Aruba Wireless LAN Update Addresses Airtime Fairness
Aruba Networks (NASDAQ: ARUN) has issued a new software release for its wireless LANs, an upgrade the company contends meets a critical issue faced by enterprises: airtime fairness — or in tech speak, ensuring high performance and minimum downtime for large-scale mobility networks handling mobile devices and real-time applications such as voice and video.
Mobility channel partners take note: The new ArubaOS 220.127.116.11 for the vendor’s mobility controllers is available as a free download to existing Aruba WLAN customers.
With the new enterprise wireless LAN software, Aruba hopes to gain a notch or two on market commander Cisco Systems (NASDAQ; CSCO) as it widens its solutions and customer set. While the company includes channel partners in its sales strategy, there’s more work to be done before the vendor is said to be channel-friendly. Indeed, word recently surfaced that Bob Bruce, Aruba’s channel chief, had departed with Jim Harold slated to take the reins later this month.
As for the WLAN software, Aruba’s philosophy is that no single group of clients on the network should be able to dominate network resources. But with constricted bandwidth owing to spikes in the number of mobile devices, issues such as unpredictable bandwidth allocations for individual clients, dropped Wi-Fi connections and data transfer failures makes resource distribution a factor.
Aruba tested the performance of its WLAN using a mix of smartphones, tablets and laptops in a variety of settings and configurations, noting that it stood up favorably against the competition, namely Cisco, and posted the results here. Other head-to-head Wi-Fi performance benchmark testing is shown here.
As enterprises expand their mobility networks, performance isn’t the only issue — rapid recovery in the event of a network failure is a significant factor as well. Aruba maintains that the quicker recovery time of its WLAN keeps even videoconference calls connected should a failure occur. Its technology automatically identifies, prioritizes and protects unified communications applications in Wi-Fi congestion, resulting in up to 75 percent better quality for these applications, Aruba noted.
“Today’s mobility networks must accommodate the huge influx of mobile devices on the network, as well as the real-time voice and video applications that are now part of most users’ daily interactions,” said Keerti Melkote, Aruba chief technology officer.
The company is scheduled to report Q4 and fiscal year 2012 year-end results on August 23. Analysts are expecting revenue for the period in the $136 million range.