Cloud Managed Networks

Occasional Contributor II

Aruba Central SD-WAN and MC with Airwave - what's the difference?

I'm trying to understand, what is the technological difference between solution which is called SD-WAN versus having MC distributed all over branch offices plus MM and Airwave


SD-WAN datasheet


The Gateways' looks and naming is almost identical to those of Mobility Controller, it seems to me that is the same hardware.

SW features are also very alike, except, maybe, PBR, Path Quality Monitoring, Dynamic path steering, or even Installer App.

But PBR is available on AOS8, so what is different?

Dynamic path steering sounds as Uplink monitoring + setting appropriate Next Hop. And I can continue on these...


So, how technically different are these two solutions?

Is it a repack of the same HW into cloud platform?

How really different and thus useful is this repack? Will in upcoming time MCs lose some of SD-WAN features, like PBR?

What about those who has 3+ years Airwave contract and like the idea of on premises management? 


Thank you!




Re: Aruba Central SD-WAN and MC with Airwave - what's the difference?

The new Aruba SD-WAN solution is based on the same HW as the traditional WLAN controllers. It also re-uses a significant part of ArubaOS as well as many of its features, like the role-based firewall.


But that's it. Aruba branch gateways use a different version of ArubaOS that does not care about WLAN (yes, I know it's shocking) but about virtually every other thing in your branch:

  • Zero Touch Provisioning, with hierarchical group-based management from Aruba Central
  • Automated VPN tunnels back to your HQ/DC - With branch routes automatically shared with headends (or VPNCs)
  • Branch routing as well as Policy Based Routing
  • Dynamic Path Selection - The SD-WAN gateway monitors all upstream paths to make sure each traffic flow is always sent over the optimal WAN circuit.
  • Dynamic/Static routing, Inbound NAT, dynDNS, etc, as it'll become the branch gateway.
  • L3-7 firewall with Web Content/Reputation filtering, plus integration with third parties for advanced threat protection.
  • ...

You can find more information in this solution brief:


Hope this helps

Samuel Pérez


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