10 IoT Takeaways From HPE's Discover Conference That Partners Need To Know

HPE And Aruba Networks Double Down On IoT

The Internet of Things was front and center at Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Discover 2016 conference today in London, with the company unveiling a slew of new solutions targeting IoT market. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company is taking the giant leap forward in the IoT arena alongside Aruba Networks, which HPE acquired for $3 billion last year. Aruba launched several IoT-focused networking solutions today as part of the conference.

"The economic impact to those [channel] partners who embrace the IoT opportunity I think could be huge," said Jeff Edlund, CTO of Communications & Media Solutions for HPE, in an interview with CRN.

Here are the 10 most significant IoT announcements made at HPE Discover today that channel partners need to know.

HPE's Mobile Virtual Network Enabler

HPE unveiled its new Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE), which the company said would help partners work with large, complex IoT deals that scale across multiple service providers, technologies and regulatory rules in various geographies. The new tool, which solution providers can buy and sell as-a-service, gives large enterprises greater control over Subscriber Identity Module (SIM)-based IoT devices that need cellular connectivity and services.

"If partners attempt to go and have a relationship with each carrier in every geography they operate in, it's a huge mess. We manage the enabler on the back end, provide them with a single rate card, and provide them with a consistent level of service all across the globe," said Edlund.

HPE hopes the MVNE will also enable new, specialized IoT Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) to resell IoT connectivity directly to customers at price points optimized for large scale deployments.

Aruba ClearPass Universal Profiler

Aruba's unveiled its new IoT-focused ClearPass Universal Profiler that automatically identifies and "fingerprints" IoT devices on multi-vendor wired and wireless networks. Information about the device type, operating system, status and location are displayed in a graphical user interface. The solution has capabilities to secure the network and protect customers from threats that emerge from unknown endpoints and IoT devices connecting to the network – allowing partners to offer it as a subscription service.

"I see this being huge because now you no longer have to buy the full suite of ClearPass," said Charles Koehler, the lead Aruba enterprise architect for Denver-based solution provider Optiv. "This really helps in small environments that want to know what's on their network, but don't want to take that full leap."

The ClearPass Universal Profiler will become available in the first quarter of 2017, with pricing beginning at $150.

Enhanced HPE Universal IoT Platform

HPE has updated its HPE Universal IoT platform, which will manage the MVNE devices and provide IoT monitoring, reporting and analytics services with carrier-grade reliability and scale.

HPE enhanced its existing universal platform to increase LoRa support, so it now has greater flexibility as the market evolves with support for LoRa gateways from different vendors. Also, the platform now delivers plug-and-play interoperability for services and devices in multiple verticals, and expanded device management. The platform supports long-range, low-power connectivity deployments such as LoRa and Sigfox, as well as devices that use cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

2540 IoT-Ready Access Switches

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Aruba launched a new Layer 3 switch series: the 2540 IoT-Ready. The switches are optimized for small to medium density IoT enterprise edge deployments with the ability to prioritize business-critical applications and controlling what network resources the devices can access. The 2540 series supports zero-touch provisioning and optional cloud-based management.

The switches are capable of user-based and port-based wired traffic tunneling to the Aruba Mobility Controller so that policies can be applied, advanced services can be extended, and traffic can be encrypted to secure the LAN, which reduces risks to the network.

The 2540 Series switches are now available starting with a price tag of $2,589.

ArubaOS-Switch Enhancements

Aruba has enhanced its ArubaOS-Switch software to coincide with its new 2540 IoT switches. The enhancements to the software, along with the switches, enables unified role-based access across wireless and wired networks with the ability for enterprises to identify and assign roles to connected IoT devices in order to prioritize business-critical applications and secure the network.

HPE: Partners Can Double Business With New IoT, MVNE Solutions

HPE's Edlund told CRN that channel partners have the ability to double the size of their business with the new HPE-Aruba's IoT solutions.

"People can essentially, radically change the revenue models associated with their business," said Edlund, in an interview with CRN. "As I look at this opportunity, just IoT and MVNE alone could double the size of my business -- just with those two opportunities -- in less than three years. The economic impact to those partners who embrace the IoT opportunity I think could be huge."

New Partner Solutions And Use Cases

In addition to the new products announced Wednesday, HPE showed off new use cases of IoT applications – revealing different ways that the company is working with partners to bring IoT solutions to market.

PTC and National Instruments worked together to create a Factory Asset Anomaly Detection and Remediation solution using HPE technology. The Edgeline Systems offering enables early warning of potential failures, allowing maintenance technicians to correct an issue before it becomes a major problem.

Aruba Expands ClearPass Exchange Partner Ecosystem

Aruba also unveiled two new additions to its Aruba ClearPass Exchange partner ecosystem: Attivo Networks and Niara. The ecosystem leverages Aruba's APIs, Syslog messaging and ClearPass Extensions capabilities to offer end-to-end threat remediation and endpoint correction. The ecosystem partners provide user behavior analytics, deception intelligence, firewalls, mobile device management, enterprise mobility management and security identity event management solutions.

Attivo's ThreatMatrix Deception and Response Platform – which deceives attackers into engaging by turning the network into a trap with decoys and deception lures – works with Aruba ClearPass to create policies that automatically disable devices that are experiencing attacks from internal or external threats.

Niara's Behavioral Analytics platform detects security threats on the inside, including compromised users, hosts and devices, as well as negligent employees and malicious insiders. The platform leverages ClearPass to identify and profile users, IoT, and IP-enabled devices to detect attacks based on changes in normal traffic and IT activity, then removes the unauthorized devices or users from the network.

HPE-Aruba Wants The Channel To Go After Larger IoT Deals

With the slew of new and enhanced IoT solutions unveiled at HPE's Discover Conference this week, the company is urging its channel community to chase after larger IoT deals compared to the smaller contracts they're used to, according to HPE's Edlund.

Edlund said solution providers typically provide small IoT solutions to solve little problems for companies and then go on to the next opportunity.

"We can help you scale your business and get at the bigger deals, rather than the little teeny one-offs," he said. "We want to help the channel wash, rinse and repeat, so that they don't continue to proliferate [IoT] fragmentation."

HPE Turning A Laser Focus On Key Areas Of Growth – Including IoT

"HPE overall has been going through a fair amount of transition to focus in on key business opportunities," said Chris Kozup, vice president of marketing for Aruba, in an interview with CRN. "HPE's approach is to focus in on solving customer challenges and removing the barriers for adoption, but also being very clear about the segments in IoT in which we will focus."

Kozup said HPE is investing both at the infrastructure layer, around converged edge systems and its full suite of connectivity options, but then also key points of differentiation around its software platform. He also said the IoT innovation launched today shows the power of the HPE-Aruba combination.

"That's the power of the combination of the acquisition of Aruba by HPE, is we go from the on-premise all the way to WAN and cloud environment and you're going to continue to see real key innovation from us around IoT across all of these domains," said Kozup.