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Aruba Wireless OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Aruba Wireless is #1 ranked solution in top Wireless LAN tools. PeerSpot users give Aruba Wireless an average rating of 8 out of 10. Aruba Wireless is most commonly compared to Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN: Aruba Wireless vs Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN. Aruba Wireless is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 54% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 28% of all views.
Aruba Wireless Buyer's Guide

Download the Aruba Wireless Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: June 2022

What is Aruba Wireless?

Aruba Wireless is a secure, high-performance, multi-user wireless LAN supporting Wi-Fi 6. As workplaces and user expectations change, users can now maintain hybrid workplaces and IoT without compromising performance, reliability, or security. Aruba Wireless delivers better performance and capacity and greater AIOps visibility throughout all devices and users. In addition, through built-in network intelligence, network operations are made simpler while keeping everything secure through user and guest encryption.

Aruba Wireless, offered through Aruba Networks, is helping achieve digital transformation and IoT with seamless connectivity through multiple Wi-Fi access points. For the user’s convenience, Aruba Wireless provides indoor, outdoor, and remote access points to help boost faster and safer connectivity.

Choosing Aruba Wireless can help improve your organization’s user experience with wireless LAN in many ways, including:

  • Transforming hybrid workplaces: Employees can move seamlessly between home and office, with reliable internet and without compromising security.

  • Connect and protect IoT: With built-in AP support for BLE, Zigbee, and USB-port extensions, users can extend visibility, control, and connectivity to IoT devices and applications.

  • Expand the 5G experience to the enterprise network: Empower users to experience 5G with Wi-Fi 6 by automatically enabling cellular devices to join Aruba Wireless LAN securely and reliably.

Aruba Gateways and Controllers

Small organizations as well as large enterprises require excellent performance and security for cloud, mobility, and digital transformation. Therefore, in addition to the access points, Aruba Wireless also offers a variety of gateways and controllers, including:

  • 9000 Series: With SD-WAN capabilities, it’s excellent for small campus networks looking for enhanced Wi-Fi scalability and security.

  • 7200 Series: Perfect for campus WLAN scalability or branch SD-WAN and VPN Concentrator capabilities, the 7200 Series optimizes Wi-Fi performance to guarantee smooth roaming.

  • 7000 Series: Acting as a controller or gateway to provide WAN intelligence, the 7000 Series is a policy-based router and an excellent solution for small to mid-sized campuses.

  • Mobility Controller Virtual Appliance: Maximizes Wi-Fi and network services in an economical, virtualized environment.

  • SD-WAN Virtual Gateways: Orchestrate virtual gateways in public cloud infrastructure, like Amazon Web Services (AWS).

  • Mobility Conductor Hardware Appliance: While enhancing the scalability and reliability for large campus WLANs, Aruba Mobility Conductors bring the full capability of ArubaOS.

  • Mobility Conductor Virtual Appliance: To scale large campus deployments, Aruba Mobility Conductors simplify the deployment and management of up to 1,000 Mobility Controllers.

  • ArubaOS Network Operating System: Great for remote workers in mid-sized and large companies who need seamless connectivity to and security over Wi-Fi.

Reviews from Real Users

Aruba Networks is aiding organizations in transforming to a hybrid work environment with Aruba Wireless. Users especially love its ability to work with many devices and its ability to group and manage access points.

A senior IT solutions architect at a manufacturing company says, "The most valuable feature is the fact that it can work with many devices. It supports everything that we need it to."

Gary F., a network administrator at wireless at Abilene Christian, notes, "I like the way it groups and manages access points."

Aruba Wireless was previously known as Aruba WLAN, HP WLAN, HP Wireless, Aruba Instant On AP Series Access Point.

Aruba Wireless Customers

Consulate Health Care, Los Angeles Unified School District, Science Applications International Corp (SAIC), San Diego State University, KFC, ACTS Retirement-Life Communities

Aruba Wireless Video

Aruba Wireless Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Aruba Wireless pricing:
  • "Aruba is probably cheaper than Cisco, and yet you get all the things that you want."
  • "Get multiple bids/quotes, and talk to the representatives about the limitations of the product; pretty standard."
  • "The price of Aruba Wireless is fairly reasonable. It was within our budget."
  • "Aruba Wireless is very attractive cost-wise."
  • Aruba Wireless Reviews

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    Network and Security Consultant at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Consultant
    Top 20
    Overall a good product that provides role-based authentication native to the controller, but has code stability issues
    Pros and Cons
    • "Aruba is an industry leader. The hardware is on par, and its performance is also on par with anybody else. The Aruba brand really only focuses on wireless, so they're not competing their R&D for switching data center products and cloud security. They're really focused on that and their underlying key pieces. They provide a role-based authentication that is native to the controller. A lot of other systems don't do that. They won't provide you the ability to basically have everybody join the network, regardless of whether or not they share the same network space, the SSID, or the wireless LAN. You can segment it down to a specific user role based on any kind of attributes that you like. That's their differentiator. If you need per user, per device, or per port segmentation, you can get that with Aruba. There isn't another vendor who does it."
    • "Currently, the stability of the code is the basic underlying problem for us. They had an 8.6 release that came out two weeks ago, but we had to migrate twice because the code wasn't stable. We can't get things to work the same way. Version 8 was a big change for them. They made a change so that it is forced to be a managed hierarchical system. It means that you make changes at the top, and it pushes them downstream. There are a lot of problems with the 8.6 version code. I ran into four bugs in one week and was informed that we should just move onto the next one because all of those fixes have taken place. The feedback loop for fixes is not always really relayed back to you. I don't have a lot of strong things to say about version 8.6. When we had version 6, the controller was pretty much rock solid. We had no problems. We made a heavy investment to migrate a lot of stuff to take advantage of things like WPA3, Wi-Fi 6, and all that kind of stuff, and we haven't been able to turn those features on because we are not confident that they are going to work just yet. So, right now, we're still very much stumbling through the version 8.6 code and just trying to make sure that it is safe before we turn on some of those features. In terms of the marketplace, they are one of the top three leaders. In some respects, one of the things that they focus on is wireless. Therefore, there are some things that should be beyond reproach, as far as I'm concerned. In terms of the stability of the code, there are always going to be bugs, but the core stability of the code needs to be there. When it is not stable, that's a real problem for me because you lose a lot of confidence in the products."

