Interoperability testing is necessary for new devices such as the iPhone since it can uncover potential deployment issues, according to Aruba, which tested the iPhone on its own without Apple's participation.
"We had no reason to believe there would be compatibility problems with the iPhone; however, after being flooded with calls following Duke [University's] recent problems with their Cisco network, we initiated interoperability testing just to be sure," Michael Tennefoss, Aruba's head of strategic marketing, told InformationWeek in an e-mail.
In addition to cellular technology, the iPhone has integrated Wi-Fi technology for wirelessly connecting to the Internet when Wi-Fi hotspots are available. The iPhone also has the ability to work on business WLANs.
Before issuing the iPhone its Compatible Partner certification rating, Aruba confirmed that the iPhone works on WLANs that use Aruba's equipment and that security keys used by the phone were properly managed. Aruba tested the iPhone's WEP, WPA-PSK, and WPA2-PSK security, roaming, VPN connections, and portal authentication combined with public shared key (PSK) encryption for guest Internet access.
Aruba was able to enhance the iPhone's built-in security with its own firewalls, packet inspection, and layered authentication. Security will serve as an important buying point for any business considering a company-wide iPhone deployment.
Aruba launched its interoperability testing program in May to pretest outside devices for incompatibilities, bugs, and software instability.
"The goal of Aruba's interoperability testing program is to reduce the time required to integrate products from different manufacturers," said Tennefoss. "Based on our test results, we believe that in typical use cases such as universities and corporate offices, Apple iPhones can be securely integrated into Aruba wireless LANs."