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Aruba Launches Wireless Workplace Architecture

Get ready to abandon your ethernet cables, as Aruba seeks to create a better wireless environment for mobile workers

On by Jeffrey Burt 0

Aruba Networks has revealed a number of new technologies, as part of its plan to help businesses create a better wireless environment for the new generation of mobile workers.

Aruba on 12 March launched its Aruba Mobility-Defined Networks architecture and five software solutions designed to enable businesses to build an all-wireless workplace that offers pervasive Wi-Fi, automated security for guests, and those staff who use their own mobile devices at work, and communications applications for mobile devices that work better.

Wireless World

Such an environment will help businesses improve the job satisfaction and productivity of what Aruba calls the #GenMobile employees.

mobile-wireless-squareIn a survey of more than 5,000 workers worldwide that was released in January, Aruba found that this up-and-coming generation of employees is highly mobile, is very attached to their smartphones and tablets, wants to work remotely and demands flexible schedules that allow them to work non-traditional hours. The desires of the #GenMobile workers dovetail with the growing rise of such trends as greater worker mobility and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) practices, and organisations need to take this into account when dealing with these younger employees, according to Aruba officials.

“In order to attract and keep the best employees, businesses need to start looking for solutions to ensure levels of empowerment and productivity in this emerging working world,” Ben Gibson, chief marketing officer for Aruba, said when the report was released. “Ultimately, many will have to totally redefine traditional work environments.”

Aruba’s new architecture and offerings are aimed at helping businesses do just that. The Mobility-Defined Networks strategy aims to make enterprise networks more intelligent and automated so that they can quickly and automatically adjust to changes in wireless demands. Such changes would result in adjustments in performance optimization and security, making the network more dynamic than what company officials said are more static traditional Wi-Fi infrastructures.

“Our customers have found that the all-wireless workplace is easily afforded by rightsizing the network and redirecting IT investments,” Keerti Melkote, Aruba founder and CTO, said in a statement. “The resulting right-sized network reduces capital costs associated with the fixed wired infrastructure and delivers an integrated mobility experience that everyone can depend on.”

New Solutions

Among the new offerings is Aruba’s Next-General Mobility Firewall, which gives IT departments greater Wi-Fi control over applications for better security. Using advanced deep pack inspections, the firewall can set more granular role-based policies, quality of service and bandwidth for more than 1,500 mobile applications, including those that are encrypted. In addition, Aruba is offering the Interactive Unified Communications Dashboard in the company’s AirWave solution. The dashboard brings together network and unified communications (UC) performance metrics into a single view. Combining AirWave with the new mobile firewall enables organisations to wirelessly bring communications applications to their users.

ClearPass Exchange is designed to enable IT professionals to leverage a set of common APIs to automate security workflows with most third-party IT and business systems from such Aruba partners as IBM, AirWatch and MobileIron, according to company officials. Through Aruba’s Auto Sign-On feature, organisations can use their workplace Wi-Fi log-ins to automatically authenticate an employee into single sign-on (SSO)-enabled applications, including Salesforce.com. The Aruba technology also can be integrated with technology from SSO identify providers like Okta or Ping Identity.

Through AirGroup, mobile workers can wirelessly share screens and stream media with Apple and the Digital Living Network Alliance, as well as Universal Plug and Play devices, the company said.

Everything but the Interactive Unified Communications Dashboard is available now. The dashboard will be available for free in AirWave 8.0 starting in May.

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Jeffrey Burt
Author: Jeffrey Burt
eWEEK USA 2014. Ziff Davis Enterprise Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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