Aruba enters cloud with Wi-Fi solution

Aruba Network Inc. marks its foray into the cloud today with the release of a new cloud management Wi-Fi solution called the Aruba Central cloud-based management service.

Previous generations of cloud solutions tend to sacrifice critical enterprise capabilities such as performance, resiliency and flexibility for the ease of management offered by cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, according to Sylvia Hooks, director of products at Aruba.

“The result is a trade-off that sees even large organizations deploying consumer-grade Wi-Fi access points,” she said. “They are good for normal conditions but typically fail when traffic spikes or loads suddenly increase.”


The Instant 155 AP from Aruba Networks
The Instant 155 AP from Aruba Networks

Unreliable WAN links results in instability, slowdowns and a loss of functionality, said Hooks. In some instances administrators lose the ability to do security screening or monitoring of apps or in the case of online retail lose the ability to carry out transactions.

She said Aruba’s latest release aims to raise the standards by combining Aruba Central’s SaaS-based management capabilities with the company’s enterprise-grade APs including the new Instant 155 wireless and wired AP, Instant 220 series 802.11ac wireless AP and the Aruba Instant OS.

Also released today was the Aruba S 1500 Mobility Access Switch for cloud Wi-Fi. It integrates with Instant WLANs and provides POE for access points.

The products offer as much as 10 times faster Wi-Fi speeds compared to other solutions in the market. They come with guaranteed wired and cellular uplink failover options, 100 per cent survivability in event of a WAN link failure and the choice of subscription or on-premise management.

The SaaS-based solution eliminates the need for hardware appliances to monitor and manage APs said Hooks.
“There’s no need to maintain any hardware and administrators can configure multiple APs simultaneously over the cloud,” Hack said. “What’s more, Aruba matches up the addresses of the APs in the backend so IT doesn’t need to do this tedious task.”

“IT can use Central Management to configure the APs even before the APs are actually shipped,” she said.

Other advantages provided by Aruba’s offerings are:

  • The WLAN provides 100 per cent functionality without a WAN link and comes with redundant wired uplinks
  • Aruba is hosted in multiple locations with multiple providers for added business continuity and disaster recovery assurance
  • Aruba’s WLAN can deliver a single architecture across controller-based and cloud-based Wi-Fi deployments. This help cut cost by enabling the deployment of just one solution across headquarters, branch offices and home offices.

Aruba Central is available now with a subscription list price of $140/access point/year.

The Aruba Instant 155 starts at $895. The Instant 225 starts at $1,295. The Aruba S1500 Mobility Access Switch, available in 12, 24 and 48-port models, are sold for a starting price of $1,595.

The Aruba Instant OS version 3.3 software is available free of charge for Aruba Instant customers.

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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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