    What is our primary use case?

    We run a number of guest wireless networks with captive portals with layer 3 networks. We run .1x for corporate SSIDs or wireless networks for additional certificate-based and/or WPA2 security.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Aruba has a lot of features that work particularly well. One of the things that Aruba is trying to do in most of its product ranges to make sure that all of their products now have a fully functioning northbound set of APIs. That basically means that you can plug it into any kind of system that you have for some operational pieces. For example, if you want to have Tufin, but more in line with things like change management. We're a ServiceNow shop, so we use that for change management and orchestration. The ability to use the APIs that are available in the Aruba Wi-Fi controller means that you can get information from the system very easily by using APIs, or you can push changes to it. So, if you want to lock administrators there and restrict the type of functions that people can do, you don't have to give them access to the systems anymore.  This functionality has been useful for us because we have recently outsourced a lot of our lower operational tasks to an outside vendor. With that, obviously, other people need to access systems, but we don't always want to give them direct access to the system. So, we can provide them with APIs to be able to perform basic tasks without giving them access to our dashboard services.

    What is most valuable?

    Aruba is an industry leader. The hardware is on par, and its performance is also on par with anybody else. The Aruba brand really only focuses on wireless, so they're not competing their R&D for switching data center products and cloud security. They're really focused on that and their underlying key pieces.  They provide a role-based authentication that is native to the controller. A lot of other systems don't do that. They won't provide you the ability to basically have everybody join the network, regardless of whether or not they share the same network space, the SSID, or the wireless LAN. You can segment it down to a specific user role based on any kind of attributes that you like. That's their differentiator. If you need per user, per device, or per port segmentation, you can get that with Aruba. There isn't another vendor who does it.

    What needs improvement?

    Currently, the stability of the code is the basic underlying problem for us. They had an 8.6 release that came out two weeks ago, but we had to migrate twice because the code wasn't stable. We can't get things to work the same way. Version 8 was a big change for them. They made a change so that it is forced to be a managed hierarchical system. It means that you make changes at the top, and it pushes them downstream. There are a lot of problems with the 8.6 version code. I ran into four bugs in one week and was informed that we should just move onto the next one because all of those fixes have taken place. The feedback loop for fixes is not always really relayed back to you. I don't have a lot of strong things to say about version 8.6. When we had version 6, the controller was pretty much rock solid. We had no problems. We made a heavy investment to migrate a lot of stuff to take advantage of things like WPA3, Wi-Fi 6, and all that kind of stuff, and we haven't been able to turn those features on because we are not confident that they are going to work just yet. So, right now, we're still very much stumbling through the version 8.6 code and just trying to make sure that it is safe before we turn on some of those features.  In terms of the marketplace, they are one of the top three leaders. In some respects, one of the things that they focus on is wireless. Therefore, there are some things that should be beyond reproach, as far as I'm concerned. In terms of the stability of the code, there are always going to be bugs, but the core stability of the code needs to be there. When it is not stable, that's a real problem for me because you lose a lot of confidence in the products.
    Buyer's Guide
    Aruba Wireless
    June 2022
    Learn what your peers think about Aruba Wireless. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
    609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been working with Aruba Wireless for about four years now.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is pretty good. There are a lot fewer people in the office, obviously, because of COVID. Under normal situations, we were probably about 2,000 users a day. Between 40% to 50% of that would be corporate users with mobile devices, such as iPhones, as well as laptop users accessing corporate resources and the corporate LAN. We also have guest users. They are really moving towards making it cloud-based and less attractive for you to use on-premises. There are still a number of limitations with the cloud. One of the reasons we don't use cloud controllers is that they're not able to support more than 250 access points per tenant instance. For example, you have two sites. One has 200 APs, and one has 300 APs. You could put one site in the cloud so that you wouldn't need to have on-premises wireless controllers. You could manage it all from the cloud instance, and you would have zero hardware and all that kind of stuff.  However, you wouldn't be able to deploy the second site in the cloud because you can't put more than 250 APs. So, now you have got to go back to doing it the old-fashioned way, which is to have on-premises controllers or two management suites. You don't want to do that because the way this new code works is that it is hierarchical, meaning that you build your configuration centrally, and then you push it down to your access points or your local controllers. So, if you've got one management session in the cloud and one management session on-premises, you would have to manage them at two places. I do understand that you can configure that local hardware. So, for the site that has 300 APs and a local controller, you could plug that controller into the cloud, but it is still for two different models. So, the companies that just want to have a very simplified setup or want to make it less complicated, they can just say that we're going to go cloud or just stay on-premises, but now you have to have a combination of both, or you just stay with on-premises. There are still some basic limitations preventing us from doing wireless deployments where controllers are based in the cloud.

    How are customer service and support?

