April 11, 2013, 3:00 PM — Aruba Networks announced new features to its ClearPass software for managing mobile devices, including employee-owned ones, on enterprise networks.
The changes add a battery of device- and application-management features to what was essentially a policy-driven Network Access Control (NAC) application for mobile devices, according to Aruba.
The changes involve several components, all of which become visible to the ClearPass policy manager software on a server. The ClearPass Access Management System is Aruba's server software for creating security and management policies for mobile devices accessing corporate networks. Aruba first announced the product just over a year ago.
First is a new mobile app called WorkSpace, which is downloaded to mobile devices, including personally-owned ones. This software creates an encrypted container on the device to hold enterprise apps and data, completely separate from the user's personal apps. Through ClearPass, administrators can secure and manage corporate assets on a personal device, but they can't access the user's personal photos, email, or downloaded apps.
The WorkSpace app also gives employees a set of self-service features, including creating a helpdesk ticket, changing their username/password, managing corporate mobile apps, sharing AirPrint and AirPlay devices with other users, and configuring guest accounts.
Second, is a tool for enterprise and third-party app developers, to add Aruba code as a "wrapper" around the mobile app, allowing it to be seen by and communicate with ClearPass. Then, with some new code added to the ClearPass server application, administrators can write policies for these apps and, through the wrapper, apply them. For example, you could require a specific app to connect only through a VPN, or a corporate point-of-sale app may be restricted for use only during business hours.
Aruba also is working with scores of mobile app vendors to wrap their apps for ClearPass and certify them for enterprise customers. By July, Aruba plans to have at least 40 apps certified from vendors such as Averail, Roambi, Lync, SmartOffice 2, Dolphin, SlideShark, MobileCare and Box.
ClearPass is also gaining support for leading third-party device management applications. ClearPass administrators will be able to write policies that these applications can apply to their inventory of devices; and device data that are collected by these applications can be passed back to the ClearPass administration console. ClearPass initially will support MDM applications from AirWatch, FiberLink, JAMF Software, MobileIron and SOTI.
All of the changes will be found in ClearPass Access Policy Manager 6.2, scheduled for release in July 2013. Pricing for WorkSpace has not been decided.
John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.
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