Arubas Mobile Access Point Keeps Employees Connected

Aruba's Mobile Access Point software allows users to set up an access point remotely and then have it become part of their company's enterprise, just as if it were plugged into the in-building network.

LAS VEGAS—Aruba announced at Interop here Mobile Access Point, software that allows users to set up an access point remotely and then have it become part of their companys enterprise, just as if it were plugged into the in-building network.

The company also announced a companion product designed to allow several wireless devices to connect to the outside world, including to their enterprise, using a single connection, even through such things has hotel portals that normally restrict users to a single device.

The Mobile Access Point software for Arubas access point hardware enables users to set up a split tunnel that allows a secure connection back to the enterprise, while also allowing a standard local Internet connection through a hotel or other remote network connection. The software includes a stateful firewall.

"I take my new Aruba access point in which Ive loaded this software," said Michael Tennefoss, Arubas head of strategic marketing. "It allows me to connect through an IPSEC tunnel to the enterprise, and it establishes a stateful packet inspection firewall … [as well as] network access control and client health monitoring and split tunneling, so I dont have to go back to the enterprise to surf locally," he said.

/zimages/3/28571.gifMicrosoft is pursuing research projects that aim to put computers into the hands of people in the remotest corners of the world to serve every aspect of their lives. Click here to read more.

One unique feature is HotelConnect, which allows travelers to connect through a hotel or other remote portal using a single connection, but still allowing the connection of dual-mode phones, PDAs and other Wi-Fi devices that would otherwise be blocked by billing software or other portal access methods that depend on the MAC address of a specific device for connection to the internet.

"When you go to a hotel and have to register, and you hook up your PC, what its done is register the MAC of your laptop," Tennefoss said, explaining HotelConnect. "This allows you to take an Aruba access point and have it registered to the captive portal, so any of your wireless LAN devices go through the access point without having to deal with the access portal. Im encapsulated in this bubble, and duplicate my office experience.

"For business continuity features, executives need to work everywhere," Tennefoss said, adding, "Road warriors will care about the hotel piercing and dual mode."

In addition, Aruba is announcing its Mobile Voice Continuity software, which handles the handoff between a Wi-Fi and cellular connection on a dual-mode phone. The new software doesnt require any modification to existing PBXes. It works with any SIP-based IP PBX.

"I have a SIP server and cellular carrier," Tennefoss said. "When I turn on my dual-mode phone, it registers with the SIP server and the mobility controller. It gets the IP address and the mobile phone number. It uses the SIP server to establish the call, [and] the call goes through SIP PBX to wherever Im calling through the mobility controller. I get to take advantage of voice over Wi-Fi.

"As I move toward the door, algorithms detect that Im at the edge of the network," said Tennefoss, describing the handoff. "At that point the mobility controller establishes a cellular call to my phone, which silently answers the call. As soon as it confirms back that it answered the call, the Wi-Fi call is terminated and the call is bridged to the cellular network. The reverse happens when I come back in."

Tennefoss said the product will initially work with Linux-based phones, with Windows and Symbian phones to follow. Aruba will begin beta testing the mobile access point software in June, with shipping planned for August.

/zimages/3/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on mobile and wireless computing.

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...