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Aruba Wireless OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Aruba Wireless is #1 ranked solution in top Wireless LAN tools. IT Central Station users give Aruba Wireless an average rating of 8 out of 10. Aruba Wireless is most commonly compared to Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN:Aruba Wireless vs Cisco Meraki Wireless LAN. Aruba Wireless is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 48% of users researching this solution on IT Central Station. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 33% of all views.
What is Aruba Wireless?
Aruba deliver superb Wireless performance and multi-user MIMO aware ClientMatch to boost network efficiency and support the growing device density and app demands on your network.

Aruba Wireless was previously known as Aruba WLAN, HP WLAN, HP Wireless, Aruba Instant On AP Series Access Point.

Aruba Wireless Buyer's Guide

Download the Aruba Wireless Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: December 2021

Aruba Wireless Customers
Consulate Health Care, Los Angeles Unified School District, Science Applications International Corp (SAIC), San Diego State University, KFC, ACTS Retirement-Life Communities
Aruba Wireless Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Aruba Wireless pricing:
  • "Aruba is probably cheaper than Cisco, and yet you get all the things that you want."
  • "Get multiple bids/quotes, and talk to the representatives about the limitations of the product; pretty standard."
  • "Aruba is comparable to competing solutions when it comes to price."
  • "The support pricing for Juniper Mist is higher than Aruba."
  • "The access points are more cost-effective over some other providers, both in cost per AP and the option of a controller-less environment."

Aruba Wireless Reviews

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MB
Network and Security Consultant at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Top 20
Overall a good product that provides role-based authentication native to the controller, but has code stability issues

Pros and Cons

  • "Aruba is an industry leader. The hardware is on par, and its performance is also on par with anybody else. The Aruba brand really only focuses on wireless, so they're not competing their R&D for switching data center products and cloud security. They're really focused on that and their underlying key pieces. They provide a role-based authentication that is native to the controller. A lot of other systems don't do that. They won't provide you the ability to basically have everybody join the network, regardless of whether or not they share the same network space, the SSID, or the wireless LAN. You can segment it down to a specific user role based on any kind of attributes that you like. That's their differentiator. If you need per user, per device, or per port segmentation, you can get that with Aruba. There isn't another vendor who does it."
  • "Currently, the stability of the code is the basic underlying problem for us. They had an 8.6 release that came out two weeks ago, but we had to migrate twice because the code wasn't stable. We can't get things to work the same way. Version 8 was a big change for them. They made a change so that it is forced to be a managed hierarchical system. It means that you make changes at the top, and it pushes them downstream. There are a lot of problems with the 8.6 version code. I ran into four bugs in one week and was informed that we should just move onto the next one because all of those fixes have taken place. The feedback loop for fixes is not always really relayed back to you. I don't have a lot of strong things to say about version 8.6. When we had version 6, the controller was pretty much rock solid. We had no problems. We made a heavy investment to migrate a lot of stuff to take advantage of things like WPA3, Wi-Fi 6, and all that kind of stuff, and we haven't been able to turn those features on because we are not confident that they are going to work just yet. So, right now, we're still very much stumbling through the version 8.6 code and just trying to make sure that it is safe before we turn on some of those features. In terms of the marketplace, they are one of the top three leaders. In some respects, one of the things that they focus on is wireless. Therefore, there are some things that should be beyond reproach, as far as I'm concerned. In terms of the stability of the code, there are always going to be bugs, but the core stability of the code needs to be there. When it is not stable, that's a real problem for me because you lose a lot of confidence in the products."

What is our primary use case?

We run a number of guest wireless networks with captive portals with layer 3 networks. We run .1x for corporate SSIDs or wireless networks for additional certificate-based and/or WPA2 security.

How has it helped my organization?

Aruba has a lot of features that work particularly well. One of the things that Aruba is trying to do in most of its product ranges to make sure that all of their products now have a fully functioning northbound set of APIs. That basically means that you can plug it into any kind of system that you have for some operational pieces. For example, if you want to have Tufin, but more in line with things like change management. We're a ServiceNow shop, so we use that for change management and orchestration.

The ability to use the APIs that are available in the Aruba Wi-Fi controller means that you can get information from the system very easily by using APIs, or you can push changes to it. So, if you want to lock administrators there and restrict the type of functions that people can do, you don't have to give them access to the systems anymore. 

