Aruba Rolls Out New Enterprise Wi-Fi Access Points

By Sean Michael Kerner

March 15, 2011

Aruba joins the 900Mbps Wi-Fi party and debuts new wired switch for network management.

Wired or wireless?

Wired and wireless networks need to co-exist in the enterprise, which is why Aruba Networks is rolling out new access points and wired switches that help to enable a converged network.

In addition to the wired switch debut, Aruba is aiming to make it easier for enterprise admins to control and manage mobile devices on a network, including new Apple iPad tablets. The new products are all part of Aruba's Mobile Virtual Enterprise (MOVE) initiative which aims to enable management of both wired and wireless networks.

Ozer Dondurmacioglu, product marketing manager at Aruba Networks, told InternetNews.com that Aruba's mobility controller can now identify specific mobile devices on a network. With the ability to identify devices, comes great control over performance and security.

"So if we can identify an Apple iPad as it logs onto the network, when someone brings the device to work, we can apply a different security policy for that particular device," Dondurmacioglu said.

The new mobile device awareness is part of the overall update of Aruba's ArubaOS 6.1 release, which is the underlying operating system for all of Aruba's networking gear. In addition to the operating system update Aruba is also unveiling the S3500 series of switches. The S3500 is available in 24 or 48 port models for wired networks. Dondurmacioglu explained that the S3500 leverages the same ArubaOS that runs on Aruba's wireless access points, which is intended to help simplify management of both wired and wireless networks.

"They effectively unify wired and wireless in terms of deployment, training and management," Dondurmacioglu said.

From a security perspective the new switch supports MacSec link layer encryption as well as 802.1x and role-based access control. Aruba has been moving toward converged wired and wireless network management for over a year. In January of 2010, Aruba release their Airwave 7 network management service for both wired and wireless networking.

"Airwave has a great feature set for managing HP and Cisco platforms and we basically want to have a full view of the access network layer," Dondurmacioglu said. "So now we're adding an Aruba wired access switch, so the intelligence we already have will be extended."

While management of both wired and wireless is a key focus for Aruba, they're also rolling out new wireless access points that take advantage of the latest Atheros silicon. The AP-134 has 3x3 MIMO dual-band radios with external antennas, while the the AP-135 provides the same capabilities with an integrated set of antennas.

The new AP-134 and AP-135 access points can provide up to 900 Mbps of throughput. Aruba joins other Atheros users including HP, in hitting the 900 Mbps mark for Wi-Fi. Dondurmacioglu stressed that Wi-Fi access points aren't just about speeds and feeds, but rather the broader set of capabilities and management features.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.



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