Aruba Debuts New Wi-Fi Gear with HPE

Hewlett-Packard acquired wireless networking vendor Aruba for $2.7 billion in 2015. Since the acquisition, HP has split into two companies; Aruba now belongs to Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE). Today Aruba announced its first new major set of product offerings as part of HPE. The new products benefit from the joint capabilities of both Aruba and HPE.

“With this release, we have integrated software and hardware technology from both HPE wired solutions and Aruba wireless solutions to deliver the best unified experience for customers,” Christian Gilby, director of product marketing for Aruba, told Enterprise Networking Planet.

Among the new products Aruba launches today are the 330 Series Access Points, now Aruba’s most advanced Wave 2 access points, with multi-gigabit capabilities.

“It doesn’t replace but expands our Wi-Fi portfolio for customers that have very high performance and density requirements today, or those that want to future-proof their networks,” Gilby said.

From a performance perspective, the 330 series Wave 2 APs offer a maximum concurrent data rate of 1,733 Mbps in the 5 GHz band and 800 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band, for an aggregate peak data rate of 2.5Gbps.

One of the capabilities included in the 330 series APs is the HPE Smart Rate multi-gigabit Ethernet technology. Gilby explained that Smart Rate is a new multi-gigabit (1, 2.5, 5, 10Gbps) twisted-pair network interface that is interoperable with the NBASE-T ecosystem of 2.5/5/10 GbE products as well as with existing industry standard 1GbE devices.

“It allows the majority of existing cable installations found in campus LAN environments to provide higher bandwidth connectivity, distribute Power over Ethernet (PoE) power to connected devices, and secure the wired link for next-generation 802.11ac applications,” Gilby said. “Smart Rate delivers 2.5-10 times more bandwidth capacity from existing cable infrastructure without expensive and disruptive cable upgrades.”

Aruba is also announcing a new Aruba 3810 Switch, which also benefits from HPE Smart Rate Technology. As part of the overall HPE Aruba integration, Gilby explained that the decision was made at HPE to brand all campus products (WLAN, switching, NAC, indoor location) under the Aruba brand.

“Aruba Wi-Fi is the go-forward technology, while we have continued to innovate on the HPE campus switching under the Aruba name,” Gilby said. “We also have a new ArubaOS-switch to deliver an integrated networking solution across the campus.”

Gilby added that all of the wired/WLAN is managed via Aruba’s AirWave to provide a single pane-of-glass management solution. Airwave itself is also getting a boost with a new capability called “Clarity.”

“Aruba Clarity proactively monitors end-users’ quality of experience: how long the mobile device takes to associate with a Wi-Fi radio, authenticate to a RADIUS server, gather an IP address through DHCP, and resolve names for DNS services,” Gilby said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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