Aruba WiFi 6 Access Points For Small Businesses
Last updated on July 23rd, 2021
Aruba WiFi 6 access points suitable for small businesses, campuses, cafes and other moderate usage sites is discussed in this article.
Aruba, a HPE company
Aruba is one of leading manufacturers of Enterprise WLAN products with a global sales and support network. The Company was founded in 2002 and acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) in 2015.
Aruba has a range of WLAN solutions covering various business segments and performance categories. From entry-level performance products for remote workers and Work From Home users to ultra high performing products targeted at dense corporate environments, the Company has a wide variety of offers involving different WiFi standards.
In this post we will look at the entry level WiFi 6 WLAN solution from the company targeting small and medium enterprises with light to moderate user density and performance requirements.
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Aruba WiFi 6 access points AP-504/505
500 series Aruba WiFi 6 access points have been tagged by Aruba as “Cost-effective Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) for medium-density indoor environments”. The company is targeting these access points towards midsize offices that do not want to compromise on performance and security while keeping the investments under control.
Aruba WiFi 6 Access Points with WiFi 6 Standard
WiFi 6 or 802.11ax is called a “High Efficiency” standard as its core intention is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of WiFi communications under given constraints. We had earlier posted a detailed article on the top 7 features of WiFi 6 access points that can transform WLANs. These Aruba 500 access points features many WiFi 6 technologies for improving the effectiveness of WiFi communications in small enterprise setup.
Aruba WiFi 6 Access Points with OFDMA (WiFi 6)
Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) vastly improves upon the existing OFDM technology by allowing multiple clients to have simultaneous access to a single channel. This helps to relieve congestion in crowded locations as the stations don’t have to compete with each other to get access to the whole channel and instead share the channel.
OFDMA makes the entire WLAN efficient as clients with smaller loads need not occupy the full channel and instead co-transmit with larger loads from other clients. Though this feature can only be utilized in an environment having 802.11ax clients, legacy clients will also experience better access as the air will clear quickly due to efficient communications in 802.11ax.
Downlink MU-MIMO (2 streams per radio, total 4 streams) helps the AP to communicate with multiple clients simultaneously. This helps the client stations to get quicker access to the AP and in-turn can increase the number of stations that can be served by a single AP. This improves airtime efficiency and thereby increasing speeds for all the clients.
1024 QAM (WiFi 6)
The access point provides support for 1024 QAM, which means support for data transmission at higher speeds than were possible in the previous standards. But achieving these speeds need pristine environments and close range between AP and WiFi 6 stations due to higher intolerance to noise. This makes it practically impossible to achieve these speeds in dense corporate environments requiring constant WiFi and non-WiFi interference management.
Aruba WiFi 6 Access Points with Aruba Air Slice™
This proprietary technology dynamically allocates bandwidth to client stations based on user roles and applications, currently available only for Aruba Central managed APs.
Aruba WiFi 6 Access Points with ClientMatch
Proprietary technology to allocate the best available APs to WiFi 6 clients. This feature intends to eliminate sticky client issues. It “continuously optimizes client connections so overall network performance remains consistent”. ClientMatch is backwards compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac clients as well.
Aruba Advanced Cellular Coexistence
Proprietary technology to minimize the impact of interference from cellular networks, DAS, small cell & femtocell deployments.
Intelligent Power Monitoring
These Aruba WiFi 6 access points can monitor their power consumption and can be pre-configured to disable features based on availability of input PoE power. This can be helpful to maintain essential services during power issues from switches.
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This is an energy conserving feature. The AP can go into deep sleep mode to save energy based on absence of client stations and other enabling conditions decided by the AP.
Aruba WiFi 6 Access Points with IoT Capabilities
This AP has on board radio to support BLE 5.0 and Zigbee clients. This eliminates the need to deploy separate infrastructure for IoT services like location analytics, asset tracking, sensor readings etc.
Target Wake Time (WiFi 6)
Target Wake Time or TWT sets up a schedule for clients to wake up for communication. This is especially useful to conserve batteries of IoT stations that have only intermittent data transfer needs.
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Aruba 500 Series WiFi 6 Access Points Features Summary
|Resource Utilization||OFDMA, MU-MIMO (Downlink), Aruba Air Slice™|
|User Experience||ClientMatch, Passpoint®, Wi-Fi Agile Multiband™, WMM®, Transmit Beamforming|
|Green Features||Green AP, Target Wake Time, WMM®-Power Save|
|Security Features||WPA3, WPA2 (MPSK), Trusted Platform Module, IPsec VPN Tunnel, Wi-Fi Enhanced Open™|
|Interference Handling||Aruba Advanced Cellular Co-existence|
|Data speed features||1024 QAM; Speed Rating: 5 GHz: Upto 1.2 Gbps, 2.4 GHz: Upto 574 Mbps|
|Max Client Capacity||512|
|Wireless Standards||Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6™, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ a/b/g/n/ac,|
|IoT Support||Bluetooth BLE 5.0, 802.15.4(Zigbee)|
|Radio Features||Concurrent Dual Band (2.4 GHz/5 Ghz)|
|Operational Modes||Insta AP, Controller|
|Radio Hardware||2.4 GHz Radio: (2x2:2) |
5 GHz Radio: (2x2:2)
BLE 5/Zigbee Radio
|Antenna||Internal(AP-505) ; |
External(AP-504): Two female RP-SMA connectors provisioned
|Ethernet Ports||1x1Gbps Ethernet Ports, |
|Other Ports||1 USB 2.0 port Type A; 1 serial console port|
|Power-up Options||PoE 802.3af/at, 12 V DC|
|Max Power Consumption||Without/With USB :11.0W / 16.5W.|
|Safety Compliance||UL2043 Plenum rated,|
FCC/ISED, CE, 2014/53/EU, 2014/30/EU, 2014/35/EU, UL/IEC/EN 60950, EN 60601-1-1, 60601-1-2
|Manufacturer Quote||“Cost-effective Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) for medium-density indoor environments”|
The 500 series Aruba WiFi 6 access points having dual bands are the entry level offerings by Aruba for cost conscious small businesses, cafes, campuses, retail and other moderate usage sites. With the latest WiFi 6 standard, 2×2:2 radios, IoT support and credible security , these access points provide great value for customers who do not want to compromise on performance. Being part of HPE, customers can expect reasonable product upgrade path and long-term support and stability from the company.
Note: All product/company/standards names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.The product features mentioned in this article are not exhaustive. For the full list of features and capabilities, kindly contact the manufacturer or its local representative in your region.