Dhughes Aruba

Edge to Cloud: Supporting customer choices

During the second keynote of Atmosphere ’21, Silver Peaks’ founder David Hughes who is now Head of WAN Business at Aruba, talked about Silver Peak ‘s heritage technology EdgeConnect SD-WAN, that is now one of the important components of Aruba’s Edge Service Platform or ESP.

He had shared that networking and security are converging. Silver Peak’s EdgeConnect incorporated into Aruba’s ESP, could be seen as an example of that convergence.

In case you wonder how both companies are approaching getting their technologies to work together, it is worth noting David’s initial views.

David had shared, “When I met Keerti a year ago, I was excited to see the alignment with his vision, the idea of simplifying networks, being able to orchestrate everything, being able to bring it together in a top down way, and change decades-old way of doing things (which was device by device).”

What this translates to is how David and Keerti see both their technology portfolios, complementing each other.

When I met Keerti a year ago, I was excited to see the alignment with his vision, the idea of simplifying networks, being able to orchestrate everything, being able to bring it together in a top down way, and change decades-old way of doing things (which was device by device).

Five areas for further innovation

David shared that he saw five areas where both portfolios could innovate further together.

The first is Aruba Central, the cloud-managed networking layer which currently supports over 9,000 customers and manages 1.3 million network devices and over 10 million devices.,

The second area is with with the ClearPass Policy Manager whereby its role-based policy complements Silver Peak’s business intent overlays.

The third area is Aruba’s work so far with SD-branch, and bringing SD-LAN, SD-WAN and Zero Trust security all into one framework.

The fourth area is Aruba’s Unified Threat Management (UTM) system, and tying into the same threat analytics (infrastructure) as the rest of Aruba’s portfolio for full visibility across the network.

The fifth area  is to do with AI and SD-WAN.

Addressing current major trends

 “What we see is not only do companies want to change the way they build networks, from being a data-centric implementation to accommodating the cloud. They have to rethink their strategies especially because of (the uptick in) work from anywhere trends, and accelerated digital transformation (DX),” David observed.

Noting a proliferation of DX technologies like Internet of Things which uses sensors pervasively to collect info and ultimately help automate processes, David noted that this brings a number of security challenges.

But he also acknowledge the innovation that comes Aruba, as well its peers in the industry.  “Along with this (innovation), there comes a tonne of new security buzzwords like cloud-delivered security, SASE (secure access service edge), and ideas like zero trust networking and dynamic trust segmentation.”

Edge to cloud security

According to David, what Aruba offers is a comprehensive approach approach from edge to cloud security.

“Silver Peak and Aruba are rather unique in that we weren’t born in the cloud. And honestly, we weren’t born in a data centre. Both companies were born at the edge of the network. I think that gives us a really unique perspective on how we think about security.

“We think the edge is the pivot point that enables you to make a security transformation, and a WAN transformation at your pace.”

He explained that the edge is important because it is where all the device, IoT, or data traffic from people or things to apps, get intercepted. “We are able to intercept all the stuff that enables digital transformation. We are also able to intercept data at the edge.”

This is significant because then, policy can be applied to steer data towards the data centre, or the cloud, or  to decide which firewall, or built-in threat management system, or third-party cloud service, will inspect the traffic.

We think the edge is the pivot point that enables you to make a security transformation, and a WAN transformation at your pace

“Either way, we can help you decide which is the right approach for segments of your traffic, and we can help you evolve that over time.

“This is the power of the edge. The edge is the point at which you are going to pivot from where you are today, to where you want to get to,” David shared.