This functionality has been useful for us because we have recently outsourced a lot of our lower operational tasks to an outside vendor. With that, obviously, other people need to access systems, but we don't always want to give them direct access to the system. So, we can provide them with APIs to be able to perform basic tasks without giving them access to our dashboard services.

What is most valuable?

Aruba is an industry leader. The hardware is on par, and its performance is also on par with anybody else. The Aruba brand really only focuses on wireless, so they're not competing their R&D for switching data center products and cloud security. They're really focused on that and their underlying key pieces. 

They provide a role-based authentication that is native to the controller. A lot of other systems don't do that. They won't provide you the ability to basically have everybody join the network, regardless of whether or not they share the same network space, the SSID, or the wireless LAN. You can segment it down to a specific user role based on any kind of attributes that you like. That's their differentiator. If you need per user, per device, or per port segmentation, you can get that with Aruba. There isn't another vendor who does it.

What needs improvement?

Currently, the stability of the code is the basic underlying problem for us. They had an 8.6 release that came out two weeks ago, but we had to migrate twice because the code wasn't stable. We can't get things to work the same way. Version 8 was a big change for them. They made a change so that it is forced to be a managed hierarchical system. It means that you make changes at the top, and it pushes them downstream. There are a lot of problems with the 8.6 version code. I ran into four bugs in one week and was informed that we should just move onto the next one because all of those fixes have taken place. The feedback loop for fixes is not always really relayed back to you.

I don't have a lot of strong things to say about version 8.6. When we had version 6, the controller was pretty much rock solid. We had no problems. We made a heavy investment to migrate a lot of stuff to take advantage of things like WPA3, Wi-Fi 6, and all that kind of stuff, and we haven't been able to turn those features on because we are not confident that they are going to work just yet. So, right now, we're still very much stumbling through the version 8.6 code and just trying to make sure that it is safe before we turn on some of those features. 

In terms of the marketplace, they are one of the top three leaders. In some respects, one of the things that they focus on is wireless. Therefore, there are some things that should be beyond reproach, as far as I'm concerned. In terms of the stability of the code, there are always going to be bugs, but the core stability of the code needs to be there. When it is not stable, that's a real problem for me because you lose a lot of confidence in the products.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Aruba Wireless for about four years now.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is pretty good. There are a lot fewer people in the office, obviously, because of COVID. Under normal situations, we were probably about 2,000 users a day. Between 40% to 50% of that would be corporate users with mobile devices, such as iPhones, as well as laptop users accessing corporate resources and the corporate LAN. We also have guest users.

They are really moving towards making it cloud-based and less attractive for you to use on-premises. There are still a number of limitations with the cloud. One of the reasons we don't use cloud controllers is that they're not able to support more than 250 access points per tenant instance. For example, you have two sites. One has 200 APs, and one has 300 APs. You could put one site in the cloud so that you wouldn't need to have on-premises wireless controllers. You could manage it all from the cloud instance, and you would have zero hardware and all that kind of stuff. 

However, you wouldn't be able to deploy the second site in the cloud because you can't put more than 250 APs. So, now you have got to go back to doing it the old-fashioned way, which is to have on-premises controllers or two management suites. You don't want to do that because the way this new code works is that it is hierarchical, meaning that you build your configuration centrally, and then you push it down to your access points or your local controllers. So, if you've got one management session in the cloud and one management session on-premises, you would have to manage them at two places.

I do understand that you can configure that local hardware. So, for the site that has 300 APs and a local controller, you could plug that controller into the cloud, but it is still for two different models. So, the companies that just want to have a very simplified setup or want to make it less complicated, they can just say that we're going to go cloud or just stay on-premises, but now you have to have a combination of both, or you just stay with on-premises. There are still some basic limitations preventing us from doing wireless deployments where controllers are based in the cloud.

How are customer service and technical support?

I use them a lot. Sometimes, I use them every day. They are pretty good. There is a problem in getting hold of people. That may be just because of COVID, but it is very much dependent on when you call and the type of issue that you have.

