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MTG
Occasional Contributor I

650 Controller - ExpressCard and USB

What is the purpose of the ExpressCard port on a 650 controller?

None of the controllers documentation discusses compatibility options and I have found no posts in the forum stating if this was yet another feature that has had support removed with later versions of ArubaOS. After upgrading to 6.4.4.x I had lost all shared network printers and NAS features through the 4 USB ports. Lost the ability to perform OS updates via HTTP file upload (now requires FTP or TFTP). The product documentation lists all these selling points for the perfect remote small office solution for my offices with (4) AP-225's via PoE, yet drops them on the floor after the investment is made. My support contract is nearing expiration for these units and this product is nearing its EOL. The 650's served as an upgrade from 800 controllers that had a lot of nice UI features, such as uploading office maps, viewing APs on the map, triangulation of clients via the Locate feature, heat maps, etc.. All dropped when moving off of AOS 5.x to the 6.4.x on the 650. I guess my question is, is it common practice for Aruba Networks to promote their products and drop support for nearly half of the available ports offered on an entire product line, post sale? I'm starting to believe that an Aruba solution may be great for a large campus-based solution, but leaves those of use that have many smaller branch locations to support to look to other solutions such as UBNT.

...and what is the deal with that ExpressCard port???

Guru Elite

Re: 650 Controller - ExpressCard and USB

The expresscard slot was for expresscard storage devices.  The 650 was end-of-saled in 2014.  https://www.arubanetworks.com/support-services/end-of-life/#MobilityControllers


*Answers and views expressed by me on this forum are my own and not necessarily the position of Aruba Networks or Hewlett Packard Enterprise.*
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MTG
Occasional Contributor I

Re: 650 Controller - ExpressCard and USB

Thanks for the response. So effectively it should appear as a fifth usb media mount point that can really only be used to save configurations and load AOS updates. So, not exactly high on the level of usefulness in version 6.4.X. True, the product was end-of-sale on 31-Oct-14, but is still a supported product until 31-Oct-19, giving about one year to make a decision for a replacement path.

 

Seems the 7000 controller series or switching to IAP are the suggested Aruba hardware upgrade paths. The other option would be to purchase a few PoE+ switches and move to a virtual appliance, extending the life of the APs for a while. Seems to be rather difficult to find pricing, licensing options and supported platform versions (ESXi, Hyper-V, KVM, Xen, etc.) for the virtual appliance offering. I will say that my biggest annoyance is that firmware updates are only available to companies with active support contracts. The hardware is already priced at a premium, as are the support contracts - could not imagine having to pay for a support contract just to get BIOS and firmware updates for a 3-year old spare laptop. </rant>

 

Anyway, thanks for the information on the ExpressCard slot.

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Guru Elite

Re: 650 Controller - ExpressCard and USB

The expresscard slot could be mounted as shared network storage (EDIT: and some expresscard WAN interfaces for internet) for a small site, just like a NAS could be plugged into any of the USB ports.  Small site could easily add storage to the controller via the expresscard slot instead of having to put an actual server onsite.  The expresscard interface is no longer relevant or prevalent and shared storage onsite has largely been replaced by the dropboxes of the world.

 

I would contact your local Value Added Reseller or Aruba sales team to ensure they know what your goals are and can match you to or refer you to a solution that meets your needs.


*Answers and views expressed by me on this forum are my own and not necessarily the position of Aruba Networks or Hewlett Packard Enterprise.*
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