    I use them a lot. Sometimes, I use them every day. They are pretty good. There is a problem in getting hold of people. That may be just because of COVID, but it is very much dependent on when you call and the type of issue that you have. If it is a fairly standard issue, if you need assistance with a programming or configuration change, or if you need to know how to do something, you can normally get a very quick resolution. The meantime for resolution is pretty quick. It is within that call, half an hour, or one hour. You can generally speak to somebody. If it is some of the things that I have experienced or a bug, it can be very problematic. It could take days or weeks to get resolutions. The basic stuff is really good. Anything past that, you probably need to have a dedicated support engineer on your camp if you're big enough, or you need to have resources that really know how to do the legwork beforehand.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I worked for a company that had Cisco for many years. Actually, towards the end of that, I switched them from Cisco to Ruckus. I did a POC and a pilot between Ruckus and Aruba, and Ruckus came out on top because of its simplified approach to wireless networking. I have also used Meraki, which is Cisco's cloud-only based AP solution.  Cisco is like the other de facto. A lot of shops are all Cisco. Their hardware is probably on par with Aruba in terms of processing and handling capabilities. Features are also probably the same. It is more like a Ford-GM question. If you were brought up in a Ford household, you are probably going to buy a Ford sort of thing. I don't think there is much to them, to be honest. The differentiator for me is that Cisco has a product, which is its network access control system, called ISE or identity services engine. That's a terrible product. It really is an awful product. It is very cumbersome, and it makes adding network access control to your wireless and wired networks very problematic. Aruba's product is called ClearPass, and it is a very flexible tool and easy tool. It is a much more reliable tool. While it doesn't have all the features that you can use with Cisco, it is a standard network application system, which means it will work with any vendor for any system. So, you can do 90% to 95% of the stuff you want, and it is a much more stable and capable system. This difference and the price are differentiators for me.  From a purely wireless perspective, I think that Aruba is number one. Cisco is a very close number two, and then Ruckus is actually a distant third. Ruckus doesn't have all of the advanced capabilities, but what it does, it does very well. If you want a very basic entry-level wireless that is cheap for K-12 schools or a lot of environments like that, you can use Ruckus. If you need some of the advanced stuff, then you're going to have to pick one of the other solutions.

    How was the initial setup?

    I would say it is straightforward. It is just that it is a backward way of doing it. They had a fundamental shift in the way you deploy configurations in version 6 to version 8. So, basically, you would do one way in version 6, and then they completely reversed it in version 8. When you come into the product for the first time, it is easy and fairly straightforward. It is an easy adoption process. If you have got lots of experience with the previous version of code, such as version 6, and then you move to version 8, it is very confusing.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Aruba is probably cheaper than Cisco, and yet you get all the things that you want.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend Aruba Wireless, but it depends on the size and the scope. If you are a large-scale enterprise, you are going to need to deploy something large. If you are a big university or something, you are going to have to pick one of the big three, which, in this case, is going to be Cisco, Aruba, or Juniper. Juniper's Mist is a recent addition that is hugely popular right now because of a lot of the stuff it does in the cloud. They are all cloud-based controllers, and they integrate machine learning into all of your analytics to give you data.  I think that Aruba Wireless is a good product overall. They have some code issues with this change as most vendors do when they go through a major change. The product hardware is really good, and they have additional capabilities that Cisco doesn't have, like being able to do per-port tunneling so that you can keep isolation on. They are building features, and you could only make use of these if you extend out and use all the Aruba products like Aruba switches, Aruba ClearPass, etc.  I've had a couple of conversations with them about the next release, which is actually pending. I don't think it is happening this year. It will happen next year. Version 10 is their next step of code, and it is geared more towards automating a lot of the setup. There are still a lot of manual tasks that you have to do. The automation piece has been something that has really garnered a lot of interest from the wireless community in terms of being able to set networks up. You can just buy access points and just throw them up, and once they're powered on, they communicate with zero-touch provisioning and all that kind of stuff. A lot of the automated processes are coming along, such as the ability to tie in cloud-based analytics to look at your reports, training, or data, like Juniper Mist is doing. There will also be a change in the user interface. They have now brought in things like COVID tracking. It is not like they are adding features that the market wants. They will add the ability for you to be able to write things that you want to see so that you can basically do your own SDK, if you like, and more easily be able to tie that into what you're doing. I'm not sure whether they'll offer that within the version 10 code. I would rate Aruba Wireless a seven out of ten. The negatives are the instability with the specific versions of code. These could be specific versions of code, but the newer features, such as WPA, WiFi 6, require some of the newer code. The newer code isn't really very stable yet. The high point would be that it is still an industry leader with on par hardware and performance like anybody else.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Senior Sales Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Reseller
    Top 20
    A reliable, mature solution for scalable implementation of access points
    Pros and Cons
    • "The technical support is very good."
    • "It is easy to install and deploy."
    • "There is a lot of information for users about the product, but it needs to be better organized so that solutions are easier to find."

    What is our primary use case?

    Aruba is moving to the cloud platform model. We are presenting solutions using Aruba Central to clients for the management of their infrastructure. The majority of the implementations we have are still currently are on-premises. Customers now are slowly implementing cloud solutions for Aruba. We have 80% on-premises and 20% migrating to the cloud version of the solution.  

    With Aruba Central, we can manage controllers, EAPs (Employee Assistance Programs), switches, et cetera. Everything in one place. So we can manage anything we need to using Aruba. Aruba on-premises wireless is something we use for education. It is mostly implemented in schools and in universities. We use it to establish APs (Access Points)  around the campus to make sure there is coverage campus-wide. Then they have mobility controllers on-premises that control all the infrastructure.  

