IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Aruba Announces New Internet of Things Profiling Software and Switches

Both offerings are designed to help businesses automatically inventory the growing number of IoT devices on their wired and wireless networks and then limit what those devices, and the people who administer them, can access. By Rich Freeman

Aruba, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based networking subsidiary of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, has introduced a device profiling solution and switch portfolio designed to help business manage and secure Internet of Things solutions more effectively.

The new offerings were unveiled in conjunction with HPE’s Discover partner event in London, England, which concludes tomorrow.

Available in the first quarter of 2017, the new ClearPass Universal Profiler solution automatically builds a comprehensive inventory of IP-enabled devices on any wired or wireless network, and organizes it by device category, product family, and individual model. It then continually updates that inventory as new devices join the network and existing ones exit it.

“The ability to do real-time monitoring is important,” says Trent Fierro, director of software and security solutions marketing for Aruba. “You want to make sure that where you have high turnover, like in higher education and retail, that you understand the type of devices that are on the network and your information is not going stale.”

The new profiling system seeks to help businesses and the channel pros who support them tackle a large and growing challenge: Keeping tabs on the ever-expanding array of web-enabled sensors, cameras, medical equipment, point-of-sale systems, kitchen appliances, and other gadgets utilizing corporate networks.

“I don't think I can name one company that’s walked in here and actually told me that they understand what devices are on their network,” Fierro says.

Once companies have complied a complete list of networked hardware, he continues, they can use an access control product such as Aruba’s ClearPass Policy Manager to create and enforce rules governing what parts of the network specific devices can connect with, as well as what resources the people who administer those devices can access.

That last feature will prove useful to businesses with Internet-enabled HVAC systems, for example, that must be maintained and repaired by outside vendors, notes Fierro, who says that the new universal profiler also has ancillary functions as a planning aid for companies that want an accurate picture of their network capacity requirements and a sales tool for channel pros who offer security solutions.

“They can show customers what their risk level is,” Fierro says, by revealing precisely what devices are on the network, often without their knowledge.

The new system is designed to be easy to install as well, he adds.

“We feel that we can have customers get this up and running in 30 minutes or less,” Fierro states. They can then profile a typical network within an hour.

Targeted at SMBs and available immediately, the 2540 Switch Series that Aruba introduced today is engineered for similar ease of deployment. Like other Aruba switches, the new product line supports the company’s zero touch provisioning technology, which configures local controllers automatically, and can be administered via the Aruba Central cloud-based management system.