Fresh off of the announcement that it is being acquired by Hewlett-Packard, Aruba Networks today unveiled a controller for wireless networks that is managed via the cloud.
Ozer Dondurmacioglu, senior director of product marketing for Aruba Networks, says the Aruba 7000 series Cloud Services Controllers combine wide area network (WAN) optimization capabilities with a wireless network controller that can be remotely managed via the cloud.
The Aruba 7000 series Cloud Services Controllers, says Dondurmacioglu, are essentially a step toward creating a software-defined wireless network where all the connectivity required to set up the network is automated. At the remote branch, all IT needs to do when deploying the Aruba 7000 series Cloud Services Controllers is plug in the cables, says Dondurmacioglu.
This approach, adds Dondurmacioglu, eliminates the need to set up a virtual LAN to remotely configure a wireless network.
The Aruba 7000 series Cloud Services Controllers support both stateful firewall policies that enable organizations to prioritize traffic or block certain classes of network traffic by routing it off the corporate WAN. The controllers also feature web content filtering that enables IT organizations to set contextual policies based on web site reputation. As part of these efforts, Aruba Networks also announced that the 7000 series Cloud Services Controller has been integrated with firewalls from Palo Alto Networks.
Aruba Networks has also made use of the Microsoft Lync SDN application programming interface (API) to fingerprint and prioritize Microsoft Lync and Office 365 application traffic.
The convergence of SDNs and wireless networks at this juncture is all but inevitable. It creates one less reason for IT professionals to ever have to visit a branch office. In fact, now that most end users prefer to use a wireless network as their primary network, the real challenge may actually be figuring out how to get rid of all the network cables that today clutter most branch offices.