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Aruba Takes Network Management To Cloud

The AirWave OnDemand service enables subscribers to locate users and Wi-Fi devices and diagnose network problems.

Aruba Networks has unveiled its enterprise-class AirWave OnDemand (AoD) network management solution and placed it firmly in the cloud with the belief the multi-vendor SaaS offering will attract users familiar with the advantages of cloud computing.

Announced Wednesday, AoD enables users big and small to rapidly deploy the network management technology at pay-as-you-go pricing.

"The pay-as-you-go mentality is growing," said Bryan Wargo, general manager of Aruba's AirWave group, in an interview. " With AoD you can literally be up and running in minutes. It [can be] a huge savings."

The subscription service is housed at a secure Aruba data center; using the service to locate users and Wi-Fi devices, subscribers can monitor and change their LAN settings, generate compliance reports, and diagnose problems throughout the networks under management. Wargo said the service is likely to cost users about $10 a month per access point. Subscriptions are available on a month-to-month or annual basis.

Wargo added that the cloud service should appeal to users "horizontally" across applications indicating that Aruba expects to see users pick up the service in medium-sized business to large enterprises. Noting that cloud computing has already got the attention of CIOs, he expects the already well-accepted benefits of cloud computing will help Aruba market AoD.

The cloud network management approach owes much to the growth of 802.11n and the belief that it will replace wired Ethernet as the coming network-technology of choice. AoD operates with both wired and wireless access points, although pristine networks will likely need only to utilize 802.11n access points with their wide range and robust throughput.

Although 11n networks began to be installed two years ago -- primarily in universities -- the wireless technology was given a shot in the arm in September when it received certification from the IEEE.

AoD supports the management and monitoring of most major networking vendors including Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola. The full suite of Aruba's AirWave Wireless Management Suite (AWMS) is available via virtual instances over AoD. Aruba believes the new service will offer business opportunities to service providers and resellers, who move to build managed LAN services on AoD. Aruba has established a reseller program for AoD.

AoD provides access point location capability to track the position and movement of wireless devices, even as they move from place to place.

"AoD was built from the ground up to make it simpler and less costly to deploy, maintain, and monitor a wireless LAN," said Wargo. "An automated sign-up process launches the subscription and the cost of support is build into the subscription fee." Aruba said the service is currently in early deployment phase and will be generally available in December.


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