Why Aruba Focuses on SD-Branch and SD-WAN

By now, we are certain most of our community knows what SD-WAN is – the ability to use software to determine packet flows over various WAN connections but what is SD-Branch and why is HPE’s Aruba focusing on it?

Jeff Olson, Senior Solutions Marketing Manager says, “The branch is where things happen. Where the interactions occur. It’s all about connecting users and devices to apps and services, wherever they reside – in the data center or the cloud.” He continued, “How do we do that with performance, security and enable IT teams, to handle hundreds or thousands of branches?”

In his experience – he has seen companies with a handful of IT workers responsible for a slew of branches.

He explained distributed enterprise customers need to do remote troubleshooting, provisioning, management and operations, without going on site.”

“That is why we focus on SD-Branch,” he exclaimed.

The company has a full SD-WAN solution as well.

He said, “Our solution augments MPLS. We provide the tools to orchestrate the entire overlay network for them so they can manage with confidence.”

He elaborated on the SD-WAN market saying some vendors come from the WAN optimization space or security.

The problem he believes requires rethinking the branch, giving IT a full solution and allowing management from a single pane of glass.

Without a doubt, complexity is becoming the enemy of efficiency and disparate devices create more complex systems. He mentioned some companies have a WAN optimization solution, router, controller, switch and more at each branch location.

IT knows from experience just patching all these disparate devices is a huge challenge.

One slip up could let a hacker in and bankrupt the company or destroy its reputation.

He said, networks and tools were not designed to deal with a mobile, cloud and IoT world.

“Now its’s too tough to manage,” he exclaimed. “Multiply this by hundreds of locations.”

Aruba allows a company to start with SD-WAN if they like and add switches and access points as needed. They can also work with other vendors. Ultimately, the customer gets unified management, provisioning and actionable insights using AI.

Much of the difference in why customers choose Aruba is the unified LAN and WAN solution.

He pointed out quite accurately in our opinion that this is where the market is going. Pointing to Arista buying Mojo Networks, Juniper buying Mist Systems and Extreme buying Aerohive.

Some of their other differentiators are a mobile app allowing zero-touch provisioning and Aruba Central as the cloud-managed dashboard. Finally, there is dynamic segmentation and secure connectivity. They can do fine role-based access so policies from the WAN can be applied to the LAN.

This means the CEO’s video conference can take precedence over a guest’s YouTube streaming.

Four uplinks can be connected with system-defined rules .

Aruba continues to grow and has even taken over some traditional HPE product lines.

The approach to promoting SD-Branch is smart, as it is a great differentiator for distributed organizations.

Learn about the latest in everything IT needs! UCaaS, the Channel, IT, IOT, Edge, Cybersecurity, AI, SD-WAN, and the Future of Work at the world’s only SD-WAN Expo and MSP Expo, part of the ITEXPO #TechSuperShow, Feb 12-14, 2020 Fort Lauderdale, FL.


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