In a series of industry firsts, Aruba Wireless Networks has unveiled new wireless innovations to its popular grid architecture. Aruba's Wi-Fi innovations let enterprises, for the first time, securely extend their wireless networks across the Internet, give limited-time guest access and see changes to their RF environment in real time.
The new products and technology are part of a major hardware and software upgrade now available through the release of Aruba's AirOS 2.3 software system.
Topping the list of new products and technology being introduced are:
- The Aruba 70, the first hybrid wired/wireless grid point
- Remote "Office-in-a-Box" system using IPSEC for secure remote wireless access across untrusted networks
- Configurable time-limited guest access accounts
- Live site surveys that provide real-time monitoring and display of RF coverage and interference
- 802.11i/WPA 2 support
- Intelligent redirection of traffic to different authentication servers based on domain names
Aruba's grid architecture is a popular new approach to delivering and centrally managing wireless, security and mobility services to wired and wireless users without disrupting current enterprise IP networks. Grids are transparently deployed as service overlays on top of existing high-speed wired networks with no logical or physical reconfiguration. Wired and wireless traffic are tunneled from grid points to grid controllers where services are provided and security is enforce in a uniform manner.
The First Hybrid Grid Point for Secure Wired and Wireless Access The Aruba 70 series is designed as an enterprise access device that provides secure connectivity for both wired and wireless users. In addition, the Aruba 70 also functions as the industry's first secure remote office-in-a-box solution, leveraging the industry standard IPSEC protocol to seamlessly extend the enterprise network across the Internet (see below).
A "thin" form-factor wall-mounted grid point, each Aruba 70 comes equipped with dual 802.11a/b/g radios, an integral tri-band, omni-directional antenna, external antenna jacks for a variety of 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz antennas, dual 802.3af Ethernet ports, and a USB port for flexible service extensions.
Redundant Ethernet ports can be connected to different Ethernet switches on the same or on different subnets. Automatic failover between the two ports ensures non-stop connectivity. The additional Ethernet port can also be used to provide secure wired connectivity for any standard Ethernet device, such as a desktop PC or printer. A USB port provides limitless expansion possibilities allowing administrators to quickly enable new services such as UWB, 802.11n, smart cards for added security, Bluetooth detection, RTLS for WLAN-based RFID, WiMax and many others.
The First Secure Remote "Office-in-a-Box"
Aruba's AirOS 2.3 brings to market the industry's first solution for securely extending access and grid points across untrusted networks such as the Internet. Unlike competitive solutions that require a trusted and secure transport network, Aruba's remote AP solution is the first to leverage the industry-standard IPSEC protocol to allow access and grid points to be securely attached to any Internet connection.
"I can now securely extend my wired and wireless environment anywhere, anytime, while maintaining complete control," said Brandon Bryant, senior network engineering at Legal Services of New York. "Remote office users have the exact same network services available to them as if they were in their office and I have centralised control as if they were. It's truly amazing technology."
In addition, Aruba's remote office-in-a-box solution is the only one to support network address translation traversal (NAT-T). When a native mode IPSEC tunnel cannot be established, Aruba devices will tunnel IPSEC over UDP allowing IPSEC to work with any NAT device that does not support IPSEC. Aruba's remote AP technology is available on the Aruba 60 and 70 series of grid points.
The First Live Site Survey
With Aruba's 2.3 software comes the industry's first live site survey capability, giving administrators real-time monitoring and display of RF coverage and interference. Combining patent-pending RF calibration technology and sophisticated RF mapping, companies can now immediately view coverage level, interference sources and other RF data at any point in the network through an intuitive graphical display.
This eliminates tedious and manual RF fingerprinting techniques that require physically documenting RF characteristics at various points within the enterprise. Once collected, this data is used by a computer system to create RF maps. Aruba's WLAN systems completely automate this process. RF performance is sampled every five seconds and is immediately displayed through detailed "heat maps" overlaid on top of floor plans.