Aruba Wireless Review

Allowed us to have one controller at our central location and still provide wireless to our outlying clinics.


What is most valuable?

The main reason I chose to implement the HP WLC was due to the limitations of our previous Sonicwall WLC not being able to have layer three provisioning. I would say that feature is the most valuable.

How has it helped my organization?

With our old wireless network, we had to put controllers at every location to have wireless access. This product allowed us to have one controller at our central location and still provide wireless to our outlying clinics.

What needs improvement?

The user interface on the product isn’t terribly intuitive in some areas, especially when setting up VSC’s.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using HP MSM 720 Mobility Controller and 40 HP since April 2014, so approximately 10 months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I experienced a few issues while deploying the controller. Getting the product to work correctly with a back end RADIUS server proved to be a bit of a task and the lack of documentation didn’t help either.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability wise the product has been fairly rock solid. I can’t think of any time I have had to even reboot it since I implemented it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The particular model (MSM 720) doesn’t provide much in terms of scalability. It only allows for 40 Access Points which my company has about that number.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service on the phone I would rate fairly poorly. On more than one occasion I could not understand the agent or would get disconnected, however, online customer service is much better.

Technical Support:

I have only used the HP forums for technical support and it has a pretty good following and a lot of knowledgeable users.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used a Sonicwall NSA3500 for all our needs. We switched due to the lack of Layer three provisioning at the time plus I wasn’t a fan of one device controlling so many aspects of our network and security.

How was the initial setup?

I would say complex, mainly due to the lack of good documentation. All together, it took me about a week to fully get the product in a production state. Coming from a Cisco background it seemed much more cumbersome than their products.

What about the implementation team?

We used an in house team (me).

What was our ROI?

I am not sure of the ROI at the moment. It has not been implemented long enough for any significant ROI.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Original setup cost for this implementation was around $30,000. Day-to-day the product costs nothing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Any time we have a project we must have three viable options to choose from. We looked at HP, Cisco and Meru.

What other advice do I have?

  • Have a strong knowledge of your internal network
  • Study the manual as much as possible
  • Focus on VSC’s and Vlan configuration
  • If you come from a Cisco background keep in mind you won’t use an access port on the switch port connected to the AP like you would in a Cisco WLC setup, but instead either a trunk or tagged port
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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