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Aruba Networks’ New ARM 2.0 Software Increases 802.11n Throughput By 200% in Real-World Environments

September 30, 2008

Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARUN), a global leader in wireless LANs and secure mobility solutions, today announced its Adaptive Radio Management (ARM) 2.0 software that makes 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi networks run faster, more reliably, and with greater resiliency. The new, patent-pending ARM 2.0 software uses infrastructure-based controls that direct the behavior of Wi-Fi clients so they operate to their fullest potential. Compatible with 802.11 standards and clients, ARM 2.0 can be used in all new and existing Aruba deployments.

Acting on their own, Wi-Fi clients do not always work cooperatively with other clients, or select the optimal band, channel, and access point. Infrastructure-based control using standards-compliant techniques has the potential to solve these challenges, but only when all dimensions of the problem are addressed. Infrastructure-based controls rely on system-wide visibility available only in a centrally-managed WLAN architecture. Previously attempted, and ultimately unsatisfactory, techniques relied on client-based controls using proprietary extensions and/or focused only on channel control or client roaming.

By using a variety of techniques to control how Wi-Fi clients interact, ARM 2.0 ensures that data, voice, and video applications have sufficient network resources, including airtime, to operate properly. ARM 2.0 infrastructure controls optimize the RF band and channel selection, power output levels, access point loading, airtime allocation, and interference mitigation. By closing the gap between the theoretical performance of Wi-Fi clients and what is achieved in real-world deployments, ARM 2.0 corrects network behavior so that end-users enjoy a better wireless experience.

ARM 1.0 managed access point behavior by automating wireless set-up, optimizing network performance in the presence of interference, and self-healing coverage holes. Additionally, application-awareness ensured the performance of real-time and mission-critical applications.

With ARM 1.0 as its foundation, ARM 2.0 incorporates infrastructure controls to deliver an even more reliable, higher performance network. And it does so without special client software or violating 802.11 standards. Key ARM 2.0 features include:

 --  Band steering - actively guides faster 802.11a/n clients to the best     available wireless channel. The result is better noise immunity, fewer     sources of interference, and more available channels. If a client supports     both 2.4GHz and higher speed 5GHz bands, this feature will automatically     direct it to the 5GHz band for best performance;      --  Spectrum load balancing - enables Aruba access points and Multi-     Service Mobility Controllers to dynamically shift Wi-Fi clients to access     points on channels with available bandwidth.  This technique is intended to     prevent degraded network performance due to over-subscription;      --  Coordinated access - coordinates access to a wireless channel, across     all access points that share that channel, to overcome the challenges of     densely populated deployments such as lecture halls, airport lounges, and     conference centers;      --  Co-Channel Interference Mitigation - adjusts access point rate     adaptation to control interference and shifts access points with excess     capacity to air monitor mode;      --  Airtime fairness - scheduled access for dense deployments delivers     equal access to all Wi-Fi clients. This feature works with all 2.45GHz  and     5GHz Wi-Fi clients, regardless of its wireless chip manufacturer or     standard operating system supplier; and      --  Performance protection - prevents higher speed clients using 802.11n     from being compromised by slower 802.11b/g clients.      

The efficacy of ARM 2.0 was validated in recent tests conducted at the University of Washington in conjunction with the wireless and mobile advisory firm Farpoint Group and software providers DyKnow(R), ExamSoft Worldwide, and VideoFurnace. In the tests, ARM 2.0 increased 802.11n throughput by more than 200% in a mixed-client network. Additionally, ARM 2.0 enabled 101 concurrently running 802.11n and legacy 802.11a/b/g laptops to reliably display multi-media lectures delivered via a single access point. The test results are available in a Farpoint Group white paper titled “Advances in Wireless Infrastructure Control: Optimizing Client Behavior for Improved Network Performance.”

