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Aruba Atmosphere ’21: Networking Priorities in Pandemic Era

The theme for Aruba’s annual conference this year,  Atmosphere ‘21, “Your Journey, Your Edge” seemed apt due to  how much activity endpoints at the edge have been experiencing during pandemic lockdowns, worldwide.

Aruba founder and President, Keerti Melkote, underlined this during his opening keynote when he shared numbers like  the three times growth in usage of telemedicine, and Disney’s streaming service acquiring 93 million subscribers in less than a year.

Keerti said, “These are signs that digital is influencing everything we do in our lives. These ultimately are the conversations we have had with you the past 9 months.”

Priorities in the pandemic era

Highlighting employee experience, customer experience, automation, cybersecurity and total cost of ownership as the top priorities he observed, “The approaches that got us here is not going to get us (forward).”

“As you look at the digital enterprise of the future, one thing that is becoming  very clear, is that enterprises are going to be edge-to-cloud.”

“On the one hand you have the hybrid cloud which is where the applications live, which is going to be not just in your data centre, but in multiple clouds  and delivered in a SaaS model, all at the same time.”

Keerti also pointed out that there is the intelligent edge which is where organisations have their productive activities. “This is the world of users, devices, things, and data flows from these edges which are highly distributed.”

“As you look at the digital enterprise of the future, one thing that is becoming  very clear, is that enterprises are going to be edge-to-cloud.”

Automation

He pointed out automation being crucial for technologies to be deployed to all these edge locations in a cost-effective manner. ‘Cloud is going to be a very important part of the techniques to enable automation at the edge.”

He shared that to take advantage of the future digital enterprise, Aruba had launched the Aruba Edge Services Platform (ESP) last year.

What is Aruba ESP?

Aruba’s ESP solution has advanced leaps and bounds since it first launched last year.

During Atmosphere  ‘21, new notable enhancements included integration with ClearPass Policy Manager and the Aruba EdgeConnect SD-WAN edge platform.  The latter is significant because of the technology from Silver Peak, which was recently acquired for its feature-rich SD-WAN innovations.

When acquired last year, its founder David Hughes had commented that the combination of Silver Peak technology with Aruba’s SD-Branch and Remote Access solutions provides an unprecedented opportunity to deliver a comprehensive business-driven solution that will enable customers to drive transformation from the network edge.

This together with the ClearPass Policy manager enables application intelligence by adding knowledge of users, IoT devices, roles and the security posture of the wide-area-network (WAN) edge.

The magic of automation is enabled as well because of the combination of role and security posture with advanced dynamic segmentation capabilities. Working together, these two solutions provide a consistent and automated definition of roles that can be enforced network-wide from the user’s device, through the local area network (LAN), and across the WAN.

The magic of automation is enabled as well because of the combination of role and security posture with advanced dynamic segmentation capabilities.

Ramp up

Keerti is bullish.

Since the timely launch of Aruba ESP last year, he observed customers embracing  it and the business actually gaining momentum.

But, the real indicator that ESP is being adopted in a big way, was  when the United State’s Pentagon actually deployed the platform.

After the initial dip, business actually came back roaring “… and the last nine months have been a dramatic acceleration of the adoption of ESP as a platform,” Keerti said.

He talked about how business had shown consecutive growth quarter-over-quarter, even entering the double-digit growth territory which he described as fantastic for a business of Aruba’s scale.

But, the real indicator that ESP is being adopted in a big way, was  when the United State’s Pentagon actually deployed the platform.

“The Pentagon has always been using Aruba Wi-Fi for their wireless needs, but they also now have switched over to using Aruba CX for their switching architecture. The entire building effectively is delivered as an Aruba ESP edge.” Keerti concluded.