Aruba Boosts Partners' Managed Services Play With Cloud Wi-Fi Platform

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Aruba's Hooks said her company plans to add new partner-specific features to Aruba Central over the coming months, including a "master dashboard" that lets solution providers see all their customer accounts in a single view, along with a tool that lets partners "reskin" the platform to include their own logo or brand.

"We have lots and lots partner interest," Hooks said.

The new Aruba Central platform is meant to be used alongside Aruba's Instant line of wireless access points. Hooks said Aruba's flagship network management platform AirWave will continue to be supported and can also be used to manage Instant access points. But Aruba Central, she said, gives customers and partners a cloud-based alternative to that product.

"We could have put AirWave in a virtual machine in the cloud. But, we're not," Hooks said. "This is starting from scratch with a cloud-based application."

Aruba Central will go head-to-head with similar offerings from Aruba rivals including Aerohive, Adtran and Cisco. Cisco in August launched a managed services dashboard for its Meraki cloud-based Wi-Fi solution, letting partners deploy and manage end users' wireless infrastructures through a services-based model.

Aruba Tuesday also grew its family of Instant access points with the new Instant 155, a three-antenna desktop access point that can reach speeds up to 450 Mbps, and the new Instant 220 Series, which supports the latest 802.11ac wireless standard.

PUBLISHED Oct. 1, 2013

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