If it is a fairly standard issue, if you need assistance with a programming or configuration change, or if you need to know how to do something, you can normally get a very quick resolution. The meantime for resolution is pretty quick. It is within that call, half an hour, or one hour. You can generally speak to somebody. If it is some of the things that I have experienced or a bug, it can be very problematic. It could take days or weeks to get resolutions.

The basic stuff is really good. Anything past that, you probably need to have a dedicated support engineer on your camp if you're big enough, or you need to have resources that really know how to do the legwork beforehand.

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

I worked for a company that had Cisco for many years. Actually, towards the end of that, I switched them from Cisco to Ruckus. I did a POC and a pilot between Ruckus and Aruba, and Ruckus came out on top because of its simplified approach to wireless networking. I have also used Meraki, which is Cisco's cloud-only based AP solution. 

Cisco is like the other de facto. A lot of shops are all Cisco. Their hardware is probably on par with Aruba in terms of processing and handling capabilities. Features are also probably the same. It is more like a Ford-GM question. If you were brought up in a Ford household, you are probably going to buy a Ford sort of thing. I don't think there is much to them, to be honest.

The differentiator for me is that Cisco has a product, which is its network access control system, called ISE or identity services engine. That's a terrible product. It really is an awful product. It is very cumbersome, and it makes adding network access control to your wireless and wired networks very problematic. Aruba's product is called ClearPass, and it is a very flexible tool and easy tool. It is a much more reliable tool. While it doesn't have all the features that you can use with Cisco, it is a standard network application system, which means it will work with any vendor for any system. So, you can do 90% to 95% of the stuff you want, and it is a much more stable and capable system. This difference and the price are differentiators for me. 

From a purely wireless perspective, I think that Aruba is number one. Cisco is a very close number two, and then Ruckus is actually a distant third. Ruckus doesn't have all of the advanced capabilities, but what it does, it does very well. If you want a very basic entry-level wireless that is cheap for K-12 schools or a lot of environments like that, you can use Ruckus. If you need some of the advanced stuff, then you're going to have to pick one of the other solutions.

How was the initial setup?

I would say it is straightforward. It is just that it is a backward way of doing it. They had a fundamental shift in the way you deploy configurations in version 6 to version 8. So, basically, you would do one way in version 6, and then they completely reversed it in version 8. When you come into the product for the first time, it is easy and fairly straightforward. It is an easy adoption process. If you have got lots of experience with the previous version of code, such as version 6, and then you move to version 8, it is very confusing.

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

Aruba is probably cheaper than Cisco, and yet you get all the things that you want.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend Aruba Wireless, but it depends on the size and the scope. If you are a large-scale enterprise, you are going to need to deploy something large. If you are a big university or something, you are going to have to pick one of the big three, which, in this case, is going to be Cisco, Aruba, or Juniper. Juniper's Mist is a recent addition that is hugely popular right now because of a lot of the stuff it does in the cloud. They are all cloud-based controllers, and they integrate machine learning into all of your analytics to give you data. 

I think that Aruba Wireless is a good product overall. They have some code issues with this change as most vendors do when they go through a major change. The product hardware is really good, and they have additional capabilities that Cisco doesn't have, like being able to do per-port tunneling so that you can keep isolation on. They are building features, and you could only make use of these if you extend out and use all the Aruba products like Aruba switches, Aruba ClearPass, etc. 

I've had a couple of conversations with them about the next release, which is actually pending. I don't think it is happening this year. It will happen next year. Version 10 is their next step of code, and it is geared more towards automating a lot of the setup. There are still a lot of manual tasks that you have to do. The automation piece has been something that has really garnered a lot of interest from the wireless community in terms of being able to set networks up. You can just buy access points and just throw them up, and once they're powered on, they communicate with zero-touch provisioning and all that kind of stuff. A lot of the automated processes are coming along, such as the ability to tie in cloud-based analytics to look at your reports, training, or data, like Juniper Mist is doing.

There will also be a change in the user interface. They have now brought in things like COVID tracking. It is not like they are adding features that the market wants. They will add the ability for you to be able to write things that you want to see so that you can basically do your own SDK, if you like, and more easily be able to tie that into what you're doing. I'm not sure whether they'll offer that within the version 10 code.

