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Network operation and management are challenging in normal times. With the swift, massive shift to work-from-home programs triggered by the pandemic, supply chain constraints have stretched limited budgets and resources even further. IT teams typically work with multiple, disparate systems that are managed separately. Lack of comprehensive visibility, manual processes and reactionary troubleshooting are obstacles to delivering expected service levels. And now IT and the network are expected to support the hybrid workplace—the combination of working from home and working in the office—while keeping workers safe and productivity high. Additionally, as business leaders look to the future, they see even more need for rapid digital transformation to accommodate emerging technology, data growth, connected devices and edge computing. 

While some organizations choose to address all of these issues at once, others are searching for ways to solve one or two aspects at a time. They may focus on one or two of the following questions: 

  • How can I simplify the complexity of managing my complex network?
  • How can I get visibility in a distributed environment?
  • How can I ensure security across the network, given IoT, bring your own device (BYOD) and hybrid workforce?
  • How can I automate faster?
  • How can I deliver consistent experiences as workers move from location to location?
  • How can I do this cost effectively and quickly?

The good news is, whether your approach is to address your overall network or solve the most burning issues first, you have some good options.  

One technology to consider is Aruba Edge Services Platform (ESP), an AI-powered, cloud-native platform to automate, unify and protect the edge, introduced by Aruba, a HPE company. Aruba ESP eliminates network complexity and overcomes traditional network limitations in areas of operation, management and security—all with no rip and replace. It helps organizations deliver hybrid workplaces with built-in intelligence, automation, integration and security, along with a single point of control. 

Aruba ESP works across wired, wireless, remote, WLAN, LAN and SD-WAN environments to support digital transformation efforts. An alternative to traditional network solutions with capital intensive, inflexible acquisition models, Aruba ESP solutions can be purchased traditionally or delivered as a service for flexible consumption and offers an open standards-based edge-to-cloud network architecture that provides these core capabilities: 

Aruba AIOps―Combines big data and machine learning for purposes of automating IT operational processes such as troubleshooting, root-cause determination and network optimization efforts. 

Edge-to-Cloud Security―Delivers the network foundation needed for zero-trust and SASE (Secure Access Services Edge) security frameworks by providing comprehensive visibility, least-access micro-segmentation, authentication, role-based access, and continuous monitoring and enforcement, while applying the same controls in all locations.  

Aruba Unified Infrastructure―Unifies best-of-breed remote, branch, campus and data center connectivity by converging the management of wired, wireless and WAN networks onto a single cloud-native platform. 

Aruba Central - With built-in AIOps, is the single pane of glass for Aruba ESP operations. It is designed with modern web-scale architecture that includes microservices, containerization and a common data lake. Aruba Central connects IT to needed data and management services no matter where they are located, and it reduces operations complexity by streamlining workflows and centralizing monitoring and control. 

With an intelligent edge solution like ESP, you have the ability to analyze and act on data at the edge in real time to make faster, more informed decisions leveraging AI and API-driven third-party software integrations. 

The Aruba ESP infrastructure can be implemented physically or virtually. Your organization can connect and secure physical locations, private clouds and public clouds in a consistent manner, which allows you to deploy and support secure remote work solutions without the need for onsite staff. 

Address specific problems with elements of Aruba ESP 

One of the benefits of Aruba ESP is that it integrates easily and quickly with other solutions. You may only want or need to address specific issues, and you can easily add one or two elements of the platform into your existing environment and quickly realize its value without needing to add the other elements.  

Whether or not you choose to add all or any other network elements to the one you originally adopt, you will undoubtedly get value from the simplicity and cost-effectiveness Aruba provides with each element.  

The journey to ESP 

If you decide to adopt full Aruba ESP, the most effective approach is to layer on different network elements to solve for your specific business needs or outcomes as you need them.  

If you already have elements of the ESP platform, you can add the element that solves your current problem. WWT can help you align on the desired end state and then identify ways to further maximize your investment and accelerate your journey to your desired end state. 

If you don't have any element of Aruba, it is still wise to start with your desired end state, and then identify the best insertion point onto the journey toward that end state.  

In either scenario, you can choose one of four "on-ramps" to Edge Services: 

  • Network Management
  • Wi-Fi
  • Policy (& Security)
  • Switching

Most often, we find that organizations continue to add elements of ESP, as the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. 

Learn more about how WWT and HPE Aruba can help our customers, and about our partnership.