ArubaOS 8 Makes It Easy to Share the Air

By Newsha posted Jun 28, 2017 12:00 PM


This series of ArubaOS 8 videos and blogs is intended to provide you with more information about our new network operating system. In this second blog, we focus on how you can deliver a multitenant wireless network.

Hospitality vertical


Last week I was waiting at the gate in the airport, and of course working at Aruba, I had to look around to see if I could spot our access points. What struck me was the number of access points I saw. I am sure each airline, retail shop and most importantly airport security had its own separate network, and a glance at the number of SSIDs that come up on my phone confirmed it. Not only is having different access points for each SSID not cost effective but also it’s difficult to manage. And deployment is even harder because these uncoordinated AP’s will battle with each other introducing RF interference that crushes performance on the network for everyone.


Same AP, Different Networks

ArubaOS 8 introduces MultiZone, which is basically multitenancy for the wireless network. That means you can use the same AP for different networks. Historically, if you wanted to have two secure networks in one physical location, you had to have two separate APs, which creates RF interference and is costly.


With the MultiZone feature enabled, one AP can terminate two different SSIDS on two different controllers. The data is encrypted from the client to the controller. Data that flows through the AP is still encrypted and not accessible by users or admins on the other controller. This means the networks are completely separate and secure even though the traffic runs through the same AP. With ArubaOS 8, four different networks can be delivered by a single access point.


Many Use Cases

MultiZone is very useful for government, airport, retail or office buildings, as it allows for easy policy implementation in environments where data privacy, separation, and network security are critical.  An airport can have separate networks for the airlines, such as United Airlines and Lufthansa, public (guest) and airport security, which all run off the same access points. Airport security Wi-Fi runs its network through its controller, while the public Wi-Fi runs through a public Wi-Fi controller. 


Banks can benefit from MultiZone by having guest traffic and corporate traffic share the same access points. That means customers can have Wi-Fi access while meeting with their financial advisors or loan officers, while corporate traffic is secured and terminated at a different controller.


Multi-tenancy is also a great way to keep traffic from IoT devices, which typically have weak security, isolated from other organizational traffic without incurring the expense of building a separate wireless network. This also works for those wired IoT devices where they can terminate traffic from the Aruba switches at the same controller that manages the wireless IoT traffic.


Learn More About MultiZone

I sat down with Peter Lane, ArubaOS 8 product manager, and asked him about MultiZone. Watch the video below.


(view in My Videos)