Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Aruba's virtual branch network solution for branch offices, teleworkers

BANGALORE, INDIA: Aruba Networks Inc. today announced a series of seminars throughout the Asia Pacific region to introduce its new Virtual Branch Network (VBN) solution. The VBN solution transparently and securely connects remote users with enterprise applications and resources, greatly simplifying the management of branch offices, clinics, home offices, and teleworkers while significantly lowering networking costs.

The solution is also designed for rapidly-deploying business continuity services associated with disaster and pandemic recovery. The seminar series will introduce Aruba's new VBN software for data center-based Aruba Controllers, three new families of wired and wireless Remote Access Points (RAPs) and Branch Office Controllers (BOCs), and four VBN deployment scenarios.

Traditional remote networking solutions replicate routing, switching, firewall, and other services at each remote location. The equipment required is expensive and the services are complex to set-up and manage. Instead of replicating complexity at each remote location, Aruba's VBN solution virtualizes complex tasks at data center controllers and pushes them to inexpensive RAPs and BOCs for execution.

A centrally controlled, policy enforcement firewall in the data center controller governs user access to the network and its resources by pushing policies to dissolvable firewall agents in every RAP and BOC. These agents automatically enforce the policies for every user and service.

Since all of the complex tasks are centrally managed and automatically disseminated, RAP and BOC set-up is quick and easy. Secure one-click installation allows a non-technical person to provision a branch office in minutes, with no intervention or assistance by IT. RAPs and BOCs are transport-independent, and work with virtually any wide-area network -- including 3G cellular -- for instant connectivity. A RAP can literally be mailed to a remote user, connected to power and the WAN, and be fully commissioned following a single data entry.

The three new families of RAPs and BOCs feature policy-based local and remote packet forwarding, and Adaptive Radio Management (ARM) technology for optimized Wi-Fi operation. A diagnostics feature displays status on a simple user interface, and provides one-button debugging and one-button reset to factory defaults. Other key features of the new product families include:

* RAP-2 Family: No larger than a deck of playing cards and designed for use by 1-5 users, the RAP-2 is ideal for teleworkers, micro-branches, and SOHO applications. An 802.11b/g Wi-Fi radio and two Ethernet ports for use with wired devices, such as VoIP phones, are provided;

* RAP-5 Family: The stylish, book-sized RAP-5 includes 5 high-speed Ethernet ports, a USB port for a broadband 3G cellular modem, hardware accelerated encryption, and, optionally, an 802.11n Wi-Fi radio with integrated antennas. The RAP-5 is designed for micro-branches with up to 50 users;

* 600 Branch Office Controller Family: Designed to be a "branch-in-a-box" for offices with up to 256 users, the 600 family offers a broad range of WAN connectivity, network-attached storage, gigabit Ethernet, power-over-Ethernet (PoE), Express Card, and USB options. An integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi radio option rounds out the package. The 600 controllers were recently awarded a Best of Interop 2009 Award.

A single Aruba 6000 Multi-Service Controller equipped with VBN software will support up to 8,000 RAP or 600 series devices, and up to 32,000 users.

"VBN is focused on reducing the cost and complexity of branch office networking, and is one of three Aruba initiatives focused on lowering IT expenses," said Albert Tay, ASEAN and India General Manager, Aruba Network, Inc.

"Another initiative, network rightsizing, targets overbuilt wired LANs by showing users how to lower expenses by using wireless LANs everywhere possible and wired LANs only where they're needed. The third initiative leverages Aruba's AirWave Management Platform to extend the life of existing wireless LANs by providing detailed management, diagnostics, compliance, and Help Desk support missing from proprietary management tools. Our seminar series will discuss all three initiatives in detail."

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