    Another use case is for companies that have branches from the data centers. At the prime location, they have APs powered within the company and Mobility Masters in the data center. The Mobility Masters cluster-connect to the mobility controllers and then control all the APs and all the wireless infrastructure. Then we have links connecting the branches. On the branches, we have small mobility controllers that feed all the information to and from Mobility Masters. That is, the Mobility Masters connect to mobility controllers and then the mobility controllers connect to the APs.  

    Portugal is a small country and our smallest companies always have EAPs. EAPs are a version of a solution from Aruba that the NAC (Network Access Control) AP has inside a virtual controller. These NAC APs control all the other APs.  

    How has it helped my organization?

    It gives us a reliable, mature solution that we can roll out to our clients.  

    What is most valuable?

    Wireless technologies, relatively speaking, are a new solution. The technical guys from Aruba are very good. The support is very good. It is very easy to implement the product. Another solution that Aruba has is the NAC and the ClearPass. ClearPass is a good solution for additional security of access points and it is integrated so it is very easy to deploy. It is very interactive and not so analytic as other solutions so, in my opinion. Aruba is a very good company — very good technology-wise — and they make very useful products.  

    What needs improvement?

    Perhaps one of the things that I think Aruba can improve on is developing their current information channels. Aruba has a lot of information available about their products and to find the information you need is not always so easy. It is more complicated than it should be. I think that they are great and do have a lot of information available — probably all the information that any user really needs to do things themselves. They are doing things well and trying to do things in the right way. They should just improve more on the organization and searchability of the information to make it easier to find what you are looking for.  

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I am with the sales service for Arrow, Portugal which is a solutions company. My role is to help the partners in designing solutions. I am working with Aruba products as a partner and reseller for three years now.  

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Aruba Wireless is stable. Very stable. Because Aruba has already been around for more than 10 years or so, it is a mature product and a very stable product. If there is a problem, the support team is very good with working through the problems. When a client wants a new version, we have confidence in Aruba that everything has already tested and we have access to stable versions of the release. We have access to all the information for the versions whether they are the old ones or the new ones.  

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    My impressions about the scalability and the product is that it is highly scalable. You can start with a low quantity of access points — as low as one installation — and then scale it to thousands if you have to. You can do the upgrades in the mobility controllers to allow the growth of the infrastructure. Because of the way it is created, it is highly scalable and highly reliable.  

    Of course, we have plans to scale our own usage of the product. Because we work as a value-added distributor of Aruba in Portugal, we have to meet the needs of our client base which is growing all the time. We have plans to increase the implementation of the product in our market to meet those demands. It is partly because we are working with a superior product like Aruba that we are growing in our market.  

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The Aruba technical support team is very good. They are very skilled people and can help you with the support you need when it comes to their products. They are very good at turning around a response within 24 hours. It is fast and helpful.  

    How was the initial setup?

    In my experience the initial setup of the Aruba EAP solution is straightforward. We can call on all the APs and then you have everything connected. Now they also have a Soho gateway solution that it is integrated. It is very easy to turn on this solution. I can install the Soho add-on instantly for the Aruba solution. I think that they are doing very well to keep the customer in mind when building and testing their products for ease of setup and use.  

    Our deployment did not take a very long time. Even initially. For clients, the deployment takes more or less time than ours. It depends on the size of the implementation. If you have to do only 10 APs in a small deployment, it can take only two or three days to complete the whole thing. If you have a bigger implementation, it depends on the size of the project. It could take weeks for the deployment if it is a very large one.  

    What about the implementation team?

    We did not have to use an integrator, reseller, or consultant for our deployment. We could do that ourselves. But we do work with all the integrators in Portugal because we help them to sell the solution so that they can implement it for the clients. We help them sell the product and then they do the deployments.  

    What other advice do I have?

    The advice I would give to a customer that wants to implement this product is that they must have good support from a product partner. Try to find a certified partner to do the job of planning and implementation. This should be a certified HP partner to do the job as Aruba is an HP company. Choose the right partner, the right technical guy, and the right company to implement the solution for you. It will make sure you have the solution deployed in the way you need it to be done to fit your needs and expectations. That is the most important thing that I can think of.  

    On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as a nine-and-a-half.  

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
    Buyer's Guide
    Aruba Wireless
    June 2022
    Learn what your peers think about Aruba Wireless. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
    609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    D6B8 - PeerSpot reviewer
    District Technology at INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT 196
    User
    Top 5
    Some of the implementations or features do work as advertised. Urgent areas of improvement would be customer support, better tuned default settings, and documentation.
    Pros and Cons
    • "It has an aesthetically pleasing GUI for configuration."
    • "The urgent areas of improvement would be customer support, better tuned default settings, and documentation."

    What is our primary use case?

    Using this solution district-wide in all of our secondary buildings. We have over 1000 IAP-225 APs deployed, along with ClearPass.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We currently use the MAC address caching through ClearPass to allow guests to connect from a prior authenticated attempt. We also use the Visual RF component in AirWave for tracking devices.

    What is most valuable?

    There aren't a lot of features that Aruba has that their competitors don't. With that being said, some of the implementations or features do work as advertised: easy deployment of APs, MAC caching, and aesthetically pleasing GUI for configuration.

    What needs improvement?

    The urgent areas of improvement would be customer support, better tuned default settings, and documentation. Aruba’s TAC support for us has been frustrating most of the time, as there is a clear language/dialect barrier when speaking or emailing a TAC representative. We’ve found that we have more emails (which equates to longer resolution time) than typically needed to cover certain questions and updates – as the TAC directions and instructions were either incomplete or we couldn’t understand what they were referencing. There have been occasions where a local Aruba rep, has had to step in for the TAC due to this problem.

