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Aruba Takes Software-Defined Networking to the Branch Office

Aruba's new SD-Branch solution provides customers with integrated SD-WAN, LAN and security.

HPE DISCOVER — Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, on Tuesday announced a software-defined branch (SD-B) solution with integrated SD-WAN, LAN and security. The new offer is designed to help customers eliminate the conventional silos of separately managed security, WAN and Wi-Fi infrastructure that have existed in the branch office.

Aruba made the announcement at HPE Discover in Las Vegas.

Aruba’s SD-Branch solution integrates new Aruba Branch Gateways to provide a single point for SD-WAN, wired and wireless networking, and policy enforcement with Aruba’s enhanced Aruba Central cloud management platform to deliver secure, simplified branch connectivity at scale.

“Customers had to deal with a lot of complexity in terms of having to manage those domain areas as separate entities without any integration of tools that go along with that,” Lissa Hollinger, vice president, product and solutions marketing at Aruba, told us. “There was also incremental cost that IT departments need to invest in for those domain areas.”

Lissa Hollinger

The new SD-Branch offers Aruba’s new and first SD-WAN capabilities delivered through new gateway platforms — branch gateways and head-end gateways. Aruba also added SD-WAN capability to Aruba Central, the vendor’s cloud-based management platform.

The cornerstone of the SD-B solution is the new 7000 series branch gateways with integrated SD-WAN, LAN, WLAN and security. Aruba will offer five platforms to accommodate different-size branch offices with a variety of capacity requirements as well as performance and throughput requirements. Platform benefits include:

  • Simplicity at Enterprise Scale: Cloud-based management provides remote, centralized provisioning and management of wired and wireless connections inside the branch, and WAN and internet connections with SD-WAN infrastructure. This enables IT to quickly implement new services and network changes across large, distributed environments without requiring on-site IT.
  • Integrated, Best-in-Class Security: Aruba security solutions offer automated, granular intrabranch and WAN policy-enforcement capabilities. New Aruba 360 Security Exchange Technology partners deliver cloud-based firewall and threat protection.
  • Optimized Branch Experience: Application, user and device contextual awareness delivers granular QoS within the branch and across the WAN for SaaS, mobile UC and other remote applications. This simplifies how LAN and WAN traffic are prioritized and routed inside and outside the branches to deliver a consistent experience, regardless of user role, device type or location.

According to Aruba, the branch office faces a number of challenges: There’s been an increase in cloud adoption, with 85 percent of IT organizations committing to a multicloud architecture by 2018; with more than 20 billion IoT devices deployed by 2020, customers face increased security risk; private WAN is complex and expensive; device sprawl is real; and SaaS applications are backhauled to the data center.

“Aruba customers were asking for a unified architecture that spans the entire branch, is modern and will help them accelerate their digital transformation, and an architecture that embraces and supports new technology trends such as cloud, mobility, and IoT,” Hollinger said.

Active customer trials are going on today with shipments expected to begin by the end of July. Subscriptions start at $450 per gateway per year; hardware starts at $1,495 per gateway, according to Aruba.

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