Small businesses deserve great Wi-Fi. Whether you run a boutique hotel or a burger joint, your staff and guests expect fast, flawless connectivity for their applications and devices.
That’s why Aruba introduced Aruba Instant On Wi-Fi in June 2019. Aruba Instant On delivers secure, high-speed wireless connectivity – both indoors and outdoors – that’s hassle-free to set up and manage. And, Instant On comes with the quality, performance, and exceptional support customers expect from Aruba.
As we introduce Aruba Instant On to business owners and channel partners, we’re often asked what it’s like to run a cloud-managed network. In this blog, we cover the six most frequently ask questions about cloud management and security.
1. How can we manage the Aruba Instant On network when we’re not onsite?
I recently talked to a business owner who told me, “I really like the fact that I can be travelling and still view the activity happening back in my café in real time on the Instant On app.”
The Aruba Instant On mobile app lets you configure and monitor your network from anywhere, whether that’s your sofa or a cafe. Having immediate management access to the Wi-Fi is helpful in a number of situations. For example, a café owner can see in real time how many customers are visiting the café and using the Wi-Fi network. Moreover, she can easily block a malicious device or undesired traffic content even when she is not onsite.
Now, obviously, the café owner won’t be obsessively checking her Aruba Instant On app, which is precisely why the network smartly sends push notifications when something goes wrong. For example, if an AP's wire is accidently pulled out, the café owner knows immediately. Real-time alerting gives her a chance to respond and remedy connectivity issues immediately so the wait staff can continue to serve customers.
2. Why is cloud-managed networking an advantage?
Cloud management makes everything simpler. Just plug in the wireless access points, set them up with a mobile app or a web browser, and you’re off and running in minutes.
Behind the scenes, the Aruba Instant On cloud delivers highly available business-grade Wi-Fi and services. Rock-solid reliability, combined with the enterprise-grade quality of Instant On APs – just like the rest of the Aruba network portfolio – makes Aruba Instant On a great choice. You can be confident that shoppers in your retail store or staff in a medical office have uninterrupted connectivity to the Internet and their applications.
For channel partners who deliver managed IT services to hundreds of clients, the Aruba Instant On cloud has been designed to be highly scalable and reliable.
3. If it’s cloud-based, what happens to our Wi-Fi if we lose the cloud connection?
Don’t worry, your users won’t lose their Wi-Fi if the link to the Internet goes down.
Once Aruba Instant On is deployed and the APs are onboarded and active, they operate according to their configurations even if the link to the cloud management platform is lost. The bottom line is you don’t have to worry that the normal operation of the network depends on a constant connection to the cloud after onboarding.
4. We are IT consultants. Can we easily and securely deploy Aruba Instant On to multiple clients?
Many channel partners are interested in using Aruba Instant On as the foundation of a managed network service. Aruba Instant On includes a multisite feature that allows a partner or managed service provider to securely deploy the solution in multiple customer environments.
Each site can designate two people to manage the wireless – the partner and the customer. The customer has access to only their own Aruba Instant On locations, whereas the partner can see the sites of all their customers. The partner and the customer can manage the network from a web browser or mobile app. Instant notifications and alerts keep them up-to-date on what’s happening.
5. If it’s in the cloud, is Aruba Instant On private and secure?
Many business owners ask about Wi-Fi security, especially since Aruba Instant On uses a cloud platform. In fact, a huge advantage of buying Aruba Instant On is that small and midsize businesses not only get great network performance, but also the same best-in-class network security used by enterprises.
Aruba Instant On is designed to maintain strict data privacy. Aruba’s cloud architecture is used for management and monitoring only. Customer traffic is not sent to the cloud platform nor is seen in any way. Only the designated customer (and the partner, if there is one) can access the data.
6. Aruba Instant On claims to have “enterprise security.” What does that really mean?
Aruba takes cybersecurity seriously, and we’ve built in enterprise-class security in many different ways:
- Secure by design. Aruba Instant On uses the HPE Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chipset on all AP hardware to ensure that no one can compromise the access point, change its boot-up software, or impersonate or disable the AP. The TPM secure chipset is used to strongly authenticate the APs and the cloud before they communicate with each other. If any security vulnerabilities are discovered, the APs will automatically update their own firmware.
- Secure cloud communications. APs establish a secure connection with the Aruba Instant On cloud platform, and all communication is encrypted using SSL/TLS. The mobile app and web browser used for management also communicate securely with the cloud management platform using HTTPS, protected by account credentials provided by the user.
- Strong authentication. Aruba Instant On uses WPA3, the latest and strongest security available. It supports a secured open, robust encryption key exchange and the highest grade encryption. That means you can be confident that all users and devices on your Wi-Fi are legitimately there, and communications remain private.
- Block unsolicited traffic from the Internet. Aruba Instant On APs come with a built-in firewall that can block any unwanted or unsolicited traffic coming in from the Internet to keep malicious hackers at bay.
- Disallow undesired traffic categories. Aruba Instant On APs have a built-in deep packet inspection (DPI) engine and firewall to offer you visibility into the different application and website categories that users on each of the networks are accessing. Not only this, you have the ability to block one or more traffic types. For example, a primary school may decide to block access to adult content from within the school premises.
- Quickly block malicious activity. Wireless devices can be blacklisted, so that a user device can be kicked off the network and will be blocked if it tries to rejoin.
- Simple, secure guest access. You can easily set up guest access, providing legal coverage for your business about the proper usage of the network. Guest traffic stays separate from employee or business traffic. Aruba Instant On automatically sets up different virtual LANs, ensuring that guest and employee traffic are completely isolated. You can even set up different employee networks, so for instance, payment transactions or confidential departmental traffic is isolated.
- Control Wi-Fi usage. You can control when employees and guests use the network too, so you can prevent people from using the Wi-Fi outside of business hours. It’s easy to limit usage (and your business liability) based on time of day.
- Great user experience. Many Wi-Fi products struggle when it comes to phone calls and video chats, and that’s frustrating for everyone. With Instant On, Wi-Fi voice applications are automatically prioritized, so that people have a good experience on conference calls and video chats. In addition, you can also set bandwidth limits to restrict usage of streaming video, for example, or prevent criminals from flooding your network with unwanted traffic.
Aruba is excited to bring small and midsize businesses fast, secure and affordable Wi-Fi so you can focus on what matters most—your business and customers.