Aruba Grids Up

Wireless LAN switch startup Aruba Wireless Networks is cranking out a major update to its enterprise offerings with a new access point and software intended to facilitate denser deployments of 802.11 technology.

Aruba is trying to move away from the model for most current corporate wireless deployments, which are based on an access point -- frequently installed in the ceiling -- serving 10 or more mobile users in an office. The cost of installing the wires and access point in the ceiling can quickly add up: According to Aruba, one such "drop" can run as much as $3,000 in New York City.

Instead, the firm is pushing the concept of a "grid" deployment, using smaller, less obtrusive APs -- controlled via new software on its switch -- that will offer more bandwidth for two or three users and help to enable new services using the improved location tracking offered by dense deployments of APs.

To further its aim, the firm is bringing out a new AP shaped like a small computer speaker that can be bolted to the wall and plugged into the existing Ethernet wiring at a cubicle. The firm is working with a new partner, Ortronics Inc., to shrink its AP technology even further and hopes to show the first "WiFi wall jack" later this year. New grid software due in September will control the APs, automatically cranking radio signals up and down or changing channels, to ensure that the nodes don't step on each other's toe in the much more tightly packed radio enviroment the firm envisages for such new deployments. The firm has also revamped its pricing model for the new AP (more details on this later today).

Unstrung wondered if this move to denser deployments loses sight of the major cost benefit of wireless LAN: the ability to connect multiple users without the expense of installing lots of Ethernet cabling.

Aruba's VP of product marketing, Keerti Melkote, says that having the ability to install the AP on -- or in -- the wall will allow firms to take advantage of existing cabling that couldn't be utilized by standard APs fixed in the ceiling.

There will still be "cost savings," he argues, because each AP will support a few users, where each wired user requires a dedicated connection and can't move around the office.

Craig Mathias, principal at analyst and consultancy firm the Farpoint Group agrees that users will be able to take advantage of existing wiring with this approach to WLAN networking.

"We've been talking about denser deployment methods for some time now," says Mathias.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

wlanrunner 12/5/2012 | 1:19:27 AM
re: Aruba Grids Up Is this approach from Aruba because their APs don't have as good of coverage as other vendors?
farpoint 12/5/2012 | 1:19:21 AM
re: Aruba Grids Up I've not done an objective study of AP range in a while now, but I think the answer to your question is "no". The idea is to boost capacity and simplify installation. More coverage per AP is no longer a good thing, especially as AP prices fall and installation labor costs continue to rise.
lrmobile_xoip 12/5/2012 | 1:19:20 AM
re: Aruba Grids Up It looks like they want to make deployment easier by allowing APs to inserted anywhere and managed through the switch - this is a bad strategy. I hope this is not the case.

Smart software to adjust for vagaries in the ambient conditions is not a solution - we are looking at smart controllers like ones used in process control.


lrmobile_carguy 12/5/2012 | 1:19:03 AM
re: Aruba Grids Up Perhaps putting Antennas under the desk is not the best approach?

Can you spell P-R-O-P-A-G-A-T-I-O-N?

Also, if you need to put an antenna in every office/cube or evey few that means you need lots and lots of APs and Aruba switch ports. Don't sound much cheaper to me! Sounds good for the vendor though. Can't fault aruba from shifting dollars from the union/installers/resellers to themselves

If you are b/g, what about co-channel interference?

Car Guy in Michigan

oazzabi 12/5/2012 | 1:18:05 AM
re: Aruba Grids Up I wonder how much would be the cost of a BWA solution for residential and business users, serving a customer base of 1000 users to start off with.

It is for the African market and it can be anything like Navini, Aperto, NextNet, Redline, Proxim, Alvarion, SRTelecom, Flarion...

Is there any proposal sample available that I can have a look at?

Thanks in advance
Ganges 12/5/2012 | 1:18:04 AM
re: Aruba Grids Up Hi oazzabi,

I'm Ganges Morekonda, Director of Product Management&Software Development from BroVis Wireless Networks (Previously called AirManage Networks). We are a BWA product manufacturer and solution developers for residential and enterprise business users. Please check our web-site www.brovis.com for detail information about us and other technical information.

We have our R&D, prodcut manufacturing and Marketing office in India. We are concentrating in Indian sub-continent and other nearby countries to market and provide our solution.
We have already done couple of deployment in India in residential campuses and University campuses of about 1-4 KM radius. Our product and solutions is very cost-effective, scalable, easy installation and management.

Please, let us know more about your company and solution you are looking for will help us to provide you the right information. At the same time i will forward this to our Marketing Manager to send you a sample proposal for your review and understanding.

Ganges Morekonda
Director of Product Mgmt & Software Dev
BroVis Wireless Networks
email: [email protected]
Ph: +91-44-5217 7768 (work)
+91-98403 06205 (mobile)

Sign In