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Aruba Intros Mobility-Defined Networking To The Mobile Mix

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Aruba Networks is unveiling its vision of how to capture the hearts and minds of mobile business users by creating a business without wires. In its announcement yesterday, Aruba not only added to the acronym ecosystem, but also described a new wireless architecture that it dubs the "Mobility-Defined Network" (MDN) designed to attract and retain "#GenMobile employees."

According to the company, this new MDN architecture is "designed for improved #GenMobile job satisfaction and productivity," and it accomplishes this through five software products that support a wireless business, outlined below.

  • Wi-Fi Mobility Firewall uses deep packet inspection (DPI) to set granular role-based policies, quality of service, and bandwidth contracts for over 1,500 encrypted and non-encrypted mobile applications.
  • Unified Communications Dashboard provides a user interface for managing Unified Communications (UC) such as Microsoft Lync over Wi-Fi. The UC dashboard combines UC and performance metrics into a single consolidated view. According to Aruba, IT administrators can retrieve historical metrics, visualize real-time call quality by location, and eliminate manual investigations for UC failures.
  • ClearPass Exchange allows IT administration to automate security workflow through use of common language application programming interfaces (APIs) and data feeds that allow mobile device management (MDM) integration with third-party IT and business systems from Aruba partners like IBM, AirWatch and MobileIron. ClearPass would allow issues such as network policy violations to automatically create messages and trigger responses from IT and the helpdesk.
  • Auto Sign-On is enabled by ClearPass and ArubaOS and uses the businesses Wi-Fi authentication process for Single Sign-On (SSO) access to approved applications. Once authenticated, it will keep users from having to repeatedly sign-in to enterprise applications. Aruba Auto Sign-On can be integrated with existing SSO identity providers or used independently.
  • AirGroup allows users to share screens and streaming media with Apple and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) and Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) devices. Policies can be set that limit the view of available devices based on the employee's role, location and time of day. The application is a self-service and employees can set devices for sharing.

"We are excited to announce that IBM's Security Access Manager (ISAM for Web and Mobile) and Aruba's ClearPass network access platform have been verified to provide a seamless auto sign-on user experience for reaching protected web-based applications on mobile devices. This joint solution is part of the Ready for IBM Security Intelligence validation program and bridges the gap between Network Access Control (NAC), Mobile Device Management (MDM), and Web Access Management (WAM). The idea of using a valid network authentication via ClearPass with complementary single sign-on and risk-based decisions via ISAM enhance a user’s ability to securely reach protected resources without constantly typing in login credentials per application," said Kevin Skapinetz, Director of Strategy, Product Marketing, and Alliances at IBM.

Tech-savvy employees have always tried to nudge employers in the direction of technologies that would make their jobs more efficient and easier to perform. Those nudges are sometime successful and sometimes they are not. The decision by businesses to adopt a specific technology has rarely been tied to the demands of potential employees or even existing employees. The decision to adopt a new technology, outside of regulatory requirements, usually comes about because a company figured out that it would make or save money.

Aruba's attempt to place employees in the driver's seat by indicating they are demanding mobility and wireless is an interesting marketing tact. However, return on investment and a truly innovative and solid products are what will ultimately convince businesses to invest in Aruba's wireless architecture.