I would rate Aruba Wireless a seven out of ten. The negatives are the instability with the specific versions of code. These could be specific versions of code, but the newer features, such as WPA, WiFi 6, require some of the newer code. The newer code isn't really very stable yet. The high point would be that it is still an industry leader with on par hardware and performance like anybody else.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ML
Senior Sales Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Reseller
Top 20
A reliable, mature solution for scalable implementation of access points

Pros and Cons

  • "The technical support is very good."
  • "It is easy to install and deploy."
  • "There is a lot of information for users about the product, but it needs to be better organized so that solutions are easier to find."

What is our primary use case?

Aruba is moving to the cloud platform model. We are presenting solutions using Aruba Central to clients for the management of their infrastructure. The majority of the implementations we have are still currently are on-premises. Customers now are slowly implementing cloud solutions for Aruba. We have 80% on-premises and 20% migrating to the cloud version of the solution.  

With Aruba Central, we can manage controllers, EAPs (Employee Assistance Programs), switches, et cetera. Everything in one place. So we can manage anything we need to using Aruba. Aruba on-premises wireless is something we use for education. It is mostly implemented in schools and in universities. We use it to establish APs (Access Points)  around the campus to make sure there is coverage campus-wide. Then they have mobility controllers on-premises that control all the infrastructure.  

Another use case is for companies that have branches from the data centers. At the prime location, they have APs powered within the company and Mobility Masters in the data center. The Mobility Masters cluster-connect to the mobility controllers and then control all the APs and all the wireless infrastructure. Then we have links connecting the branches. On the branches, we have small mobility controllers that feed all the information to and from Mobility Masters. That is, the Mobility Masters connect to mobility controllers and then the mobility controllers connect to the APs.  

Portugal is a small country and our smallest companies always have EAPs. EAPs are a version of a solution from Aruba that the NAC (Network Access Control) AP has inside a virtual controller. These NAC APs control all the other APs.  

How has it helped my organization?

It gives us a reliable, mature solution that we can roll out to our clients.  

What is most valuable?

Wireless technologies, relatively speaking, are a new solution. The technical guys from Aruba are very good. The support is very good. It is very easy to implement the product. Another solution that Aruba has is the NAC and the ClearPass. ClearPass is a good solution for additional security of access points and it is integrated so it is very easy to deploy. It is very interactive and not so analytic as other solutions so, in my opinion. Aruba is a very good company — very good technology-wise — and they make very useful products.  

What needs improvement?

Perhaps one of the things that I think Aruba can improve on is developing their current information channels. Aruba has a lot of information available about their products and to find the information you need is not always so easy. It is more complicated than it should be. I think that they are great and do have a lot of information available — probably all the information that any user really needs to do things themselves. They are doing things well and trying to do things in the right way. They should just improve more on the organization and searchability of the information to make it easier to find what you are looking for.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I am with the sales service for Arrow, Portugal which is a solutions company. My role is to help the partners in designing solutions. I am working with Aruba products as a partner and reseller for three years now.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Aruba Wireless is stable. Very stable. Because Aruba has already been around for more than 10 years or so, it is a mature product and a very stable product. If there is a problem, the support team is very good with working through the problems. When a client wants a new version, we have confidence in Aruba that everything has already tested and we have access to stable versions of the release. We have access to all the information for the versions whether they are the old ones or the new ones.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

My impressions about the scalability and the product is that it is highly scalable. You can start with a low quantity of access points — as low as one installation — and then scale it to thousands if you have to. You can do the upgrades in the mobility controllers to allow the growth of the infrastructure. Because of the way it is created, it is highly scalable and highly reliable.  

Of course, we have plans to scale our own usage of the product. Because we work as a value-added distributor of Aruba in Portugal, we have to meet the needs of our client base which is growing all the time. We have plans to increase the implementation of the product in our market to meet those demands. It is partly because we are working with a superior product like Aruba that we are growing in our market.  

How are customer service and technical support?

The Aruba technical support team is very good. They are very skilled people and can help you with the support you need when it comes to their products. They are very good at turning around a response within 24 hours. It is fast and helpful.  

How was the initial setup?

