HPE Aruba Unveils New Asset Tracker, Switches at Discover Conference

The company’s Aruba networking arm introduced two products: an new-gen asset-tracker and an enterprise core and aggregation switch designed specifically for mobility, cloud and IoT requirements.

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Hewlett-Packard Enterprise released several news items June 5 on Day 1 of its Discover Conference in Las Vegas—two of which involved software-defined networking.

The company’s Aruba networking arm introduced two new products: an new-gen asset-tracker and an enterprise core and aggregation switch designed specifically for mobility, cloud and IoT requirements.

First, the Aruba Bluetooth-enabled asset-tracking solution, which doesn’t have a product name (it is an amalgamation of Aruba Tags, Aruba Access Points and Meridian Software) and is fully integratable into the Aruba integrated Wi-Fi infrastructure, eliminating the need for a separate network. The tracker addresses any and all problems with the identification and monitoring of all types of enterprise devices, including servers, smartphones, desktop PCs, laptop PCs, specific industry items and others.

Health Care Industry Leads in Lost Devices

Enterprise lose millions of dollars each year on high-value items and inventory that are either misplaced, lost or stolen. These challenges are most prevalent in industries such as health care, where items such as IV pumps and heart defibrillators, are misplaced, resulting in 25 percent of hospital staff’s time wasted looking for these assets and negatively impacting quality of care. In retail and warehousing, items that can’t be located quickly mean wasted time for employees, delayed order fulfillment for customers and often, a loss of revenue for the retailer.

As described by HPE on June 5, the package includes an intuitive-to-use, map-based mobile app and also can integrate into organizations’ existing tracking solutions. The tracker includes the following components:

  • New items in ArubaOS and Aruba APs: This new software allows Aruba BLE-enabled Access Points and Sensors to act as asset tag “observers,” creating a sensory network that provides added value to organizations with existing Aruba wireless infrastructure. In essence, it allows their Wi-Fi infrastructure to double as an asset-tracking network.
  • New Aruba tags:  Cost-effective Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)-enabled tags are slightly larger than a quarter, making them ideal for items that range in size from IV pumps in a healthcare setting to pallets of goods in a warehouse. The tags are designed to meet stringent environmental requirements and come with multiple attachment options.
  • Asset tag configuration app: Aruba’s configuration app makes setup and ongoing management of the tags simple. Assets can be designated with names, photos and optional IDs so that like assets can be searched for easily. Changes can be performed quickly, near the assets, and all data is automatically saved in a central cloud database.
  • New features for the Aruba Meridian AppMaker: Organizations can now create their own asset tracking app for iOS or Android with the Meridian AppMaker. The AppMaker provides a new SDK and APIs for seamless third-party integration and custom use cases.

The asset-tracking feature is available now, HPE said.

New Core Network Switch

Aruba also introduced its 8400 Core Switch at HPE Discover. What differentiates this from other switches is ArubaOS-CX, a new-gen software foundation that is a departure from conventional static, inflexible operating systems. ArubaOS-CX acts as the brains of the switch to automate critical and complex network tasks.

Key benefits of the new operating system for IT include:

  • Automated visibility for early detection: The Aruba Network Analytics Engine allows IT professionals to monitor network, system, application and security-related activities with simple rules-based monitoring and automatic correlation of network activities. This engine comes with a native time-series database combined with event correlation to enable operators to instantly detect problems, analyze trends to gain insight and predict or avoid issues that often lead to scale, security and performance bottlenecks.
  • Faster resolution with network insights: With legacy switches, IT must not only troubleshoot problems after the fact but also remediate problems using traditional tools such as CLI (command line interface) and SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol), which can be time-consuming and expensive to the business. HPE claims that the Aruba 8400 can provide immediate resolution via its programmability and its intelligent policy-based integration with network monitoring, performance and security management tools.
  • Programmability simplified to help IT scale: The Aruba 8400 is fully programmable with a built-in Python interpreter and REST-based APIs for every function. This allows for integration and ongoing flexibility with infrastructure and applications, including the Aruba Mobile First Platform, for end-to-end network monitoring, detection, troubleshooting and closed-loop remediation of network performance or security-related issues.

The 8400’s fully extensible fabric design enables seamless upgrades, so enterprises can scale as their bandwidth needs increase. The Virtual Switching Framework (VSF) with two chassis scales up to 512 10GbE, 128 40Gbe or 96 100 Gigabit Ethernet ports.

In addition to the Aruba 8400 Switch Series and ArubaOS-CX, Aruba introduced the Aruba 2930M Switch Series. This product line is optimized for wireless LAN and IoT integration with unified security, PoE+ power, flexibility of on-premises Aruba AirWave or cloud-based Aruba Central management, and industry-leading performance for campus, branch and SMB networks.

New software features include policy-based dynamic micro segmentation for unified functionality and policy enforcement between wired and wireless, as well as support of the new IEEE 802.3bz standard for multi-gigabit Ethernet, HPE said.

The Aruba 8400 Core Switch and the Aruba 2930M Switch Series are available now, HPE said.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...