    Out of the box the Aruba gear (at least with the IAP-225 APs) comes with all of the marketing promised higher throughput settings (which causes issues such as CCI) enabled such as (but not limited to): 80 Mhz channel width (which anybody rarely uses), all 2.4 Ghz channels enabled, and high transmit power turned on. Many of these settings are used rarely in most deployments, and will need to be tuned. Aruba should enable 40 Mhz channels, only enable channels 1,6,11 on 2.4 Ghz, and set the power lower – as this will give most deployments a better chance at succeeding. This would benefit those who just put them in and call it a day or have little to no knowledge on the inner-workings of RF. This isn't an Aruba only problem, many of the wireless vendors do this, and the community has asked for this to change – however, I felt it was worth noting.

    Aruba’s documentation is pretty good, however there are cases where something is recommended by a TAC or an Aruba engineer that cannot be found in their documentation for the product itself, or their best practices guides (often referred to as Validated Reference Designs – VRD). The things that we've had to change/rethink but weren't in the documentation are: cluster sizes, standard L2 VLAN, disabling L3 Mobility, and client match.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Four to six years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have encountered stability issues. The APs would sometimes randomly reboot; no idea what was causing it and support was less than helpful. The clients connecting would have a magnitude of issues until we turned off or disabled some features (some of which we really wanted to use).

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have encountered scalability issues. We were initially hooked by the simplistic nature of the "controller-less" idea. We have come to find out that we need to revamp our networking from 1-2 clusters per building (depending on size), to one cluster per network closet. This is not in the official documentation, so it feels like bait and switch. We also need to redo our VLANS, as now we've been told to go to one big L2 network for data, again not located in the documentation.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    Customer service is very poor. We've had many problems with Aruba TAC, such as (and not limited to): not being able to understand them, them not being complete in their requests, and outright incompetence. We've had to bring in Aruba reps and other third parties locally to assist in getting issues resolved.

    Technical Support:

    Technical support is very poor; see Customer Service section.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We previously used Extreme Networks. We switched from 802.11n to 802.11ac, and Aruba was rewarded the bid mainly due to cost.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup for the APs is straightforward; however, you need to be extremely knowledgeable to set up ClearPass.

    What about the implementation team?

    Implementation was done by a little bit of both an in-house team and a vendor team. The vendor helped us get the ClearPass set up; otherwise, we set up the AirWave appliance (monitoring solution - similar to a controller).

    What was our ROI?

    Not sure about ROI, but with the money spent attempting to fix the problems caused by this solution, it's definitely not as good as we would like.

    In regards to perhaps a 'hidden' ROI, one of our building's WiFi was extremely unreliable that the staff and users of the network simply gave up using it. We are pursuing a different vendor at this location.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Get multiple bids/quotes, and talk to the representatives about the limitations of the product; pretty standard.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Before choosing this product, we also evaluated Cisco, Extreme Networks (Enterasys at the time), and Xirrus. This process was completed before I came aboard.

    What other advice do I have?

    Honestly, and simply put, I would look elsewhere. I feel this company falls short on its promises, has been a pain to work with, and the product I feel is inferior to its many competitors.

    Don't be fooled by the marketing hype; it's a fair product but it's not everything they promise.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Risk Advisor
    Real User
    Reasonably priced, works for any size of organization and has helpful support

    What is our primary use case?

    We primarily use the product for wireless connectivity in terms of securing wireless access.

    What is most valuable?

    Wi-Fi 6 is the most beneficial aspect of the solution. Apart from that, the WPA3 introduction in terms of security is one of the key features.

    The solution is stable.

    It's a scalable product.

    Technical support is helpful.

    The pricing is pretty good.

    What needs improvement?

    The scope of improvement would go along with the technology's adoption into the market. Even though Wi-Fi 6 has been introduced, everyone is quite skeptical in the market in terms of the adoption part, as the platform network should be that strong to cater to that kind of bandwidth. While it may be great in the future, currently, the existing versions are incompatible with some of the networks which customers own.

    They could improve the seamless roaming, which is already there, however, needs some tweaking.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used the solution for quite a long time. I've been deploying this product to multiple customers and it's been almost five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is stable. For example, even some military organizations are using Aruba Wireless and RF features. It is quite reliable for an enterprise to work with.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Aruba works with small to large companies. Data is open for all three. They have different kinds of solutions for individual stakeholders in terms of small, medium, and large. They have a different product portfolio offering for small. They have something else for mid-size enterprises and larger enterprises as well. Everyone can be catered to.

    It is quite easy to scale, even if a small-scale business is starting with a standalone deployment. They too can scale up to 50 or 60 access points on a mid-scale deployment eventually. The group pattern in terms of the wireless controller has limits to the physical hardware appliances if you already own one. That said, the cloud adoption part is one of the aspects which gives you quite a bit of scalability and you need not worry about your scalability and your future growth.

    How are customer service and support?

    Technical support is quite brilliant and they offer good support as well as product replacement. Any Aruba product that is wireless includes a limited lifetime warranty wherein the delivery scope is not bound to an SLA. They will give a replacement if you purchase support or not. That is the best part of Aruba.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I also use Cisco.

    There are no differences in the technology. There are some user experience differences. Integration would be a part of that. There are many integrations possible in the Cisco portfolio in terms of their own product line. If the entire portfolio is of Cisco, then the integration is quite easy and Cisco has the same kind of offerings. The SLA might differ and some of the user experiences might differ. However, in terms of the portfolio, Cisco stands out as they have an enterprise-class and a different portfolio altogether to cater to the cloud-based market. They have an entire offering called Meraki. They do focus on the enterprise with Cisco. Companies that are small or medium scale work more with Meraki.

