Aruba Networks is bolstering its Edge Services Platform (ESP) with new management capabilities and breakthroughs in location-based services to help enterprises seize edge and IoT opportunities.
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, has introduced Aruba Central NetConductor, a set of features that enable partners and enterprises to set policies, automate network configurations across wired, wireless, and WAN infrastructures, and centralize managing distributed networks, all without worrying about the underlying network construct, Aruba announced at its annual Aruba Atmosphere 2022 event.
The company also unveiled an “industry first” – self-locating indoor hotspots with built-in GPS receivers and Open Locate, a proposed new industry standard for sharing point location information. device access, Scott Calzia, senior director of product management for Aruba, told CRN USA.
Aruba ESP is an intelligent architecture that helps partners and end customers manage their increasingly complex wired, wireless, SD-WAN, and security infrastructures. Aruba Central is the “heart” of the company’s flagship network management and analytics platform that resides inside Aruba ESP.
Aruba Central NetConductor will help simplify and automate network policy provisioning using AI, especially as enterprise networks today become larger and more extensive, Calzia said.
“We have seen an increasing number of [network] locations over the past few years, but trying to build the network build on that overlay piece has been complicated,” he said.
With NetConductor, Aruba is trying to help enterprises and partners managing their customers’ environments extend the policy to a variety of locations, including the main campus environment and branch offices that typically must be done individually. Central NetConductor can unify policy setting, as well as network provisioning and management into a single service platform – Aruba Central, Calzia said.
“[Previously,] I actually had to set this network policy and I had to use what I call network building – IP addresses or MAC addresses to put everything together with Aruba Central,” he said. “With NetConductor, we’ve made it very simple in a graphical format to say, ‘I’ve defined a role for a set of employees. I defined a role for the guests. And now I want to make sure employees have access to a particular set of assets,” and I can just drag and drop them together. Aruba Central itself, because it is part of the network provisioning/monitoring/management platform, can actually create this underlying network structure automatically.
The Aruba Central NetConductor services are available in early access now and will be generally available in July, according to Aruba.
Self-locating indoor access points were also unveiled on Wednesday – an “industry-first” innovation that combines Aruba Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E access points with built-in GPS that replicates the success of GPS-based location services indoors, Calzia said. . “There is an emerging need for accurate indoor location services,” he said, adding that outdoor location has traditionally been easier and more accurate thanks to cellular services that rely on GPS, a signal that can be distributed indoors.
Aruba’s Self-locating WLAN Access Points allow the location of the access point to be determined while continuously validating and updating the location. Access points can report a set of universal coordinates, including latitude and longitude with meter accuracy that can be transposed to any floor map, the company said.
Accurate location of WLAN infrastructure gives enterprises a fixed point of reference that is shared using Open Locate. Enterprises can use Universal Coordinates for their IoT strategies and use cases such as improving asset tracking, security and compliance, facility planning, and end-user on-premises experience applications, Aruba said.
The innovation makes the once “very manual” wireless deployment process much more automated, Calzia said. “This process saves time and also removes any kind of human errors or inaccuracies that may result. It actually improves or makes indoor location services much more usable for our customers, as well as our partners,” he added.
Aruba Wi-Fi 6/6E Access Points now include auto-locating and are currently shipping. GPS capabilities are included in existing Aruba Wi-Fi 6E access points, according to the company.
This article originally appeared on crn.com