Aruba Instant On is designed to provide a great Wi-Fi experience to small and midsize businesses. At Aruba, we take customer feedback seriously and use that feedback to develop features and shape our products. We even have a dedicated Aruba Instant On community which is a channel to get direct feedback and chat with our customers about their requirements.
We understand that customer deployments can vary based on the type of business, geography of deployment, client devices in the network and other scenarios. Our aim is to provide flexibility and options in the features so that the customer is able to best optimize the network for her/his use cases.
Given all of the above, let us look at the features and functionality introduced as part of the recent 1.4 release!
You asked, we listened! Instant On has been deployed in customer sites with a variety of clients, and some clients have specific requirements in terms of channel width, network band, etc. Customers asked for more control of their RF network, and so we introduced the following configuration capabilities:
Note that to keep the simplicity and ease-of-use of the product, these configs are available in the Advanced tab.
App Classification Control and Visibility
At Aruba, customer privacy is extremely important to us. That’s why the customer is the one to choose whether or not his or her traffic is inspected in order to classify the apps being used. In Instant On release 1.4, customers can turn off app classification. When it’s turned off, you can still see the amount of data uploaded and downloaded.
Turning off app classification can also improve the overall performance of an AP, especially in a dense mobile environment. If app classification is not turned off, then the AP does deep packet inspection (DPI) to classify traffic into web categories. An Aruba Instant On AP can act as an all-in-one firewall and router. This capability is a huge value and provides great ROI to customers. Many vendors actually sell separate hardware to perform this functionality which of course costs more.
As you already know, customers can ability to block certain apps on their network. When the user tries to access those apps, he or she will be left puzzled if the app or web site URL doesn’t load. To make it more intuitive, we added the capability of alerting the end user that a specific app has been blocked on the network when he or she tries to access it.
There might be thousands of apps used in the network. It’s now easier to absorb this info with a simplified view of the top five apps used in the network. We simplified the configuration and monitoring of clients that are blocked in the network. But rest assured that we are always on the lookout for making the app/portal as simple as possible for the customer to use.
PPPoE and Static IP
Instant On is deployed at organizations globally, and network requirements can vary between sites and the ISP. Some sites require to connect to the ISP’s PPPoE server over a serial link and obtain a static IP address in order to access the Internet.
Instant On now supports this type of deployment and it does so with simplicity! Just turn on the AP and connect your laptop/phone to the SSID that it broadcasts, which looks like this:
Where x is the last 3 octets of the AP’s MAC address
Next, on your browser, go to the URL https://connect.arubainstanton.com, enter the authentication credentials and you are done!
Open Guest Network
Guest access is another way that we have improved flexibility for the customer. There already were two different options for guest networks – use of password (pre-shared key or PSK) or use of a captive portal (both internal and external). But sometimes, customers just want it to be super-easy for users to access the network and want an open network that anyone can connect to without going through additional steps. Now, this is possible. However, note that this may not be a secure way of providing Wi-Fi.
Instant On APs can act as edge devices in your network since they have firewall and router capabilities. By using enterprise-grade hardware, we ensure that network failures are minimized. However, no network is completely immune to failure. To make disaster recovery easy and reduce downtime, we have introduced the ability to easily swap out the router AP and replace it with a new AP or an existing AP in the network. The config is just one step and reduces stress for the customer during downtime. Also, the network is self-healing and the meshed APs automatically mesh to the new router AP once the old one is replaced.
RADIUS Proxy/NAS IP
Our aim is to simplify the customer experience. Instant On supports authentication using an external RADIUS server. Now, a single AP can act as the RADIUS proxy for all other APs in the network. The configuration is also super simple, where you only need to enter one single IP on the external RADIUS server and this would represent your entire network of APs.
LED Quiet Mode
The idea is that the AP should be able to seamlessly blend into its physical environment. If a customer has ambient lighting or wants to maintain a dark surrounding, they can turn off the LED lights on the AP with a single click on the app or portal.
We’d love to hear from you and look forward to your engagement on the Instant On community.