Aruba overhauls its business with ESP

Networking organisation goes all-in with Edge, cloud and as-a-service consumption

Aruba Networks Headquarters

Aruba, Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s networking business, has used the opening day of its Atmosphere virtual conference to announce Aruba ESP, a new platform that the company believes will transform the way it does business.

ESP – which stands for Edge Services Platform – is entirely cloud-based and is underpinned by three existing Aruba offerings: Aruba Central, AIOps and Dynamic Segmentation, which itself brings together several access management technologies. It also brings together technologies from Aruba's three most recent acquisitions; Niara, Cape Networks and Rasa Networks.

Using artificial intelligence (AI), the platform is intended to reduce the burden of mundane tasks on IT departments across virtually all areas of networking, from identity and access management for remote workers to standardised automatically executable onboarding ‘headless’ Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Morten Illum, EMEA VP at Aruba, told IT Pro that the world is heading from the mobile era into the “data era” and that ESP will enable this.

“I think the next decade will be all about data created at the edge. It’s not only from mobile phones, it’s about IoT devices, video cameras, coffee machines, all of that,” he said.

"But as that data is created and items connected, there will be a greater need to manage it all securely. ESP, however, allows IT departments to set up a standard set of rules for onboarding, for example, a smart coffee machine so that the configuration only needs to be done once and then any subsequent machines will be automatically added to the network using the same security settings and so on.

While the company has been working on ESP for the past five years – which is to say, since it was acquired by HPE in May 2015 – what it enables in terms of digital transformation has become particularly pertinent during the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to mass remote working across the globe.

“[Digital transformation has] just been accelerated by [COVID-19], because what’s happening now is us working from home on a connection that’s not meant for office, enterprise-class technology, that’s really challenging some of these corporations and I think that’s where you need to have a little bit more automation, you need to use AI to cope with all of this,” Illum said.

ESP is being delivered as a cloud-based offering and in common with Aruba’s general business strategy will be available through channel partners only.

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