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Tennefoss said Aruba had had its eye on Azalea for a few years, and didn't consider competing wireless mesh vendors like BelAir or Firetide to have the same enterprise-class technology that Azalea created.
Azalea is also less expensive than competing solutions, he said.
Tennefoss said 12 Azalea MSR100 access points would cost about $24,000 per square mile, whereas a comparable Cisco solution using Cisco Aironet APs and Gateway routers could be more than six times that for an outdoor deployment.
Much like with Aruba's acquisition of AirWave two years ago, Tennefoss explained, Aruba saw a better business case for acquiring a company instead of building new tools in-house.
Aruba already has a line of internal wireless mesh offerings, he said, "but there's no pride of ownership saying we have to develop it ourselves in order to meet Aruba quality requirements."
Outdoor applications for WLAN and wireless mesh are going to be a crucial battleground for wireless vendors, said Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise voice and data at Infonetics Research.
"The economic recovery, the need for ubiquitous connectivity, and emerging applications like smart grid and video surveillance are going to accelerate outdoor wireless infrastructure deployments by enterprises in the coming years," said Machowinski in a statement.
Having both indoor and outdoor wireless infrastructure options will prove fruitful for Aruba, he predicted.
According to Tennefoss, offering more flexibility and network strength for high-stress environments will be the dealmaker for VARs that play in the space.
"When you can deliver real-time video to a vehicle moving at 60 miles per hour, you can have public safety officials monitoring security video as they're driving through an industrial plant or college campus. It's that kind of scenario," he said.