Aruba Integrates NetInsight Analytics Capability

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By: Michael Vizard

Aruba, a unit of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE), today announced at the Atmosphere 2018 conference that it has added artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities designed to make it simpler to proactively manage network performance at scale while at the same time signaling its intentions to offer a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) capability via the cloud that is layered on top of its controllers and wireless access points.

The Aruba Mobile First Architecture with NetInsight makes extensive use of machine learning algorithms and advanced analytics to assure intentions as defined by network administrators are maintained, says Janice Le, vice president of global marketing for Aruba. The HPE subsidiary also announced that Cape Networks, a manufacturer of sensors that are employed to assure network performance, was today acquired by HPE. Those sensors are intended to be a complement to NetInsight.

“We’re using machine learning to deliver proactive insights into how the network is performing,” says Le.

NetInsight is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application that monitors over 400 attributes to help learn about changes to the network. NetInsight will then come up with recommendations for configuration changes that should be made to optimize network performance, says Le. But it will still be up to the administrator to decide whether to implement those recommendations.

Le also notes that machine learning algorithms will help eliminate potential problems before they arise in addition to enabling organizations to scale networks without necessarily having to increase the size of the IT staff required to manage them. The technology came from HPE's acquisition of RASA Networks last year. Pricing for NetInsight starts at $30 per device.

At the Atmosphere conference, Aruba president Keerti Melkote told attendees that networking at the edge is about enabling real-time applications that will drive a new era of computing. Those applications will turn feed data back over networks to the multiple cloud services. To achieve that goal Melkote revealed today Aruba will make available a cloud-based software-defined wide area network on top of the Aruba branch controllers and access points it provides.

At the same time, however, Melkote says IT organizations will find security more challenging because the notion of a perimeter is vanishing as more computing moves to the edge. Melkote says Aruba’s goal is to provide that edge platform. Most of those platforms will be connected over wireless networks, but Melkote also noted the Internet of Things (IoT) applications will drive a resurgence of fixed networking. Melkote added that network administrators should embrace open application programming interfaces (APIs) to build more responsive networking environments at scale.

Overall, Melkote says Aruba now enjoys a 20 percent market share for wireless networks in North America on a revenue base of over $2.5 billion. Aruba sales grew 15 percent year over year, says Melkote. To help fuel those efforts Aruba also announced today it is expanding the ArubaEdge Technology Alliance Program to include manufacturers of connected furniture such as Herman Miller and real estate companies such as CBRE that are making wireless networking a core element of the products and services they provide. Aruba is also extending that program to include vendors that focus on digital workspace applications such as AccelTex, HPE Pointnext, Lunera, Patrocinium, and SpaceIQ.

Aruba obviously is not the only vendor with ambitions for the network edge. But as a unit of HPE, it’s clear that Aruba is counting on having the scope and reach needed to fulfill that ambition.

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