Cloud Managed Networks

New Contributor

Meraki vs. Aruba (Completely new to Aruba)

Hi Folks,


I need help.  If at all possible I'd like to learn as much as I can about the differences between the Meraki Cloud Management vs. the AOS-CX.


I find that asking the question in a forum, such as this, provides me informative answers with ZERO sugar coating.  I'm extremely well versed in Meraki so if you have questions for me please ask.


I have just started with a new company and "my" new network is in dire need of a re-design and upgrade.  I simply know that I'm going to find it difficult to justify the cost of implementing an entirely new Meraki environment on the licensing alone.  So I thought I would look at alternatives.  I've looked at everything from Netgear > Ubiquiti > Dell...I'm now at Aruba.


Can someone please tell me how GREAT Aruba is... How this AOS-CX software is more than capable of competing with Cisco's Meraki Dashboard.  I'll give an example.  If I want to aggregate 3 ports...on Meraki I, literally, click a checkbox on the three ports then click a little button that says Aggregate.......done.....nothing more or less.  I can do that across 3 physical switches a port each or all 3 on one switch...etc.....  Is it that easy on AOS-CX?  Can I configure 20 ports on AOS-CX all at the same time?  Change the VLAN on all 48 ports at once?  I'm so in the dark and need to make a choice.


I would love to say I have some competition with the Cisco gear.  It would be a much easier sell.  I have NEVER put my hands on an Aruba device.  I wouldn't mind starting.  Help!!!!


Crap...editing already...    Stacking....


Is it true that Aruba has no rear stacking ports?  Do I have to "waste" the SFP+ ports in the front.  Or is that just specific models?  I also forgot...whatever I chose MUST be cloud managed.  I have to be able to be sitting in AppleBees and if the call comes in that port 29 needs to be on VLAN 22 I can do it right there.


Sorry for the edit...thanks folks!

Frequent Contributor I

Re: Meraki vs. Aruba (Completely new to Aruba)

Aruba has Central for cloud management, not sure though how it works.


Use 802.1X authentication with switches so you don't have to do it the old way and manually configure switch ports to VLANs.

Occasional Contributor II

Re: Meraki vs. Aruba (Completely new to Aruba)

Stacking varies on the switch model.  Some use front panel ports (VSF stacking) the 2930F as a good example of this.  Others use backplane stacking modules, the 3810 and 5400 are examples of this type.

Aruba Employee

Re: Meraki vs. Aruba (Completely new to Aruba)

Aruba Central is the Aruba cloud management similar to Meraki's dashboard. Aruba OS-CX is the software that runs on the new line of switches. All of the Aruba OS-CX switches will use one of the SFP28 or higher ports for VSF or VSX depending on the switch model. The Aruba-OS Switches can either use backplane stacking or VSF utilizing a port on the front of the switch. 2930M and 3810 are examples of switches that use backplane or dedicated stack ports on the back of the switch. The 2930F and 5400R use ports on the front of the switch to stack. 


As for as using Aruba Central to manage switches it was built for simplicity but at the same time it gives you the tools to troubleshoot just as if you were on the CLI. Setting up a "link agg" or as Aruba calls it a "Trunk group" utilizing multiple interfaces it is quite simple. You would click to add a new group, select the interfaces, select the untagged vlan and the tagged vlans, set the protocol (lacp) and hit "ok". 


As for modifying Vlans on ports it is just as simple. You can modify multiple ports at once, even all 48 if you wanted to. 


Reach out to your local Aruba SE and I'm sure they would be happy to show you a demo. Your local partner might also be able to help or at least help get you in touch with your Aruba SE. 


Hope this helps. 

New Contributor

Re: Meraki vs. Aruba (Completely new to Aruba)

Jerald...THANK YOU!


That is exactly what I was looking for!  I just needed to know it was in the same "arena" as the Meraki Dashboard et. al.


This is wonderful information.  Helps as I'm planning.  I have to do a full network rebuild, from the core out, and whatever I can do to lower costs I'll need to do.  I've just come to appreciate the management functionality that comes with a Meraki style dashboard.  Thanks Jerald!

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