Aruba introduces new Aruba ESP Edge Services Platform

In addition to the new AI-powered ESP platform with predictive capabilities, Aruba has enhanced their Aruba Central network management to provide unified single pane of glass management, at scale.

Today, Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, is introducing Aruba ESP [Edge Services Platform], an AI-powered, cloud-native platform that automates the prediction and resolution of problems at the network edge. In addition, Aruba has enhanced their Aruba Central management platform to provide single point-of-control management at scale, and has consolidated their developer resources with Aruba Developer Hub. The announcements were made at ATM Digital, the virtualized version of the Aruba Atmosphere conference being presented in this year of COVID-19.

“It’s an exciting time for Aruba,” said Patrick LaPorte, Senior Director of Cloud and Software Solutions Marketing for Aruba. “We are in a data-driven era, with 50% of data being created by IoT devices outside the data centre and the cloud. The network is the critical element of all of this, transporting the data from where it is generated to where it is analyzed to where it is acted upon. But more than half of all network operations are still manual. Networks must do more and move beyond traditional manual operations.”

Aruba is positioning the automation that comes from the new AI-powered Aruba ESP as a solution to these issues.

“We think of it as a network with a sixth sense, and the ESP branding portrays that,” Laporte said.

The ESP architecture has three layers, At the base are the products themselves, the core infrastructure. Above that is the software defined security layer that establishes policies. And above that is the services that Aruba and their partners provide.

“It’s all one single platform, cloud-native, on Aruba Central, and it spans the data centre, the campus, the branch and the remote worker,” Laporte said.

Laporte said that Aruba ESP itself has four core attributes, AIOPS, the AI component, the Unified Infrastructure of Wi-Fi, switching, SD-WAN, 5G and the IoT, and a  zero trust network security model, all backed by a flexible financial and consumption model.

The most important of these in defining the solution’s distinctiveness is the AIOPS.

“The AIOPS is the sixth sense,” Laporte said. “It allows customers to react much faster, up to 90% faster than before, and provides the predictive capacity. The telemetry data also gives customers a continuous level of optimization.”

Laporte described what he called one cool use case of the technology.

“Businesses with high foot traffic would have networks with degradation problems because the foot traffic phones would initiate contact that would require a response, even though they don’t connect and don’t want to. Aruba ESP can  determine an adequate probe threshold to eliminate these users from probing the network and causing degradation. The AIOPS in Aruba ESP provided a 25% performance increase, with no additional hardware being required.”

The cloud-native unified infrastructure also allows deployment in the customer’s own private cloud or data centre.

“They get a cloud-native experience, while staying within possible security requirements,” Laporte said.

The Zero Trust Network simplifies the implementation of securing traffic for IoT devices to reduce partner costs and strengthen security.

Finally, Aruba ESP can be consumed in multiple ways.

“It can be consumed as a traditional ‘aaS,’ Laporte indicated. “Partners can brand it with their own brand, and support with their own NOCs, or they can use it with HPE GreenLake Network-as-a-Service. HPE Financial Services also provides flexibility in how they pay for it.”

Aruba ESP also benefits from the enhancements announced to the Aruba Central management platform.

“What we have done is enhanced Aruba Central and the platform upon which it runs to unify it all into a single pane of glass,” Laporte said. “We can offer this capability which was in our SD Branch solution, to all our enterprise customers, at scale. That’s the really newsworthy stuff here. Enterprises with 50,000 network devices can now manage from the cloud without even an on-prem controller.”

Aruba is introducing the Developer Hub, which can be best understood as a consolidation of resource for developers, including Aruba APIs and documentation, to make it all easier to access and use.

“Before, these resources were scattered all over the place,” Laporte said. “Now they are all consolidated into a single hub, which is the starting place to get programmatic information. The plan over time is to grow it over time like our Airheads Community.”