Aruba takes wireless beyond the enterprise

By Jennifer O'Brien, Australian Reseller News |  Mobile & Wireless

Aruba has launched a new architecture it calls Mobile Edge and announced a gaggle of gear in a bid to extend wireless mobility in and beyond the enterprise.

On the hardware front, the WLAN vendor has rolled out a host of access points including a mobile office and home version. An update to the ArubaOS Mobility Software is powering the architecture on the software front.

Consumers can plug in the mobility controller into the wired infrastructure and get access to a wired world, Aruba Asia-Pacific vice-president, Mark Robards, said.

The technology helps customers transform a wired environment into a wireless one, while protecting their existing infrastructure investment, he said.

Robards said the strategy also offered port consolidation; unified security for wired, wireless and remote access using an identity-based security system; enhanced connectivity; and voice-data convergence over wireless LANs.

"It extends the corporate wireless LAN everywhere - not only throughout the enterprise but also to branch locations, the home and on the road," he said. Aruba's strategy came at a time when many companies were grappling with the shift towards converged voice, video and data networks, and wireless mobility, country manager, Dave Humphries, said.

"Businesses are demanding mobility," he said. "Wireless is starting to become the de facto access method in many organizations as it becomes cheaper and more secure."

The technology would strike a chord with partners that had a background in fixed and wireless networks, Zircon Systems managing director, Gwen John, said.

The Aruba distributor predicted early adoption in the healthcare, education and retail verticals.

"We have a channel that's hand-picked to service customers in this space," John said.

IDC research manager, wireless and mobility, Warren Chaisatien, said Aruba's mobile strategy would dish out a host of opportunities for resellers.

"The product will appeal to SMBs because of its ease of use and installation," he said.

But Aruba wasn't alone in its efforts to plug hardware and software in at the edge as a way of extending wireless mobility, Chaisatien said.

Other more established players such as Cisco, HP and D-Link were also looking for a piece of the action.

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