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HPE Aruba: A Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Wired & Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure

Gartner recognizes HPE (Aruba), a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company as a leader in their 2017 Wired and Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure Magic Quadrant Report (Fig. 1). This report shows how HPE break down barriers to transform the employee experience and foster improved efficiency, innovation, and growth.

Companies are anchored by years or even decades of technology investments and the existing processes that govern and support them today. Enterprise LAN vendors providing access layer connectivity must respond to changing demands. Infrastructure and operations leaders should evaluate vendors based on their ability to provide an intelligent access layer capable of network automation that addresses all of the business requirements.

Aruba Magic Quadrant.jpg

What does it mean to be a leader in the market?

According to Gartner, a market leader shapes the market, has a portfolio with no gaps, provides complete and differentiating access layer applications and global service/support, as well as demonstrates the ability to maintain strong relationships with channels and customers.

 

Strategic Planning Assumption

By 2022, more than 60% of IT organizations will use access layer network automation, up from less than 5% today.

 

Market Definition

Gartner focuses on the vendor's ability to anticipate and integrate transformational technologies or approaches delivering future needs of end users. Gartner defines the wired and wireless LAN access infrastructure market as a market that consists of vendors supplying wired and wireless networking hardware and software that enables devices to connect to the enterprise wired LAN or Wi-Fi network. These devices may include laptops; smartphones, tablets and other mobile smart devices; networked office equipment; sensors and other Internet of Things (IoT) endpoints; and other fixed or mobile endpoints communicating to a wired switch port or a wireless access point at the edge of the enterprise infrastructure.

 

The HPE Aruba Advantage

HPE Aruba is the second-largest vendor in the wired/wireless LAN access layer worldwide market. The company has a wide portfolio that includes WLAN controllers, a controller-less architecture through the Aruba Instant access points, and a cloud-managed offering with Aruba Central. Recent additions to Aruba Central include guest access management that leverages some functionality derived from ClearPass, the addition of Clarity (a feature that enables real-time testing of the quality of network connectivity services) and the ability to manage Aruba switches.

Aruba Meridian, a cloud-only solution, provides end-to-end location-based services with remote beacon management tools, offering analytics, wayfinding, and asset tracking capabilities. Aruba expands its security portfolio beyond ClearPass to include user and entity behavioral analytics (UEBA) with the acquisition of Niara (rebranded as IntroSpect). The combination of the AirWave management solution and Aruba's AppRF technology performs deep packet inspection for application visibility and control and enables organizations to monitor latency of voice and video sessions, both over wireless and wired. Read the full report here!

 

STRENGTHS                                                                                                                                     

  • Gartner clients report a high degree of satisfaction with Aruba's ClearPass, which provides guest access, device profiling, posture assessment and onboarding.
  • Aruba's management and service applications (ClearPass, IMC, Meridian, and AirWave) support non-HPE devices such as Cisco, ALE, and others, which simplifies orchestration within multivendor environments.
  • The acquisition of Niara and Rasa Networks strengthen Aruba network traffic and security monitoring capabilities.

 

CAUTIONS                                                                                                                                                                         

  • HPE FlexNetwork legacy switches do not offer the same level of functionality from AirWave and ClearPass compared with Aruba switches, which increases the likelihood of a suboptimal deployment.
  • Aruba Central, Aruba's cloud offering, currently lacks the same functionality as its on-premises ClearPass and AirWave offerings, limiting its capabilities.
  • Aruba has made changes to HPE's broadly available lifetime warranty for campus switches, which may be confusing and increase the total cost of the Aruba solution.

 

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AudreyCox