HPE's networking division has been quietly building its Instant On portfolio for four years.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

September 12, 2023

3 Min Read
SMB, Aruba SMB
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Executives at HPE’s Aruba networking unit say two new products in the Aruba SMB portfolio will help small business adapt to increased bandwidth and security needs.

The Aruba Instant On business added a stackable switch and a Wi-Fi 6 access point in an effort to serve a growing field of SMB IT buyers. Canalys recently estimated that SMBs will drive about $2 trillion in IT spend in 2023 — 44% of total spend. And Aruba specifically is eyeing a $2.3 billion wireless market opportunity, with 70% of that addressable market coming from wireless. IDC studies show that SMBs are upgrading their connectivity in 2023 with an increased emphasis on cloud-based applications and Wi-Fi 6.

“Most of them are ready to upgrade, because end devices have grown. IoT devices have come on board. Data is exploding. Video is exploding,” said Amol Mitra, vice president and general manager of HPE Aruba Networking global small and medium business.

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Moreover, Mitra said those customers need a high level of security and performance. In fact, their needs are the same as that of their enterprise counterparts, Mitra told Channel Futures.

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HPE Aruba’s Amol Mitra

New Aruba SMB Products

To that end, Aruba at its Atmosphere APJ conference in Bali, Indonesia, unveiled the Aruba Instant On AP22D Wi-Fi 6 access point and 1960 stackable switch. The access point increases the number of devices that can access the network

The 1960 stackable switch posses a 2.5gig port capacity. Customers can stack switches to add ports and capacity and ultimately expand the network, Mitra said.

“We want to make sure we deliver on the promise of simple expansion as SMB networks grow over time,” he told Channel Futures.

In addition, customers and partners can perform cloud stacking of the switch in addition to physical stacking of the switch. As a result, automated management capabilities allow them to direct traffic at multiple sites from one place. No longer will they need to log on one access point at a time, Mitra said.

“We’ve removed that device-by-device management by automating the management capability, instead of having to manage each of these devices physically,” he said.

Aruba targets customers of 500 employees or fewer with its Instant On portfolio. The portfolio notably leverages the Instant On app for management, rather than the Aruba Central platform. It delivers the portfolio 100% through channel partners, including distributors and MSPs. The suite started four years ago and has been quietly building since, Mitra said. The hardware has evolved from Wi-Fi 5 to Wi-Fi 6 and from 1 GbE to 10 GbE.

Some might call 2023 the year of SMB, with high-profile companies like HPE rival Cisco championing their growth in small business. Mitra said his company is distinguishing itself by building its platform both “outside-in” and “inside-out.” The outside-in component is the feedback Aruba registered from its customers and partners about the technology they needed. Then Aruba built products from the inside-out, Mitra said.

“SMBs are looking for high performance, easy-to-use, affordable network with cloud agility that allows them to expand their networks along with their businesses,” he said. “HPE Aruba Networking simplifies network deployment and management via an intuitive mobile app that delivers a simple, smart and secure offering for SMB customers.”

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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