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June,

2011
Competitive Flash Aruba Instant

Aruba Instant is Aruba Networks answer to customers who want a quick,


What is it? controller-less deployment. Rather than managing the WLAN from a
dedicated controller platform, some controller functionality is run on an
Aruba AP instead. This is called a virtual controller. Each virtual
controller AP can manage up to 16 Aruba APs, including itself.

A virtual controller AP can do:


What does it do? AP auto discovery
802.1X authentication
Role- and device-based policy enforcement
Rogue detection
Guest access
Adaptive Radio Management (ARM)
DHCP server/NAT
Firewall rules
OpenDNS-based content filtering

Multiple virtual controller APs may be managed by AirWave.

A virtual controller AP cannot manage a WLAN with more than 16 APs.


What doesnt it do? More will require upgrading to a dedicated Aruba controller. Aruba
Instant also eliminates the following functionality:
No wireless mesh
No Wireless Intrusions Protection (WIPS)
No Layer 3 roaming
No support more than 256 users
No stateful firewall such as used by a controller
No voice module support or advanced voice/CAC
QoS is not configurable and is on a per-SSID basis
All software images must be downloaded from an Aruba server in
the cloud via the Instant interface

Aruba Instant does not support all Aruba APs. Only mid- and low-end APs
are supported: the IAP-105 (2x2:2 mid-range dual-radio AP) and the iAP-
92/93 (low-end single radio, 2x2 with internal or external only antennas).
Their higher end APs such as the AP-125 and AP-130/135 or outdoor APs
are not supported.

Although an upgrade path is available for customers who need to install


What Aruba wont tell you a 17th AP, theres a catch. Its not really an upgrade. Instead, all APs must
be re-imaged, converted to campus APs and the configuration is re-
entered on the controller.

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v2011-06-07 Copyright 2011 Ruckus Wireless, Inc.

June, 2011

Competitive Flash Aruba Instant

Pricing (and licensing) also change dramatically once a customer


moves from Aruba Instant to a more typical Aruba-style installation.

Finally, no matter what anyone tells you, An AP is not a valid


replacement for a WLAN controller. The amount of CPU and memory
processing power is extremely limited. This is particularly true of Arubas
lower end APs, which are the only models, supported with Aruba Instant.
It is likely that many customers, initially attracted to the cost and
simplicity of Aruba Instant, will quickly realize they cant possibly run their
network on even a 16 AP Aruba Instant infrastructure. Severe restrictions
such as a maximum of 256 clients total will prevent any kind of larger-
scale deployment or density. A 16 AP Aruba Instant deployment could
have, at a most, 16 clients per AP (16x16 = 256). If using the dual-radio
IAP-105, thats only 8 clients per radio!

Aruba Instant is aimed at small to medium enterprise business. These IT


Target audience
administrators want enterprise-grade wireless without the complexity or
cost of a typical Aruba deployment.

Although the initial price might be closer to a Ruckus deployment cost,


Aruba Instant vs. Ruckus
the features you lose far outweigh any pricing advantage. Beyond that,
the only reduction in complexity is a stripped down interface that
provides very few of the features offered by a full Aruba deployment.
The only upgrade path is an expensive one: full controller-based
deployment, licensing, configuration and management complexity. As a
network naturally grows, Aruba Instant will only take you so far. To get
from Aruba Instant to a full-blown Aruba deployment is neither simple nor
easy.

Ruckus Wireless offers true enterprise-grade features on a wide range of


access points from mid-range to high-end and outdoor with no
restriction on the number of APs or features. Installation and
management are simple and intuitive and will grow with the organization
seamlessly.

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Copyright 2011 Ruckus Wireless, Inc. V2011-06-07
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