MWC 2013: Aruba Networks introduces HybridControl Architecture for Wi-Fi

HybridControl combines leading Wi-Fi enterprise-class capabilities for managed services and and support for more than 32,000 hotspots to provide scale for cellular offload at a much reduced cost

MWC 2013: Aruba Networks introduces HybridControl Architecture for Wi-Fi

Aruba Networks, a provider of Wi-Fi network access solutions, announced its new HybridControl Wi-Fi architecture at Mobile World Congress 2013. The company said it brings ‘unprecedented scale, savings and enterprise-class capabilities for service providers increasingly looking to deploy dual-purpose Wi-Fi infrastructure for cellular offload and managed services’.

Aruba HybridControl and Instant access points

With Aruba HybridControl, service providers can support more than 32,000 Wi-Fi hotspots with a single Aruba 7200 Mobility Controller at up to 40 times lower capital cost, 14 times lower power consumption and one-third the rack space of competitive offerings. 

Each hotspot can be deployed using multiple Aruba Instant access points, giving a single controller the ability to aggregate in excess of 100,000 access points. 

Aruba Instant access points in each site reduce core bandwidth needs by offloading cellular traffic locally to the Internet and intelligently centralizing necessary traffic, such as billing and legal intercept using an IPSec connection to 7200 controllers deployed in the core. 

Multiple controllers can be clustered in a resilient N+1 configuration to scale out the architecture and deliver unprecedented scalability for carrier Wi-Fi deployments.

With the rapidly emerging demand for hybrid offload and managed services, a new requirement has emerged for the unique combination of massive scale and enterprise-class capabilities across security, management, quality-of-service (QoS) and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) management. 

With Aruba HybridControl, massive scale is achieved, according to the company, and layer 4-7 context via deep-level packet inspection is applied to optimize the air and deliver application-centric security, visibility and control for business-oriented, managed services traffic.

Delivering enterprise features with massive service provider scale

Leveraging a decade of delivering leading enterprise-class Wi-Fi capabilities, Aruba HybridControl is designed to add value to applications delivered to mobile devices from both the mobile core as well as from Over-the-Top (OTT) applications running on the public Internet. 

Industry-leading security capabilities are delivered via an integrated firewall for role-based access, intrusion prevention services and application-level security.  

HybridControl utilizes Aruba's AppRF capabilities to identify and prioritize real-time applications such as Microsoft Lync, and hosted and cloud applications that require a different class of service than the default best effort service.

Aruba also delivers powerful Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) management capabilities, including policy management, device onboarding, guest access and device posture assessment with its ClearPass Access Management System

Finally, Aruba controllers provide granular location-based data, which can be leveraged for new business analytics applications. 

‘The requirements for large-scale Wi-Fi deployments have rapidly expanded with the acceleration of dual-purpose cellular offload and managed services models,’ said Richard Webb, directing analyst, Infonetics Research. ‘Aruba’s HybridControl architecture is the next-generation Wi-Fi solution that allows service providers to truly expand their Wi-Fi footprint and add new billable services without the accompanying expenses of traditional options.’

Accelerated deployment with Aruba Activate cloud service

HybridControl significantly reduces the deployments costs for Wi-Fi hotspots by up to 75% by offering zero-touch activation for factory default access points without requiring any manual pre-provisioning.

Newly shipped factory default access points interface with the Aruba Activate cloud service to discover the carrier's configuration management system. Once they download their configuration, the access points use their tamper-proof X.509 certificate to authenticate with a mobility controller and setup an IPSEC tunnel.

At the same time, the Aruba Activate cloud service can also interface with Aruba's ClearPass Policy Management platform located in the carrier data center to authenticate the new access point to join the mobile core network. This enables automation of a previously cumbersome and tedious deployment process and dramatically reduces operational costs while also ensuring the highest level of security.

‘Aruba has leveraged a decade of innovation in enterprise Wi-Fi to deliver a unique, carrier-scale architecture that addresses the most significant challenges facing service providers today,’ said Keerti Melkote, CTO and Co-Founder, Aruba Networks. ‘With Aruba HybridControl, service providers can offer managed services and cellular offload to tens of thousands of locations while reducing the cost, footprint and power requirements.’

Pricing and availabililty

The Aruba HybridControl architecture includes the following components: the Aruba 7200 Mobility Controller, available now with prices starting at $37,995 U.S. list; Aruba Instant access points, also available now with prices starting at $395, U.S. list.

Aruba Activate is available now and free of charge for Aruba customers; the new 7200 Mobility Controller software, which increases support to 32,000 hotspots on a single controller, available as a free Aruba OS upgrade in the second quarter of 2013.

Written by Wireless magazine
Wireless magazine

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