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Aruba Wins Microsoft Deal

Enterprise wireless LAN startup Aruba Wireless Networks has won the hotly contested contract to supply Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) with 802.11 gear for its 277 buildings worldwide.

Microsoft will use Aruba software and controllers to manage 5,000 of its slimline access points. The deployment will cover more than 17 million square feet and replace Microsoft's original deployment of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) Aironet standalone APs. A spokesman for Cisco told Unstrung that he couldn't comment on the deal.

Aruba started working with Microsoft on wireless LAN last June with a security overlay for its WiFi network (see Microsoft Sniffs Out Aruba ). Keerti Melkote, VP of product management for Aruba, says that security remains a key factor in Redmond chosing his firm, along with the scaleability of the Aruba system.

Melkote also suggests that the deal could mean more work between the companies in other areas. "You'll see better integration with Microsoft," he says, particularly around security, RF issues, and wireless LAN roaming capabilities in Microsoft's Longhorn client software.

There has been much rumor and speculation about who would win the Microsoft contract over the last year. Some have even suggested that Cisco may have decided to buy Airespace because it was the front runner for the contract (see Cisco Buys Airespace). The Cisco spokesman says that there were "much broader reasons" for the Airespace acquisition but wouldn't comment directly.

"There have certainly been rumors," admits Melkote. "But this is a deal that we've been fighting to get for almost a year now."

Neither Aruba or Microsoft has revealed the monetary value of the deal.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

freetoair 12/5/2012 | 3:11:10 AM
re: Aruba Wins Microsoft Deal suppose it depends on your perspective, but the deal size is not announced as obviously the monetary number is not that great. 5k access points and surely a large number of controllers is significant quanity but commoditized, low cost, low margin gear.
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