HPE Aruba Gives Mobile and IoT Networks API Flexibility

HPE’s Aruba has announced a software platform designed to make it easier for companies to flexibly add mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) services to their networks using application programming interfaces (APIs).

The announcement is the latest development in a broader shift towards Networking-as-a-Service (NaaS), where the functions carried out by a network are determined by software that can be modified according to the organisation’s changing needs.

Programmable networks

Aruba’s Mobile First Platform, is a software layer that allows developers to add new functions to a network using APIs. It also provides detailed feedback on how devices and mobile applications are being used, which can help organisations justify investments in new technologies.

“The days of one-dimensional networks designed for static functions are over,” Aruba said. “Modern networks must be able to easily adapt to new application requirements on-demand.”

The platform is built on the new ArubaOS 8.0 operating system, which includes an API that allows developers to access and analyse real-time information from the infrastructure.

The new OS version, deployed as a virtual machine on a server appliance, makes changes to networking infrastructure simpler, which Aruba said allows networks to scale and enables greater programmability with custom app signatures.

Mobile First Platform includes new extensions that allow third-party, cloud-hosted services to be integrated into the network via an API for automated workflows.

The technology is set to be available in the third quarter of this year.

Networking-as-a-Service

Aruba competes with established networking companies such as Cisco, as well as software giants such as Microsoft, which recently demonstrated open source tools aimed at making data centre networks more programmable.

The Networking-as-a-Service market, made up of the cloud-managed Wireless LAN and Software Defined Networking segments, is expected to be worth more than $11 billion (£8.3 billion) by 2018, according to analysts IDC.

APIs, too, are becoming increasingly important in the software field with the growing use of complex mobile and web-based applications and cloud-based services that must all link to organisations’ back-end systems.

Google acknowledged this trend last week with its nearly £500 million acquisition of Apigee, which develops and manages APIs for enterprises.

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Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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