Aruba Networks is releasing an update to its Mobility Controller that will improve the products scalability and add enhanced management features. The company is also announcing a joint venture with Ruckus Wireless to produce enterprise-class products using the 802.11n version of Wi-Fi. The new 11n products will ship around the same time that the 802.11n standard is ratified by the IEEE.
Arubas new scalability enhancements are being delivered as upgrades to the companys ArubaOS Mobility Software, which runs on the Mobility Controller. The controller handles tasks such as AP (access point) management, authentication, VLANs (virtual LANs) and the like. The enhancements will allow the support of additional users, easier management and better security, the company said.
New software features include support for faster connection speeds and for VLAN pooling aimed at campus LANs.
“Because Wi-Fi is becoming denser, what were trying to do is come out with enhancements so customers can have an enterprise-class wireless system that spans the LAN, the WAN and the Internet,” explained Aruba founder Keerti Melkote, in Sunnyvale, Calif.
He added that the software will deliver “a seamless, secure and consistent enterprise-wide wireless LAN system.”
However, getting the new software out to the enterprise customers Aruba needs may be a challenge. “They have a good, solid architecture,” said Burton Group Senior Analyst Paul DeBeasi of Burton Group, headquartered in Midvale, Utah. “The problem is that Cisco is running away with the market. … Their challenge is getting enough mind share,” he added. “Its tough competing against Cisco,” he said.
Analyst Craig Mathias, a principal at Farpoint Group, based in Ashland, Mass., agreed that its tough to beat Cisco. “The thing about Cisco is that theyre half the market,” Mathias said. He added that the ease with which the new Aruba product allows growth is important because bandwidth needs will continue to grow.
Melkote said in a separate announcement that Aruba will start working immediately on an enterprise version of its solution to the IEEEs 802.11n wireless standard. He said that the company would use its thin access point technology coupled with antennas from Ruckus Wireless, also in Sunnyvale.
Ruckus has been involved in consumer applications of Wi-Fi for some time, and has developed antennas that enhance performance and reliability, he said.
Melkote did note that Aruba will not be releasing the product until the 11n standard is ratified. “We want to do this in a responsible way,” he said.