In my experience the initial setup of the Aruba EAP solution is straightforward. We can call on all the APs and then you have everything connected. Now they also have a Soho gateway solution that it is integrated. It is very easy to turn on this solution. I can install the Soho add-on instantly for the Aruba solution. I think that they are doing very well to keep the customer in mind when building and testing their products for ease of setup and use.  

Our deployment did not take a very long time. Even initially. For clients, the deployment takes more or less time than ours. It depends on the size of the implementation. If you have to do only 10 APs in a small deployment, it can take only two or three days to complete the whole thing. If you have a bigger implementation, it depends on the size of the project. It could take weeks for the deployment if it is a very large one.  

What about the implementation team?

We did not have to use an integrator, reseller, or consultant for our deployment. We could do that ourselves. But we do work with all the integrators in Portugal because we help them to sell the solution so that they can implement it for the clients. We help them sell the product and then they do the deployments.  

What other advice do I have?

The advice I would give to a customer that wants to implement this product is that they must have good support from a product partner. Try to find a certified partner to do the job of planning and implementation. This should be a certified HP partner to do the job as Aruba is an HP company. Choose the right partner, the right technical guy, and the right company to implement the solution for you. It will make sure you have the solution deployed in the way you need it to be done to fit your needs and expectations. That is the most important thing that I can think of.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as a nine-and-a-half.  

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
Learn what your peers think about Aruba Wireless. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: December 2021.
554,529 professionals have used our research since 2012.
D6B8
District Technology at a educational organization with 1,001-5,000 employees
User
Top 5
Some of the implementations or features do work as advertised. Urgent areas of improvement would be customer support, better tuned default settings, and documentation.

Pros and Cons

  • "It has an aesthetically pleasing GUI for configuration."
  • "The urgent areas of improvement would be customer support, better tuned default settings, and documentation."

What is our primary use case?

Using this solution district-wide in all of our secondary buildings. We have over 1000 IAP-225 APs deployed, along with ClearPass.

How has it helped my organization?

We currently use the MAC address caching through ClearPass to allow guests to connect from a prior authenticated attempt. We also use the Visual RF component in AirWave for tracking devices.

What is most valuable?

There aren't a lot of features that Aruba has that their competitors don't. With that being said, some of the implementations or features do work as advertised: easy deployment of APs, MAC caching, and aesthetically pleasing GUI for configuration.

What needs improvement?

The urgent areas of improvement would be customer support, better tuned default settings, and documentation. Aruba’s TAC support for us has been frustrating most of the time, as there is a clear language/dialect barrier when speaking or emailing a TAC representative. We’ve found that we have more emails (which equates to longer resolution time) than typically needed to cover certain questions and updates – as the TAC directions and instructions were either incomplete or we couldn’t understand what they were referencing. There have been occasions where a local Aruba rep, has had to step in for the TAC due to this problem.

Out of the box the Aruba gear (at least with the IAP-225 APs) comes with all of the marketing promised higher throughput settings (which causes issues such as CCI) enabled such as (but not limited to): 80 Mhz channel width (which anybody rarely uses), all 2.4 Ghz channels enabled, and high transmit power turned on. Many of these settings are used rarely in most deployments, and will need to be tuned. Aruba should enable 40 Mhz channels, only enable channels 1,6,11 on 2.4 Ghz, and set the power lower – as this will give most deployments a better chance at succeeding. This would benefit those who just put them in and call it a day or have little to no knowledge on the inner-workings of RF. This isn't an Aruba only problem, many of the wireless vendors do this, and the community has asked for this to change – however, I felt it was worth noting.

Aruba’s documentation is pretty good, however there are cases where something is recommended by a TAC or an Aruba engineer that cannot be found in their documentation for the product itself, or their best practices guides (often referred to as Validated Reference Designs – VRD). The things that we've had to change/rethink but weren't in the documentation are: cluster sizes, standard L2 VLAN, disabling L3 Mobility, and client match.

For how long have I used the solution?

Four to six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have encountered stability issues. The APs would sometimes randomly reboot; no idea what was causing it and support was less than helpful. The clients connecting would have a magnitude of issues until we turned off or disabled some features (some of which we really wanted to use).

