Network security

Aruba Central gets an infusion of AI to bridge network and security insights

Networking News

Gina Narcisi

HPE-owned networking specialist Aruba Central’s flagship platform enhanced with four new AI capabilities that leverage the vendor’s massive data lake to deliver more actionable network and security insights to partners and administrators computers.





Aruba Networks’ flagship Aruba Central network management platform will now include a handful of new AI features aimed at bringing network and security information together in one place for partners and IT administrators.

The HPE-owned networking specialist on Tuesday unveiled four new AI features injected into Aruba Central, including Client Insights, Firmware Recommender, AI search in Spanish, and Automated Infrastructure Predictions.

The idea is to give IT administrators visibility and control from a single tool, Aruba executives told CRN.

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Businesses need all the AI ​​and automation they can get and the lack of understanding of disparate IT issues and environments is a challenge, especially as many businesses struggle with remote users and a lack of qualified IT candidates, said Trent Fierro, senior marketing director, cloud and AIOps. commercialization of solutions for Aruba.

More than 120,000 different clients send information into Aruba’s data lake, which consists of data from switches, access points, gateways, and more than 200 million different device types, such as laptops, cameras or sensors. It also consists of data specific to over 30 different verticals. Fierro said Aruba believes it has the largest consolidated data lake, which gives the company a unique advantage in delivering network, security and application insights at a level that no other network provider can. can offer.

“Because of all the data we’ve collected and the fact that it’s so broad across verticals, we believe it gives us unlimited opportunities to deliver reliable automation,” Fierro said. “[And] we can fundamentally adjust our models and look at emerging use cases, not just use cases that people are familiar with today. »

“What’s really exciting is that Aruba brings it all together,” said Ben Sterley, director of data services for Aruba partner Laketec Communications, Inc.

The “core” value that Aruba delivers with its Edge Services Platform (ESP) and Aruba Central, ESP’s delivery platform, is the combination of switching, wireless, SD-WAN, and of user experience monitoring into a single platform, Sterley said. “It’s valuable because now when they start running all these algorithms, they have a lot more information to work with and a lot more visibility. To glean ideas, you need information.

AI injection

Client Insights, an Aruba ClearPass feature for access management, has been added to Aruba Central. The feature can identify and profile endpoints connecting to the network with up to 99% accuracy, even those without IT approval. This feature can help IT limit unknown devices, Aruba said.

“It allows us to expand our story from network insights, to allow us to start talking about zero-trust security built right into AIOps,” said Fierro from Aruba.

The new AI-powered firmware recommendation feature gives IT the answer as to which firmware version to run for wireless APs in their environments. This feature can reduce support calls and guesswork and help implement new features and fixes faster.

AI Search, which has been part of Aruba Central for a few years, is now available in Spanish, Aruba’s second largest geographic user community. “It helps partners and our customers identify issues faster, and it also helps in this training process, because I don’t have to translate from English to Spanish. Everything is done for me, automatically,” Fierro said.

Automated Infrastructure Predictions uses Aruba’s AI Assist feature and Aruba Support Outreach to identify potential hardware and software infrastructure issues for preventative engagement which may consist of firmware upgrades or recommended hardware replacement. It sends logs to Aruba technicians, who can also use the information to identify patterns and make recommendations for resolving issues.

Laketec, based in North Olmsted, Ohio, works with both large corporations, institutions of higher learning, and state and local governments, as well as very small clients. The MSP needs these new features to better serve all of its customers. It’s also beneficial for Laketec customers to have access to these new features through their existing license and without making additional investments, Sterley said.

Client Insights built into Aruba Central is a “fantastic” addition, he said. “I really think it’s powerful, what they’ve done is crowdsource some information as well and then share it between organizations.”

Firmware Recommender and Infrastructure Predictions are reminiscent of HPE’s InfoSight tool for storage, Sterley said. “We’ve actually seen the value of these features through these apps in the past,” he said.

From a partner perspective, the new features will better equip their customers for long-term hybrid work and new IoT use cases, like pop-up retail, said Larry Lunetta, vice president of marketing. WLAN and security solutions from Aruba.

“[There are] the big management and security challenges with the IoT – these things happen on the network outside of the jurisdiction of the IT team’s security team. So by finding and identifying them automatically, that’s the on-ramp to Zero Trust and SASE frameworks where you can assign access privileges, and that traffic only goes where you want it to,” a- he declared. “That’s why AI applied to security is so important and it’s really unique. It is an opportunity for visibility, but above all, a security check as well.

Aruba Client Insights is available now. AI Search in Spanish, Firmware Recommender and Infrastructure Predictions are available for early access and will be generally available in October 2022. Each of the latest features are included under the Aruba Central Foundation license, the company said.


    More about Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi is editor-in-chief covering networking and telecommunications markets for CRN.com. Prior to joining CRN, she covered networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be contacted at [email protected]



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