Aruba rolls out "Microbranch" networking to level up home offices

The new EdgeConnect Microbranch solution promises to bring office-level networking capabilities to home offices via a single Wi-Fi access point.

The HPE-owned company Aruba on Tuesday is rolling out a new networking solution that promises to bring office-level networking capabilities to home offices via a single Wi-Fi access point (AP).  The new EdgeConnect Microbranch solution is designed for hybrid work operations that require robust connectivity for at-home workers -- such as contact center operations, telehealth, and IT management. 

The new service adds capabilities delivered through Aruba's existing Remote Access Points (RAPs). It adds SD-WAN and SASE services to the capabilities RAPs already deliver, such as connectivity, identity-based access control, management, and analytics. 

With EdgeConnect Microbranch services, customers can use policy-based routing, which enables IT to optimize how application traffic is routed to a destination, to complement existing services such as Air Slice, which dynamically allocates AP radio resources to specific applications. For example, video conferencing call quality can be improved by prioritizing that traffic over video entertainment, and then routing the video conferencing traffic directly to a trusted SaaS vendor, bypassing an unnecessary trip to the data center for inspection.

"While some may believe that the only network service that can be extended to the home office AP/router is security -- and even that requires an extra box -- EdgeConnect Microbranch demonstrates that, with a cloud-based approach, all critical network services can be extended to the home office solely through an access point," Larry Lunetta, VP of Solutions Portfolio Marketing at Aruba, said in a statement. 

In addition to policy-based routing, the service delivers capabilities including tunnel and route orchestration, SASE integration to directly leverage cloud security services like Zscaler, and enhanced WAN visibility. 

The Aruba EdgeConnect Microbranch service is available in Early Access and will be generally available in March 2022 for any AP running ArubaOS 10 with a Foundation AP License.

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