Network modernization is a key component of digital transformation initiatives for organizations looking to achieve better business outcomes. With that in mind, Aruba has announced its new Aruba Edge Services Platform with AIOps capabilities designed to reduce the time IT professionals spend on manual tasks such as network troubleshooting, performance tuning and Zero Trust/SASE security enforcement.
As part of Aruba’s growing family of AIOps solutions, these new capabilities aim to supplement overtaxed IT teams as they grapple with increasing network complexity and the rapid growth of IoT. For the first time, AIOps can be utilized for not just network troubleshooting but also performance optimization and critical security controls, Aruba said.
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With the growth of hybrid work, new user engagement models and challenges resulting from the Great Resignation and widening skills gaps, IT teams must find ways to achieve greater efficiencies and do away with time-intensive manual processes, the company said. Powerful analytics, AI-based insights and automation supplement — not replace — networking teams by reducing manual tasks so they can focus on more strategic and higher-value projects.
The role of data and AI to reduce network complexity
In development since 2013, Aruba AIOps capabilities utilize Aruba’s data lake, which continuously and anonymously collects and analyzes device, user and location data from over 120,000 Aruba Central customers from more than two million network devices and 200 million clients per day, according to the company.
Aruba said embedding AI into the platform helps with the high volume and wide variety of network and client data, the constant training of models, and to provide insights that tackle both network and security concerns. The goal is to allow network teams in any industry and of any size to automate mundane tasks, shrink the time needed to find and fix problems, increase security controls and help ensure that all network users have the best possible experience.
“With hybrid work and new customer engagement models, network complexity is unavoidable as organizations modernize their network infrastructure to successfully support corporate initiatives,” said Bob Laliberte, principal analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, in a statement. “When a network vendor demonstrates reliable, real-world AI solutions, NetOps teams are increasingly adopting and trusting the actions of machine learning and other automation technologies.”
ESG research highlights that almost a quarter (21%) of organizations are comfortable with software that automatically detects, analyses, recommends and makes network changes, Laliberte added. Further, 59% report being comfortable with technology that alerts and provides recommendations, which are then manually executed.
“We expect these percentages to climb as more organizations gain experience with and recognize the benefits AI delivers,” Laliberte said.
“For AI results that customers can trust, the key ingredient is not a mathematical model, but access to a large volume and variety of data to train the models to produce reliable results across all network topologies,” said Larry Lunetta, vice president of portfolio solutions marketing at Aruba, in a statement. “Without that foundation, so-called ‘AI’ is nothing more than demoware. Fueled by our data lake, our AIOps solutions help enterprises reduce trouble tickets by up to 75% while optimizing their network performance by 25% or more.”
The ESP platform’s new features
Aruba client insights
This aims to automatically identify each endpoint connecting to the network with up to 99% accuracy, which is especially important as increasing numbers of IoT devices are added to networks, sometimes without approval from IT. This allows organizations to better understand what’s on their networks, automate access privileges, and monitor the behavior of each client’s traffic flows to more rapidly spot attacks and take action.
AI-powered firmware recommender
This is designed to provide IT teams with firmware to run for the wireless access points in their environments – regardless of model numbers. This aims to greatly reduce support calls and guesswork that network admins face and help ensure new features and fixes are implemented more quickly.
AI search in Spanish
The same built-in natural language search function in Aruba Central now supports queries and responses in Spanish to satisfy the needs of the company’s second largest geographical user community.
Automated infrastructure predictions
This leverages Aruba’s AI assist feature and Aruba support outreach to recognize possible hardware and software infrastructure issues for preemptive engagement that can consist of firmware upgrades or recommended hardware replacement.
Aruba’s client insights feature is available now. AI search, AI-powered firmware recommender and infrastructure predictions are available for early access and will be generally available in October 2022, the company said. Each feature is included in Aruba Central Foundation licensing.
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