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Aruba called their new end-to-end switching portfolio the industry's first.

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Wireless networking giant Aruba announced a slate of new products and updates including what they called the industry's first "single switching platform that runs on a modern network operating system from the enterprise edge to the core to the data center."

In November, Aruba will start shipping the CX Switching Portfolio, which includes both the Aruba CX 6300 and CX 6400 Series switches, as well as a new version of AOS-CX and Aruba NetEdit 2.0. The Aruba CX 6300 will cost $5,899, and the CX 6400 will run for $13,499.

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Hewlett Packard purchased Aruba for $3 billion in cash in 2015, and since then, the company has expanded its array of network solutions and beefed them up with more capabilities.

William Choe, vice president for products and operations for Aruba, told TechRepublic in an interview that the company wanted to help customers maximize their options with more versatile, expansive networks. This is the company's fifth major release of software under the CX brand, according to Choe. 

"Aruba is laser focused on helping our enterprise customers transform how they connect user and devices securely to applications and data. Our way of helping customers is to ultimately help them do more with less and be able to have that reliability and automation capability across the whole network," Choe said. 

He continued, "The network is being challenged to do more and more, so whatever might have been right five years ago, might no longer be with the onset of IoT and digital transformation and smart buildings. The network is being asked to provide much more connectivity as well as much more integration and intelligence around all of these edge devices. With that, the network is no longer able to keep pace with all of the digital transformation."

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Choe added that customers were looking for networks that could grow with them as their needs evolved. "They want to be able to grow their network demands without having to drive a forklift upgrade," he said.

According to Aruba, the network operating system AOS-CX comes with a Network Analytics Engine, which takes advantage of automation and analytics to help companies deal with common network problems, streamline management, and speed up troubleshooting efforts.

President and founder of Aruba Keerti Melkote noted that artificial intelligence (AI) was a key part of their business and was integral to analyzing data, providing actionable insights, and automation at scale to optimize network operators' ability to quickly troubleshoot, remediate, and proactively resolve some of IT's most pressing challenges. 

The 6300 Series had built-in 10/25/50 gigabit uplinks and was able to offer customers a system that could grow through the 10-member virtual switching framework. The 6400 Series gives customers both a 5-slot chassis and a 10-slot chassis.

"The network will no doubt play a critical role in the operations of the new Globe Life Field that's slated to open next Spring, so performance, capacity, and visibility are paramount to us," said Michael Bullock, vice president of information technology with the Texas Rangers. "Aruba's new CX switching portfolio checks off all the right boxes – powerful switching capabilities to help us future-proof our networks, a single OS for a consistent management experience, and embedded analytics for real-time visibility for quicker resolution of issues – enabling us to focus our energies on delighting our fans with memorable and engaging experiences." 

The company's NetEdit software now gives customers system-wide visibility of the network's health through distributed analytics, and Choe said its automation capabilities "simplify common tasks such as implementing configuration changes or initial system set-up which can now be completed via the CX Mobile app."

With this latest release, the AOS-CX come updated with several new features including the Virtual Switching Extension live upgrades, which allows system managers to run maintenance cycles without any downtime. 

"You could maintain power just like it was plugged into the wall even though the switch is being reset, all through ethernet," Choe mentioned. "They also get health reports on every device and network. They're able to leverage a mobile app so that they can take the app and configure switches on site using bluetooth or even scanning a barcode. We're making it very easy for the operator and certainly very fast,"

"This is our biggest launch in many years," he continued. "These don't come very often In terms of our ability to transform how customers think about designing and operating their network."

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