Aruba Networks Introduces 802.11ac Solution for the Next-Generation Workplace
New, Patented ClientMatch Technology Solves "Sticky Client" Issue, Ensures Optimal Performance and Reliability for Devices and Applications
SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Aruba Networks, Inc. (NAS: ARUN) , a leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise, today announced its flagship 802.11ac solution, the first in the industry to deliver gigabit Wi-Fi combined with the device density and application intelligence required by today's Wi-Fi networks. The newly introduced Aruba 220 Series Access Points (APs), combined with Aruba's new ClientMatch technology, address the critical needs of enterprises creating a next-generation workplace.
Enterprise IT departments are challenged by the overwhelming number of devices connecting to their networks, as well as increasing device density, both of which can lead to inadequate Wi-Fi capacity. In addition, these IT administrators face the issue of "sticky" clients or devices that don't automatically connect to and stay connected to the best access point, resulting in slower speeds and inconsistent and unreliable connections. Furthermore, business critical applications like real-time Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) are often encrypted and can't be identified by Wi-Fi networks, making it almost impossible to provide visibility or higher quality of service. While the 802.11ac standard was designed to deliver greater speed and capacity than offered by 802.11n networks, without a way to optimize how devices and clients connect to the Wi-Fi network, an 802.11ac-based network could perform no differently than an 802.11n network.
Aruba's 802.11ac solution solves these density, performance and reliability issues. With the Aruba ClientMatch technology, "sticky" clients are always connected to the best possible access point as they roam within the Aruba wireless LAN (WLAN), ensuring predictable performance for all mobile devices. In competitive testing, an Aruba WLAN with ClientMatch delivered up to 94% better device performance than a Cisco WLAN. In addition, by combining the Aruba 220 Series APs, unique ClientMatch technology and Aruba's unparalleled application visibility for real-time UCC applications like Microsoft Lync, enterprises can now rightsize their networks by eliminating unused desk phones and any free access network ports on each desk. The result is a next-generation workplace that meets end user needs and can reduce IT costs by as much as 76%.
"Imprecise roaming, sub-optimal load balancing, and related Wi-Fi performance challenges have been perpetual thorns in the side of IT and network operations managers for years," said Craig Mathias, Principal, Farpoint Group. "Aruba's new ClientMatch technology is designed to address a key obstacle here - 'sticky clients' - and to aid in realizing 802.11ac's potential. Enabling client devices to always connect to the most available, highest-performing AP helps ensure that enterprises can benefit from the enhanced throughput and capacity that 802.11ac offers."
Aruba 220 Series Access Points Purpose-Built to Enable Smooth Migration to 802.11ac
The Aruba 220 Series APs are purpose-built for 802.11ac, resulting in time and cost savings for enterprises. Unlike modular 802.11ac APs, the Aruba 220 Series access points draw much less power, and also feature a power-efficient mode, so that enterprises can operate the APs at lower speeds with available 802.3af PoE power. Power-efficient mode gives enterprises the option to delay replacing their existing switch infrastructure and avoid the expensive labor costs associated with closet upgrades during WLAN design and deployment. With speeds of up to 1.75 Gbps (and up to 1.9 Gbps for devices with Broadcom's TurboQAM™ technology), the 220 Series can support a higher density of devices, solving the capacity issues confronting enterprise IT. The 220 Series uniquely supports link aggregation on two gigabit Ethernet ports to realize maximum speeds on both the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands and deliver true gigabit speeds. In addition, the 220 Series APs are smaller than other 802.11ac access points, making them faster and easier to install, and they utilize two radios, rather than three, making them less expensive.
Patented ClientMatch Technology Resolves "Sticky Client" Issue
Aruba's unique, patented ClientMatch technology resolves the issue of "sticky clients" on 802.11ac and 802.11n Wi-Fi networks, wherein mobile devices have difficulty connecting to the best possible access point. "Sticky client" problems occur due to a mobile device's poor roaming algorithms, lack of proper RF interference monitoring, and competition with other slower devices that monopolize an entire channel. ClientMatch dynamically optimizes Wi-Fi client performance by putting the Wi-Fi infrastructure in control of client connection and roaming decisions. The infrastructure utilizes the 802.11 standard to ensure that each device is always connected to the closest and least busy AP, even when users roam and RF conditions change. ClientMatch works by gathering real-time performance metrics from mobile devices and monitoring RF conditions for each AP. This data is then used to intelligently steer devices to the best possible AP, ensuring that every device benefits from the promise of 802.11ac's increased speed and capacity.
