SOURCE: Aruba Networks, Inc.

Aruba Networks, Inc.

June 23, 2009 01:00 ET

Aruba Networks' New OS 3.4 Software Turbocharges Network Performance While Slimming Life-Cycle Costs

Rich Suite of Features Include High-Speed Long-Haul 802.11n Mesh, Single Channel Reuse, Guest Access Services, and OSPF Integration

SUNNYVALE, CA--(Marketwire - June 23, 2009) - Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARUN), a global leader in wireless LANs and secure mobility solutions, today announced the release of OS 3.4 software for Aruba controllers with new features that enhance the performance and value of Aruba's best-in-class wireless LANs. These features target network RF performance, network provisioning, and system operation. OS 3.4 is shipping now and is available at no cost to Aruba customers with a current Aruba support agreement.

OS 3.4 includes two significant enhancements to RF performance: long-haul 802.11n mesh and channel reuse. Mesh provides the ability for packets to hop wirelessly from access point to access point along the most advantageous travel path. Long-haul mesh transmissions are important for supporting video surveillance, telemetry, large campus, and remote site applications in which long distances separate locations. The new 802.11n mesh feature leverages Multiple In Multiple Out (MIMO) technology to sustain > 100Mbps TCP throughput over a point-to-point mesh link of more than 1 kilometer. While the benefits of MIMO in indoor environments with multipath are well established, OS 3.4 leverages MIMO antennas technology to increase path distances in outdoor environments that lack multipath. The result is a robust, high-speed, long-haul resilient mesh network that is ideal for a wide range of data and video applications.

The second RF enhancement is the addition to Aruba's Adaptive Radio Management (ARM) technology of a self-tuning algorithm that dynamically rejects interference from adjacent access points operating on the same channel. This co-channel interference rejection capability allows simultaneous transmissions from multiple access points that are operating on the same channel and at distances closer than would otherwise be possible. Enabling channels to be reused in the same physical space, coupled with other ARM features, significantly increases the capacity of an Aruba wireless LAN with high client density without the susceptibility to interference inherent in single channel architectures. A new white paper, "ARM Yourself to Increase Enterprise WLAN Data Capacity," outlines this and other ARM enhancements in more detail, and is available on-line at http://bit.ly/wFj9n.

"OS 3.4 continues our tradition of pushing the limits of wireless performance, and integrating value-added features into our controller operating system to reduce the cost of network ownership," said Keerti Melkote, Aruba's co-founder and chief technology officer. "The new 802.11n mesh feature is targeted at the growing number of customers using Wi-Fi outdoors, both to connect facilities and for surveillance applications. The channel reuse algorithm further distances Aruba's adaptive wireless LANs from competing designs by significantly increasing capacity without increasing interference susceptibility. Both of these features can be retrofitted at no cost to existing networks, adding value without requiring a forklift upgrade."

OS 3.4 also includes three features targeted at simplifying network set-up and on-going network operation: user assistance wizards; role-based guest access; and Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) controller integration. User assistance wizards make quick work of wireless LAN creation and administration, transforming tasks that previously required multiple manual steps into a streamlined process. As a result, system commissioning is significantly easier and faster.

Providing guests with access to enterprise wireless networks has long required either dedicated IT staff or lobby ambassadors to provision temporary users. Administering semi-permanent guests such as contractors and consultants added additional complexity. OS 3.4 incorporates a three-step delegated provisioning model to address these issues. First, the employee is authenticated and authorized to provision guest access. Once authorized, a simple Web-based form is made available with appropriate network access permissions for the guest(s). Finally, Aruba's policy enforcement firewall makes available a suitable set of roles from which to choose for different levels of guest access. The solution is easy to use by non-technical personnel, and scales to support even the largest enterprises.

The final feature, OSPF controller integration, addresses the complexity of manually administrating IP subnets and VLANs to terminate on a router. As wireless LANs scale in size and new locations are added, increasingly more IP subnets and VLANs are needed to accommodate the growing number of local and remote wireless users. IP subnets and VLANs are typically manually administered to terminate on a router, which then automates the propagation of routes to the new subnet via interior routing protocols. The use and administration of the router adds complexity to the network and drives up life-cycle costs.

OS 3.4 overcomes these issues by integrating the OSPF protocol directly into the Aruba wireless controller, an industry first. OSPF allows new VLANs/subnets to be terminated on the controller without using a router, and then automates the propagation of routes from new wireless LAN subnets to the enterprise networks. This feature simplifies network administration, reduces costs by eliminating the need for a router, and increases resilience from outages by dynamically routing around network problems.

"Network life-cycle expenses are often overlooked when a wireless network is initially selected because assessing costs can be difficult prior to deployment," continued Melkote. "VLAN administration and guest access management are cases in point, and consume considerable IT overhead on a recurring basis, especially for medium to large enterprises. OS 3.4 successfully targets these two pain points, making quick work of even the most complex guest access scheme while doing away with the need for router configuration to handle VLANs and subnets. As a result life-cycle costs are reduced and IT resources are freed to focus on other business-critical issues."

OS 3.4 information can be found on Aruba's Web site at http://bit.ly/8T90c.

About Aruba Networks

People move. Networks must follow. Aruba securely delivers networks to users, wherever they work or roam. Our mobility and network virtualization solutions ensure that the enterprise network moves in lock-step with users:

--  Adaptive 802.11n Wi-Fi networks optimize themselves to ensure that
    users are always within reach of mission-critical information;
--  Identity-based security assigns access policies to users, enforcing
    those policies whenever and wherever a network is accessed;
--  Remote networking solutions ensure uninterrupted access to enterprise
    resources without compromising security;
--  Multi-vendor network management provides a single point of control
    while managing both legacy and new wireless networks from Aruba and its
    competitors.
    

The cost, convenience, and security benefits of our secure mobility solutions are fundamentally changing how and where we work. Listed on the NASDAQ and Russell 2000® Index, Aruba is based in Sunnyvale, California, and has operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific regions. To learn more, visit Aruba at http://www.arubanetworks.com. For real-time news updates follow Aruba on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ArubaNetworks.

© 2009 Aruba Networks, Inc. AirWave®, Aruba Networks®, Aruba Mobility Management System®, Bluescanner, For Wireless That Works®, Mobile Edge Architecture, People Move. Networks Must Follow., The All-Wireless Workplace Is Now Open For Business, RFprotect, Green Island, and The Mobile Edge Company® are trademarks of Aruba Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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