The Virtual Branch Network products take a page from the virtualization playbook to simplify the management of branch and remote locations while lowering costs for users.

W. David Gardner, Contributor

May 13, 2009

2 Min Read

Aruba Networks has unveiled a line of networking products with virtualization overtones that it said will simplify the management of branch and remote locations while also lowering costs for users.

Its Virtual Branch Network offering features new software for Aruba Controllers in data centers and also includes three new lines of wired and wireless remote access points and branch office controllers. One line, the RAP-2, carries an eye-popping $99 price tag for an access point.

"The VBN solution lowers the cost, complexity, and IT overhead associated with deploying branch offices and teleworkers," said Keerti Melkote, Aruba's co-founder and CTO, who added that this week's product announcement takes "a page from the application virtualization playbook."

The announced products are steeped in remote device technology -- all with optimized Wi-Fi, adaptive radio management features, and local and remote packet forwarding. Simple diagnostic user interfaces have one-button debugging and one-button reset to factory defaults.

Designed for one to five users, the $99 RAP-2 device has 802.11b/g capability including a Wi-Fi radio and two Ethernet ports.

The RAP-5 line is the size of a book and includes five high-speed Ethernet ports, a USB port, and hardware accelerated encryption. Designed for small branches, the device starts at $395. An 802.11n Wi-Fi radio with integrated antennas is optional.

The top-of-the-line 600 Branch Office Controller Family is described by Aruba as a "branch-in-a-box." Priced at $1,495, the device supports 256 users through a broad range of WAN connectivity. The 600 controller features network attached storage and Gigabit Ethernet capability.

The company noted that a single Aruba Multi-Service Controller will support as many as 32,000 users when equipped with VBN software and RAP or 600 series devices.

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