    How was the initial setup?

    The standalone deployments are straightforward whereas the introduction of wireless controllers and security parameters can be complex. That depends on the architecture to which you are applying. Even though direct integration with any of the radio servers or any of the triple-A authentication servers like Mac is very straightforward, it could be complex depending upon the environment.

    A standalone deployment would not take more than 15 minutes. It is quite simple. You might need some pre-planning before that. If you planned enough in advance, then it would take you 15 minutes or 20 minutes at a maximum to deploy. If there's a wireless controller deployment, it would take a maximum of two hours to three hours. Not more than that.

    Maintenance as such is not required. It's just the regular maintenance that you do in terms of software upgrades or firmware upgrades, in terms of when vulnerabilities are found. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Aruba is quite competitive in pricing. In some cases, on a case-to-case basis, Cisco also gives better discounts in terms of price. 

    You may have to pay for additional support if you require services bound to some actual replacement time. They will charge you some amount for RMS support, not for technical support. Eventually, the technical support is built into the cost.

    What other advice do I have?

    I used to work with an organization that had a business relationship with Aruba, however, recently I've moved on.

    I typically work with the latest version of the solution.

    It can be deployed on-premises as well as in the cloud.

    I would recommend new users utilize each and every feature of the wireless capabilities which are being offered for security. There is quite a bit of integration possible.

    I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator
    Flag as inappropriate
    Anar Safibayov - PeerSpot reviewer
    Director, Information Technology at Four Seasons Hotels
    Real User
    It has built-in IoT functionality without the need for an additional dongle
    Pros and Cons
    • "One advantage is the built-in Zigbee-based IoT functionality. You don't need an additional dongle to enable that option."
    • "Aruba is missing some features that are available in other solutions, such as the email notifications. It's a bit complex to configure the notification part. Mainly I'm talking about the rogue WiFi detection. This email notification is crucial for us, but it isn't possible to configure with the built-in software. You need something else, like an external system log collector or another Aruba software. These notifications are essential in hospitality for PCI compliance. My colleagues in famous luxury hotel chains need that report."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use Aruba 7010 controllers to deploy our wireless system infrastructure. We're planning to use Aruba for our wired network, including the core switches. We're waiting for the upgrades of existing wired infrastructure to be delivered.

    What is most valuable?

    One advantage is the built-in Zigbee-based IoT functionality. You don't need an additional dongle to enable that option. 

    What needs improvement?

    Aruba is missing some features that are available in other solutions, such as the email notifications. It's a bit complex to configure the notification part. Mainly I'm talking about the rogue WiFi detection. 

    This email notification is crucial for us, but it isn't possible to configure with the built-in software. You need something else, like an external system log collector or another Aruba software. These notifications are essential in hospitality for PCI compliance. My colleagues in famous luxury hotel chains need that report.

    One of the requirements for PCI compliance is rogue WiFi detection. When a rogue AP is discovered, they need a notification sent to a certain email. If there is no built-in feature, you need either to purchase an additional software to make sure that you are notified through that software. This feature is built into Ruckus.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been using Aruba Wireless for a year now.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We haven't conducted any upgrades to the latest version, but Aruba support suggested we upgrade. We need to schedule the time because it will cause downtime, but it is stable. 

    Some access points have frozen a few times. We restart them, and that resolves the issue, but we've never had significant issues with the APs, controller, or the software itself. No one has complained about the system and the infrastructure in general.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's scalable depending on the number of licenses you buy. We two people in the IT department managing the controller and access points. In a hotel, the usage depends on the occupancy. It can be up to 1,000 people, but let's say about 500 people.

    How are customer service and support?

    Aruba support is knowledgeable. We never had an issue contacting support, but I I've had the chance to troubleshoot the same system in a little different environment. They're responsive, and you never feel like you're on your own with them.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We were using an older generation of the AP, and it was outdated by the time we upgraded. I also had some experience with Ruckus. It wasn't extensive, but my colleagues say that Ruckus is more reliable in a hospitality setting, and the coverage is better. 

    Aruba lacks functions like the rogue Wi-Fi notification, but it's a good product. It just requires fine-tuning to get what you need and a good experience. Ruckus can do everything out of the box. You have an initial input, and it does everything for you. You can get the same from the Aruba.

    How was the initial setup?

    The Aruba partner deployed the solution. I was partially involved, though. It wasn't that difficult, but it took a while because we have complex corporate standards. It was maybe three weeks plus testing in the lab. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Aruba is cheaper than their competitors in our market since we don't have a full Ruckus presence of the Ruckus here. There are no licensed modules, so it's a one-time purchase. 

    We have a five-year care plan, and the access points have a lifetime warranty. We had one or two access points malfunctioning. It looks like a factory issue, but local support replaced them pretty quickly, considering the problems with logistics worldwide.

    Once you factor in the lifetime warranty, it's cheaper and not bad feature-wise. At some point, some of their products were not available, like WiFi 6, but that was last year. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate Aruba Wireless eight out of 10. It has good support and solid options for the access points. However, if the Ruckus solution were the same price, I would go for Ruckus. We have some budget limitations, so we ended up going with Aruba and fine-tuning it.

