Technology Blog

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: What Happens When Cloud Services Expire

Aruba Employee
Aruba Employee

If you’ve read about #GenMobile, then you know that the appetite for connectivity – 69% of younger GenMobile employees want to connect at work via Wi-Fi.  So more than ever, business continuity relies on your Wi-Fi network being “always on.”


That’s why Aruba networks has ensured that even when our Aruba Central management service isn’t available, you can still run and manage your network.  If your WAN link goes down, or if your subscription expires, your Aruba access points still operate perfectly, and you retain network monitoring and configuration.


It was recently clarified for me that there is a huge difference in behaviors between Aruba, Meraki and Aerohive when online management service subscriptions end.  I point this out because it’s easy to overlook and potentially very disruptive to your business or school.


Can you imagine a classroom full of kids taking an online test using tablets and computers, and the Wi-Fi network goes down?  That’s what can happen if you don’t pay your Meraki bill.



With Aruba, when your Aruba Central subscription expires, you have a 15 day grace period, and then you are unable to log in to your Central dashboard to do management tasks.  However, your Instant APs will then be fully manageable through a local web-based user interface to the virtual controller in the master AP.  While you lose the centralized multi-site management of Central, you retain the cluster-wide ability to:

-       Authenticate new users

-       Manage guests with a simple captive portal

-       Set access rules with the firewall

-       Identify voice and video traffic and apply QoS

-       Perform WIPs scanning

-       Monitor and troubleshoot the network



With Aerohive, if your HiveManager Online subscription lapses, you lose the ability to manage and fully operate your Wi-Fi network.  After your 30 day grace period, Aerohive devices are moved to an “unmanaged” state in your HiveManager interface – so you can see your device list, but you can’t make any config changes.  You’re left with an interface on each AP do to basic view-only monitoring one AP at a time.



Worst of all, with Meraki if you don’t continue your subscription, you actually lose your NETWORK, not just the management of it.  So let’s say you’re a school and the economy hiccups a bit, so that your annual IT budget is cut.  Even though you bought the hardware APs, you lose the ability to operate them, they shut down.  Wi-Fi turns off.  Even though you own the access points. 


It’s worth noting that if you have more devices than licenses, the same shutdown will occur.  No room for administrative errors here.  Remind me, do bureaucracies ever make paperwork errors?


This is a great post Sheila, thanks for this

Frequent Contributor I



Great blog. You and I were on the same wave length. Here is a blog I wrote about the exact same thing last week and our marketing department just got it posted to our site.


4 Dangers of Cloud Managed Wireless

Aruba Employee

Great points, mmcnamee!  Might I comment on your blog that Aruba addresses a lot of the risks?

Aruba Employee
Aruba Employee
I've been part of ugly mobility projects where requirements rapidly change (capacity, roaming, coverage, types of users, etc). It's nice to not be forever locked into cloud management tools. That will not fly in many environments. Rog
Frequent Contributor I



I welcome your comments. Please be my guest. 

Super Contributor I

Very good and important piece of information that many will not focus until the subscription is over.


Thanks for this awsome post! In addition to be enlightening - it tells me just how much more I have to learn in this world of wireless :)

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