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Aruba Expands Management Reach

Consolidation is a common theme in the IT space. Aruba Networks, a leading wireless network equipment supplier, has enhanced its management tools, so they can now monitor wired networks as well as various end devices.
Consolidation is a common theme in the IT space. Aruba Networks, a leading wireless network equipment supplier, has enhanced its management tools, so they can now monitor wired networks as well as various end devices.Arubas Airwave 7 features three major enhancements. First, AirWave Management Platform (AMP) now oversees edge switches from Cisco and HP, so users can map relationships among Access Points (AP), controllers, and switches to enable root-cause analysis problems, such as a down AP. The new AirWave Mobile Device Manager (MDM) module manages end points, such as handheld devices, self-service kiosks, and wireless printers. Last, support for the XML API makes it simpler for customers to hook into other devices and applications into the management platform. AirWave 7, which will be available in March, can be delivered as software, on an appliance, or via Aruba's AirWave OnDemand (AoD) software-as-a-service (SaaS) model.

Aruba carved out a solid niche in the wireless networking space by delivering highly functional systems at a reasonable cost. Recently, the network market has been shifting away from the sales of autonomous devices, such as wireless access points, to a more integrated view of a companys network infrastructure. The company now offers small and medium businesses a management tool that they can use to monitor various devices, which is a noteworthy improvement.

However, the company faces a few questions in the long term. The first centers on the level of management it offers for wired devices. Cisco and HP have management tools that would provide customers with more granular management features than Aruba does. These companies also have both wired and wireless network products while Aruba offers only wireless networking products. As the network market consolidates, the viability of companies with limited product portfolios is suspect. Aruba is trying to make a graceful transaction as this transformation occurs, however, its future as a stand alone entity is open to doubt.