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TMCNet:  Aruba Demonstrates AirGroup™ -- a New Capability for Enabling Plug-and-Play Network Services Across Enterprise and Educational Networks

[March 22, 2012]

Aruba Demonstrates AirGroup™ -- a New Capability for Enabling Plug-and-Play Network Services Across Enterprise and Educational Networks

LAS VEGAS --(Business Wire)--

Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARUN) today announced the demonstration of AirGroup, a new capability which identifies access network users' individual roles and their locations, to make plug and play network services like Apple's AirPrint and AirPlay (News - Alert) available to their mobile devices across enterprise networks. The demonstration is taking place today at the company's annual Airheads User Conference in Las Vegas. Using Aruba AirGroup to automatically perform these functions eliminates the resource-intensive manual network configuration and management formerly required of enterprise and educational IT departments.

The Aruba AirGroup capability is a component of Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager and ArubaOS mobility software. A new AirGroup registration portal under ClearPass Policy Manager enables end users and IT administrators to self-register printers, Apple (News - Alert) TVs, Wi-Fi projectors, Wi-Fi televisions and other consumer devices. These devices can then be grouped into personal, shared and location based service groups. ArubaOS mobility software has been enhanced with discovery and awareness of multicast DNS services such as AirPlay, AirPrint, iTunes, etc., and coordinates with ClearPass in order to enable policy-based access to mobile devices based on user role and location. Aruba AirGroup is available at no cost to licensed users of the base ArubaOS mobility software and Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager.

AirGroup solves significant usability and performance issues related to the use of mDNS services in enterprise and educational networks, including the following:

  1. Enables users to discover network services across IP subnet boundaries in enterprise wireless and wired networks
  2. Permits users to access conference room Apple TVs during presentations, based on group-based access privileges
  3. Identifies AirPrint-enabled printers and enables user access by proximity
  4. Allows teachers to project to an Apple TV in a classroom using their laptop or iPad, while student access is prevented
  5. Gives students exclusive access to their Apple TVs in their individual dorm rooms, based on personal access privileges, while access by other residents is not allowed

"The incredibly rapid and diverse proliferation of mobile devices and applications on our campus, especially when concentrated in areas like residence halls, offers a lot of benefits, but also creates a lot of confusion and contention for resources," said John W. Turner, director for networks and systems, Brandeis University (News - Alert) and primary champion of the AirGroup capability. "Imagine 50 students with 150 wireless devices and 25 Apple TV receivers, all within range of each other. Ensuring that each user gets what they want, and only what they want can be complicated. Aruba's AirGroup solution allows us to turn these services on for our users, individually or as groups, based on their roles, devices and locations, giving them personal nework experiences without overwhelming the network."

Enabling service discovery across different IP networks can compromise wireless network performance by generating excessive discovery traffic and generic filtering of such services. Without regard for the user context, this creates additional usability issues and helpdesk escalations. With AirGroup, IT organizations can deliver these services in a context-aware manner consistent with broader network access control policies.

Key benefits of AirGroup include the following:

  1. Context based access control: Takes the end user's role within the organization (e.g. executive, manager, faculty, student), his or her mobile device type (e.g. iPad) and location (e.g. conference room) into account before the services are made visible to her mobile device
  2. Self-registration of services: Enables the end user or the IT administrator to register the available services and define user- and location-based access privileges
  3. Zero touch installation of services: Does not require any changes within the existing Aruba network infrastructure such as new SSIDs, VLANs, IP subnets or MAC filters

"Just as we have seen with the bring-your-own-device, or BYOD, phenomenon, people expect to use applications and network services that are commonplace in the home, like AirPlay, AirPrint and iTunes, in the office or classroom," said Partha Narasimhan, vice president of technology at Aruba and an Aruba Fellow. "Aruba AirGroup makes this possible by allowing enterprises and educational institutions to use mDNS-capable services."

Join Aruba Networks Chief Strategy Officer Keerti Melkote (News - Alert) and Director for Networks and Systems at Brandeis University John W. Turner for a Webinar where they will discuss Aruba AirGroup and "How 'BYODevice, Content, Apps' Changed the Access Network at Brandeis University" on April 4, 2012 at 10 a.m. PT. Register here:

Read more about Aruba AirGroup:

Discuss Aruba AirGroup at Airheads Social:

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 dramatically improves productivity and lowers 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, and Asia Pacific regions. To learn more, visit Aruba at For real-time news updates follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook.

© 2012 Aruba Networks, Inc. Aruba Networks' trademarks include the design mark for AirWave, Aruba Networks®, Aruba Wireless Networks®, the registered Aruba the Mobile Edge (News - Alert) Company logo, the registered AirWave logo, Aruba Mobility Management System®, Mobile Edge Architecture®, People Move. Networks Must Follow®, RFProtect®, Green Island®. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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