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March 10, 2016

Aruba Announces New Push to Digital Workforce Operations

A digital workplace can be a tough thing to keep together. It depends on a lot of things working together exactly as intended, and so, having the right tools is vital to keep it running. Aruba—part of Hewlett Packard Enterprise—recently announced a new set of tools geared toward keeping that geographically-diffuse workforce together.

The new portfolio not only offers digital workplace tools, but also support for the connectivity requirements engendered by the Internet of Things (IoT).  Since most legacy models for networking are built around desktop clients that didn't move much, if at all—static and wired connectivity were the order of the day—the move to a mobile-centered workplace requires some substantial changes to office networking. That's where Aruba's new tools step in, and provide some of those changes.

For example, Aruba Clarity allows for Wi-Fi issues to be more readily predicted before actually occurring, and that's a development that will make the host of devices connecting by such means a lot better off. Aruba Clarity is part of the larger Aruba AirWave network management system, which gives IT teams a little extra early warning to step in and fix small problems before such grow into larger problems that can shut down network operations.

With the release of AirWave 8.2, meanwhile, other new features step in to help manage lower-priority Web content so as to improve overall network health. The VisualRF feature likewise got some upgrades, complete with time-lapse visualization covering up to 24 hours at a time for easier spotting of downward trends.

Aruba ClearPass also got some upgrades, including the release of ClearPass Policy Manager 6.6 for policies on bring your own device (BYOD) growth to help manage new devices and device classes on a network.  A better user experience can be had from the new 330 series Wave 2 AP s complete with HPE Smart Rate technology, and the new Aruba 3810 Switch Series also adds HPE Smart Rate complete with multi-gigabit capacity to provide future-proofing as networks improve.

The Aruba slate of tools is likely going to provide a lot of value going forward. It's not only seemingly tailor-made for a market that's increasingly seeing mobile workforce operations and BYOD, but it's also set to absorb some of the impact of future changes, like improving networks. It would be easy to get cynical and sneeringly dismiss “improving networks” as unlikely, given the stranglehold some firms have on the market, but it's hard to forget that many projections suggest the first commercial deployment of 5G is only a little under four years out. Aruba's tools therefore may be just the ticket to help keeping networks running, a valuable point in an increasingly mobile, IoT-driven world.

Aruba both offers value for today and for tomorrow. That makes it a valuable property in the end, and the kind of thing that a lot of enterprise users will probably want to get behind.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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