Salient Features of Aruba Networks Wireless LAN – Centralized Controller based System:
Centralized Management: Aruba Networks provides central control over all your Access Points and wireless clients across the globe through the Mobility Controller. So, sitting at one central location, you could determine who could access your network, how to authenticate the users, how to group them into various sub-groups and apply various policies to each group, detect and prevent Wireless Intrusion/ Wireless threats, allow all your users to roam across the enterprise, across the globe but still maintain their network Access Levels and policies, enable wireless VOIP phones and what not. Gone are the days of having individual access points and configuring each of them individually.
Network Access/ Authentication: Aruba networks have an inbuilt captive portal and user name/ password database through which you could store all the user names and their passwords. This could be used to authenticate the wireless users, when they are trying to connect. Alternatively, integrate the Aruba Mobility Controller to your existing Active directory/ RADIUS Server/ LDAP and use the same database used for authenticating the wired users. Aruba insists that you use 802.1x for secure wireless authentication.
Network Access Control through the Policy Enforcement Module: Now that you have authenticated the user, organize them into various sub-groups. Apply different policies to each group. Certain users need to be given internet access, certain users need not. Control who can access which network service / device. Also check if all the devices connecting to the wireless network are compliant to your security policies. Do they have the latest Anti-Virus updates, if not isolate them and send them to an external quarantine device and take corrective actions.
Bandwidth Management and Quality of Service: A good network design allows for as much bandwidth as possible but also ensures that the bandwidth is optimally utilized. Designate the maximum level of bandwidth that can be used by each user / user-group / application (eg.internet). This will make sure that a single user transferring a huge file won’t clog your network. Prioritize the network traffic – Make sure that the Audio and Video packets are allowed to reach first, as they are latency and delay sensitive.
Stateful Packet Inspection Firewall: The built-in Stateful packet inspection firewall protects your wireless users from common wireless attacks like IP-Spoofing, impersonation etc. It also scans each packet flowing into the network and makes sure that identity based policies are applied. The Stateful nature of the firewall lets you dynamically apply policies based on parameters like user location or time of the day, which keeps changing.
Adaptive Radio Management and Load Balancing: Now that you have a wireless network with so many access points, ensure that there are no channel interferences especially in dense networks. Aruba automatically selects non-overlapping channels for adjacent access points. Aruba also load-balances the users in a particular high-density zone to neighbouring low-density access points within the range. This ensures optimum performance and speed for everyone. In case a particular Access Point fails, the users are automatically shifted to neighbouring access points to avoid down-time. So, the next time, your users don’t have to wait till the replacement comes about.
Wireless Intrusion Protection: The biggest concern of any company deploying wireless networks is the security. With Aruba’s Wireless Intrusion protection module, make sure that there is no room for any external device or user to connect to your network. Also identify and mitigate the common wireless threats like Rogue Access Points, Denial Of Service attacks, Mac-Spoofing software, Man-in-the middle attacks, Ad-hoc connections and a lot more. All this, without blocking the neighbouring access points (which maybe in your range but the next company’s) and ensuring that your users don’t connect to their access points and their users don’t connect to yours.
Aruba’s Live Heat Map / RF Deployment tool: Make the administration of the wireless network simple and visible. Integrate your organizations floor plan with our Controller and you would be able to visualize the RF power levels across your organization on real-time basis – LIVE. Next time your user complains of connectivity problems, just look at the Live heat map, change the position of the Access Point in the map, if needed, to visualize the changes in the power level in the new position, and then make actual changes in the network, if required.
Location Tracking and Voice Over Wireless LAN: Of all the applications that wireless technology enables, two of them are particularly intriguing. With Aruba Centralized Network, inbuilt Location tracking capabilities and external Wi-Fi Sensors, locate any costly equipment in your premises within a range of 1-3 meters, in the floor plan integrated with the controller. With Aruba’s Seamless handover, enable Voice Over Wireless Clients like VOIP Phones and PDA’s and keep roaming anywhere in your organization with excellent clarity. If VOIP is the present technology, VoWLAN (Voice over wireless LAN) is its extension.
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