New Aruba WLAN Platform Features Integrated App Intelligence

— December 06, 2012

Aruba Networks, Inc. unveiled a new wireless LAN platform that addresses the explosion of mobile applications and devices challenging enterprise networks, while reducing enterprise IT costs.

According to ABI Research, more than 9 billion Wi-Fi-enabled devices have been shipped since 2009, and Gartner predicts mobile application downloads will hit 310 billion by 2016. Faced with this massive increase in devices and applications, including the demand from users to connect their own personal devices, IT managers must ensure that their network infrastructure delivers top-notch performance and quality for business applications. This graphic demonstrates how apps are changing IT.

The Aruba 7200 Series with new Aruba AppRF technology contains integrated application intelligence and controls to optimize application delivery. This insight, and the ability to take real-time action, results in 11x better performance compared to existing solutions. To accomplish this, Aruba AppRF software, which runs on the 7200 mobility controller, uses Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) for Layer 7 insight to identify application traffic. Then, using Airtime Fairness, QoS and integrated control of RF characteristics on the access points, the controller optimizes over-the-air performance for each application type and user profile.

Aruba AppRF technology gives enterprises integrated visibility into and control over both traditional server-based applications as well as cloud-based and web-based mobile applications such as supply chain management, Box, GoToMeeting, Salesforce.com and more. Using a simple dashboard in the controller interface and in Aruba Airwave management software, Aruba AppRF gives IT unprecedented insight into individual user traffic streams for troubleshooting, long term planning and real time prioritization.

In competitive testing, the Aruba 7200 Series powered by AppRF completed a download from the cloud-based storage service, Box.com, in 12 seconds; this was 11x faster than the 129 seconds required to complete the download using a comparable Cisco Wi-Fi solution. Furthermore, when compared to a similar Cisco wireless LAN deployment, the Aruba 7200 Series delivers up to 50% cost savings in total hardware and support costs for WLAN controllers.

"With the amazing advances we've seen in recent years in wireless LAN architecture, radio technology, price/performance and management, it's no wonder that WLANs have achieved the role of primary access almost everywhere," said Craig Mathias, a principal with the wireless and mobile advisory firm Farpoint Group. "Aruba's announcement of the 7200 Series is a powerful indication that a shift in focus from wireless technologies and architectures alone to enhanced application performance is now well underway, giving network managers and users everywhere the assurance they seek that the wireless LAN will continue to meet their needs for capacity, reliability and productivity, and with continually-improving price/performance."

Industry-leading Innovations Drive Improved Economics
The Aruba 7200 Series helps enterprises drive down the costs of their networking infrastructure, "rightsizing" their networks and migrating to an all-wireless environment. With the 7200 Series' improved scalability and high availability, enterprises can reduce the number of wired ports and their associated maintenance costs, resulting in a network that is less expensive to manage and maintain and saves on energy costs.

In addition, the 7200 Series' ability to assure high quality and performance for voice, video and Unified Communications (UC) applications like Microsoft Lync means that enterprises can eliminate desktop phones, IP PBX support, expensive video and audio equipment, dedicated videoconferencing systems and all of the support contracts that come with this equipment.

The University of Pennsylvania has a large wireless deployment with more than 3,500 access points (APs) and 13 controllers and is currently evaluating Aruba's new 7220 mobility controller. "As we continue to move toward pervasive wireless coverage across campus, we are looking for ways to upgrade and scale the network to support our 46,000 users including students, faculty and staff," said Colleen Szymanik, senior network engineer, University of Pennsylvania. "The 7220 will allow us the flexibility to reduce rack space and power, and use fewer controllers as we expand our coverage. Based on our beta testing, we plan to replace four of our controllers with the new platform for better scalability."

In addition to its integrated application awareness, the 7200 Series incorporates the following key features:

  • 802.11ac-Ready Platform for Better Throughput: According to ABI Research, 70% of smartphones will ship with the new 802.11ac standard by 20153. The Aruba 7200 Series is optimized for 802.11ac, delivering 5x more throughput than competitive solutions, making it the ideal platform for enterprises as they plan their transition to 802.11ac. The 7200 Series is designed to handle the increased frequency of authentication, background updates and roaming events for smartphones and tablets.
  • Mobile Device Density: The 7200 Series also delivers 40Gbps stateful firewall and encryption capabilities resulting in a 4x increase in capacity over previous generations of WLAN platforms. With this sharp increase in capacity, the 7200 Series can support up to 32,000 devices – 5x the density of competing solutions.
The Aruba 7200 Series Mobility Controllers, which include three models – the 7210, 7220 and 7240 – are available now, with prices starting at $16,995.

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