Aruba: Making SD-WAN Better with SD-Branch

January 21, 2019

By Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director

Network technologies are evolving to support all business needs, from single-location companies to large multi-nationals and everything in between.  Enterprises have started leveraging SD-WAN as a new opportunity to ensure reliable, secure, and easily manage connectivity between their locations but, more recently, an evolution of SD-WAN has emerged.  SD-Branch solutions take SD-WAN a step further and allow businesses to software-define all network services and resources at the branch level for simpler management, increased cost efficiencies, and better performance and security.  Jeff Olson (News - Alert), Senior Solutions Marketing Manager at Aruba, an HPE company, will be addressing why SD-Branch has emerged as a growing solution at SD-WAN Expo in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  He took some time to explain some of the reasoning behind Aruba’s SD-Branch solution in advance of the conference.

What pains are you taking away for customers?

It’s more challenging than ever to manage a network of distributed branch locations in a dynamic, multi-cloud, multi-site, mobile first world. It’s difficult for IT to keep pace with the:

  • Skyrocketing number of devices connected to the network,
  • Rise of cloud, IaaS and SaaS (News - Alert) business applications and services, and
  • Ever-growing, increasingly sophisticated security threats.

Aruba purpose-built its SD-Branch solution to take away the pain of managing networks in large, distributed stores, hotels, clinics, and offices. These organizations attempt to meet SLAs with inadequate, outdated, complex, hardware-heavy systems across multiple branch locations comprised of technology silos, multiple touchpoints and very manual intensive operation. IT staff often has to go to the branch site to make changes and troubleshoot issues.

Aruba SD-Branch is a single software-defined solution for managing and deploying WLAN, LAN and WAN with consistent policy. SD-Branch provides rich, context-aware insights to power amazing experiences for users, mobile and IoT devices, applications, and even operational technology (OT). Much more than SD-WAN technology in isolation, Aruba’s SD-Branch addresses the entire remote branch experience from the edge to core routing, with strong security and consistent performance.

How is mobile changing your business strategy?

Mobility is in Aruba’s DNA and is key to its success. Aruba’s IT and cybersecurity solutions empower organizations to serve the latest generation of mobile-savvy users who rely on cloud-based business apps for every aspect of their work and personal lives. But, our networking technology doesn’t just power many of the most prominent mobile-first digital workplaces around the world, it powers our own business as well.

We are a mobile-first organization. Our headquarters in Santa Clara, California is a living lab, where we are utilizing smart digital workplace tools in all of our operations and are continually innovating and test-driving new solutions. Our next-gen facility features pervasive Wi-Fi, flexible workspaces, indoor location services that improve efficiencies and enhance the workplace experience, and inventive integrations with an ever-growing ecosystem of building IoT solutions. For example, we have intelligent conference rooms enhanced by cutting-edge collaboration tools, indoor wayfinding and asset tracking capabilities, space utilization analytics, smart furniture systems and a location-enhanced real-time facility management system. All of these allow us to be more efficient and responsive to our customers’ needs.

What implications does AI have for your business and your customers?

By applying machine learning, Aruba is able to solve a broad range of networking and security challenges. Aruba provides its customers with a unique advantage by delivering insights gained from thousands of installations in production today. Combining advanced data science and real-world experience, Aruba’s domain expertise delivers proven AI solutions to optimize IT efficiency as well as user experiences.

Is SD-WAN changing the way you and/or your customers operate?  How?

The Aruba SD-Branch solution goes well beyond traditional SD-WAN, providing customers with a holistic networking solution for branch locations including local wired and wireless LAN access, delivering an optimized user experience, and enabling robust policy management to support secure, ubiquitous mobility of users, devices and IoT across the entire distributed enterprise. 

Ideally suited for distributed enterprises undergoing digital transformation, Aruba SD-Branch delivers optimized branch experiences with simplicity at enterprise scale and integrated, best-in-class security. Retail, hospitality, distributed enterprise and healthcare organizations can manage SD-WAN, WAN, LAN and unified policy for thousands of sites in the cloud.

Key benefits of Aruba SD-Branch include:

  • Simple centralized cloud dashboard with visibility across the across the LAN, WLAN, and WAN;
  • Faster time to market to setup new branch locations, with no need for truck rolls;
  • Dynamic segmentation reduces connectivity costs by intelligently routing traffic across the entire enterprise network; and
  • Role-based network policies to meet or exceed SLAs and deliver an optimized experience to users.

What new opportunities does IoT bring your company?

While IoT can deliver a host of benefits to organizations of all types, the growth in the number of IoT devices connecting to the network introduces new challenges for IT professionals – how to accommodate the increasing volume and density of devices and how to do so efficiently and securely.

For Aruba, IoT presents the opportunity to help customers deploy IoT devices so they are visible, manageable and secure. Because IoT can be managed by a number of different business units within an organization (e.g., IT, facilities and marketing), IT doesn’t always have notice of devices being added to the network. With Aruba solutions, IT teams can ensure the entire infrastructure has the security, visibility and automation needed to support all newly onboarded devices with the performance, visibility, manageability and security they require.

What is your perception of the The Future of Work and how new tech is changing the face of communications?

The Future of Work will be defined by smarter, more personalized work experiences – ones that combines the right technologies with the best workspace designs to improve creativity, collaboration and innovation throughout an organization.    

What is the greatest opportunity facing your industry? 

Aruba believes the Intelligent Edge is the greatest opportunity for innovation. Organizations are developing technology and services to enable an edge-to-cloud architecture of the future, where most of the data generated by connected devices will be processed at the edge. This evolves the network to generate business-impacting context.

What do you hope to achieve at the event?

We hope to further educate the market about the benefits of an SD-Branch approach. For customers to fully appreciate the benefits of distributed networking, Aruba SD-Branch is a full-stack solution for SD-WAN plus SD-LAN to address the needs of the entire remote branch experience from the edge to core routing, and with strong security and consistent performance.

Why should your session be on the list of must-attend sessions at this year’s conference?

Our session, “Software Defining the Branch”, is designed to help attendees cut through the market hype, giving them the real-world information they need to make it easier to deploy SD-WAN using existing SD-LAN and security infrastructure.

Please make an interesting prediction about tech in 2019?

2019 will focus more on the end-user and IT experience than ever before.

Jeff will be part of a panel of experts discussing why SD-WAN ison why SD-Branch should be a priority for any multi-site organization, called “Software Defining the Branch.”  If you’re not yet registered for SD-WAN Expo, part of the ITEXPO SuperShow experience, be sure to it today.

Edited by Erik Linask

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