    In general, we have no issues with coverage. It works fine, and it's WiFi 6. At that point, there was no WiFi 6 hospitality version of the access points from Ruckus available in our market. That was one of the biggest advantages in addition to the price. We also got an IoT-enabled solution by default. If you don't need these notifications, you can go with Aruba product. Otherwise, you need to consider that in advance.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    Rahul Bogala - PeerSpot reviewer
    General Manager - Network and Infrastructure Security Business Unit at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    We've gone two years without downtime
    Pros and Cons
    • "I think Aruba Wireless' Wi-Fi 6 capability is something that really makes a difference. We used to have bottlenecks. Each user has one laptop on one mobile device, so that equals 40 devices connecting to one AP. The Wi-Fi 5 series couldn't handle the traffic during peak hours, and when I say "peak hours," I mean Monday at 11 a.m. We used to see a lot of packet drops, but we haven't seen that problem at all since we moved to Wi-Fi 6."
    • "There is a long queue whenever we reach out to support, and we have to wait for them to answer calls. Once we get in touch with them, we have to coordinate with different teams, so our engineers struggle to understand who are the correct team members. I think support is another area where Aruba needs to improve."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use Aruba Wireless to direct all enterprise traffic, including emails, video calls, and browsing. Each office typically has between 50 to 150 users. My biggest office has 150 users, and the smallest office has 25. Depending on the strength, we use the APs.

    All of our users access the internet through a wireless connection, and we do a lot of Zoom calls through Aruba Wireless. We send emails and have internal tools like Zoho, NetSuite, and cloud applications like G Suite or Office 365. Everything goes through the Aruba Wireless.

    What is most valuable?

    I think Aruba Wireless' Wi-Fi 6 capability is something that really makes a difference. We used to have bottlenecks. Each user has one laptop on one mobile device, so that equals 40 devices connecting to one AP. The Wi-Fi 5 series couldn't handle the traffic during peak hours, and when I say "peak hours," I mean Monday at 11 a.m. We used to see a lot of packet drops, but we haven't seen that problem at all since we moved to Wi-Fi 6.

    What needs improvement?

    Aruba needs to improve two things. One is security. These days, security is about more than just the endpoints — it's also about the devices connecting to the endpoints. They need to improve wireless intrusion detection and prevention. If Aruba can do something like that, I think it would be a game-changer. The second thing is the range. Before Aruba, we had Ruckus, which covers a larger area than Aruba. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using Aruba Wireless for about two and a half years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Aruba Wireless is stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Aruba Wireless is highly scalable because it also offers a cloud version of the controllers where you can add as many APs as you want. You can add close to 10,000 APs, so it's really scalable for us.

    How are customer service and support?

    I rate Aruba technical support six out of 10. We have a hard time connecting with them every time. There is a long queue whenever we reach out to support, and we have to wait for them to answer calls. Once we get in touch with them, we have to coordinate with different teams, so our engineers struggle to understand who are the correct team members. I think support is another area where Aruba needs to improve.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Neutral

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We previously used Extreme Aerohive then we started using Cisco Meraki for some of our locations. We had Meraki at one or two of our offices, but we decided it was too costly, so we shifted to Aruba.

    We've also used Ruckus Wireless, which is an 802.1X solution. Ruckus lacked a security feature that is available in Aruba. We didn't want to compromise on security with Ruckus even though the range is really good. It can cover larger areas and a greater number of devices. However, we are an organization that places a high premium on security, so that is why we switched to Aruba.

    I think Meraki and Aruba can go hand in hand, but Meraki is expensive, and the OpEx is costly. You need to renew the licenses every year, so it's a lot of overhead. Meraki is a fantastic solution apart from that. 

    How was the initial setup?

    Setting up Aruba was straightforward. We did the initial deployment on our own. After we got the Aruba Central licenses, Aruba's team provisioned the first five APs and prepared documentation on how to do provisioning. My team was quickly able to do that. We completed everything in a day and had it running without any challenges.

    What was our ROI?

    We had a lot of downtime with Aerohive. The AP used to reset every three days or four days, and we would lose connectivity. Zoom calls were interrupted, and emails failed to send. Even my company's founder faced many challenges with the wireless. But after shifting to Aruba, we haven't seen any downtime. We've gone two years without downtime, so we are doing well now.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The price of Aruba Wireless is fairly reasonable. It was within our budget.

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate Aruba Wireless eight out of 10. If you're an enterprise customer like us working with applications daily, you should check out Aruba. However, if you're an educational institution, a large stadium, an auditorium, or something like that, I suggest Ruckus.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    Sr IT Solutions Architect at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Versatile as a solution but lacks comprehensive testing for upgrades and issues can be expected
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most valuable feature is the fact that it can work with many devices. It supports everything that we need it to."
    • "Aruba Wireless is easily scaled between a lot of devices and a lot of endpoints. When we decided to use it as our solution, we had planned to use it exactly for its ability to scale."
    • "The upgrades tend to be buggy and better testing is needed before they are released."

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary use we have for the product is for users' corporate mobile access.  

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is the fact that it can work with many devices. It supports everything that we need it to. Whatever features are required from an enterprise standard, it supports all of them. The main advantage is broad device support.  

    What needs improvement?

    The area that has the most room for improvement is upgrades. What we have seen many times now is that new releases tend to have bugs. Sometimes the bugs are a little bad and cause some undesirable issues. The new code in the upgrades or something leads to conflicts. I would say testing releases before making them available is one of the areas which Aruba needs to improve most with the wireless product. More comprehensive testing is required for a better, more reliable end-user experience.  

    It is not necessarily testing more often, it is just for new releases. The testing they need to do is to work more closely with different environments and take notice of where issues tend to occur. They should have some idea of what environments are experiencing issues more often by now because of which companies are reporting the issues. They can make compensations for testing in those environments.  

    I do not have any new features that the product requires off the top of my head. I think that more than improving the product, there are management portfolios and other peripheral things that could be better integrated. But just doing better testing is the main improvement that they need to make.  

