Aruba Networks today announced that it has been selected by Microsoft Corporation to provide next-generation networking equipment for what is considered to be one of the world's largest next-generation wireless LANs (WLAN), serving over 25,000 simultaneous users each day across more than 60 countries around the world.

Deployed in 277 buildings covering more than 17 million square feet, Microsoft new WLAN will be constructed using Aruba mobility controllers, mobility software and some 5,000 ultra-thin Aruba wireless access points.

The new enterprise-wide Aruba mobility system will provide Microsoft a single, ?exible and highly secure environment for all types of users and devices. It will enable Microsoft to centrally control and secure wireless users and devices anywhere while providing seamless voice and data communications.

"Microsoft is the ultimate enterprise, looking for a better way to secure, manage and scale their wireless environment. They found what they were looking for in Aruba," said Don LeBeau, president and CEO of Aruba Networks. "Our ability to uniquely tie security, mobility and user management together in one place makes us the ideal choice for large companies, like Microsoft, looking to easily enable mobility across their business."

The next-generation wireless LAN infrastructure will help Microsoft reduce, by two orders of magnitude, the amount of equipment needed to be managed. The new infrastructure will also eliminate the need for Microsoft to deploy separate overlay networks for voice-over-wireless, guest services, RF security and wireless location services.

"The advancements in the wireless space since Microsoft Corporation ?rst implemented our global wireless network in 1999 are truly exciting," said Sunjeev Pandey, senior director of Microsoft IT. "We are pleased to be partnering with Aruba in the upgrade of Microsoft's next-generation wireless LAN as we take that next step forward in driving innovation in upcoming Microsoft products. This partnership will allow Microsoft to leverage a cutting edge wireless and mobility platform that provides us the scalability, performance and security that our environment demands."

Aruba in Microsoft
Aruba's mobility products were selected by Microsoft after an extensive technical evaluation that placed Aruba, as well as competitive products, through some of the most rigorous security, scalability, performance and functionality testing performed to date.

In that testing, performed by some of the world's leading independent laboratories including Iometrix in South San Francisco and the University of New Hampshire 's Interoperability Lab, Aruba garnered top overall scores across over 35 different tests. The tests measured performance, integration and conformance.

By centralising the control and security of its WLAN infrastructure with Aruba, Microsoft will be able to reduce operational cost and complexity, better manage and optimise the wireless environment and gain better control over its RF domain anywhere in the world from a single location.

The new state-of-the-art mobility system becomes the centrepiece for a number of key initiatives within Microsoft such as:

- wireless integration with its Network Access Protection (NAP)architecture,
- tight interworking between new mobile technologies and Microsoft's next-generation operating system,
- development of Microsoft 's Wireless Provisioning System (WPS)for a worldwide guest access solution,
- the testing of IPv6-over-wireless to enable mobile device proliferation in the enterprise,
- the provisioning of "wireless only" offices where wired connectivity and LAN hardware is not required for each client machine.

Making Microsoft Products Hum Over Wireless
Microsoft will collaborate with Aruba, as well as the broader industry, on a variety of wireless solutions aimed at improving users' experience and helping corporations around the world more quickly and easily deploy the technology. These include solutions that:

- tightly integrate wireless clients into the RF domain to deliver reliable, high-performance wireless links,
- makes optimal use of best-of-breed wireless security with Microsoft's overall enterprise security architecture and products, and
- enables reliable, voice-over-wireless communications within the enterprise.

Aruba plans to work with Microsoft to develop and test future software products to ensure they operate simply and easily over wireless networks. Consequently, Aruba customers can be assured the best possible interaction and unprecedented interoperability between Microsoft products and Aruba mobility systems.

"One of the challenges with large-scale enterprise wireless deployments is client control," said Keerti Melkote, co-founder and vice president of Product Management for Aruba Networks. "Aruba excels at controlling RF and managing mobile users. But for truly, predictable wireless service, client devices must be integrated into the mobility domain. We are joining forces with Microsoft to make clients work more effectively with wireless LANs from both an RF and security perspective."

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