Dell Puts Badge On Aruba Wireless LAN

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Offices need Wi-Fi, says Dell, as it agrees to sell Aruba kit under its own badge

Dell has tightened a partner agreement with wireless LAN maker Aruba. It will now sell Aruba switches and access points under the Dell brand and provide its own support.

Dell, which has been selling Aruba wireless LAN equipment since 2008, has signed a multi-year agreement to sell Aruba’s 3000 and 600 series products as the Dell PowerConnect W-3000 and W-600, as well as Aruba wireless access points, alongside wired edge switches which Dell makes itself. Dell also sells core network switches from Juniper and storage network switches from Brocade.

Wireless is now the preferred option

Users now expect to get wireless connections as their first option, said Larry Hart, senior manager for networking at Dell: “It’s wired where you need to, and wireless as often as you can,” he said to eWEEK Europe.

The partner agreement between Dell and Aruba has been going well, said Hart, saying that the Aruba addition “is the next step in providing truly efficient networks to customers, encompassing servers storage and wireless.”

“This opens up the market for Aruba, as many large accounts are committed to Dell, and buy end-to-end solutions,” said Aruba’s director of marketing Roger Hockaday. The fact that Dell is not committed to wired networks made the company a smooth fit, he added. The deal also lets Dell sell Airwave (known in the UK as AWMS for trademark reasons), Aruba’s multi-vendor management product which is bidding to manage wired as well as wireless networks.

Although wireless LANs might result in Dell missing some sales of network switches, the overall benefit in reaching new customers would more than match that, the two said.

The Aruba 600 switches are designed for branch offices, with up to 17 access points supporting up to 500 people, while the 3000 series can support thousands of users on up to 500 access points. The access points support the 802.11n standard, and start at £350.

The Dell versions will carry the slogan “powered by Aruba” because, as Hart said: “In our opinion Aruba products are the best in class solution, and it makes sense to utilise that brand equity,” Dell has not said how much it will charge for its version of the kit, but it should match the street price of the Aruba branded version.

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