Arista Networks, a leader in software defined cloud networking solutions based in Santa Clara, CA., will use Aruba's new 802.11ac solution to enable its next-generation workplace environment. Working with Exafort, a leading cloud and mobility solutions integrator, Arista is outfitting its new five-story building with 75 Aruba 220 Series access points as well as the new ClientMatch technology. The new infrastructure will deliver all-wireless access to approximately 1,000 employees by the fall of 2013 and is expected to deliver substantial cost savings to the organization. "For Arista employees the wireless network is becoming the primary access network for both data and voice, and performance and reliability of our wireless infrastructure is critical," said Ed Chapman, Vice President, Business Development and Alliances, Arista Networks. "Our employees are developing industry-leading software defined cloud networking solutions and it's important that they work in an industry-leading wireless environment. Aruba's new 802.11ac solution and ClientMatch software deliver the wireless capacity and speed our employees demand, quickly and cost effectively."
Unprecedented Visibility into Voice, Video and UC Applications like Microsoft Lync Ensures Improved Application Performance
Aruba's WLAN solution incorporates unique capabilities for managing real-time UCC applications such as Microsoft Lync. Since these applications are often encrypted, Wi-Fi networks cannot distinguish, and therefore prioritize, latency-sensitive media streams such as voice, video and desktop sharing over less sensitive data and file sharing streams. To speed the identification and remediation of communication issues, Aruba WLANs extract call quality data from Microsoft's new Lync Diagnostics API and combine it with network status data. Monitored data includes MOS scores, QoS markings, wireless client connection health at the time of the call, jitter, delay, packet loss, caller/callee identity mapping to MAC and IP address, call status, voice or video call type, and client sessions active at time of call. The result is priority handling, end-to-end call visibility, faster root-cause fault identification, and a better overall user experience.
"UCC managers need end-to-end visibility into call performance so any issues that impact quality can be rapidly isolated to root cause," said Jamie Stark, Microsoft's Lync Product Marketing Manager. "Working with real-time, session-level metrics generated by Microsoft's recently announced Lync Diagnostics API, as well as network data pulled directly from its Wi-Fi infrastructure, Aruba helps pinpoint the source of communication issues that impact Lync performance. The solution provides visibility into over-the-wire and over-the-air Lync performance, and is intended to help IT staff better identify, isolate, and ultimately, remediate UCC issues regardless of source."
Pricing and Availability
The Aruba 220 Series APs, which can be used with Aruba's complete portfolio of mobility controllers, will be available in June 2013. A controller-less Aruba Instant version will be available in Q3 2013. 220 Series AP prices start at U.S. list $1,295. ClientMatch and Microsoft Lync Visibility are also available in June as part of the new ArubaOS 6.3 software. ClientMatch is available as a free software upgrade to existing Aruba customers with support contracts. Lync Visibility is integrated into the Policy Enforcement Firewall (PEF) Module, a software add-on to ArubaOS, and is also available at no charge to customers who have already purchased PEF and have support contracts. To learn more about 802.11ac, the new Aruba 220 Series and Aruba ClientMatch please visit www.arubanetworks.com/11ac.
About Aruba Networks, Inc.
Aruba Networks is a leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise. The company's Mobile Virtual Enterprise (MOVE) architecture unifies wired and wireless network infrastructures into one seamless access solution for corporate headquarters, mobile business professionals, remote workers and guests. This unified approach to access networks enables IT organizations and users to securely address the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon, dramatically improving productivity and lowering capital and operational costs.
Listed on the NASDAQ and Russell 2000® Index, Aruba is based in Sunnyvale, California, and has operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific regions. To learn more, visit Aruba at http://www.arubanetworks.com. For real-time news updates follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook, and for the latest technical discussions on mobility and Aruba products visit Airheads Social at http://community.arubanetworks.com.
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