Aruba ESP offers value for partners and new service opportunities.

Lynn Haber

June 9, 2020

5 Min Read
Network City

Aruba, a Hewlett-Packard Enterprise company, on Tuesday announced the Edge Services Platform (ESP). Aruba ESP is an AI-powered, cloud-native platform designed to automate, unify and protect the edge.

The company also made significant enhancements to Aruba Central — a key piece of ESP.

For Aruba, ESP is a major step in its journey, one that began in 2014 with its cloud-managed Wi-Fi followed by switches, AI and SD-branch. Aruba ESP proactively predicts and resolves problems at the network edge. Gartner predicts that by 2022, more than half of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside the data center or cloud.


Aruba’s Patrick LaPorte

“Today, we pull all of that together under the umbrella of Aruba ESP,” Patrick LaPorte, senior director cloud and software solutions marketing at Aruba, told Channel Futures. “Aruba ESP is meant to automate, unify and protect the edge. Additionally, because we’re also making enhancements to Aruba Central and our AOS operating system for our access points, we’re able to deliver cloud-native, enterprise-scale networking — and provide a single all-in-one solution for AI-powered insights.”

Today, Aruba is talking about a network that can self-heal, self-optimize and self-secure.

Architecturally, Aruba ESP ties together its infrastructure, software-defined policy and services. Aruba Central is critical to the new platform when it comes to services. Those include onboarding, provisioning, orchestration, analytics, location and management.

A Closer Look

LaPorte breaks Aruba ESP into four areas of value. They are AIOps, unified infrastructure, zero trust network security, and financial and consumption model flexibility. This value extends to customers and partners.

AIOps redefines IT outcomes and provides the most value for partners. It allows IT to react and resolve issues quickly, predict and preempt them before they impact users. And it continuously optimizes performance to guarantee that SLAs are met.

“All our AI Insights are available to partners to offer to their customers,” said LaPorte. “That’s a huge value-add they can deliver to their customers to deliver greater throughput.”

He also notes another value of AIOps for partners. It allows them to deliver greater service without increasing capacity.

“What I mean by that is, that they’re providing managed services for their customers. They can look at the Aruba Central console in the morning and see the AI Insights for every one of their customers. If there’s a new insight recommendation, they can implement it before the customer complains about the issue. And in some cases, increase performance or capacity, for example, allowing them to be proactive before the customer has an issue.”

Unified Infrastructure consolidates all network operations for switching, Wi-Fi and SD-WAN across campus, data center, branch and remote worker environments under Aruba Central. It’s a cloud-native, single-pane-of-glass console that correlates cross-domain events to reduce issue resolution time and manual errors.

This simplifies operations and support of the network, and translates into cost savings for partners and improved service for customers.

Zero Trust Network Security combines role-based access technology, Dynamic Segmentation and identity-based intrusion detection to virtually eliminate the need for traditional segmentation methods while still detecting, preventing, isolating and stopping network breaches before they impact the business.

Flexible Consumption Models and Financing

Aruba Central and the ESP platform can be consumed in the cloud as a service or on premises.

Partners who have their own NOC or want to deliver managed services can brand the Aruba Central package and provide the service to their customers.

“Partners can add other services, as well,” said LaPorte.

There’s one more option for partners. Through HPE Aruba for GreenLake, a partner can offer network as a service (NaaS) branded as Aruba. But the partner maintains the customer relationship.

Customers can procure Aruba ESP with flexible financing options from HPE Financial Services.


Sayers’ Joel Grace

“For us, given our business in the edge networking space, and that we have a networking and security practice, Aruba converges those two practices together for us,” Joel Grace, senior vice president, infrastructure and cloud for Sayers, an HPE Aruba partner, told Channel Futures. “At the edge you have more and different types of users — employees, customers, and guests. You have more devices and more types of devices on the network. This makes for an operational challenge and a big security challenge. So what excites us most about Aruba ESP is that they’re aware that in order to manage this going forward, and efficiently, you need very powerful software. And the information needs to come back to a central location to be analyzed, looked at for patterns, to identify issues and risks,” he said.

For Grace, Aruba helps his firm address all customer concerns at the edge.

Aruba ClearPass, Aruba Central, and what Aruba does with Zero Trust networking are, today, a part of the conversations that Grace has with customers.

“The exciting piece is that we’ll soon talk to customers about Aruba ESP and the AI and automation pieces tied to the platform,” he said.

Aruba ESP-related enhancements announced Tuesday include:

  • Cloud-native management for any size enterprise.

  • Simplified daily operations with unified infrastructure.

  • Reduced resolution time with AI and automation.

  • Granular visibility across applications, devices and the network.

  • Enhanced operator experiences with AI.

  • The expansion of the CX switch portfolio to include the Aruba CX 6200 switch series.

And that’s not all. Aruba also on Tuesday introduced its Developer Hub, a comprehensive resource for developers. It includes Aruba APIs and documentation to streamline the development of innovative, next-generation edge applications using the open Aruba ESP platform.

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About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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