Wireless Field Day 3 - Aruba Networks

Wireless Field Day 3 - Aruba Networks

By CWNP On 09/14/2012 - 18 Comments

Aruba Networks (Aruba for short) provides enterprise-grade Wi-Fi equipment supporting high density deployments indoors and outdoors. The demonstrated multicast-to-unicast conversion for streaming video as well as multi-client throughput tests including iPads, iPhones and laptops.

The video streaming demonstration resulted in an aggregate data rate to 40 clients at 200 Mbps on average. This seemed to work very well with very little in the way of artifacts or video delay with 40 clients on one radio. The recommendation was that 36-37 clients could perform this test with no problems at all. This is a significant demonstration for a single radio deployment.
Next we explored the capabilities of the system to handle BYOD through the use of three devices for each of 20 users connected to a single multi-radio AP. Some devices were band-steered to 5 GHz and others worked on the 2.4 GHz radio. The result of the test was that a single AP could easily handle typical traffic with the selected 60 devices easily.
The final discussion in the first half of the Aruba presentation was on the topic of stadium deployments. During this presentation, Chuck Lukaszewski reminded everyone that the best literature to pull out when you have a question about 802.11 operations is the CWNP literature. In discussions with Chuck after the presentation, it was clear that he had appreciation for the CWNP certifications and we are, of course, thankful for his support.
However, beyond the above shameless plug (on my behalf, not Chuck's), he provided extremely valuable information and insights related to stadium deployments. Covering issues ranging from pico-cells (802.11-based) to antenna orientation, his information was very useful. Additionally, he referenced the High Density Wireless Networks for Auditoriums validated reference design (VRD) document available here. The Arube VRDs are among the best documents in the industry when it comes to deployment and design planning.
After these lab demonstrations and discussions, we moved to another conference room to discuss the ClearPass Policy manager. A big feature they are focusing on is mobile device management (MDM) integration. For example, a policy can be used to require a passcode for the device. If you turn off the passcode, as soon as you exit the passcode settings box, you are informed that you shouldn't have done that and you are forced to recreate it.
The next discussion was about AirGroup. AirGroup is used to make mDNS work across VLANs by adding an mDNS proxy to the Aruba controllers. It also provides context to the user on which devices the should connect to based on proximity. This is accomplished through user registration. AirGroup is implemented through the use of Aruba APs, controllers and RBAC features in the controllers.  ClearPass is required for the client registration and context (proximity) awareness. For more information, see this white paper.
Next we heard and saw an update on the Aruba spectrum features. The APs support ARM for better management of the RF, but spectrum analysis is a key part of the system. Dedicated monitors are built-into most of the 11n devices. The RAP3, a home or remote office AP, will include it in the near future.
Frames Are Food, Tom Tagged with: aruba networks, tom carpenter, WFD3, wireless field day

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