Aruba Wireless Networks (Aruba), a leading manufacturer of high-performance wireless LAN (WLAN) systems for enterprises, is supplying the German subsidiary of the French Groupe SEB, Groupe SEB Deutschland GmbH, with a WLAN solution.
Groupe SEB Deutschland GmbH produces high-quality household goods, including the well-known brands Rowenta, Tefal and Krups.
The French parent company Groupe SEB took the decision six months ago to establish a company-wide wireless strategy that its subsidiaries could implement themselves. After extensive analysis of competitive solutions, Groupe SEB Deutschland decided to standardise on Aruba's WLAN products and technology.
Groupe SEB Deutschland is currently using Aruba's wireless LAN switching system to provide secure 802.11a/b/g wireless access at 11 and 54 Mbps to its employees as well as to guard against malicious wireless activity. Groupe SEB Deutschland is initially rolling out the Aruba wireless system to provide secure access to staff as well as guests and visitors in public areas such as conference rooms.
"An important selection criterion was Aruba's security features," said Berthold Flachsland, Head of IT at Groupe SEB Deutschland GmbH. "In a densely populated area where several WLAN infrastructures are in operation simultaneously, we couldn't possibly go without excellent intrusion protection and encryption."
Unlike other systems, Aruba's technology provides the ability for Groupe SEB to define and enforce specific user policies that move with the user as soon as he/she is identified. An integrated firewall is automatically applied to mobile users upon authentication. The solution is also able to stop DoS attacks. "Over the last few weeks we have had 40 registered DoS attacks," said Flachsland. "But thanks to the Aruba solution, none were successful."
The new solution has proved to be particularly useful for those staff having to travel, who for example come from the head office in France to the German subsidiary in Offenbach to work for a few hours or days.
"In the past, they always had to search at length for free patch plugs, to be able to work in the network," continued Flachsland. "Today that is no longer the case. They find themselves a place to work, log on and can get to work right away."
Many in-house staff have also already discovered the advantages of this solution. "Those colleagues with Centrino Notebooks don't even have to install anything on their PC, so after just a little configuration, they can work wireless right away," added Flachsland.
In addition, Aruba supplies the planning software RF Plan with the switches, which allows for WLANs to be set up without the need for lengthy surveys to be carried out beforehand, so that a network can be created with no gaps. Self-healing algorithms in switches and access points also minimise the maintenance required. As a result, the network in Groupe SEB Deutschland was set up in a very short period of time - supported by integrator Comsys from Egelsbach, implementation and testing took only two days.
It has also been a great advantage that the Aruba APs are compliant with the 802.11af (Power over Ethernet) standard, and as a consequence are supplied with power directly from the switch. "Our meeting rooms are representative of the company and so have to give the right impression. We were glad that there was no need for a separate power cable to the access points along the ceiling," said Flachsland.
In the mid-term, Flachsland can imagine whole floors being connected wirelessly. "Then everybody can benefit from the comfort of working on the net without any need for irritating cable spaghetti."