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have encountered scalability issues. We were initially hooked by the simplistic nature of the "controller-less" idea. We have come to find out that we need to revamp our networking from 1-2 clusters per building (depending on size), to one cluster per network closet. This is not in the official documentation, so it feels like bait and switch. We also need to redo our VLANS, as now we've been told to go to one big L2 network for data, again not located in the documentation.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is very poor. We've had many problems with Aruba TAC, such as (and not limited to): not being able to understand them, them not being complete in their requests, and outright incompetence. We've had to bring in Aruba reps and other third parties locally to assist in getting issues resolved.

Technical Support:

Technical support is very poor; see Customer Service section.

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

We previously used Extreme Networks. We switched from 802.11n to 802.11ac, and Aruba was rewarded the bid mainly due to cost.

How was the initial setup?

The setup for the APs is straightforward; however, you need to be extremely knowledgeable to set up ClearPass.

What about the implementation team?

Implementation was done by a little bit of both an in-house team and a vendor team. The vendor helped us get the ClearPass set up; otherwise, we set up the AirWave appliance (monitoring solution - similar to a controller).

What was our ROI?

Not sure about ROI, but with the money spent attempting to fix the problems caused by this solution, it's definitely not as good as we would like.

In regards to perhaps a 'hidden' ROI, one of our building's WiFi was extremely unreliable that the staff and users of the network simply gave up using it. We are pursuing a different vendor at this location.

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

Get multiple bids/quotes, and talk to the representatives about the limitations of the product; pretty standard.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, we also evaluated Cisco, Extreme Networks (Enterasys at the time), and Xirrus. This process was completed before I came aboard.

What other advice do I have?

Honestly, and simply put, I would look elsewhere. I feel this company falls short on its promises, has been a pain to work with, and the product I feel is inferior to its many competitors.

Don't be fooled by the marketing hype; it's a fair product but it's not everything they promise.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
DM
Sr IT Solutions Architect at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Versatile as a solution but lacks comprehensive testing for upgrades and issues can be expected

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the fact that it can work with many devices. It supports everything that we need it to."
  • "Aruba Wireless is easily scaled between a lot of devices and a lot of endpoints. When we decided to use it as our solution, we had planned to use it exactly for its ability to scale."
  • "The upgrades tend to be buggy and better testing is needed before they are released."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use we have for the product is for users' corporate mobile access.  

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the fact that it can work with many devices. It supports everything that we need it to. Whatever features are required from an enterprise standard, it supports all of them. The main advantage is broad device support.  

What needs improvement?

The area that has the most room for improvement is upgrades. What we have seen many times now is that new releases tend to have bugs. Sometimes the bugs are a little bad and cause some undesirable issues. The new code in the upgrades or something leads to conflicts. I would say testing releases before making them available is one of the areas which Aruba needs to improve most with the wireless product. More comprehensive testing is required for a better, more reliable end-user experience.  

It is not necessarily testing more often, it is just for new releases. The testing they need to do is to work more closely with different environments and take notice of where issues tend to occur. They should have some idea of what environments are experiencing issues more often by now because of which companies are reporting the issues. They can make compensations for testing in those environments.  

I do not have any new features that the product requires off the top of my head. I think that more than improving the product, there are management portfolios and other peripheral things that could be better integrated. But just doing better testing is the main improvement that they need to make.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Aruba Wireless for between seven and eight years now.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Aruba Wireless has been a stable solution for us. Once it was set up correctly it was fine. We had some initial hiccups. We still have issues with upgrades sometimes. Except for mostly minor issues, it has been a good solution.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Aruba Wireless is easily scaled between a lot of devices and a lot of endpoints. When we decided to use it as our solution we had planned to use it exactly for its ability to scale. We went through a massive scaling and did not have issues with devices and endpoints.  

Right now we have 30,000 users and around 45,000 devices between those users. It does not seem that there are many limitations for scaling the product's use.  

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. The only issue we have had with them is that we often have to be referred to their engineering response team. That situation actually happens most of the time. On the other hand, we do not need to use support very often.  

So, yes, we get support for the product and we eventually get the solution we need, but most of the time it gets referred to their engineering team to get the complete solution. Overall, the support is pretty good.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a little bit complex because our environment is complex. Because of that, I would say the initial setup was complex. It may not be as complex for other companies.  

