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Aruba ESP, Now With Silver Peak, Has Cisco In Its Crosshairs

‘With an industry-leading wired switching, wireless, comprehensive security and now, leading SD-WAN, I believe we have a networking and security offering that can compete hands-down with anyone, including Cisco,’ Aruba tells CRN.

Aruba Networks is updating its one-year-old Aruba Edge Services Platform (ESP) to bake in more edge-to-cloud security integrations, including SD-WAN technology from its recent Silver Peak acquisition.

Aruba’s AI-based ESP is an intelligent architecture that is helping partners and end customers manage their increasingly-complicated wired, wireless, SD-WAN and security infrastructures. New to ESP is an integration of Aruba’s ClearPass Policy Manager secure network access control platform with the Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform -- formerly Silver Peak technology -- the integration of Aruba Threat Defense with the EdgeConnect platform, and the expansion of the Aruba ESP multivendor security partner ecosystem, executives told CRN.

“With an industry-leading wired switching, wireless, comprehensive security and now, leading SD-WAN, I believe we have a networking and security offering that can compete hands-down with anyone, including Cisco,” said Derek Granath, senior director of product and technical marketing for Aruba.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise-owned Aruba closed on its acquisition of Silver Peak in September and since then, the company has been working to integrate SD-WAN more deeply into the Aruba portfolio. The company is now bringing Silver Peak’s technology into Aruba ESP, said Paul Kaspian, senior product marketing manager, security, for Aruba.

“We’ve made a lot of progress in six months bringing Silver Peak into ESP and offering a lot of benefits to customers around WAN transformation and better security,” Kaspian said. “For partners, this gives them an architecture to give their customers a more unified solution -- it really makes things easier for them.”

[Related: Aruba Networks' Keerti Melkote: The Edge Is The 'Exact Opposite' Of The Cloud]

The ClearPass Policy Manager Integration with Aruba‘s EdgeConnect SD-WAN platform brings together Silver Peak‘s SD-WAN technology with Aruba’s zero-trust segmentation capabilities, like separating users and IoT devices, Kaspian said.

“Aruba is really bringing Silver Peak into the fold, and they’re starting from a security perspective, which is fantastic,” said Kelly Schrad, president and CEO of DataVizion, an Aruba Platinum partner.

DataVizion, a Lincoln, Neb.-based solution provider, has been a longtime ClearPass supporter. “Bringing that addition awareness into the edge portfolio and allowing us to onboard devices in remote offices and gain policy management opportunities for remote environments is a really big deal -- it brings the whole picture together,” Schrad said.

The new integration of Aruba Threat Defense with the Silver Peak-powered EdgeConnect platform ties security into SD-WAN, creating a secure access service edge (SASE) story for partners, said Granath, who served as Silver Peak‘s vice president of product and technical marketing until the company was bought.

“We are augmenting what EdgeConnect already had with intrusion detection and prevention capabilities so we can pass those threats we detect on the WAN back up to Aruba Central for analysis,” he said.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Aruba also announced the expansion of the Aruba ESP multivendor security partner ecosystem, which builds on Silver Peak‘s open approach and ability to integrate with other best of breed cloud security vendors, Kaspian said. “This helps customers very easily connect their SD-WAN infrastructure to leading vendors, like Zscaler, Netskope, and Check Point,” he said. Partners can also come in with Aruba and keep their cloud security providers of choice when building solutions for their clients, he added.

Kaspian said that unlike competitors in the networking space, Aruba isn’t telling customers they’ll have to rip out their entire infrastructure. “We’re saying: ‘we can integrate with what you have already and what you are looking to purchase in the future,’” he said.

The updated Aruba ESP will provide professional services opportunities for partners, Granath said. “Being a strong, partner-oriented company has always been the case for Silver Peak, and Aruba as well.”

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