Aruba Wireless Review

Easily manages of all your wireless devices

What is our primary use case?

I have worked with versions 2.207 and 3.303 and 305. Because I am the service provider for my customers, I've worked with Ruckus, Aruba, Cisco, and UniFi. Most of my customers ask for new wireless solutions. Last week I installed 37 access points. My customers are very satisfied.

What is most valuable?

Configuring the main controller is very easy; with Aruba, it's just plug-and-play. The roaming features are great too.

What needs improvement?

Most of the access points don't include the chargers. If you want to increase your coverage, then you need to have a charger. When our customers ask about access points, we always recommend Aruba; however, when we tell them that they need to buy the chargers separately, they become upset, saying: "We already bought Aruba access points, the chargers should come with it".

This is my main concern. In the last five years, I've installed nearly 300 Aruba access points and most of my customers have complained about the chargers. If this problem was addressed, I wouldn't have any other complaints.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not experienced any bugs, software, or hardware issues with Aruba.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is both very stable and scalable. I want to mention something about Aruba's compatibility between various model types. If you already have version 207 installed and you want to switch to version 3.3, it's not compatible; you can't add it to your network. You need to create a standalone network for this access point only.

How are customer service and technical support?

I only spoke with Aruba's technical support one time. With Aruba, you don't need a lot of support. It is very easy to use. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very easy. You just need to configure the main device. If you have a standalone or virtual appliance, you can just configure it and install the rest without connecting to the main device.

Deployment time varies, but usually, it's very fast. Most of our customers need 10 access points on-site. For me, this only takes roughly 15 minutes to install.

I used to use Ruckus. Ruckus takes a long time to configure. Cisco takes longer too. Aruba is the easiest to install. Just configure the main device, and install the rest. Nothing else is required.

I'd like to mention something else. Last week, I installed roughly 37 access points — Aruba 303 I believe. Our clients complained about the coverage. Their access points should be able to cover 50 meters, but Aruba was only covering 25 to 30 meters, max. I know Aruba, and like anything, there are advantages and disadvantages. I like Aruba for its easy installation, management and because they provide the best and most optimized connection.

What other advice do I have?

The most important thing is the heat map; you need to have a good heat map and make sure it's configured correctly with Aruba. If you don't have a heat map, you may have issues.

Here in Jordan, some providers will go to a company that requires 10 access points and tell them they only need five. In reality, they just want the job and the client. Then, after everything is said and done, the client complains about the five access points not covering the whole area. 

Some preparation is required before you can get started with Aruba. The total amount of power needed for the access points needs to be calculated. I would recommend doing this yourself as some companies just want to sell their products.

Companies in Jordan were quite loyal to Cisco, but in the last five months, I have installed roughly 500 Aruba Switches. Version 1920 is very popular; it's very fast and great for network stability.

Cisco and Aruba offer the same features. My customers don't need advanced features. What's the point in spending an extra $300-400 dollars for features you won't even use?

On a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of eight. If they increased their coverage, I would give them a rating of 15, not simply ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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