It took almost a year for deployment. But there are two sides to the setup. One is the product is good and it can be configured to do what we need. But our environment was complex because it involves some legacy devices and some really advanced new devices and technologies as well. It is good that the product is able to support both of those needs.  

What about the implementation team?

We have a couple of IT specialists, one architect, and a development operations engineer for deploying the updates and maintaining the solution. In total, it is around four or five people who maintain the product. Not everyone needs to be dedicated to it full-time.  

What other advice do I have?

The advice that I would give to others who are looking into implementing Aruba starts with that it is a good product. It has some really good features. But the other reality is that you might need to be prepared to face some hiccups with any upgrades and with the setup.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate the Aruba Wireless solution as a seven-point-five out of ten. Because of the upgrade issues and the persistence of those, I would rate it a seven.  

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
HA
Network Infrastructure Engineer at KAIZNE
MSP
Top 20
Easily manages of all your wireless devices

Pros and Cons

  • "I have not experienced any bugs, software, or hardware issues with Aruba."
  • "Most of the access points don't include the chargers."

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?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
ED
Infrastructure Manager at a media company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
It works as a solution but needs to be more competitive with emerging products

Pros and Cons

  • "There is no problem with downtime."
  • "Aruba needs to be more competitive with newer products. Their legacy makes that more difficult for them."

What is our primary use case?

Aruba was our primary wireless solution until very recently.  

What is most valuable?

In the end, when you bring on a wireless solution, you only need a wireless solution. That is the intrinsic value. We had both Aruba ClearPass and Aruba AirWaves. We had all the management features also available from Aruba. These worked well together as a class of products.   

What needs improvement?

When I compare Aruba with Juniper Mist, Juniper is the more an AI-driven management solution. It is more of a modern solution, I think. Aruba needs to be more competitive with Juniper.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Aruba Wireless for four or five years now.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think Aruba is stable because it was working okay. There was no problem with downtime. The issue for us with functionality was because we have much more reflection in our building due to the height of our ceilings.  

How are customer service and technical support?

We bought the product through a reseller. For support, we needed to go through that reseller instead of Aruba self. It is hard to judge the capabilities of Aruba support directly.  

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

We had Aruba and we just replaced it with Juniper Mist a few weeks ago (September 2020). The AI-driven management solutions from Juniper Mist suits our business more than the Aruba solution we used before. I think Aruba did the work we needed before, but better management is the reason why we moved over to Juniper Mist.  

Before Aruba, we worked with HP Colubris. We stopped using the HP Colubris solution because HP no longer provided it. That is what happened.  

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

Aruba is comparable to competing solutions when it comes to price. I am going to say that the support pricing for Juniper Mist is higher than Aruba. I think that is because Juniper is more of a cloud model than Aruba.  

You do also have a cloud solution from Aruba called Aruba Central, but I have not compared prices for that.  

What other advice do I have?

The advice that I would give to someone considering Aruba as a wireless solution would be to look into the Aruba Central cloud solution that they are offering right now. I think we are at a time of brand control that needs to be managed and needs to be supported. I think that working with a cloud-based solution is a better option than on-premises solutions.  

I think what is more important than a particular tool is that you also have the depth of wireless knowledge to really be able to competently manage such environments.  

On a scale from one to ten (where one is the worst and ten is the best), I would rate this product as a seven-out-of-ten. To improve on that score they would have to make Aruba more available to cloud management. They just recently started with Aruba Central and they are not as far along as Juniper Mist is with having a mature cloud solution.  

The problem for Aruba is that Juniper Mist is a new product without a longer legacy. They can start from ground zero. Aruba needs to support the older controller-based models and that may slow them down when it comes to development.  

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Shrijendra Shakya
C.T.O at Sastra Network Solution Inc. Pvt. Ltd.
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Enhances network visibility, easy to implement and manage, good reporting

Pros and Cons

  • "The Airwave is the best feature for a single management point for all APs in the environment."
  • "The Help option within the GUI needs to be improved."

What is our primary use case?

This solution has been deployed for an enterprise environment with 105 Apps and controllers in HA for a government entity handling the user capacity of 1500 people.

Multiple SSIDs have been broadcasted with independent VLANs and user policy has been implemented.

The controllers are in HA. Both indoor and outdoor APs have been used in the environment.

