In case you haven’t heard, Gartner just published its Magic Quadrant for Network Access Control (NAC) and placed Aruba and the ClearPass solution in the Leaders Quadrant. Needless to say, we’re thrilled!
The placement is especially satisfying if you consider that Aruba didn't have first-mover advantage or the mature go-to-market engine in network security that others do.
So how did Aruba, the underdog, walk away as a Leader? We changed the game.
As you may know, NAC has had a bumpy ride. While funding was pouring into NAC companies a decade ago, that time of investment was followed by a period of disillusionment where businesses were no longer prioritizing NAC projects.
But then something happened. The mobility revolution, fueled by an onslaught of new devices and mobile apps, changed everything.
It left many of us scrambling to adapt IT practices to a changing generation of enterprise worker.
- Network security was compromised now that each user could connected multiple personal and corporate mobile devices
- Helpdesks were overwhelmed by users wanting to onboard new devices
- Guest access wasn’t keeping up with the changing dynamic of modern-day shoppers, spectators and guests who brought smartphones with them.
- It was becoming nearly impossible to troubleshoot problems and enforce regulatory compliance without visibility into mobile device and network security information.
The answer was to look at the cross section of NAC and Mobility for solving these IT headaches. Aruba was in perfect place to respond, and we had been making a few very strategic bets.
In fact, it was only 2yrs ago that Aruba acquired network security vendor Avenda Systems and less than a year before that a small guest access management company by the name of Amigopod. These were two companies that were leading the industry in evolving NAC, innovating outside of its core functions. By working together at Aruba towards the common goal of solving mobile NAC, they were able to develop a consolidated product, ClearPass, which was truly revolutionary.
Not only does ClearPass offer NAC innovations in policy definition, guest access, MDM integration, device onboarding and certificate management, but it does so with an emphasis on vendor independence. While others are using NAC as an opportunity to force vendor lock-in across the network, Aruba is using it as way to open networks.
ClearPass also solved two of the biggest headaches with legacy NAC solutions.
First, we made it simple to install and manage, even for large distributed networks, with multiple identity stores. Seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed at how many proof-of-concepts we attend today where the other vendor simply can’t get it working after days and weeks of trying.
Second, we made ClearPass massively scalable; able to handle the overwhelming number of devices hitting the network every day. I just heard from a large university that sees in excess of 1 million RADIUS transactions per day on ClearPass!
Aruba’s focus on mobility was a natural fit for NAC and from what we can tell, IT departments agree. Extraordinary demand for ClearPass is what fueled Aruba’s assent to Gartner’s leader position.
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