Better Understand Enterprise Wi-Fi Technologies

Aruba wireless solution

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Better Understand Enterprise Wi-Fi Technologies

Aruba wireless solution

Aruba wireless solution provides network access for employees, internet access for guests, and IoT devices’ connectivity. Regardless of the location within the premises, clients have the same connection quality.

Advantages of this solution are:

  • Employee productivity increases via high-quality connection independent of their location and movement.
  • Easy connectivity for hard to wire locations.
  • Centralized control and easy wireless network management.
  • Reliable connection and easy spectrum management.

A contemporary mobile environment requires high throughput and connection quality. Clients can use their credentials to connect via multiple devices from any location within the site, which provides small latency during roaming and good network adaptation during routine access point maintenance or unexpected downtime. Higher access point density can support a larger number of client devices and greater reliability.

Aruba Instant

Aruba wireless network solution has two basic models – networks with and without a controller. Aruba Instant is a network architecture without a controller appropriate for smaller environments. Automatic spectrum management provides better environment organization and protection. Aruba Instant cluster distributes certain functions to the access points (AP). It performs election to choose one AP to serve as a virtual controller for the remaining management and control functions.

The network could be managed through a built-in GUI, Aruba AirWave, appliance or virtual solution, or Aruba Central, a cloud management platform.

Management

Aruba ARM and ClientMatch technologies are software functionalities created for enterprise wireless networks. AppRF Technology, together with Intelligent Application Identification, provides exceptional insight into applications present within a wireless network.

Aruba Adaptive Radio Management (ARM) is a technology intended for radiofrequency (RF) management and optimization of WLAN performances even during the highest traffic peaks. It dynamically and intelligently chooses optimal 802.11 channels and signals power levels for each AP and its surrounding. ARM is compatible with all standard users and operative systems and follows IEEE 802.11 standard. It does not require proprietary user software for the best performances. ARM provides roaming with small latency, consistently high performance, and maximum client compatibility in a multi-channel environment. With good spectrum management, ARM achieves appropriate delegation of network resources to data transfer and voice and video applications at any moment. Clients who support different standards (802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, i 802.11ac) can function with the highest performances.

ARM functionalities:

  • Voice Aware Scanning functionality prevents AP, supporting active voice session, to scan other channels until that session is over. It significantly increases session quality and allows automatic spectrum management functions.
  • Load Aware Scanning function dynamically adjusts spectrum scanning to maintain constant data transfer in a system with demanding resources when traffic crosses a defined threshold.
  • Network monitoring with ARM system – When ARM is enabled, AP dynamically scans all 802.11 channels regularly and sends network coverage, interference, and intrusion reports to the virtual controller.
  • ARM metrics – ARM calculates coverage and interference for every channel and chooses the one with the best performances and signal strength. Every AP collects other metric data about the channels where ARM is activated to get a proper insight into its health state.

 

ClientMatch technology continually monitors the client RF environment to provide the best band steering, load balancing, and optimal roaming for mobile clients. This function is recommended compared to the legacy band steering technologies that were not performing a transfer of the already connected client from one AP to another. If the client walks out of the AP range or an unexpected interference appears, ClientMatch starts the transfer of the client connection to another AP.

Providing all clients with the appropriate level of service is challenging since modern mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, tend to choose by themselves the SSID they will connect to regardless of the network quality it is capable of offering. That could have a significant impact on the client experience and general network health. Consequence could be low signal quality, connection to the oversubscribed AP, or a client that is persistently connected to the same AP while moving through space where other APs are present with higher quality connection (sticky client issue).

Aruba worked on improving its roaming techniques to solve such problems, like band steering and 802.11k/v/r, and created the ClientMatch function. This patented RF optimization technology significantly improves performances and allows predictable and consistent connection through the whole WLAN. As a part of the Aruba AI-powered Mobility Solution, ClientMatch continually monitors the state of all client connections and intelligently groups clients for APs optimized for their traffic transport – a special user software is not needed.

