What are pros and cons of Aruba 515 Series AP vs. Cisco Meraki or Extreme Networks?

We are redoing Wi-Fi and the related Ethernet switches to support it. We're moving from Cisco environment and considering Aruba 515, w/CX6400 Cisco Meraki or possible on-prem Wi-Fi controller, Arista Mojo, or Extreme Networks ExtremeCloud IQ.

Any suggestions? 

22 Answers

author avatar

Depends.  I have personally used both Cisco and Aruba so I am familiar with them.  Extreme I am not, so unless they have some feature that I need or want, I wouldn't consider them.

Do you have experience with any of these brands?  If so, based on your experience would you use that brand again?

Also what other equipment do you have on your network?  Firewall? Router? APs? Security (Cameras, door locks etc.)?  Are there any functions with one of these brands of switches that would enhance the products you already have?  Sometimes you get more bang for your buck by sticking with the same manufacture as they will have features on different products that work together well or feed off of each other.

If all of that comes down to the same three brands still, then look at performance claims, features sets, cost.

We have the Meraki AP's and I like the cloud management portion of them.  But if you don't renew with them to use the cloud then the AP's are worthless as the require the cloud management.  But it is nice to have that central, visual representation and central management feature Meraki has to offer.  I don't know if Extreme Networks or Aruba has that. 

author avatar

I have Extreme and chose them years ago when they were Aerohive for one reason PPSK they are still the only company that has this.  I put out a bid this year and was ready to forklift my entire extreme system because of their outrageous maintenance costs Aruba had a great maintenance cost but to achieve what I needed I would have to purchase clearpass an excellent product I might add.   TCO for Aruba was about 10% of my original Extreme quote.  The bid for extreme came in and they had dropped the maintenance cost to 10% of the original cost for 5 years.  I would like to have purchased Aruba but I have 125 Extreme WAPs deployed so the cost of Aruba forklift would have been higher and the need to retrain techs on how to configure Aruba is now not an issue.  If I was doing a system from scratch I would choose Aruba hands down for their service, price and ease of use.  I have a full Aruba network of routers and switches as well as all HP printers so it would have been a good fit. I must add this is based on educational prices I am the network Engineer for a residential High School ASMSA.  Your prices may vary.  I have heard from other extreme users that their support is not what it was when Aerohive was a stand alone company, I have a very knowledgeable vendor so I rarely have to contact Extreme.

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