Aruba launches its 5000 series switch

Recent start-up Aruba Wireless Networks Inc. is getting in on the wireless local area network (WLAN) boom with its 5000 modular switching system product.

According to the vendor, its switching system combines air traffic management, an active user management and multi-layered security into a single system. The switching box is able to provide access points (APs) through 24, 48, or 72 10/100Mbps Ethernet ports and up to six gigabit Ethernet ports.

Security is offered by the company’s suite of WLAN switching software that includes centralized wired equivalent privacy (WEP), temporary key integrity protocol (TKIP) and AES-CCM, a mechanism that provides confidentiality and data origin authentication. Additional security can be purchased in the form of its AirOS software that offers per-user firewall capabilities and a centralized policy management feature. Pricing for the AirOS is based on a per-user model and will be available in June, the company said.

The box will be available in Canada, and according to Aruba Communications Director David Callisch in San Jose, Calif., the product can be architected, depending on its set-up, to support literally thousands of users and hundreds of access points. The box, while not suitable for the Starbucks consumer-type of wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) environment, is geared at the large enterprise class of users.

“The mode we’re espousing is really one where everything gets centralized into a centralized device. We’ve re-architected the access points in the sense that everything above the physical layer gets integrated into the switch,” he said.

Aruba however, which celebrated its one-year company anniversary in March, will face some tough competition from the likes of Cisco Systems Inc. and Enterasys Networks Inc., both of whom are established players in providing wireless networking gear for 802.11.

The company is online at