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Aruba To Raise Stakes In Edge Battle With Cisco, Palo Alto Networks By Integrating ClearPass Into Silver Peak

“It’s about securing everything at the edge,” said Aruba founder and President Keerti Melkote. “And that’s what we do. That’s fundamentally different from (Cisco) Viptela, from Palo Alto from anybody else in the marketplace.”

Aruba is upping the ante in the secure intelligent edge battle with the likes of Cisco and Palo Alto Networks by integrating its Silver Peak SD-WAN offering tightly with its AI based ClearPass security platform, said Aruba founder and President Keerti Melkote.

Aruba’s first priority now that it has closed its $925 million acquisition of SD-WAN superstar Silver Peak is to tightly integrate it with Aruba ClearPass with a target delivery date of “within the next six months,” said Melkote.

“The first point of integration will be ClearPass because customers are saying, ‘I need a way to secure the edge, and with ClearPass and Silver Peak they will have a solution that is better than any firewall can give you,” he said. “Because you can secure your IoT, your users, your devices, and your network. It‘s not just about network security, which is what firewalls do. It’s about securing everything at the edge. And that’s what we do. That’s fundamentally different from (Cisco) Viptela, from Palo Alto from anybody else in the marketplace.”

[RELATED: Aruba Vs. Cisco Intelligent Edge Face-Off, Why Aruba ESP Is Smarter: Keerti Melkote]

Palo Alto Networks refused to comment.

CRN reached out to Cisco but had not heard back at press time.

Aruba, in fact, has received high praise from partners for its AI based ClearPass Device Insight, which uses machine learning to automatically discover and fingerprint all connected devices and IoT endpoints across any wired and Wi-Fi network, regardless of vendor.

Cloud-hosted ClearPass Device Insight gives customers a single vantage point of all endpoints connected to their network, including standard devices such as workstations or iPhones, and even more emerging internet of things devices, such as medical devices or barcode scanners.

The second priority integration point with Silver Peak will be with Aruba Central-the Aruba network management platform -with a delivery timetable of one year, said Melkote.

Key to that Aruba-Central – Silver Peak integration is a sharp focus on keeping it “simple” and making it “easy for customers” to embrace and manage the SD-WAN offering, said Melkote. He said Aruba is being careful to avoid “some sort of Frankenstein” integration that would hinder the simple unified Aruba cloud and customer first model.

“The goal is to keep it simple,” said Melkote. “It works. What customers tell me about Silver Peak versus a Viptela or anybody else is “It just works’… Silver Peak just works! We‘re going to keep it that way. And we will have the integration points between Aruba with ClearPass on one side for security and Aruba Central on the other side for the AI Ops.”

Patrick Shelley, senior solutions architect for PKA, one of HPE’s original Platinum partners, said he is “excited” to see the ClearPass integration with Silver Peak.

“We have been waiting to see where things are going with that,” he said. “Our customers are already asking about what Silver Peak will look like once it is integrated into the Aruba portfolio.”

ClearPass is providing edge security innovation that is unmatched by competitors, said Shelley. “Customers love ClearPass,” he said. “It automates everything. It takes a lot of the operational overhead away from what network adminstrators do on a daily basis. It provides the ability to secure BYOD (bring your own device to work) devices and know what devices are on your network. There is just no other software that can do that. It’s definetely a one of a kind product and there are a lot of verticals where it makes sense.”

PKA, for its part, is seeing strong success with its PKA SolveIT Aruba managed services suite for customers including providing off campus secure connections or work at home solutions in the midst of the pandemic.

Erik Krucker, CTO at Comport Consulting, an HPE Platinum partner, No. 333 on the CRN SP500, said he sees the Silver Peak acquisition and integration as another “huge” step forward for Aruba.

“I like what they have done with the Silver Peak acquisition,” he said. “Aruba has made it easy for customers to manage all these different buildings and implementations from the cloud to on premise. I really like the direction that Aruba is moving to help piece all the different clouds together from a network and security perspective, all managed from a central point. A lot of the computing is being pushed out to the edge so you need more security at the edge. Silver Peak is going to be a huge part of that.”

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