Aruba announces new family of IoT-ready wireless access points

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, has announced a new family of 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) IoT-ready wireless access points (APs) and complementary access switches, along with innovations in security, intelligent power management, and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered automation and service assurance.

The new wireless APs support the latest Wi-Fi standard and are the first to be Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) certified for the new WPA3 and Enhanced Open security standards to provide stronger encryption and simpler IoT security configuration.

Aruba is also the first Wi-Fi vendor to integrate Bluetooth 5, the latest version of the Bluetooth wireless communication standard, into its APs combined with an integrated Zigbee radio. These new capabilities enable IoT use cases, such as smart door locks and electronic shelf labels, while Bluetooth 5 delivers user-aware indoor location allowing IT to create personalized experiences.

In addition, Aruba is delivering power management innovations allowing customers to preserve their existing PoE switch investments while significantly reducing AP power consumption during off-peak hours. These unique features include Intelligent Power Monitoring, a capability delivered by Aruba Operating System (AOS) 8, and NetInsight Green AP, part of Aruba’s AI-powered analytics and assurance solution.

Enabling the Experience Edge

Enterprises preparing for the future of work must offer engaging, consumer-like experiences and deliver technologies that enable, rather than hinder, streamlined work execution, according to Gartner.

Justin Chiah, Senior Director and General Manager, South East Asia and Taiwan, at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, said: “We have a mobile subscription of rate of about 133% in Southeast Asia despite a comparatively low Internet penetration rate of just 53%. This means a large number of people here are accessing the Internet through mobile phones or other connected devices. This trend will continue to grow as countries continue to strengthen their network and telecommunication infrastructure, and push for IoT adoption.”

He added: “Organizations are already experiencing crowded or overlapping coverage networks. The new 802.11ax Wi-Fi standards solve these issues and improve overall transmission efficiency, throughput as well as user experience. In verticals such as hospitality, retail, education and healthcare, the upgrade provides better performance and enhanced Wi-Fi coexistence to accommodate to different needs of different applications or devices- be it voice, video, data or IoT”.

The network at the edge is what connects people and IoT to this digital world. To enable these new experiences, the technology must be able to deliver improved and consistent service to address growing business demands and heightened user expectations. This requires not only a state-of-the-art network, but also the ability for technology to proactively anticipate issues in an ever-changing environment before they impact users and the business.

To meet these new demands, Aruba is introducing the following new products and innovations:

  • The Aruba 510 Series APs, a new series of 802.11ax, IoT-ready APs, with advanced security, AI-powered RF optimization, intelligent power monitoring, and integrated Zigbee and Bluetooth 5 radios.
  • The Aruba 2930M access switches, with support for the 802.3bt standard to provide higher power PoE (up to 60 watts per port), a requirement for some high-end 802.11ax APs.
  • Support for Wi-Fi Alliance WPA3 and Enhanced Open Security Standards to deliver state-of-the-art device security. Aruba is the first vendor in the industry to receive WFA certification for these new standards.
  • Green AP, a unique, new feature of NetInsight, Aruba’s AI-powered analytics and assurance solution, that dynamically powers down APs when user devices are not present, offsetting the increased power requirements associated with select 11ax APs.

The real value

Home to the Carolina Panthers, Bank of America Stadium is located in Charlotte, North Carolina and supports more than 75,000 fans.

“Our fans expect an outstanding connected stadium experience,” said James Hammond, Director of Information Technology for the Carolina Panthers. “In order to continue to deliver that experience, we need to prepare for the future demands on our network which is why we’re evaluating Aruba’s .11ax APs to support new applications and greater IoT and mobile device density requirements.”

CSPI is a Florida-based solutions provider helping customers meet the performance, availability and security requirements of their network, applications and services.

“The real value in the Aruba 802.11ax solution is that the infrastructure is leveraged with automation and IoT in mind,” said Peter Kaufman, Vice President, Advanced Technologies, CSPi. “By using NetInsight and new IoT protocols like Zigbee, our customers will be able to create the autonomous experiences they want while delivering performance-stringent applications and securely connecting IoT devices over Wi-Fi with ease.”

Zunesis is a Colorado-based IT Solution Provider and Value Added Reseller (VAR) that delivers end-to-end infrastructure solutions, IT business solutions, and IT professional and consulting services in the Western United States.

“Our customers are seeing a major increase in IoT use cases resulting in additional requirements for the network and IT,” said Steve Shaffer, Founder and CEO, Zunesis. “A significant benefit of the Aruba 802.11ax solution is that it’s built with integrated IoT connectivity capabilities. Having one hardware platform with Aruba that supports Zigbee and Bluetooth 5 will help eliminate the need for separate IoT networks, allowing organization to get more out of their infrastructure investment while reducing IT overhead.”

Pricing and availability

The Aruba 510 Series APs are available now, beginning at a list price of US$1,095. The Aruba 2930M access switch is available now, starting at US$10,799 list. The new version of NetInsight with Green AP will be available in the first quarter of 2019, with one-year subscriptions beginning at US$50 per year per AP.