“Wi-Fi transmissions are subject to a wide variety of impairments in the real world, and appropriate infrastructure control can improve client and network behavior with clear performance benefits,” said Craig Mathias, a Principal with Farpoint Group. “For example, 802.11n offers a dramatic improvement in throughput, but the coexistence mechanisms built into 802.11n to ensure interoperability with legacy Wi-Fi devices can also slow it to a crawl in networks with 802.11b (or .11g) devices. As we saw in testing at the University of Washington, Aruba’s infrastructure controls correct this situation with no modification to clients. The benefits of ARM 2.0 are impressive.”

“The need for infrastructure control will grow in importance as more applications migrate from dedicated wire ports onto shared wireless networks,” said Keerti Melkote, Aruba’s co-founder and chief technology officer. “There may be compelling performance reasons to dedicate part of the 5GHz band to high speed 802.11n traffic, or allocate specific channels for power users or different types of applications. ARM 2.0 can address this situation by steering only 802.11n clients and associated applications to faster, quieter channels. ARM 2.0 makes wireless network behavior more predictable for both IT architects and end users.”

“The proof of any technology is how well it performs in the field, and we’ve seen first hand how features like band steering can improve network performance,” said Kenneth Blackney, Drexel University’s associate vice president of core technology. “While 802.11n can run on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, on our campus we’re steering clients to one of the many quiet channels in the 5GHz band to avoid 2.4GHz band noise from cordless phones and microwave ovens. The multitude of available 5GHz channels also enables us to deploy more access points in areas with densely concentrated clients without introducing co-channel interference. ARM 2.0 offers a practical solution to our real-world wireless environment.”

ARM 2.0 software will ship in the fourth quarter of 2008, and is available at no cost to Aruba customers under a current Aruba support agreement. For additional information please go to http://www.arubanetworks.com/arm2.0.

About Aruba Networks

People move. Networks must follow. Aruba securely delivers networks to users, wherever they work or roam. Our mobility solutions enable the Follow-Me Enterprise that moves in lock-step with users:

 --  Adaptive 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi networks optimize themselves to ensure     that users are always within reach of mission-critical information; --  Identity-based security assigns access policies to users, enforcing     those policies whenever and wherever a network is accessed; --  Remote access solutions and fixed mobile convergence ensure     uninterrupted access to applications as users move; --  Multi-vendor network management provides a single point of control     while managing both legacy and new wireless networks from Aruba and its     competitors.      

The cost, convenience, and security benefits of our secure mobility solutions are fundamentally changing how and where we work. Listed on the NASDAQ and Russell 2000(R) Index, Aruba is based in Sunnyvale, California, and has operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific regions. To learn more, visit Aruba at http://www.arubanetworks.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

The foregoing may contain “forward-looking statements” which are based on Aruba’s current information and beliefs as well as on a number of assumptions concerning future events made by management. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements regarding the performance and potential market acceptance of Aruba’s ARM 2.0 software and its key features. The forward-looking statements in this press release are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially. Aruba assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Furthermore, no statements made by Aruba in this press release, or information contained herein, may be deemed to constitute either an amendment of an existing agreement or an implied new commitment, promise or legal obligation by Aruba to develop or deliver any specific product, feature or functionality. The development, release, and timing of any product, feature, or functionality described herein remains at Aruba’s sole discretion.

Copyright 2008 Aruba Networks, Inc. AirWave(R), Aruba Networks(R), Aruba Mobility Management System(R), Bluescanner, For Wireless That Works(R), Mobile Edge Architecture, People Move. Networks Must Follow., RFProtect, The All Wireless Workplace Is Now Open For Business, Green Island, and The Mobile Edge Company(R) are trademarks of Aruba Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

 Media Contacts Michael Tennefoss Aruba Networks, Inc. +1-408-754-8034 mtennefoss@arubanetworks.com  Patty Oien Breakaway Communications +1-415-358-2482 poien@breakawaycom.com

SOURCE: Aruba Networks, Inc.




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