Aruba Wireless Review

It gives us centralized management for all campuses and all wireless access points.

What is most valuable?

It gives us centralized management for all campuses and all wireless access points. Students have guest networks, so the centralized management help us to manage all of users.

What needs improvement?

Some of the diagnostic features I'd expect to help me troubleshoot parts of the network are missing. I'd like to have diagnostic tools to pinpoint where devices are not getting good signals and why.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using it for about four to five years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We've had no issues with deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had only minimal outages over the past 5 years thanks to the High Availability solution for the controllers and the access points. If we do have an outage on one controller, the access points can free-associate to another controller on another campus and still function properly for the students and staff. So this is a very stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've been able to scale sufficiently for our needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer service and technical support have always been great. We've never had an issue getting support from Aruba. We've always had quick responses and very helpful solutions when we contact them.

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

Before Aruba, we were on individual "fat" access points, so we had to manage each one individually.

How was the initial setup?

It's pretty simple. Once the master controller and the local controllers are set up, it's just a matter of syncing the configurations, so you do the configuration once on the centralized controller, and everything gets replicated to all the local controllers at each campus. Adding, removing, changing, bringing on new controllers to replace old controllers is a pretty simple process.

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

I think originally we were in the $30-50,000 range, with yearly maintenance costs and support for licensing, which cost $10-$15,000.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We needed a more centrally-managed solution so that you didn't have to manage each individual AP. When we sought out quotes, we looked at Aruba, Meru, Cisco, and a couple of others. Based on the features and the scalability and all the deployment solutions and everything that we needed, Aruba was the best solution for us.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure you get a proper configuration. Do a proper site survey of your location to know what you need to configure and how you need to customize it to your own environment so that when you deploy your wireless, you're not popping up with any surprises from a bad signal or bad interference in certain places. Just make sure you know your area and you customize your solution around what your area provides for you.

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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