Aruba Launches SaaS Version Of Wireless Management Suite

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Called AirWave OnDemand, it's a subscription-based service that's housed at an Aruba data center and uses a virtual version of the suite for remote management of wireless LANs.

"With so many applications moving to the cloud, we thought, can't we just take what we do with AirWave and offer that as a pay-as-you-go subscription based service?" said Bryan Wargo, general manager of Aruba's AirWave group. "It's a secure tunnel of virtual access to AirWave for customers. We haven't handicapped AirWave at all."

AirWave OnDemand essentially offers the full AirWave Wireless Management Suite as a hosted solution, including general network management and monitoring; status reporting, including PCI compliance assistance reports; location services; network and device diagnostics; wired and wireless rogue detection; wireless intrusion detection; and help-desk support.

Aruba VARs will be able to resell the AirWave OnDemand service itself, Wargo said, but would see more profitable opportunity using it as a platform to add managed services.

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"We have hundreds of partners reselling Aruba, and they can start off on our AirWave OnDemand and use our NOC [network operations center]," Wargo explained. "But then you may have partners building out their own NOC who just want to buy AirWave from us one time and use it in their own customized platform. It works in any number of scenarios. A lot of cloud models these days are discrete islands, you know? We're trying to bring connectivity together but make it as secure as possible."

AirWave OnDemand is the latest in a series of new Aruba products to expand its 802.11n wireless portfolio and offer wider services options, cloud-based and otherwise, for Aruba VARs. Wargo said Aruba would be continuing to push cloud and 11n product announcements over the coming months and that both the midmarket and key vertical markets like education, retail, and state and local government would prove the best bets for solution providers looking to build out their wireless practices.

According to Aruba, AirWave OnDemand will be generally available starting in December 2009, with the first rollout to select customers having begun in mid-October.