Covid-19 has forced businesses Australia-wide to digitally transform – often much faster than they’ve been adequately prepared for. Doing so is already posing numerous challenges to existing network infrastructure, from increasing volume and variety of traffic to rising complexity and security risks across both local and global sites. Enterprise customers need simpler, more agile methods for handling these challenges – without compromising the user experience for increasingly “digital-first” customers and employees.

Aruba Central promises to relieve many of those pain points for enterprise customers. It aims to unify network operations, security, and quality assurance in a single cloud-based platform, covering everything from LAN to SD-WAN and VPN from a single dashboard. Is it the silver bullet your customers need to put a stop to disruption? Let’s find out.

Making network management smart and simple

At the heart of Aruba Central is AIOps, Aruba’s take on AI and machine learning for network management. This marks a major step up from conventional network management platforms: AIOps bases its analysis and optimisation on data from more than 40,000 sites worldwide which generate more than 1.5 billion events per day. Features like automated device profiling can offer huge relief to network managers facing a far greater – and relatively unexpected – volume and variety of devices logging on than ever before.

By tapping into that data and using it to evaluate information from local access points, Aruba Central gives IT managers a way to not only understand every potential issue in real-time. It also helps them anticipate behavioural changes and issues that they may cause. That’s particularly useful for businesses tackling major changes in network traffic – like critical applications being run en masse through VPN, or unexpected traffic needs from new Internet of Things deployments. At the same time, Aruba Central retains event-based and command-line options for troubleshooting – which, though certainly slower than AI-powered resolution, offer a tried and true failsafe for addressing deeper issues that defy automated handling.

Security for the remote world

Aruba Central’s AI capabilities also inform its approach to security. The platform employs a tool called Aruba ClearPass Direct Insights, which profiles devices using AI in much the same way as AIOps does for managing device traffic and bandwidth. Direct Insight doesn’t automate security, but it does give network admins a much faster and clearer picture of who’s accessing the network – and what endpoints may pose a threat. That may prove especially valuable to businesses experiencing surges in BYOD access as employees logon from home, as well as those with diverse device fleets catering to the different needs of users (like office staff versus field personnel, for instance).

Enterprises grappling with securing their remote workforce’s traffic may take particular joy in “Remote Teleworker”. The Aruba Central feature provides secure overlay VPNs between end-users access points or VIA (Virtual Intranet Access) VPNs to SD-WAN gateways, both those in private datacentres or the public cloud. That means businesses can spin up remote working capabilities for up to thousands of employees at speed, minimising the risks of VPNs getting overcrowded or compromised by the sudden influx of users.

Look, boss – no hands!

Many network admins hit major bottlenecks when configuring and policing new infrastructure, putting limits on how quickly they can provision capacity for users who need it as soon as possible. Aruba Central aims to simplify this process by removing the need for manual configuration entirely. The platform comes with a featured known as Zero-Touch Provisioning: centrally-defined configurations for Aruba access points, switches, VPNs, and gateways that spin up as soon as the infrastructure is detected.

At the same time, Aruba Central gives admins a single map of all network indicators, from device usage to RF noise and SD-WAN gateway performance, on a global level. All this makes provisioning and maintenance as hands-free as possible, useful for enterprises scaling up remote working and digitised services at multiple global sites.

Scalable, automated, and secure cloud management is essential for enterprises digitally transforming at speed. With many still struggling to modernise or consolidate their digital infrastructure, there’s no better time to reach out to your customers with solutions like Aruba Central. Test drive the Aruba Central platform or contact the Aruba Team at Dicker Data today.

The Author

Darko Raic

Darko Raic is an Aruba Business Partner Solutions Architect (BPSA) providing technical pre-sales support to Dicker Data resellers for Aruba solutions. With over 15 years’ experience in the industry, Darko offers deep technical expertise in wired and wireless networking solutions. He also shares his knowledge with Dicker Data resellers through regular training and enablement sessions via the Phoenix Pro Club program.