HPE announces new high-level Aruba Networking SMB switch and access point at Atmosphere Bali event

The Aruba Instant On AP22D, a Wi-Fi 6 access point, and the Aruba Instant On 1960 stackable switch are both SMB products laden with enterprise technology, and are aimed at SMB customers who want performance.

Aruba Instant On 1960 stackable switch

Today, at their Atmosphere Bali event in Indonesia. Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced two significant additions to the HPE Aruba Networking portfolio. Both the Aruba Instant On AP22D, a Wi-Fi 6 access point, and the Aruba Instant On 1960 stackable switch are aimed at the SMB space. These are however new products with enterprise technology, which Aruba considers to be premium solutions for SMBs, and which are being pitched at the premium end of that market.

“I have been with HP for 30 years,” said Amol Mitra, the GM of SMB for HPE Aruba Networking. “I come from the ProCurve legacy, and we had more of a focus on SMB at that time. That was a good thriving business. When HP acquired Aruba, we brought the networking businesses together and focused on the enterprise. In the last 4-5 years we have really seen the SMB market grow strongly, and we are now doubling down on it. The SMB business is now  20% of overall HPE networking, which is very meaningful to HPE, and which has been fueling networking growth.”

The Instant On market is the company’s SMB line, and addresses a $2.3 billion market, much of which is wireless.

“The Instant On market is customers with 400 users or less,” Mitra said. “We built the Instant On brand on that segment, with purpose-built switches and access points.

“Companies in this space today are now upgrading because of the data explosion, particularly around IoT,” he added. “There are two key trends pushing this. One is the adoption of the cloud. The other is high performance. Because of the great increases in data, SMBs do need performance.”

Mitra said that this SMB line is designed much like their enterprise offerings, but is curated and distinct for the SMB space.

“They are not managed by a platform, but instead by an app that sits on your phone or desktop,” he stated. “What differentiates us is the simplicity of deploying us, and the simplicity in proactive troubleshooting and alerts. We’ve built it differently than our competitors to drive better customer satisfaction.”

Mitra emphasized that both the new offerings use Aruba’s enterprise networking technology, within that context of greater simplicity.

“We have taken all the enterprise grade security features and moved them into the SMB with these products,” he noted. “It’s important that they are built in, not bolted on.”

Aruba Instant On AP22D Wi-Fi 6 access point

The· Aruba Instant On AP22D Wi-Fi 6 access point can effectively manage multiple connections at their best possible speed, allowing more devices to access the network without experiencing bottlenecks or performance degradation.

“The AP 22D is a high performance desktop access point, which fits well in use cases like dorms or the hospital market,” Mitra said. “It’s a one-stop shop for networking connectivity.”

The Aruba Instant On 1960 stackable switch has 2.5 gig port capacity, to facilitate easy expansion of the network as the organization grows. With the ability to stack multiple switches, customers can add more ports and capacity without significant additional investments. It is available for cloud stacking or normal physical stacking, with the ability to manage multiple switches as a single stack.

“This new addition to 1960s stackable switch series is able to use its 2.5 stackable port capacity to add a new switch easily to the stack without need to configure the switch,” Mitra said.

“The primary route to market for these will be channel partners,” Mitra stated. “It gives them truly a one-stop shop for SMB network infrastructure needs, which will give them a strong competitive advantage.”

Both the Aruba Instant On 1960 multi-gigabit stackable switch and the Aruba Instant On AP22D are available for order now, and will be available starting in Q4 of HPE’s 2023 fiscal year.

“There are no licenses and no hidden fees with these,” Mitra said.