Once again, I have the opportunity to participate as an Aruba Insider and TechFieldDay delegate at the Aruba Atmosphere conference in Las Vegas. A week of drinking from the firehose, checking out all the new goodies coming from our friends at Aruba Networks. Vegas isn’t my favorite place for conferences, but the #ATM18 conference is one that I look forward to every year.
It’s been two years since I’ve been to Atmosphere, as such, I thought it would be good to write down some of my predictions, expectations for this years conference.
Aruba OS 8 going mainstream:
Aruba’s revamped operating system for wireless has been out for a couple years, but from my perspective we still see this as an “early deployment” software version. We’ve seen announcements for the new Aruba 340 series that will only run in the new 8.x universe. Combine that with the forthcoming version 8.3, and I expect that it’s really time for this OS to have it’s coming out party.
The Aruba acquisition of Rasa networks has been rolled into a product called Netinsight. This is critical for Aruba, not just because of a lack of features or functionality, but because this is where the entire industry is moving. If you are in the networking space (wired or wireless) everyone is working towards the vision of automated network visibility, analytics and insights. My expectation is we are going to see new features and improved intelligence coming out of this product line
I don’t really expect a lot of new hardware announcements this year. From an AP perspective, we still have the AP340 which has been announced and is not yet shipping. However, I do think we might be poised for some updated controller platforms. The 7200/7000 series are definitely a mature platform. We could see a new controller series, specifically something designed around Aruba OS 8.
While I am a wireless engineer at heart, switching is a critical piece of the network. I think there is a pretty complete portfolio in Aruba’s portfolio:
- 2530/2540 for level L2 switching
- 2930 series for basic L3 switching
- 3810 and 5400 for more advanced L3 switching.
- 8320 and 8400 for fixed and modular aggregation and core
I don’t know that any of these platforms are ready for refresh, but I would love to see a next gen 5400 (highly doubtful). Instead, I suspect that we may see some IoT focused or industrial switching offerings as this aligns well with some of the other Aruba/HPE offerings.
I really don’t follow the HPE routing platform much. That said, I think the easy bet is something SD-WAN related.
I keep hoping for further unification between the elements that make up ClearPass, and I’m going to change my prediction away from this. As much as the separate management GUIs are one of my biggest issues with this product I just don’t see that happening in 6.8. Version 6.7 just brought some new licensing structure (improvements), and broad enhancements across the board. My prediction is that we’re going to see more enhancements to the integration with Introspect (Niara).
We’re going to see messaging around “continued investment” in things like Aruba Central and Airwave but no major feature announcements on these. I’m also hoping we’ll see an Aruba Instant version derived from OS8, but this isn’t something I’m holding my breath on.
Far out predictions:
I think the time is coming for Aruba to address the Per-user PSK feature. Three years ago, it was a niche feature that only a handful of competitors had. Now Aruba is one of the few that doesn’t support this. With talk about WPA3 progressing, I suspect we might see an announcement around this and potentially integration to Clearpass for on-boarding support around this.
Also, if you see me around at #ATM18, feel free to say hi.