Aruba Remote Access Points: Experience the Smart Workspace

By George Isaac, System Engineer, Aruba and HPE Network Ambassador

John is struggling with unreliable corporate connectivity for the last few months. He got an HPE Aruba Remote Access Point yesterday, shipped by his IT support team, along with a small manual. He is a developer advanced in Python coding in a multinational company. He quickly connected the Aruba RAP to broadband modems, a 4G dongle and a workstation as per the manual and then decided to call it a day.

The next morning John gets up and tends to his daily routine and later has a great breakfast and then decides to turn on his laptop. To his surprise, he sees that his laptop is connected to the corporate SSID. Also all corporate applications like Jira, Bugzilla and other code management tools were available. He was surprised at first but then he realized that his new Aruba device was the reason for broadcasting the corporate SSID – “Wow! No VPN is required now to access the corporate network, this is GREAT!”

John logs in to the corporate workstation that he uses for testing and he sees that it has already synced up the data with the build server and he’s glad that he can directly start testing. Previously he had to dial in a VPN and wait a long time for it to connect and in case of a VPN break he had to reconnect to it, which used to consume a lot of time – “This saved me so much time!”

He also realized that his mobile phone was already automatically connected to the same corporate SSID as his office and select applications like the HR portal and others were reachable over his mobile phone. He realized that the new Aruba Remote Access Point was smart enough to understand what type of devices were getting connected and was capable of applying differentiated policies as he had in his corporate office – “This is really amazing!”

He also noticed that the family SSID was broadcasting with an easy-to-use PSK SSID. He also configured it to connect to his Apple TV, personal laptop and his kids’ iPad, as the manual claimed to provide high performance and secure Wi-Fi.

Now John's kids, Peter and Mary, wanted to watch Netflix and download some study material, John was worried about it as it usually slowed down his broadband connection and network speed. But yet again to his surprise there was no performance issue this time. – “What is this magic here? Looks like the Aruba infrastructure is prioritizing my business-critical applications and is providing me a guaranteed bandwidth like my office!”

It turned 11 AM and John received a custom push notification on his mobile phone asking him to take a break and do small exercises – “Is this real? Am I getting the same BLE magic I had in the office at home also?”

Later John had a good lunch with his family and during his break, he got a call from a courier agency about the new Raspberry-Pi test units he had ordered. John was struggling with remote connectivity for the last few months and his productivity was highly impacted in a bad way. Things which he used to do in seconds now took hours as he needed to wait for the lab assistant or due to the poor connectivity to access the lab data.

John saw the wired ports in the Aruba Remote Access Point, and he thought “Why don't I just onboard this new Raspberry-Pi to the corporate network using my device registration software as I do in the Office? My office is very smart, and I shouldn’t go to IT for silly things. I have my own devices and I can onboard them securely using the Magic software known as ClearPass”

John added the mac-address of Raspberry-Pi to ClearPass, connected to a wired port of RAP, and amazingly it connected to a corporate network and it could now reach the lab servers in DC – “This is just amazing! I love this magic Remote Access Point!”

John received a Skype message from his friend Sam saying that he doesn’t have to go to the office to fix his laptop issue as IT can get full control over his laptop if he connects it to the Aruba Remote Access Point - “It looks like with the Aruba Remote Access Point our homes have become a smart office!”

Things were going well, then he got a call from his wife saying that few websites were not opening on her iPad and it was redirecting her to a page which says it's a malicious website. He looked into the website and through a quick search in google he found that it’s a malicious website infected with malware – “Looks like Aruba Remote Access Point is not just providing robust connectivity but is also securing my family.”

It’s 4 PM and it’s family time! - “Why didn’t I have any broadband issues today? Looks like Aruba Remote Access Point does have some magic of solving issues related to broadband links.”

But there were many issues that occurred throughout the day which John didn’t have any clue about, thanks to his new Aruba Remote Access Point.

In reality there were multiple issues with broadband throughout the day. Multiple times the broadband links failed, but Aruba RAP had done an automatic failover and sometimes when both broadband links were down Aruba RAP was providing corporate connectivity using 4G dongle. There was an issue with the DNS server and thanks to the robust AI-Ops capabilities of Aruba Central, the case was logged automatically in service and IT fixed the issue before John could even notice it. Aruba's unique content filtering (IP Reputation-Dynamic list of 12 million dangerous IPs / 83 URL categories) / Firewall capabilities was protecting his entire family and blocking any threats to his personal network proactively.

John is now a happy employee and he can work as effectively at home as he could in office! He delivered the code before his deadline.

The lesson: When you invest in the employee experience, productivity increases and have positive impact on the revenue too.