Aruba Wireless Review

I can configure one device and it provisions all other devices with the same configuration

What is our primary use case?

I have a small office with about five APs. It has a good central management system to help manage my wireless devices, just to ensure that everything is working correctly.

How has it helped my organization?

It makes things easier because it's SD-WAN. With the central management system, I'm able to access each device. I can configure one device and then it provisions all the other devices with the same configuration, rather than my having to configure them one by one.

What is most valuable?

The central management system. It's called Aruba Central, which allows you to manage the APs, the switch, and the controllers, etc.

What needs improvement?

The management system would be better if it were more polished, if it had a better interface like, for example, Meraki.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is pretty good. I believe they recommend having up to 50 APs per cluster, but it can scale even more than that. I don't really need that in particular, although it's an enterprise-standard product. The throughput is pretty good.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't used technical support as of yet.

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

I used to use Meraki but with Meraki, if you stop paying for the licenses, you basically don't own the device. Once you stop paying for the licensing, the device is pretty much dead.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty much straightforward to be honest. You only configure one AP and when you plug the other ones into the network, it recognizes that that AP is the master and gets the configuration off that.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did look at Ubiquiti because the price point was cheap. But after looking further into it, the main reason I chose Aruba was because they have a lifetime warranty on their APs.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would depend on the needs. It depends on what size of business you have and what you are looking to accomplish. In general, I'd recommend Aruba Wireless. 

The only other thing I would let you know is that, if you want a centralized management system that is able to manage all your networking devices such as the wireless, the switch, the routers, and the firewall, then Aruba may not be the one, because Aruba doesn't do firewalls. For example, with Meraki, you can have a full Meraki network with the switches, routers, firewall, APs, all managed on one central network. With Aruba, if you have a firewall, you'd have to use a separate management system to manage that.

The most important criteria when selecting a vendor would be

  • support
  • durability of the device
  • brand reputation
  • ease of use.

I would rate Aruba Wireless at about eight out of 10. I haven't had any issues with it to date, and it's a pretty robust product. The reason I won't give it higher than that is because of the GUI. They need to make it more polished like Meraki's. But other than that, I've been pretty happy with it and I like all the additional features there.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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