Networking

01:06 PM
Lee Badman
Lee Badman
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Aerohive Launches Cloud-Managed Switches

Aerohive Networks widens the field of cloud-managed switching, which has largely been ruled by Meraki. Aerohive's three new switches unify both wired and wireless network access.

This week Aerohive announced a line of wired Ethernet switches to add to its portfolio of WLAN APs. The new switches, called the SR-series, are managed via the cloud. With this move, Aerohive joins other industry players, including Cisco and Meraki (now owned by Cisco) that offer both wired and WLAN products with a unified management console.

With three initial switches, Aerohive targets branch, midsize and enterprise environments. From the SR2024, which features eight Power over Ethernet ports and a single power supply, to the SR2148P, which has 48 Gbit Ethernet ports and four 10 Gbit Ethernet ports and a dual-power supply option, Aerohive's new line competes well with Meraki's current catalog. (For more on cloud-managed WLANs, check out our buyer's guide, which has details on six vendors. The report is free with registration.)

Aerohive also announced a rework of its HiveManager dashboard, which allows for great templating flexibility for wireless access points and switches. Build a profile, connect a new switch (or hundreds of them), give it a configuration, and send it out the door for turn-key deployment.

Built-in visibility and control features mean additional boxes are not required to tame user traffic and to make sure the important stuff gets top priority. User context is easily defined and enforced though HiveManager, with as many options as you choose to cook up for employees, BYOD and guests.

I use both Meraki and Aerohive in my day job. Though the two product sets are not quite apples to apples, Meraki's policy and management tools are very good, and they are included at no extra cost. However, Aerohive's move toward context-based control, QoS and related features appears to go deeper than Meraki's, based on a briefing I received from Aerohive.

[ Join us at Interop Las Vegas for access to 125+ IT sessions and 300+ exhibiting companies. Register today! ]

That said, I'm glad that the HiveManager interface is getting a do-over, which will be delivered free to Aerohive customers in the near future. Compared to Meraki, my current HiveManager is clunky in spots, odd in other spots, and sometimes makes me question my own capabilities as a network professional as I just don't get parts of it. The new version seems much easier to digest and use, which is important to a product line that will be marketed heavily to environments with limited IT staff.

The Bonjour gateway functionality remains as part of Aerohive's product and service portfolio, along with VPN, routing and firewalling capabilities. The new SR-series switches can work like Meraki's MX-series security appliances or as dedicated Ethernet switches.

Cisco's recent purchase of Meraki validates the cloud-managed unified networking paradigm. Aerohive's expansion into access switches keeps the pot bubbling as it brings cloud-managed networking closer to maturity. The trend toward unified, policy-based, seven-layer visibility on the LAN and WLAN is a great development for customers, and it provides options that many of us only dreamed of just a few years ago.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
More Blogs from Commentary
SDN: Waiting For The Trickle-Down Effect
Like server virtualization and 10 Gigabit Ethernet, SDN will eventually become a technology that small and midsized enterprises can use. But it's going to require some new packaging.
IT Certification Exam Success In 4 Steps
There are no shortcuts to obtaining passing scores, but focusing on key fundamentals of proper study and preparation will help you master the art of certification.
VMware's VSAN Benchmarks: Under The Hood
VMware touted flashy numbers in recently published performance benchmarks, but a closer examination of its VSAN testing shows why customers shouldn't expect the same results with their real-world applications.
Building an Information Security Policy Part 4: Addresses and Identifiers
Proper traffic identification through techniques such as IP addressing and VLANs are the foundation of a secure network.
SDN Strategies Part 4: Big Switch, Avaya, IBM,VMware
This series on SDN products concludes with a look at Big Switch's updated SDN strategy, VMware NSX, IBM's hybrid approach, and Avaya's focus on virtual network services.
Hot Topics
3
Converged Infrastructure: 3 Considerations
Bill Kleyman, National Director of Strategy & Innovation, MTM Technologies,  4/16/2014
2
Heartbleed's Network Effect
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading,  4/16/2014
White Papers
Register for Network Computing Newsletters
Cartoon
Current Issue
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed