Aruba Networks (ARUN) has taken the best of its wireless networking product offerings and created an end-to-end architecture it calls Aruba Mobility-Defined Networks, built specifically for what the company calls “#GenMobile” — the tech-savvy user IT departments struggle to keep up with.
“If you look at #GenMobile and how they rely on technology, they use it for everything they do. They use Wi-Fi wherever and whenever they have a pause. They upgrade their own devices,” said Robert Fenstermacher, director of Products and Solutions Marketing at Aruba. “The challenge is static networks weren’t architected to handle these types of users. Companies are dealing with repercussions of not having the right kind of network.”
To that end, Aruba Mobility-Defined Networks is an architecture that addresses the main issues current wireless networks—most of which were installed almost as an afterthought—experience.
“IT has a new imperative to deliver an all-wireless workplace for this new generation of mobile user,” Fenstermacher noted. “To create this wireless workplace, the architecture needs to address the four S’s: Stable Air, or Wi-Fi that acts like a utility in that it’s always working; Secure Air, or security that’s not intrusive; Simple Air, or the idea that using mobile services must be easy to access without manual logins; and Smart Air, with location-relevance and priority for mobile apps.”
Mobility-Defined Networks works under the belief that networks should be defined and shaped by mobility, he noted. The solution constantly captures and correlates real-time state information and automates network security actions based on that information. “The focus is on the middle control layer of software that can automate what used to be tedious, manual tasks and processes. It also needs to cooperate with third-party systems to ensure business-relevant workflows are in place.”
In designing the Mobility-Defined Networks architecture, Aruba incorporated its Aruba ClearPass security technology and AirWave network management system and introducing new capabilities and technologies to enable current users of the technology to upgrade without forcing a purchase of additional equipment, Fenstermacher said.
Among the new features is ClearPass Exchange, which automates security workflows with third-party security in IT systems. ClearPass Exchange allows IT admins to integrate their current systems through REST-based APIs to develop or automate their own business workflows.
Aruba Auto Sign-On, meanwhile, utilizes ClearPass to enable a user’s workplace Wi-Fi login to automatically authenticate into SSO-enabled applications.
The company also is introducing Next-Generation Mobility Firewall, which uses advanced deep packet inspection to set granular role-based policies, quality of service and bandwidth contracts for more than 1,500 mobile applications, even when they are encrypted, according to the company. “This allows the network to operate more intelligently so it can identify and prioritize individual apps, and also block and restrict bandwidth for apps,” Fenstermacher said.
The latest version of AirWave, Aruba’s unified communications (UC) management dashboard, now provides a live, color-coded view of UC users on a floor plan and retrieve real-time metrics on the quality of UC calls to identify and remedy potential issues, he said.
The final element to the new architecture, AirGroup, allows users to wirelessly share screens and stream media with Apple and Digital Living Network Alliance and Universal Plug and Play devices.
Because all the new features are free add-ons, either bundled with the base OS or upgradable under an existing license, companies have the ability to upgrade their wireless networks now. It’s a great opportunity for channel partners to help their customers ease some of the pain associated with enabling wireless mobility without breaking the bank—or the network.
“Channel partners have a real opportunity here—they can go in and be the ones to consult with their customers on making this transition and show how to take next steps,” Fenstermacher said.