Aruba taps into $11B WAN edge market

WLAN vendor Aruba Networks is branching out into the $11 billion wide area network (WAN) edge market, announcing a new virtual branch network (VBN) solution that connects remote users with enterprise applications.

The vendor is looking to capitalize on the demand for support of increasingly dispersed workforces and enterprises that are looking to lower operating expenses and reduce real estate holdings. Aruba's VBN solution includes new software for data center-based Aruba Controllers, as well as three new families of wired and wireless remote access points (RAPs) and branch office controllers (BOCs). One of the new RAPs, the RAP-2, has a U.S. list price of just $99, making it the least expensive, centrally managed enterprise branch networking solution on the market, according to Aruba.

Aruba explained that today's networking solutions replicate routing, switching, firewall, and other services at each remote location, which results in complexity and expensive solutions to set up and manage. Aruba's VBN solution virtualizes complex tasks at data center controllers and pushes them to RAPs and BOCs for execution. A centrally controlled, policy enforcement firewall in the data center controller governs user access to the network and its resources by pushing policies to dissolvable firewall agents in every RAP and BOC. These agents automatically enforce the policies for every user and service.

RAPs and BOCs are transport-independent, and work with virtually any wide-area network--including 3G cellular for instant connectivity. A RAP can literally be mailed to a remote user, connected to power and the WAN, and be fully commissioned following a single data entry, Aruba said.

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