireless networks. With its new Cloud Wi-Fi offering, Aruba is marrying traditional Wi-Fi networking with the benefits of a Cloud-based solution, and should be able to capitalize on this growing Cloud market.”
Aruba Central Cloud-Hosted Management Provides Simplified, Single Point of Management
The new Aruba Central is a public, cloud subscription-based management service that gives organizations a single point of management for multiple sites and multiple Instant WLANs within sites. Designed to scale to large volumes of data with quick, responsive user interface (UI) performance, and multiple cloud providers and data centers around the world, Aruba Central offers top performance and reliability for all geographies. Aruba Central combines true, zero-touch provisioning with rich management capabilities including central configuration and firmware management, remote monitoring and troubleshooting and detailed compliance records and historical data. As a result, organizations can easily manage their Aruba Instant networks wherever they are located. In addition, Aruba is introducing its new eSupport site to give Aruba Central users free, online access to technical support, educational resources, tutorials and how-to guides, troubleshooting information and community support.
Aruba Instant 155 AP Offers Highest Performing Wired and Wireless Networking
Adding to its broad portfolio of Instant access points, Aruba is introducing the Instant 155, a new 3-antenna/3-spatial stream access point for simple installation on desktops. With speeds of up to 450 Mbps and four Gigabit Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet (PoE) for connecting printers, IP phones and other wired peripherals, the Instant 155 AP is ideal for branch and remote offices. The Instant 155 AP also includes new Aruba Instant OS Version 3.3 software which improves resiliency by keeping networks up and running even when one Internet connection fails. The new software provides dual Ethernet uplink support, 4G cellular uplink and flexible scheduling of image upgrades to improve network availability for end users.
Aruba Instant 220 Series Access Points
The Aruba 220 Series APs, featuring ClientMatch technology, are purpose-built for 802.11ac, resulting in time and cost savings for enterprises. Unlike modular 802.11ac APs, the Aruba 220 Series access points draw much less power, and also feature a power-efficient mode, so that enterprises can operate the APs at lower speeds with available 802.3af PoE power.
Aruba’s unique, patented ClientMatch technology resolves the issue of “sticky clients” on 802.11ac and 802.11n Wi-Fi networks, wherein mobile devices have difficulty connecting to the best possible access point. “Sticky client” problems occur due to a mobile device’s poor roaming algorithms, lack of proper RF interference monitoring, and competition with other slower devices that monopolize an entire channel. ClientMatch dynamically optimizes Wi-Fi client performance by putting the Wi-Fi infrastructure in control of client connection and roaming decisions.
Aruba S1500 Mobility Access Switch Optimized for Cloud Wi-Fi, Ideal for Branch Offices
The new Aruba S1500, expands Aruba’s mobility access switch portfolio in a form factor and price point friendly to mid-sized networks. Integrating with Instant WLANs, the switch provides POE for access points, can automatically use VLAN information from Instant APs, and provide rogue AP containment when alerted by the Instant virtual controller. In addition, the S1500 incorporates innovative power management and PoE prioritization for business-critical devices connected to the switch. The S1500 offers 12-, 24- and 48-port options and four Gigabit Ethernet uplinks.
Pricing and Availability
Aruba Central is available now and is priced at U.S. list $140 per access point, annually. The Aruba Instant 155 is available now with pricing starting at $895, U.S. list. The Instant 225 is available starting in October 2013 and prices begin at U.S. list $1,295. The new Aruba Instant OS version 3.3 software is available now, free of charge for existing Aruba Instant customers. The Aruba S1500 Mobility Access Switch 24- and 48- port models are available now and the 12-port model will be available in late 2013, with pricing starting at $1,595 U.S. List. For more information on Aruba’s cloud Wi-Fi solution, please visit http://cloud.arubanetworks.com.