In this article

What is changing?

Aruba has introduced a new bundled license system for Aruba Central managed devices. This is a uniform software subscription that will be extended to all products under the Aruba Central managed portfolio. The new 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10-year fixed-term licenses offer you the flexibility to choose services and device operations that are most meaningful to the needs of your business. This licensing model provides different licenses for APs, switches and gateways.

If you're unfamiliar with Aruba Central, you should know that it offers a "single pane of glass" for configuration and control for every network device, and local or remote network instance that your organization deploys. With the help of AIOps, Network Analytic Engine (NAE) and its microservices architecture, Aruba Central can help organizations of all sizes achieve greater productivity, provide significant operational IT cost savings and greater insight into the network. Find out more about Aruba Central on Aruba's website or check out our series of useful Aruba Central Labs.

How does this impact me?

Aruba Central's legacy licensing system required a device management token (DM) for each of their devices under Aruba Central's control. You also needed to purchase a service token (ST) for each device that would allow you to apply one or more services to that specific device. Managing two types of tokens is more complicated than looking after just one and a potential risk if you forget to renew either type of token. 

The new Aruba Central Licenses simplify the existing subscription-based licensing model. The introduction of this licensing model eliminates both the Device Management tokens (DM) for APs or switches and the Service Tokens (ST). Instead, APs and switches have adopted the current Foundation and Advanced licensing model.

Aruba Central comparison chart old vs. new license
The comparison chart shows the features that are now included with the different licenses types.

Benefits of this change

The primary benefit of Aruba Central's new licensing system is simplicity.  Each device on the network now requires only one license allows access Aruba Central and enables additional services. Network managers can choose between either Foundation or Advanced licensing for each of their devices, based on what they need.

  • Foundation licenses cover a range of commonly used services including AI Insights (but not automation) and analytics; orchestration; content filtering; provisioning; and 24/7 TAC support. Most Aruba customers can get the job done with Foundation licenses alone.
  • Advanced licenses offer advanced segmentation; enhanced AI and analytics; Unified Comms and Collaboration visibility; and advanced support. These cater to more sophisticated use-cases, typically for larger enterprises requiring particularly high levels of resiliency or automation across mission-critical infrastructures.

Also, for organizations who are utilizing advanced features such as UCC, etc., they may need to contact Aruba TAC to have them migrate to an Advance license so you can continue to use those advanced features.

Notice: On December 31st, 2021, all unused tokens of any device type will be converted to AP Foundation licenses. You will be able to change these into other types of licenses after this happens, but only with the help of Aruba TAC. 

Five steps to transition your licenses

If you're already using Aruba Central for your networks, any device management tokens that you're currently using should have already been upgraded to Foundation licenses.

Unused tokens can be upgraded by logging into Aruba Central and following the steps below.

Login to Aruba Central.

Aruba Central login

Step 1: Click on "Account Home" and click on the "Key Management" tile.

Account Home

Step 2: Select "Convert DMs to new license types" in the top right.

Convert DMs to new licenses

Step 3: Select your license keys, and click on "Convert"

Converting license keys

Step 4: Specify how many of each type of license you'd like to provision. These are based on the type and family of the device being used (AP, Gateway, Switch). You will need to allocate all the licenses before you are able to convert them.

Convert depreciated licenses

Step 5: Navigate back to your Key Management view, and you'll see the new licenses ready and available for use.

Key Management view

These new license features will make optimizing your network with Aruba Central even easier than ever before.

Additional info

For those looking for additional support, there's also the Hardware-Only Foundational Care add-on – offering Next Business Day or 4-Hour parts support for hardware issues. It's a more cost-efficient way of handling hardware replacements than traditional models where hardware and software need to be replaced in one.