Aruba Networks Intros Secure Solution for Home Office and Small Branch Office

By Jessica Davis

Aruba Networks has introduced its new Virtual Branch Networking 2.0, designed to bring networking services to small branches and home offices by introducing a cloud element to the overall solution.

"With VBN 1.0 we provided the secure connection," said Mike Tennefoss, head of strategic marketing at Aruba. "With 2.0, we are leveraging that infrastructure to provide critical business services from the cloud, such as application storage, and remote access for road warriors."

The new product arrives just a few months after the company hired a new channel chief, Bob Bruce, who will now serve as vice president of Worldwide Channel Sales for the company that does 90 percent of sales through its channel partners.

Bruce, who spent four years at Cisco and three years at Juniper Networks, noted that Aruba is putting money behind the company’s channel program and sales of the VBN 2.0 product line with neutral compensation for inside sales representatives to encourage strong collaboration with channel partners.

The company currently claims 500 certified partners and 1,200 total partners.

Aruba’s VBN product line is designed to capitalize on the trend for more distributed business operations, according to Tennefoss. Aruba noted that mobile workers need secure network services, including application acceleration and content security, but running them across hundreds or thousands of locations on dedicated branch appliances is costly and complex. VBN 2.0 migrates these services into the cloud, reducing capital expenditures by up to 60 percent and operating expenses by up to 75 percent, according to Aruba’s estimates.

Aruba’s VBN solution, first introduced in 2009, offers a family of low-cost, centrally managed Remote Access Points (RAPs). Features include the following:

  • Application Acceleration Service (AAS): a cloud service that can accelerate the performance of applications in the branch office by 20 times, without new hardware or software in the branch;
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN): a subscription-based file caching service to speed up application response times in a branch office using a cloud-based CDN to serve files locally from a nearby data center;
  • Content Security Service (CSS): a cloud service that provides antivirus/anti-spam protection, real-time content filtering and data leakage prevention. Instantaneous and long-term historical reports can quickly identify policy violations.

"With companies becoming increasingly distributed, solutions that can facilitate inexpensive service delivery and enterprise collaboration are of great interest," said Phil Hochmuth, senior analyst at Yankee Group, in a statement. "Enterprise cloud computing is gathering steam because its abilities to reduce costs and increase efficiency are too hard to ignore. Migrating applications and services from 'branch-office-in-a-box' appliances to the cloud is part of a natural progression down the cost curve."

Also as part of the VBN 2.0 solution, Aruba is introducing a Virtual Intranet Access (VIA) client to provide road warriors and other mobile workers with Windows-based laptops, netbooks and PCs with user-friendly, secure access to the corporate network without separate, dedicated VPN infrastructure. The client shares the same data center controllers as RAPs, simplifying access and cutting the cost of remote access.

This article was originally published on 2010-03-30