So what have the engineers on the Instant team been up to the last few months, you may wonder!
They were up to what they are so good at - responding to customer requests and thinking up ways to make distributed enterprise networking easier, more flexible and more resilient. And Instant 3.3 is what they came up with!!
- This version offers the first stage of dual Ethernet uplink support on the IAP. It builds on the already strong uplink resiliency options of the IAP product line. You can now plug internet connections from 2 different ISPs into an IAP. If the primary goes down, the secondary automatically becomes active. Also, if your remote site requires 2 uplinks - one to the internet and another to the corporate network (say, through an MPLS cloud), simultaneously, the IAP can now be the single uplink manager for the branch. And this capability is in addition to the cellular uplink option.
- Spectrum Load Balancing was a capability pioneered by Aruba as part of ARM 2.0. This feature is now available on remote, stand-alone networks managed by the virtual controller in a distributed fashion. This is meant to even out the client load across channels in a dense deployment.
- A long requested feature has been the capability to disable SSIDs on Instant as opposed to delete it. There is now a check-box in the Network configuration that allows users to disable and enable an SSID. This coupled with AirWave's ability to run scheduled commands will enable capabilities like turning off SSIDs after-hours automatically.
- In response to requests from many of our enterprise customers who are used to managing their networking equipment using CLI and scripting, Instant 3.3 for the first time, offers CLI as a supported method of configuration management. In phase 1, all troubleshooting commands can be run by SSH into the virtual controller. Configuration can be scripted. Interactive CLI configuration is in the works.
- Change is the only constant with Instant. As we add more functionality it is difficult to keep things simple. So this release reorganizes the configuration options in the top-right pane of the UI. The most fundamental settings are in the top bar, the others are under the "More" list. UI organization will be an area of continuous optimization and improvement over time. We hope to keep it simple, fast and intuitive while adding more functionality and flexibility.
- Our continued efforts to make Instant the ideal solution for the internet-connected branch-office have manifested in improvements to the internal DHCP server to accommodate static IP addresses in branch offices, define DHCP options from the internal DHCP server and make intelligent decisions based on information embedded in client DHCP requests.
These are just some of the 38 new capabilities and changes - major and minor that are part of 3.3. There are improvements for seamless BYOD and on-boarding, the ability to download firmware now and reboot later, and plenty more. The release notes for 3.3 are available under the documentation section of the support website. If you have a support account with Aruba, Instant 3.3 is available on the software downloads page of the support website. If you do not, we will be posting Instant 3.3 to the free cloud-hosted image server in the next couple weeks.
Customers / partners, please work with your SE experts to understand new functionality. Technical Marketing will begin to roll out best-practices and how-to's on the new features shortly. As always we look forward to your support and feedback on the product!
Instant 3.3 will also support an exciting new (to be announced) hardware platform - stay tuned!
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