Aruba Atmosphere ‘22: Day 1 Highlights Automation and the Edge Revolution

The first day made it clear that these structures are essential, and that partners have a unique opportunity to help.

Allison Francis

March 30, 2022

4 Min Read
Grothjan, Donna_Aruba at Atmosphere 2022 Las Vegas

ARUBA ATMOSPHERE — The first day of HPE Aruba’s Atmosphere user conference featured a smattering of keynotes from the company’s top executives and a few key customers. Among hot discussion topics were the upgrades to Aruba’s Edge Services Platform (ESP). Attendees also learned about being able to automate and scale without increasing complexity; plus, the adoption of network as a service (NaaS).

Between the keynotes and partner sentiment, a few overarching themes emerged. Automation is a must; we are already living “at the edge”; and customers are either already, or looking to adopt NaaS.

Channel Futures is attending the event in Las Vegas.

Phil Mottram, executive vice president and general manager, HPE’s Intelligent Edge Business/Aruba, spoke about the huge shift in traditional networking methods. Not only that, but understanding what this shift means. 


HPE/Aruba’s Phil Mottram on stage at Aruba Atmosphere 2022 in Las Vegas, March 29.

“Our customers consistently tell us three things,” said Mottram. “First, they want to build a broad product portfolio, managed through one common platform, and they want it to be inherently secure. Second, they are spending too much time on day-to-day operations. And they really want a network platform that’s not only secure, but it can also see around corners and fix different problems before they happen. And last but not least, our customers are rethinking how they purchase and manage their networks. They’re interested in a model that can flex for their business, and has a predictable monthly fee.”

Simply, Automation

Customers need a way to automate and scale without increasing complexity. This was a common theme throughout day one. This addresses several of the pain points partners are experiencing in an increasingly complex landscape. Mottram highlighted the fact that work looks very different than it used to, and pointed to what Aruba Central NetConductor does to reduce said complexity. 

“Automation — you must have it,” said Larry Lunetta, vice president of solutions portfolio marketing at Aruba. “It’s essentially like installing easy buttons. Processes are increasingly getting more complicated and take up time and resources. The goal of automation is to abstract all of that so you can have more agility, and these processes are made easier and faster.”

The Edge Revolution

Another theme that emerged was the rapid move to – and adoption of – edge computing. 

“The cloud is moving to the edge,” said John Chambers, CEO, JC2 Ventures, during the opening keynote. “That means there’s going to be a new set of players that connect for 75% of where the traffic will go, where the majority of data resides, including security — all in a new architecture.” 

Josh Matheus, managing director of Goldman Sachs (an Aruba customer since 2008), talked about bringing security to the edge. 

“Every connection to the cloud has to be secured. It’s not an open system, particularly in the banking industry,” said Matheus. “Whatever the platform is, each one needs to be secured. So, bringing that security to the edge is really important. If you want to secure your edge, you need to define your baseline. As you build critical mass, you end up with a plan that can do all of this. Anyone who is in a regulated industry, for example, you’re going to have audits. This is the type of platform you need.”

The Adoption of Network as a Service

Network as a service provides flexible consumption of network infrastructure, including hardware, software, management tools, licenses and life-cycle services. It is becoming more well-known that as-a-service models – NaaS in particular – can bring many advantages to organizations. This includes easing deployment and ongoing management, providing detailed visibility and insights (with the bonus of optimized network performance), having natively integrated security, and above all, ensuring quality user experiences.

“Customers are embracing NaaS,” said Donna Grothjan, vice president of worldwide channels, Aruba. “They are looking to adopt, and it’s growing rapidly. The IDC has explored the rise of as-a-service models and the advent of NaaS, and has said that 69% of organizations have and will deploy NaaS by 2024. That’s pretty huge.”

Grothjan went on to say that networking solutions (like those delivered through the HPE GreenLake platform) give users more flexibility; that, and agility in how they procure and operate their networks. The idea is to simplify the process of procuring and deploying network resources, and accelerating time-to-value. You want to make sure your network is always ready to support ever-changing business objectives.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Allison Francis or connect with her on LinkedIn.


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About the Author(s)

Allison Francis

Allison Francis is a writer, public relations and marketing communications professional with experience working with clients in industries such as business technology, telecommunications, health care, education, the trade show and meetings industry, travel/tourism, hospitality, consumer packaged goods and food/beverage. She specializes in working with B2B technology companies involved in hyperconverged infrastructure, managed IT services, business process outsourcing, cloud management and customer experience technologies. Allison holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing from Drake University. An Iowa native, she resides in Denver, Colorado.

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