Aruba Aims to Master the Edge with Partners
Networking, security, the IoT — they’re all heading to the edge, says Aruba co-founder and president Keerti Melkote.
The “edge,” of course, is edge computing, one of the hottest areas in all of information and communications technology (ICT). Aruba, company executives say, wants to “master” the edge, which is short-hand for besting Cisco, Palo Alto Networks and other competitors for supremacy there.
To achieve this, Aruba has to convince the tech world that it’s much more than the plucky wireless networking company HP bought in March 2015. In particular, Aruba must demonstrate that it’s a true leader ideally positioned to make the most of edge computing.
This week in Las Vegas at its annual Atmosphere conference for partners, customers, developers and analysts, Aruba is making that case. To buttress its claims, the Santa Clara, California, company unveiled technology, program enhancements and strategies here that, taken as a whole, offer a compelling argument. Here’s what you need to know.
Aruba Is Becoming a Big Company (or Division)
In 2018, Aruba generated roughly $3 billion in sales. That’s three times what it did when HP bought the company. Today, Aruba’s reach extends to 500,000 customers, 15 million access points and 1 billion switch ports. Aruba has also been awarded 4,000 patents.
In the next few years, the HPE business aims to be a $5 billion company/division. To achieve this, Aruba has invested time and money expanding its portfolio. Whereas wireless networking and mobility provided Aruba with an estimated $18 billion total addressable market (TAM), SD-WAN, campus core networking, SD branch office automation, edge networking and more give it a $40 billion TAM.
In North America alone last year, Aruba generated $1.5 billion in annual sales. That was up 11 percent year over year. Thanks to its expanded portfolio and investments into partner recruitment, inside sales capabilities and field personnel, Aruba believes it can achieve 20 percent growth in North America this year, according to Lou Serlenga, senior vice president of North American sales.
Aruba Is a Security Company
Though it offers a portfolio of security technologies, Aruba has struggled to call itself a security company. No more, says Jon Green, vice president and chief security technologist at Aruba. Not only does Aruba win security awards (it won four at this year’s RSA security conference), the company has taken a leadership position in certain areas. Take the company’s newest technology, ClearPass Device Insight.
From a single pane of glass, ClearPass Device Insight automates “the discovery and fingerprinting of all connected devices and IoT devices on any wired or Wi-Fi network — regardless of vendor,” according to Aruba. Using machine-learning technology and crowdsourcing, ClearPass Device Insight helps partners answer one of the most popular questions customers ask most: “Who or what is on my network?” says Green. Partners who have seen the technology say it is a significant leap forward.
“We’re kinda thrilled,” says Bill Buckalew, vice president of partner sales at Optiv Security, an Aruba security partner based in Denver. “Ask anyone how many pieces they have on their network and they won’t be able to tell you.”
The reasons are many. Some connected devices don’t use the IP protocol. Others are sealed and/or non-upgradeable. And millions have no built-in security. Add it all up and you have …