Client behavior significantly impacts the WLAN performance. These are some of the contributing factors:

  • Client-based decision-making – Clients usually decide which AP they will connect to, what speed they are going to use, and if they are going to use roaming. Since they do not have an insight into the environment on a system level, they can stay connected to the oversubscribed network. However, there is another one available with a smaller number of users, which can cause lower performance quality.
  • Unpredictable performances – Lower level of system performance decreases user experience quality and increases the number of calls to the IT department asking for support.
  • Client Diversity – Increased number and diversity of mobile and IoT devices using applications that demand larger bandwidth impacts the network’s performance.
  • Sticky client problems and bad roaming algorithms – These problems are visible when clients stay connected to the same AP during roaming, even if they are far away. That leads to performance degradation for every connected client due to the weakening signal caused by large distances and lower data transfer speed.
  • Clients connect to the AP based on signal strength, not load. Besides sticky client issues, devices usually connect to an AP with the strongest signal present in their area, creating a disbalance in network resource usage.

ClientMatch is different from other technologies developed for solving similar issues because it uses the network’s system-level insight to monitor all connected clients continuously, dynamically gathering client data (signal strength, used channel) for every AP without any additional client software. Client data is collected and exchanged between APs for coordination and better decision making in real-time, following changes in the environment. For example, ClientMatch can identify when the user is connected to the oversubscribed AP and steer it to another with a smaller number of connected clients placed in the vicinity.

Advanced capabilities:

  • Video & voice-awarenessClientMatch has insight into active video and voice sessions in their network. That means that the clients who have active Skype calls will stay connected to minimize their activities.
  • Band Steering – Client with dual-band capabilities will be steered from 2.4GHz to 5GHz band with the better signal strength to improve the number of available channels, signal-to-noise ratio, and data transfer speed.
  • Client steering – Clients and AP performances are continually monitored to achieve supervision and control functions for support to all user devices.
  • Standard compatibility ClientMatch is operational with all Aruba 802.11n, 802.11ac (W1/W2), and wi-fi 6 APs.

 

Security

WPA3 – Basic WPA standard was issued in 2003. to replace WEP, and the next WPA2 got published a year later. WPA3 was released in 2018. in two basic forms: WPA3-Personal and WPA3-Enterprise. WPA3 brings improvements in general usage of encryption during wireless transfer of data thanks to the Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE) protocol that replaced the Pre-Shared Key (PSK) authentication used in previous WPA versions. That provides better protection for the WPA3-Personal network that uses simpler access passwords. Clients in the network cannot see each other’s traffic even if they all use the same password. Passive surveillance is not possible if a malicious actor monitors exchange and determines the used session keys. Also, it is not possible to decrypt or alter previously recorded communication. WPA3-Enterprise has additional 192-bit protection intended for the organizations that consider data protection particularly important.

Enhanced OpenAruba Opportunistic Wireless Encryption (OWE). OWE is an alternative for Open network. It is based on the same principles and client requirements. Only a click on the network is practically needed for a client to establish a connection. OWE appears as a standard Open network from the client’s perspective since it has an icon without a lock but has encryption built-in. When the client is authenticated to the AP, OWE applies a non-authenticated Diffie-Hellman key exchange.

AppRF TechnologyAruba AppRF has insight into the application level’s environment, differentiating thousands of individual applications, including GoToMeeting, Box, Skype for Business, SharePoint, Salesforce.com. Also, it performs web filtering, including client activity control while they are searching the Internet. AppRF uses a cloud database updated in real-time on the reputation of million web pages protecting users from malicious attacks before they cause unwanted consequences.

Intelligent Application Identification – Aruba uses Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) on the fourth and seventh OSI level. It allows the AppRF function to monitor mobile application usage and performances and optimize the bandwidth, priority, and network routes in real-time, even for encrypted traffic applications. DPI is significant for understanding behavioral patterns that would require a change in network design and capacity during new app identification.

