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The path to an adaptive, modern network

By Contributor
Mon 23 May 2022

Article by Silver Peak founder and chief technology and product officer David Hughes.

As the pandemic pushes into its third year, companies seem to have settled into a new norm—one where many employees continue to work remotely, where business requirements are constantly shifting, and where companies know that to win, they must adapt to change at a moment’s notice. When I speak to customers, they confirm the challenges associated with these trends. 

Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time. Those networks were not designed with these changing conditions and new technologies in mind.

This need to reduce complexity while creating an adaptive network foundation is the thinking behind our latest innovations in network modernisation. Today we announced significant advancements to Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform), with new functionality in Aruba Central to enable organisations to keep pace with rapidly changing business requirements.

Our new Aruba Central NetConductor solution allows enterprises to centrally manage roles, authentication and access permissions of distributed networks with cloud-native services that simplify policy provisioning and automate the orchestration of network configurations in wired, wireless, and WAN infrastructures. Central NetConductor enables network agility for users and IoT deployments while also enforcing Zero Trust and SASE security policies.

This announcement is important because it recognises the need for organisations to continually modernise their network based on three principles:

  • Automation - Simplified workflows and AI-powered automation to reduce the time and resources required to plan, deploy, and manage networks that support remote, branch, campus, and cloud connectivity. Central NetConductor includes intent-based workflows with “one-button” connectivity and security policy orchestration.
  • Security - Increased threat detection and protection with built-in identity-based access control and Dynamic Segmentation that are the foundation for Zero Trust and SASE frameworks. Central NetConductor provides pervasive role-based access control that extends Dynamic Segmentation for Zero Trust and SASE security policy enforcement.
  • Agility - Unified, cloud-native, standards-based architecture for investment protection and ease of adoption with NaaS consumption models to optimise budget and staff resources. Central NetConductor uses cloud-native services for a single point of visibility and control to ease the migration and adoption of new services while preserving existing investments.

As part of this announcement, we also introduced other advancements to help customers on their journey to an adaptive, modern network architecture:

Self-locating indoor access points

We introduced the industry’s first self-locating indoor APs with built-in GPS receivers and Open Locate, a proposed new industry standard for sharing location information from an access point to a device.

This means that for IT, we've done away with the need for manually mapping your network, and now it will update access point location dynamically and accurately.

For Lines of Business, accurate and affordable indoor location opens the door for a new generation of applications, like we’ve seen with outdoor GPS. To learn more, watch this interview with HPE Fellow, Stuart Strickland.

New NaaS offerings

The third piece of our announcement centers around our network-as-a-service (NaaS) offerings. As organisations rethink how they purchase and manage their networks, the need to be nimble and flexible is the key driver behind the sharp rise in NaaS adoption. Last week, HPE announced significant advancements to the HPE GreenLake platform with 12 new cloud services spanning networking, storage, high performance computing, and compute to help organisations modernise all their applications and data, from edge to cloud.

The networking piece of this announcement is our HPE GreenLake for Aruba, or network as a service (NaaS). This gives an agile and dynamic network option to those looking for a solution that can flex up or down as business requirements shift. This latest announcement includes eight standardised offerings designed around popular enterprise networking use cases, providing greater simplicity and accelerating time-to-value for NaaS deployments.

The advancements that we introduced today will help customers on their journey to an adaptive and modern network architecture. While none of us can predict the next big shift with absolute certainty, we can plan for change and set up our network—and our business—to be ready for anything.

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