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Enable Secure, Remote Connectivity with Aruba RAP

  Victor Fabian     Apr 07, 2020

secure remote connectivity with Aruba RAPAn article in the New York Times dated March 18, 2020 says it best, “Tech can make remote work miserable.” As companies across the country send their employees home to work remotely in an effort to keep them safe and abide by government orders, millions of employees new to the idea of working from home are realizing the tech headaches involved in it. An astonishing 50+ percent of the U.S. is now working from home according to the latest estimates. That’s roughly 85 million people. While the involved numbers should be a surprise, the fact that many of these users have poor or inadequate wireless at home to utilize for work shouldn’t be. 

Questionable Wireless is Nothing New

For road warriors and on the road work veterans, the importance of high-performance wireless connectivity has been a known requirement. In a survey conducted back in 2012 by Hotels.com, the #1 most valued hotel amenity was WiFi. Now think about how the demand for fast dependable WiFi has changed in just 8 years. Many hotel and other complimentary WiFi services are supported by consumer-grade WiFi routers. While non enterprise grade wireless devices are certainly ample for checking one’s email, supporting large file transmissions and online video streaming is an entirely different matter. Even hotel conference rooms can’t always accommodate today’s essential video web conferences. We operate today in a highly dynamic mobile world, which means that high performance wireless dependability is essential for senior executives and other mission critical personnel that are operating in a remote model today.

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Aruba Delivers Expected Environments for the Unexpected

The recent current events have shown us the true scale that disruption can occur for businesses today. Businesses cannot afford to shut down in the case of imminent events whether it be natural disasters, man-made events or even pandemics. The ability for company personnel to operate from remote and temporary workspaces has been proven essential. But as so many internal IT departments have discovered first-hand, you cannot manage what you don’t know about. The word “unmanaged” is another word for vulnerable. Wireless networks that are unmanaged are not just prone to slow performance, but security threats such as hackers and malware. Today’s current events have made it clear that companies need a solution that turns unknown and unmanaged remote wireless into known, managed and fully secure wireless. That is what Aruba has done.

Introducing Aruba Remote APs (Aruba RAP)

Aruba’s Remote Access Points product line wasn’t just unveiled yesterday. Companies have been utilizing Aruba RAP solutions prior to the challenges we face in 2020. That is because Aruba understands the needs of the modern workforce of today, and that of tomorrow. Aruba designed their RAP series of products with the aim to not just give network access to remote workers, but to bring the network to remote locations. This means that no matter where an Aruba RAP is located, it serves as an extension to your network.

Total Manageability

Aruba Remote Access Points makes the use of standalone access points in temporary work environments a thing of the past. Aruba’s RAP series can be fully managed by your company’s wireless controller through a secure IPSec tunnel through the web. This includes zero-touch provisioning as well so your workers do not need the direct assistance of an IT professional for setup. For greater flexibility and near limitless scalability you can manage RAPs through Aruba Central, allowing you to manage at any location, from any location. Your employees can easily connect their approved devices to the corporate WiFi network over persistent VPN for secure access from anywhere. With Aruba RAPs, anywhere means anywhere; home, a hotel, customer location, anywhere.

Not Just Wireless, but a Complete Network

Employees depend on more than just wireless. Their location, however temporary, needs to be a virtual office today, which is what Aruba RAP is all about. The Aruba RAP product suite offers local gigabit ethernet ports, including one PoE port. This allows an employee to connect a local printer or power a VoIP phone. The coming RAP 500H series even supports IoT environments.

Security and Speed

Aruba RAPs offer wireless performance up to 1.5 Gbs of maximum wireless throughput, but speed is of little benefit if it isn’t secured. Aruba integrates NSA approved and military grade level security into their product architectures. This is why the U.S. Army relies on Aruba for command post network communications when moving or jumping base locations. Integrated Aruba RAP ethernet ports also support DOT1x for additional security. When remote workers are out of their remote workspaces, they can still connect to the corporate network through their phones or remote devices using Aruba’s virtual intranet access (VIA) client.

Manage Your Remote Workspaces with Aruba RAP

While the challenges that have forced companies to adapt temporary workspaces may be temporary in themselves, the transition to remote work architectures is not a fleeting transition. The dependency on remote workers is being highly accelerated, and those companies that can adapt their network architectures for this new paradigm will possess competitive advantages over its competitors when the next disruption, whatever it is, comes about.  

NEXT STEPS: Want to learn more about Aruba's Remote Access Points? Contact us today to find out how this solution can work for your remote workforce.

Tags  HPE wireless networking HPE Aruba Networking Wi-fi connectivity IT executive topic network security

Victor Fabian

Written by Victor Fabian

Victor Fabian is a Senior Mobility and Access Architect here at WEI. He brings with him more than a dozen certifications including Aruba’s most distinguished award AMFX #8 (Aruba Mobile First Expert), and has more than a decade of solution design experience in the VAR channel, including as an HPE Aruba Networking Partner Ambassador. Victor is also very active with Aruba Airheads and is recognized as an MVP Guru by the Aruba Airheads Community. Stay in touch with Victor by following him on LinkedIn and Twitter (@victorfabian_dr).

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