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

Keerti Melkote, founder and president of Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, says Cisco simply does not have an answer for Aruba’s AI-based Edge Services Platform.

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What are the fundamental architectural differences between Aruba’s intelligent edge offering versus Cisco Meraki?

So why are we different from Cisco, which is our primary competitor? We call it the Aruba Edge Services Platform [ESP]. It is basically fundamentally cloud-native. We started with the assumption that the customer will want their hardware to be migrated to the cloud and be operable from an on-premises software layer? So how do we solve for that?

Cisco isn‘t there. Cisco started with, ‘If you want to go to cloud, you go buy Meraki. If you want on-premises you buy DNA.’ That’s their story. The hardware, the switches, the access points, the gateways and the routers are completely different portfolios. And they don’t mix. They really don’t bring the two together. If you want cloud, you go buy this thing [Meraki] but if you changed your mind and want to go on-premises or have a specific to go do on-premises you can’t do that with Cisco [with a single platform].

It’s a forklift upgrade basically that says, ‘You have got to rip and replace to get back to on-premises or vice versa.’ If you’re going from on-premises to cloud it‘s a rip and replace. And we can solve that fundamentally impossible proposition for customers. Because nobody can rip and replace overnight, especially these days.

So we wanted to start with the assumption that customers will want flexibility and choice. So how do we build a solution that allows them to do both [on-premises networking and cloud networking] but not necessarily buy two different things. It‘s the same thing, just delivered different ways. That’s what [Aruba ESP is. It’s built to be cloud-native. It’s built to be SaaS-based. But if a customer says, ‘You know what, I can’t do it. I need some part of it on-prem.’ We absolutely will do that without asking you to change your access points, your switches, your gateways and routers. That’s a pretty fundamental architectural difference between the the two companies.

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