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using Aruba Wireless for between seven and eight years now.  

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Aruba Wireless has been a stable solution for us. Once it was set up correctly it was fine. We had some initial hiccups. We still have issues with upgrades sometimes. Except for mostly minor issues, it has been a good solution.  

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Aruba Wireless is easily scaled between a lot of devices and a lot of endpoints. When we decided to use it as our solution we had planned to use it exactly for its ability to scale. We went through a massive scaling and did not have issues with devices and endpoints.  

    Right now we have 30,000 users and around 45,000 devices between those users. It does not seem that there are many limitations for scaling the product's use.  

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support is good. The only issue we have had with them is that we often have to be referred to their engineering response team. That situation actually happens most of the time. On the other hand, we do not need to use support very often.  

    So, yes, we get support for the product and we eventually get the solution we need, but most of the time it gets referred to their engineering team to get the complete solution. Overall, the support is pretty good.  

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was a little bit complex because our environment is complex. Because of that, I would say the initial setup was complex. It may not be as complex for other companies.  

    It took almost a year for deployment. But there are two sides to the setup. One is the product is good and it can be configured to do what we need. But our environment was complex because it involves some legacy devices and some really advanced new devices and technologies as well. It is good that the product is able to support both of those needs.  

    What about the implementation team?

    We have a couple of IT specialists, one architect, and a development operations engineer for deploying the updates and maintaining the solution. In total, it is around four or five people who maintain the product. Not everyone needs to be dedicated to it full-time.  

    What other advice do I have?

    The advice that I would give to others who are looking into implementing Aruba starts with that it is a good product. It has some really good features. But the other reality is that you might need to be prepared to face some hiccups with any upgrades and with the setup.  

    On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate the Aruba Wireless solution as a seven-point-five out of ten. Because of the upgrade issues and the persistence of those, I would rate it a seven.  

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    SasikaRanasinghe - PeerSpot reviewer
    Business Development Manager at Fentons Limited
    Real User
    Top 20
    User-friendly wireless solution with attractive pricing, good technical support, and a limited lifetime warranty
    Pros and Cons
    • "Good wireless solution that's user-friendly, stable, and scalable, with very good product support, and a limited lifetime warranty."
    • "Configuration for this solution could be made easier, so people could benefit from being able to configure it within a quicker amount of time."

    What is our primary use case?

    I was able to provide Aruba Wireless to financial, Telco, and hospitality industries.

    What is most valuable?

    If you're looking into a wireless solution, more and more people now are using Aruba Wireless. There are two key reasons why: in a developing country, many of the companies look at the cost and quality of a solution. Cost-wise, Aruba Wireless is very attractive here in the Sri Lankan market. The other key reason is Aruba Wireless provides their key product portal and a limited lifetime warranty. Other providers do not provide that level of warranty. These are the reasons why a customer would choose to purchase Aruba products than Cisco, or any other access point or wireless solution.

    The key feature of this solution is the value for money. If customers can get a good quality product at a very competitive price, plus a limited lifetime warranty, then this gives very high value to the customer, which is what you can get from Aruba Wireless.

    Aruba Wireless is able to provide value addition, apart from their product features.

    This solution is user-friendly and their technical support team provides very good support.

    What needs improvement?

    An area for improvement I found in this solution is the configuration. Though it's currently an improved version, it could still be made easier, so technical people could benefit from being able to configure Aruba Wireless within a quicker amount of time.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I'm a specialist and I've been in this industry for 22 years, and I've been dealing with Aruba Wireless for over 10 years. I've worked with it within the last 12 months.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Aruba Wireless is a stable product.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Aruba Wireless is scalable. We have different product segments and we educate different customer requirements and industries. Because of COVID, all industries are facing a lot of challenges, but we find this product scalable.

    How are customer service and support?

    We have our pre-sales team with us in-house, but we do have two technical support people distributed here locally. We always communicate with them. They share their product knowledge, experiences, and user case studies, to help us improve. We also share our experiences with them to also help them improve. On a scale of one to five, I'm giving the technical support team a four. They provide very good product support.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup of Aruba Wireless is not complicated. In the past, it was complicated, e.g. We needed experienced technical people to do the configuration and the initial setup. Nowadays, even basic technical people can do it.

    It has improved, but what we are expecting is that when new technologies arise, along with the new technologies, the configuration should be simplified.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The cost for Aruba Wireless is good. It's attractive.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I evaluated Cisco Wireless.

    What other advice do I have?

    Our company's role is system integrator. We are involved with products and solutions which we provide to the end customers. The products we provide vary, because it would depend on the requirement and customer requirement levels. It would also depend on the current pricing of the products, e.g. this is because we provide different vendor products, not just Aruba. We also provide Cisco, Maracas, and the entire product spectrum that we provide to the customers.

    We provide the latest version of this product to our customers, because with the latest version, the benefit to the customers is that they can get the maximum usage of the product lifetime.

    Other than the product features, our customers value our onsite support, onsite feedback, clarifications, and installations. We are able to quickly sort out the issues experienced by our customers.

    For people who are not currently using Aruba Wireless, I would tell them to look into the Aruba product range and try it out for themselves. They'll find out that these are Amazing products with very good product support.

    I'm rating Aruba Wireless an eight out ten, because no products could reach the perfect score of ten. Technology is fast-changing, so today's technology won't be tomorrow's technology. There's no technological vendor who could be ranked a ten, so my rating for this product is an eight.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator
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    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Aruba Wireless Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: June 2022
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    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Aruba Wireless Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.