Aruba Networks enables enterprise mobility with new products
By Digital News Asia June 21, 2013
- Aruba eyes share of US$6.9 billion enterprise mobility market
- New solutions designed to meet next-generation demands
SECURING enterprise information while enabling enterprise mobility remains a pressing issue for chief information officers (CIOs) – and this issue is becoming more challenging each day.
To address this challenge, and position itself to claim a share of the US$6.9-billion enterprise mobility market, Aruba Networks has launched two major products – Aruba WorkSpace and its flagship 802.11ac solution, touted as the first in the industry to deliver gigabit WiFi combined with the device.
“With mobile device and application proliferation accelerating at an unprecedented pace, IT departments simply need a solution that eliminates the extra work and expense associated with bridging the silos across the network, the device and the application,” said Keerti Melkote (pic), chief technology officer, Aruba Networks.
“By integrating our core strengths for network access control and security we can streamline the BYOD (Bring Your Own device) process and take the burden and risk away from the IT department,” he added.
Aruba WorkSpace is a new component of the company’s ClearPass Access Management System and integrates Network Access Control (NAC), Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM) systems as part of one solution.
Underscoring the critical need for user privacy, a recent Mobile Device Security Survey commissioned by Aruba and conducted by Kelton revealed that 62% of users who bring personal devices to work worry about IT wiping their data.
Of these respondents, two out of three say they wouldn’t immediately report the loss of these devices to their IT department. This presents a significant security concern for enterprise IT, the company said in a statement.
With Aruba WorkSpace, the combination of NAC, MDM and MAM capabilities integrated into one platform allows IT to secure sensitive corporate data on these personal mobile devices without the high cost, significant resource investment, and potential loss of user privacy and productivity that can result from existing BYOD solutions, Aruba claimed.
In the event an employee’s device connects to an untrusted network, Aruba WorkSpace can automatically establish application-specific VPNs (virtual private networks) to encrypt traffic and provide uninterrupted access to internal resources. It can also restrict network access if a device is jail-broken or contains unapproved applications.
“Existing approaches to BYOD have required enterprise IT departments to integrate different systems, adding complexity and creating employee usability and privacy concerns,” said Maribel Lopez, principal analyst at Lopez Research.
“By combining all functions into a single platform, Aruba WorkSpace simplifies BYOD management, lessening the overall burden on IT,” she added.
Connecting the next-gen workspace
Enterprise IT departments are challenged by the overwhelming number of devices connecting to their networks, as well as increasing device density, both of which can lead to inadequate WiFi capacity.
In addition, these IT administrators face the issue of 'sticky' clients or devices that don’t automatically connect to and stay connected to the best access point, resulting in slower speeds and inconsistent and unreliable connections.
Furthermore, business critical applications like real-time Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) are often encrypted and can’t be identified by WiFi networks, making it almost impossible to provide visibility or higher quality of service.
While the 802.11ac standard was designed to deliver greater speed and capacity than offered by 802.11n networks, without a way to optimise how devices and clients connect to the WiFi network, an 802.11ac-based network could perform no differently than an 802.11n network.
Aruba’s 802.11ac solution claims to solve these density, performance and reliability issues.
With the Aruba ClientMatch technology, 'sticky' clients are always connected to the best possible access point as they roam within the Aruba wireless LAN (WLAN), ensuring predictable performance for all mobile devices.
According to the company, in competitive testing, an Aruba WLAN with ClientMatch delivered up to 94% better device performance than a Cisco WLAN.
In addition, by combining the Aruba 220 Series APs, unique ClientMatch technology and Aruba’s unparalleled application visibility for real-time UC&C applications like Microsoft Lync, enterprises can now rightsize their networks by eliminating unused desk phones and any free access network ports on each desk. The result is a next- generation workplace that meets enduser needs and can reduce IT costs by as much as 76%.
“UC&C managers need end-to-end visibility into call performance so any issues that impact quality can be rapidly isolated to root cause,” said Jamie Stark, Microsoft’s Lync product marketing manager.
“Working with real-time, session-level metrics generated by Microsoft’s recently announced Lync Diagnostics API, as well as network data pulled directly from its WiFi infrastructure, Aruba helps pinpoint the source of communication issues that impact Lync performance. The solution provides visibility into over-the-wire and over-the-air Lync performance, and is intended to help IT staff better identify, isolate, and ultimately, remediate UCC issues regardless of source,” he added.
The Aruba 220 Series APs, which can be used with Aruba’s complete portfolio of mobility controllers, will be available in June 2013. A controller-less Aruba Instant version will be available in the third quarter of 2013.
220 Series AP prices start at US$1,295. ClientMatch and Microsoft Lync Visibility are also available in June as part of the new ArubaOS 6.3 software. ClientMatch is available as a free software upgrade to existing Aruba customers with support contracts. Lync Visibility is integrated into the Policy Enforcement Firewall (PEF) Module, a software add-on to ArubaOS, and is also available at no charge to customers who have already purchased PEF and have support contracts.
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The ClearPass Access Management System is shipping now. The Aruba WorkSpace software for ClearPass is now in beta testing and will be available in July, 2013.
A client-side software application called Aruba WorkSpace for both iOS and Samsung Android-based devices is expected to be available from the Apple App Store and The Google Play marketplace also in July, 2013.
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