December 2, 2022

Aruba Central NetConductor enables IT teams to automate network configuration


Aruba announced significant advancements for Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform), with new features in Aruba Central to enable organizations to keep pace with rapidly changing business requirements.

The new Aruba Central NetConductor enables enterprises to centralize management of distributed networks with cloud-native services that simplify policy provisioning and automate network configurations across wired, wireless, and WAN infrastructures. Central NetConductor enables a more agile network while enforcing Zero Trust and SASE security policies.

Aruba also unveiled the industry’s first self-locating indoor access points (APs) with built-in GPS receivers and Open Locate, a proposed new industry standard for sharing location information from an AP to a device.

Digital acceleration driven by remote/hybrid working, new business models and demand for improved user experiences highlight the need for a more agile and flexible network. Aruba provides a comprehensive set of cloud-native services to address the complexity of multi-generational architectures with their operations and attendant security challenges. Traditional VLAN-based architectures require significant manual configuration and integration, are slow to adapt to new enterprise connectivity requirements, and introduce potential security vulnerabilities.

A modern, agile network uses a network “overlay” that seamlessly bridges existing VLAN segments with cloud-native policy and configuration services that enable users and devices to establish secure and reliable connections from anywhere. anywhere. To help customers accelerate their digital transformation initiatives, Central NetConductor uses AI for management and optimization, implements business-intent workflows to automate network configuration, and extends industry-leading built-in security from Aruba with cloud-native Network Access Control (NAC) and Dynamic Segmentation for fabric-wide enforcement.

Because Central NetConductor is based on widely accepted protocols such as EVPN, VXLAN, and BGP, it can be adopted in a seamless way that preserves capacity-based investments to work with existing Aruba networks and third-party vendor infrastructure.

“In today’s business world, flexibility is key — businesses need to be able to shift gears, introduce new services and offerings, and serve new customers overnight. Because the network underpins everything – enabling mission-critical connectivity and data-driven intelligence – it must have flexibility built-in,” said Maribel Lopez, founder of Lopez Research. “Organizations today need to seek standards-based solutions that provide them with technical flexibility and the ability to protect their investments and adopt new technologies at their own pace, as well as options for consumption.”

Three Key Principles of Network Modernization

Static networks no longer meet growing business demands or support changing security requirements; therefore, organizations must be in a process of continuous network modernization based on three main principles:

  • Automating: Simplified workflows and AI-powered automation to reduce the time and resources needed to plan, deploy and manage networks supporting remote, branch, campus and cloud connectivity
  • Security: Increased threat detection and protection with built-in identity-based access control and dynamic segmentation that form the basis of Zero Trust and SASE frameworks
  • Agility: Unified, cloud-native, standards-based architecture for investment protection and ease of adoption with NaaS consumption models to optimize budget and human resources

Aruba Central NetConductor accelerates the deployment, management and protection of modern fabric-based networks by mapping capabilities to the three principles of network modernization:

  • Automating: Intent-based workflows with “one-button” connectivity and security policy orchestration
  • Security: Pervasive role-based access control extends dynamic segmentation for integrated Zero Trust and SASE security policy enforcement
  • Agility: Native cloud services for a single point of visibility and control. Standards-based to facilitate migration and adoption to preserve existing investments

Innovations in indoor location services

Installing the WLAN access point remains a manual process that is time-consuming, error-prone, and results in an unreliable baseline for location-sensitive applications. To address this issue, Aruba introduced the industry’s first self-locating indoor access points to simplify how organizations capture indoor location data and communicate the information over the air to any mobile device or application.

Aruba Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E access points use a combination of built-in GPS receivers, Wi-Fi location support for accurate timekeeping, and intelligent software to enable highly automated WLAN deployments. accurate. Aruba’s self-locating WLAN access points provide contactless location determination of the access point, continuously validate and update location, and provide a set of universal coordinates that can be mapped to any location. any building floor map or web mapping platform.

The precise location of the WLAN infrastructure creates an anchored reference that is shared using Open Locate. Enterprises can use Aruba’s universal coordinates and anchored reference of self-locating indoor hotspots to easily expand or enhance asset tracking, security/compliance, facility planning, on-premises experience applications or other geolocation services.

“Location is at the heart of many app experiences, and accurate indoor location opens up many new and innovative enterprise use cases,” said Sean Ginevan, head of global strategy and digital partnerships for Android Enterprise at Google. “With Android 10, Google was the first to fully support Wi-Fi RTT to enable accurate indoor location on mobile devices. Aruba’s self-locating network infrastructure and Open Locate initiative will help help bring the vision of accurate indoor location to life for our developer community and make it easier to deploy these networks at scale. We can’t wait to see what developers will create.

“Companies have shown tremendous resilience in the face of major disruptions and tectonic shifts within their businesses over the past two years, and it has become clear that business agility is now a priority for our customers,” said David Hughes, chief technology officer and product officer at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. “The advancements introduced today will help customers evolve their approach to a ‘services orientation’ using AI-powered solutions, enhancing security, and accelerating the move to a cloud-centric network architecture that are all characteristics of a modern network.

These new solutions are available through traditional procurement and deployment methods or as a service through HPE GreenLake for Aruba Networking, giving customers maximum flexibility to adjust their networking needs based on business needs. The latest enhancements to HPE GreenLake Network for Aruba as a Service (NaaS) include eight standardized offerings designed around popular enterprise networking use cases, delivering greater simplicity and accelerating ROI for NaaS deployments. To learn more about the impact of NaaS on businesses, please visit this site for a free copy of IDC’s March 2022 InfoBrief, Network as a Service: State of the Market.

Price and availability

Aruba Central NetConductor services are available in early access now and will be generally available in July 2022. Central NetConductor services are part of Aruba Central and are available with an Advanced license.

Aruba Wi-Fi 6/6E access points include auto-location and are currently shipping, and GPS capabilities are included in existing Aruba Wi-Fi 6E access points and pricing.

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