Aruba Wireless Review

Gives us visibility into a user's speed, IP, MAC address, and daily bandwidth use


What is our primary use case?

We're primarily using it for wireless users. It's actually to monitor use; we're using stand-alone wireless controllers in all our sites.

How has it helped my organization?

Before we used Aruba Wireless we had individual access points connected to our switches. We didn't actually have a centralized switch that could control all of our access points. Now, bringing the Aruba Wireless Controller into production, it's really giving us good visibility. All our access points are connected to one controller. Through that controller, we can actually handle each access point; we can disconnect or connect that access point, and then we can tell, or see, or allow how many users are, or should be, connected through that access point. These are the developments, or the functionalities, that wireless controllers provide for us.

What is most valuable?

The most important feature is all about the two wavelengths, the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz, and the access points which are connected to this wireless controller.

The perfect thing is that if we really want to know where a specific user is connected, it gives us the ability to see that and how that user is actually receiving. We can know the speed and their IP, their MAC address and, most of the time, how much bandwidth they're using per day. The wireless controller actually gives that functionality as well.

The other good thing is the dashboard. It tells us who is using most of the bandwidth, and how many APs are not in good range, or that do not actually have good security. It shows us which users are trying to hack or how many users are trying to use BitTorrent. So it gives us very good visibility into the user, so we know who we have or who we are providing internet or bandwidth for.

What needs improvement?

The speed could be better. I heard that Aruba is trying to shape the speed inside the wireless controller, but that has not been adopted yet. If they put some kind of mechanism inside the wireless controller for the speed such that, "Okay, this many users will have 20 by 20, 20 in the upload, 20 in the download. Just this many users. And this many users will have this type of speed or that type of speed." I think it would be very good if they actually bring that functionality inside the wireless controller.

I would also like to see stable firmware.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Every month Aruba has new firmware. I don't know if it's good or bad but it's not good in terms of production. We can't upgrade our firmware every month, especially an enterprise company, because if we upgrade our firmware based on the latest firmware that Aruba has, that firmware is not stable. They're not 100 percent sure about it.

My suggestion is, take your time, or invest in your knowledge. Bring on more engineers. Don't produce or broadcast firmware every month. Just have two or three firmware updates each year, and make them stable. Perfect. The way that Cisco does.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The amount of work that the controllers are handling is perfect. It's very good.

How is customer service and technical support?

Tech support is pretty easy to work with, pretty fast. But when it comes to sending your logs to the Aruba guys, then it takes time. I had some crash logs the other day. I sent them and it took about three weeks for them to analyze the logs and then, in the end, they told me they really didn't know what was going on.

So the help desk, the first level of support is very good. But when it's going to the engineers to analyze logs, then it takes time.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was a little bit complicated. It really depends on the person. If you really don't know and it's your first time that you are touching an Aruba device, then it takes a lot of time. You're not going to get it, if you have never actually touched an Aruba Wireless Controller. You have to have an experienced engineer with you to show you what to do: how to add an AP, how to proceed with all the other configurations. Once you have had your hands on it a couple of times, then it becomes easier.

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

It's not expensive. That is the reason we switched to Aruba.

What other advice do I have?

Take the training at first and then implement it. Be sure to have full knowledge of your network, know how your network has been set up. And have a senior engineer or have one of the Aruba engineers so they can help you with the project that you have. Ask them how to actually implement Aruba into your network and they can advise you.

I give this solution a 10 out of 10. It's a new product, Aruba is somewhat new to the market but I think they are doing an excellent job. For a newbie type of product, it's not very easy to compete with the market, especially with the Cisco controller manager. But I think Aruba is on top, nowadays, in the market.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
2 Comments
Syed Abdul QuadeerUser

Dear Amarkhail,
Could you help us we have Aruba controller 7005 with Ap 315 we configure but the SSID did not show?
thank in advance
Syed

19 August 19
Syed Abdul QuadeerUser

Dear Amarkhail,

Soft Reminder.!!

19 August 19
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