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HPE Aruba ups investment in the IoT market

Aruba Networks, a networking vendor and Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, unveiled an expanded portfolio aimed at supporting IoT initiatives at the HPE Discover Conference in London today.

The new products, which include Aruba ClearPass Universal Profiler and the “IoT-ready” 2540 Switch Series, will play into HPE’s overall IoT strategy, Aruba said, while opening up partner opportunities in the IoT market.

The Universal Profiler, also a feature of Aruba’s ClearPass platform, automatically discovers and “fingerprints” IP-enabled managed, unmanaged and IoT devices on multi-vendor wired and wireless networks, according to the vendor.

Partners can use the tool to provide visibility into the number of devices connected to their customers’ networks, as well as the types of devices, operating systems, statuses and locations. The information can then help fine-tune performance and security across infrastructure components, Aruba said. Additionally, the information can be shared with ClearPass Exchange partners, which provide security and operations features such as user behavior analytics, deception intelligence and firewall security that integrate with Aruba’s ClearPass Policy Manager.

Christian Gilby, director of product marketing at Aruba, said the Universal Profiler “simplifies and lowers the barrier for our partners to get this [information] into customers’ hands and understand what’s on their networks.” He noted the tool is also a vehicle for up-selling customers to ClearPass Policy Manager.

Small organizations are a good candidate for the Profiler, as larger organizations will generally adopt ClearPass Policy Manager, added Trent Fiero, Aruba’s director of security marketing.

According to Optiv, a security solution provider based in Denver, Aruba’s decision to offer the Universal Profiler as a standalone product, separate from the from the ClearPass platform, was a smart move.  “I think it will allow [Aruba to] get into customers a little bit easier and allow people to grow organically and naturally over time” because they can pay only for what they need, said Charlie Koehler, Optiv’s Aruba enterprise architect. He added he thinks the separation will allow Aruba to put the Profiler in the cloud, making it even more accessible to customers.

Koehler said that Optiv recently used ClearPass to do device segmentation and profiling within healthcare telemetry environments. Apart from healthcare, he added education and retail are poised to be strong vertical opportunities for Aruba IoT technology.

The Universal Profiler will be available in the first quarter of calendar year 2017, with pricing starting at $150 for profiling up to 100 devices, Aruba said.

In addition to the Profiler, Aruba launched its “IoT-ready” 2540 Switch Series, which “fills out” the Aruba’s switch portfolio, Gilby said, allowing the HPE Aruba partner community “to build a solution across large campuses as well as distributed enterprises.” The switches offer user- and port-based wired traffic tunneling to an Aruba Mobility Controller so an organization can apply policies, extend advanced services and encrypt traffic to secure the LAN.

The 2540 Switch Series is available now with pricing beginning at $2,589.

The vendor today also rolled out enhancements to ArubaOS-Switch, which works together with the 2540 switches to support unified role-based access across wireless and wired networks with capabilities for identifying and assigning roles to connected IoT devices.

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