Aruba picks up outdoor mesh vendor Azalea

Aruba Networks has acquired outdoor mesh vendor Azalea Networks in a cash and stock deal valued at $40.5 million in a bid to expand its enterprise wireless LAN operations into the outdoor industrial market.

Aruba's head of strategic marketing Mike Tennefoss said the vendor is not going for an outdoor mesh play but targeting enterprises that need WiFi coverage both inside and outside, such as oil and gas companies. Azalea, with offices in both Silicon Valley and China, supplies China's largest wireless mesh network to the Daqing oil field. The network covers about 50 square miles with plans to expand it to more than 100 square miles. SCADA networks transmit remote well information while video surveillance backhaul runs at 30 frames per second over six-mile links. Other applications include VoIP services and broadband access.

Tennefoss said the challenge for WLAN vendors in delivering outdoor solutions for enterprises is delivering latency applications with full fidelity. He said Azalea's technology routes traffic using specific algorithms that detect the shortest path through a mesh network to deliver applications requiring quality of service. With the acquisition, Tennefoss said Aruba's initial focus will be on delivering high-quality video surveillance.

For more:
- see this release

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