Aruba Shows Off HPE Integration With New Networking Offerings

At Aruba's user conference, officials unveil a range of integrated wired and wireless networking software that take advantage of the best of both Aruba and HPE.

wireless networking

LAS VEGAS—Aruba Networks, a year after being acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, is rolling out an array of integrated wired and wireless networking software and hardware that leverages the technology of both companies to address the growing trends of an increasingly mobile workforce, the Internet of things and cloud-based apps.

On the first day of the company's Atmosphere 2016 user conference here March 8, Aruba officials introduced new and enhanced network management software, wireless access points and switches that they said will help enterprises meet the growing demands of so-called GenMobile workers and the proliferation of connected devices that are making up the Internet of things (IoT).

The new offerings also illustrate the complementary capabilities that officials with both Aruba and Hewlett-Packard—which became Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) in November 2015 when the company split in two—highlighted during the user conference last year. Then, Aruba officials spent much of the time easing the concerns of customers who had just learned of the $3 billion acquisition.

HPE came to the deal with strengths in wired networking and hopes of creating a more converged portfolio by adding Aruba's wireless expertise. Much of the past year has been spent bringing the companies' product lineups together, according to Christian Gilby, director of product marketing at Aruba.

"The thing we focused on was integration," Gilby told eWEEK. "You've got to integrate and integrate fast."

In a conference call March 4, HPE CEO Meg Whitman noted that in the most recent financial quarter, revenue for the company's networking business unit grew 62 percent over the same period the year before, and that Aruba also saw double-digit growth at an operational level.

"We saw strong pull-through of HPE's switching portfolio to complement Aruba's wireless offerings," Whitman said, according to a transcript on Seeking Alpha.

The drivers behind what Aruba officials are rolling out this year are the growth of both workforce mobility and the IoT, she said. Both not only are putting pressure on network infrastructures, but also on enterprises to adopt new infrastructures that are less static and more employee-centric.

A priority for Aruba officials was ensuring uptime and connectivity in WiFi networks. The company unveiled a new software module within its AirWave network management offering called Aruba Clarity, which gives IT employees greater visibility into the access layer of the network—the user, device and app level—that enable them to be more proactive in dealing with possible problems before they impact the end user rather than having to troubleshoot the issues afterward.

Through Clarity, the AirWave software can monitor a wide array of metrics, such as the time it takes for a mobile device to find and hook up with a WiFi radio, authenticate to an Aruba Radius server and resolve names for DNS services. Network operations teams gather the data not only as WiFi clients connect to the network and roam, but also in an on-demand way or through scheduled simulation tests run between Aruba wireless access points (APs).