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Aruba Releases Virtual Branch Network Solution

Aruba Networks Inc. (ARUN) has unveiled its new Virtual Branch Network (VBN) solution. The VBN transparently and securely connects remote users with enterprise applications and resources, to ease the management of branch offices, clinics, home offices, and teleworkers. The VBN solution includes new software for data center-based Aruba Controllers, as well as three new families of wired and wireless Remote Access Points (RAPs) and Branch Office Controllers (BOCs).

Aruba’s VBN solution virtualizes complex tasks at data center controllers and pushes them to inexpensive RAPs and BOCs for execution. A centrally controlled, policy enforcement firewall in the data center controller governs user access to the network and its resources by pushing policies to dissolvable firewall agents in every RAP and BOC. These agents automatically enforce the policies for every user and service.

Introduced as part of the VBN solution are three new families of remote devices. All of the devices offer policy-based local and remote packet forwarding, and Adaptive Radio Management (ARM) technology for optimized Wi-Fi operation. A diagnostics feature displays status on a simple user interface, and provides one-button debugging and one-button reset to factory defaults. Other key features of the new product families include:

  • RAP-2 Family: No larger than a deck of playing cards and designed for use by one to five users, the RAP-2 is ideal for teleworkers, micro-branches, and SOHO applications. An 802.11b/g Wi-Fi radio and two Ethernet ports for use with wired devices, such as VoIP phones, are provided. Price starts at $99.
  • RAP-5 Family: The book-sized RAP-5 includes five high-speed Ethernet ports, a USB port for a broadband 3G cellular modem, hardware accelerated encryption, and, optionally, an 802.11n Wi-Fi radio with integrated antennas. The RAP-5 is designed for micro-branches and is priced starting at $395.
  • 600 Branch Office Controller Family: Designed to be a “branch-in-a- box” for offices with up to 256 users, the 600 family offers a broad range of WAN connectivity, network-attached storage, gigabit Ethernet, power-over-Ethernet (PoE), Express Card, and USB options. An integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi radio option rounds out the package. Pricing starts at $1,495.

A single Aruba 6000 Multi-Service Controller equipped with VBN software will support up to 8,000 RAP or 600 series devices, and up to 32,000 users.


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