The solution has been differentiated for Guests, Employees, and an unrestricted group. The APs have been deployed across 10 multistory buildings in high interference zones.

How has it helped my organization?

Aruba Wireless has succeeded in facilitating the implementation of a centralized wireless network to the client, covering multiple buildings expanding across the area of 58000 square meters.

There are no blind spots and users enjoy uninterrupted Wi-Fi. This has given the users complete mobility and the Quality of Service with the necessary security imposed.

It has met the customer expectations and is ready to scale for growing business demand. It has offered visibility into the network and enhanced the troubleshooting experience.

What is most valuable?

It is easy to implement and manage through a web GUI.

The adding of APs simply involves configuring a network port on the appropriate VLAN and plugging in the AP. The controller pushes the config out to the new AP.

The Airwave is the best feature for a single management point for all APs in the environment. 

It offers many reporting features as well as visual RF maps displaying heatmaps of the AP signals and client positioning. 

The addition of the APs on the existing swarm is plug and play to the desired VLAN.

What needs improvement?

The Help option within the GUI needs to be improved. It would be perfect to have it more descriptive about the functions and features it has.

The online documentation resources could be made more readily available for troubleshooting than to be engaged with the support through email and calls.

During the shipments, the firmware versions on the shipped outdoor APs, indoor APs, and controllers could be matched so that adaptation for the APs is easy.

They should add more features available on Aruba Airwave to the GUI.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been suing Aruba Wireless for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is guaranteed.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a very scalable product. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is excellent. They are more willing to help and be there for the customer.

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

We did not switch products. Rather, our choice is based on customer requirements. It's the best-recommended product listed by Gartner on this segment.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is absolutely straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

Our in-house team is responsible for deployment.

What was our ROI?

The access points are more cost-effective over some other providers, both in cost per AP and the option of a controller-less environment. 

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

It's comparatively priced; it's a bit expensive compared to competitors but worth the investment because of the performance, stability, and ease of deployment.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had been working with vendors like Cisco and Ruckus.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are partner and SI.
MM
Head of Operations & Support at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Very stable, with good integration, but quite expensive

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is quite stable and very robust."
  • "There needs to be better visibility on the day-to-day monitoring."

What is most valuable?

The solution has great integration capabilities.

It offers a lot of helpful common features.

The solution is quite stable and very robust.

What needs improvement?

The solution is quite expensive. If they could make the cost a bit lower, that would be helpful. It's pricey compared to, for example, D-Link or TP-Link. Other commonly used products offer more competitive pricing.

The solution should offer more simplified tools.

There needs to be better visibility on the day-to-day monitoring.

It would be ideal if they had cloud services whereby you could manage everything from the cloud. This may be on the most current version, however, on older versions, they don't offer this. Even if you deployed on-premises, you should be able to control everything from the cloud.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for quite some time. It's easily been about five or so years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is quite stable. It's very robust, in fact. Many enterprises deploy it and they can rely on its stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As a solution suitable for enterprises, it can scale quite well. A company should have no trouble expanding it if they need to.

How was the initial setup?

Everyone has their own method of deploying this product. Each company is different. It may be pretty straightforward or more complex depending on an organization's needs.

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

Their pricing is on-par with Cisco. It's definitely not the cheapest on the market. It's on the higher end in terms of price. For example, you need to purchase extra tools in order to get better monitoring and performance visibility.

What other advice do I have?

We're an Aruba partner. We provide this solution to our customers.

We tend to work with and offer the latest version on the market. The version we have now in our offices is more than five years old at this point. It was the latest version when we installed it.

Would advise anyone considering using Aruba first do a proof of concept. Different environments will have different needs. It's really up to the team and the performance walls that you're looking to test. If your company is pretty simple and small, it may not be necessary to have Aruba. It would be like buying a Ferrari when all you really need is any old car. However, if your organization is looking for a solution that is solid, performance-wise, this may be perfect. It's best to test.  

Also, a company needs to clearly identify their requirements. Do they need the high performance? Are they constrained by costs? All of these questions need to be considered before signing onto a solution. A cost-benefit analysis needs to be done before choosing any product.

Overall, I'd rate the solution seven out of ten. If it offered more free tools and had better day-to-day monitoring, I might rank it higher.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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