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Aruba Networks Announces New Value-Priced, High-Performance Broadband Wireless 802.11n Access Point

9/25/09 - Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARUN) announced the release of its compact, dual-radio AP-105 802.11n Broadband Wireless Access Point . Value-priced at just $695 U.S. list, Aruba expects the AP-105 to accelerate adoption of 802.11n by offering enterprise-grade security, high throughput, streaming video support, and other key features previously available only in more expensive devices.

While designed to meet the demanding requirements of the largest enterprises, used in conjunction with Aruba's recently introduced 600 Series Controllers, the AP-105 is competitively priced for even the smallest businesses.

Aruba also announced a reduction in the U.S. list price of its top-of-the-line 3x3 MIMO AP-124 and AP-125 802.11n Access Points to just $995. Both access points feature operation over standard 803.2af Power over Ethernet (PoE), dual gigabit Ethernet ports with Secure Jack access control, high throughput rates over long ranges, and FIPS 140-2 validation. The AP-124 includes external antenna connectors for use with a wide range of antennas, while the AP-125 uses adjustable integrated antennas. The AP-105, AP-124, and AP-125 are all covered by Aruba's limited lifetime warranty .

"With the recent ratification of the 802.11n standard and growing interest in replacing Ethernet networks with wireless solutions, the time for 802.11n has come at last," said Paul DeBeasi, Senior Analyst at Burton Group. "Given the mobility and performance benefits to be gained by moving to 802.11n, the last remaining barrier to widespread adoption is price." A free copy of Paul DeBeasi's newly updated white paper, " 802.11n: The End of Ethernet? ," can be downloaded from Aruba's Web site.

The AP-105 packs a wide range of advanced features into a compact package measuring just 5.2" x 5.3" x 1.8" (132mm x 135mm x 45mm) and weighing a scant 10.56 ounces (0.3 kg). Key features include:

  • Dual radio, 2x2 MIMO design delivers up to 300Mbps per radio;
  • Integrated antennas support both wall and ceiling mounting;
  • 802.3af PoE simplifies installation;
  • Software reconfiguration allows repurposing for connectivity, mesh, intrusion sensor, and remote access applications -- one access point, many uses;
  • Trusted Platform Module (TPM) securely stores network credentials and cipher keys to protect network integrity even if the access point is probed or stolen;
  • Adaptive Radio Management (ARM) enhances performance by managing client behavior.

"802.11n customers typically fall into one of two categories: those seeking the ultimate in performance and features, for which they're willing to pay a premium, and those seeking an enterprise-class 802.11n solution with pricing comparable to an 802.11a/b/g access point," said Dan Wilson, Vice President of Partner Alliances at Aruba authorized reseller Accuvant. "Aruba's AP-124 and AP-125 802.11n Access Points address the first category. The new AP-105 is the first enterprise-class 802.11n solution we are aware of, from any vendor, at an 802.11a/b/g price, a breakthrough that we believe will drive open the enterprise market."

The efficacy of Aruba's 802.11n and ARM technologies were validated in tests conducted at the University of Washington. In the tests, ARM increased 802.11n throughput by more than 200 percent in a mixed-client network. Additionally, ARM 2.0 enabled 101 concurrently running 802.11n and legacy 802.11a/b/g laptops to reliably display multi-media lectures delivered via a single access point. A free Farpoint Group white paper, " Advances In Wireless Infrastructure Control ," details the test results and can be downloaded on-line.

"While it was a technical challenge to integrate so much functionality into such an inexpensive and compact access point, we believe that by doing so Aruba has really differentiated the AP-105 from products selling for up to twice the price," said Keerti Melkote, Aruba's Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer. "The AP-105 targets customers in need of wire-like performance, a rich feature set, lifetime warranty, and very competitive pricing. Those who need redundant gigabit Ethernet ports, external antennas, 3x3 MIMO, and/or FIPS 140-2 validation will find a solution in our award-winning AP-124 and AP-125 802.11n Access Points. Between the AP-105 and AP-120 series we have the entire indoor 802.11n market covered."

A free primer on 802.11n network design and infrastructure considerations, " Designed for Speed: Network Infrastructure in an 802.11n World ," is now available on-line. Topics discussed in this newly updated white paper include how 802.11n works, how to build hybrid 802.11a/b/g/n networks, and wiring infrastructure considerations.

Aruba is offering generous trade-in terms for competitors' legacy 802.11a/b/g wireless access points, as well as an infrastructure upgrade program for existing customers.

By Robert Hoskins

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