Signal management

Aruba simplifies distributed network management and adds self-locating WiFi access points

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.’s Aruba networking subsidiary today announced enhancements to its Aruba Edge services platform that allow users to centrally manage distributed networks.

It’s also releasing what it says are the industry’s first self-locating indoor hotspots with built-in GPS receivers, as well as Open Locate, a proposed standard for sharing a hotspot’s location information. access to a device.

The new Aruba Central NetConductor component of the Aruba Central cloud-based network management platform centralizes the management of distributed networks with native cloud services for policy provisioning and automated network configuration in wired, wireless networks and extended. It also enforces zero trust service and secure access edge policies. Zero Trust is an approach to cybersecurity that assumes no user or device can be trusted, while SASE adds identity management and WAN controls to Zero Trust environments.

“As networks have grown, the idea of ​​using VLANs to solve connectivity problems has been overtaken by complex customer topologies,” said Larry Lunetta, vice president of LAN marketing. wireless and security solutions at Aruba. “We’re enabling customers to assemble VLANs into a single unified view of the network and are introducing helpers to allow customers to virtualize without having to go into the guts of the network.”

Automated setting

Traditional VLAN-based architectures require significant manual configuration and integration, making them slow to adapt to network changes and creating security holes, Aruba said. “Central NetConductor defines networks and policies based on what the business wants,” Lunetta said. “It allows administrators to assemble a graphical view of the network, then press a button and it’s done.”

Integrated security uses cloud-native network access control and dynamic segmentation for fabric-wide enforcement. Both are key features of zero-trust security. “We authenticate both users and devices and use that information to enforce traffic segmentation so that an organization can put in place a policy that allows someone to talk to SAP, for example, but not to the security systems. manufacturing,” Lunetta said. “It’s more granular and easier for businesses to understand.”

There is also a feature that allows administrators to set role-based access controls within the network itself. “The idea is that when you authenticate, the network understands your role and automatically sets access privileges,” Lunetta said.

indoor gps

The auto-locating indoor access points support Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E and include built-in GPS receivers and software that allows administrators to pinpoint the location within one meter, said Aruba. GPS signals are largely limited to outdoor use, but the signals “are accessible indoors and can be used at certain times of the day depending on the position of the satellites,” Lunetta said. “We triangulate the signals, and since the access points don’t move, we improve over time.”

APs provide non-contact AP location determination, continuously validate and update location, and provide a set of universal coordinates that can be mapped onto any floor map . They use Fine Time Measurement, a protocol that allows a pair of WiFi cards to estimate the distance between them. “This allows us to produce a map of where all the access points are placed,” Lunetta said. The devices also use Open Locate, a protocol Aruba promotes as a possible industry-standard way to propagate WiFi location information.

Aruba Central NetConductor services are available in early access now and will be generally available in July as part of the basic services provided to users with an advanced license. Wi-Fi 6/6E access points are in the process of being delivered.

Image: Pixabay

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