  • Business applications like Box are different from other applications that clients use for personal needs, like Apple Face-Time, even on the same device.
  • IP multicast video traffic and network services like Apple AirPrint and AirPlay are automatically prioritized with additional controls.
  • DPI resolves destination addresses for web traffic to identify individual applications like Facebook, Twitter, Box, WebEx, and thousands of others.
  • For encrypted traffic, Aruba AppRF technology uses heuristics for identification.
  • For applications that are not of a greater purpose for the business environment, AppRF can limit the bandwidth and prevent congestion in a particular location.

 

Quality of Service

Quality of service (QoS) determines priority for different traffic types to form equal distribution of network resources between applications. Since the end user device connection is basic network access, it is essential to make it the first point for traffic control policy application. Traffic needs to be classified and tagged based on previously defined parameters of the corporative network.

 

Guest Wireless Network

Organizations often have a large number of guest users that need network access. That could be clients, partners, vendors, and depending on their needs, they could use different types of devices and spend time in other business space locations. To support the productivity of such a diverse spectrum of users and their specific roles, an appropriate connection through the corporative network is necessary, often in spaces other than lobbies and conference rooms.

The Aruba wireless network’s flexibility provides the formation of appropriate access for employees and guest users through the same infrastructure without reducing environmental security. Guest user traffic is, after passage through APs, placed in a separate VLAN with a strictly defined internet connection, while on firewall level access to all internal recourses can be disabled.

Access control is provided by redirecting guest users to the captive portal, where clients can enter their credentials. Portal could be hosted on Aruba virtual controller or an external device.

Guest wireless network functionalities are:

  • Internet access for guest users with strict control.
  • WPA3 Enhanced Open characteristics are an encrypted alternative to open networks.
  • Segmentation of AP’s traffic.
  • Support of ephemeral credentials for guest users.
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Compose Bare-Metal Machines in Seconds!

Liqid's concept of disaggregated composable infrastructure

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Compose Bare-Metal Machines in Seconds!

Liqid's concept of disaggregated composable infrastructure

IT infrastructure and its subsistence on the market play a significant role in a company or an organization. IT infrastructure enables the company to develop value in a particular time required to deliver what the market wants. To achieve this, the company or its IT department must overcome two main challenges:

  1. The span of services IT needs to perform; i.e., the capacity that produces complexity,
  2. The time it needs to change to answer the challenges the market produces, i.e., the flexibility.

Today, the company strives to reduce both the complexity and the time to establish an IT infrastructure that should meet the market’s needs. Liquid gives us the solution for both.

Composable infrastructure was born as a combination of some of the best parts of Converged and Hyperconverged infrastructure, unlike HCI, which inserts a software virtualization layer. Composable infrastructure maps bare-metal resources to create a server instance that can be configured in a short period, at the request of the user or application reconfigured if necessary. We take a building-block-based approach with composable solutions, where resources are implemented as disaggregated pools and managed dynamically through the software.

 

Picture 1. Liqid

 

Liqid is the global leader in software-defined composable infrastructure, delivering the optimal adaptive architecture for next-generation AI-driven applications in HPC environments. The Liqid Composable platform empowers users to manage, scale, and configure physical bare-metal server systems in seconds and then reallocate core data center devices on-demand as workflows and business needs evolve.

The adaptive breadth of the platform makes it the most comprehensive composable infrastructure solution in the market today. For example, Liquid use cases vary from AI and Deep Learning, HPC, Clustering, to Dynamic Cloud and 5G Edge.

Liqid Composable Infrastructure is designed to address and solve problems by enabling valuable resources to be deployed through software in just the right amounts and with a minimum time spent on IT operations across PCIe fabric. Liqid Composable Infrastructure is interconnecting pools of compute, networking, data storage, and graphics processing devices to deliver incredibly advanced results through the PCIe fabric. The IT resources required to support applications would be deployed on precisely the right hardware content and at exactly the right time and then redeployed to another application when no longer needed. Liqid made time to configure, for resource capacity and infrastructure complexity, lower than ever, preserving high precision.

 

Picture 2. Liqid Composable Disaggregated Infrastructure

 

Liqid enables the ideal use of IT resources. There are no idle steps due to setup configuration or expansion, saving time and money. The solution consists of three primary components:

  • Command Center to manage the whole system,
  • Fabric to connect various parts of the system,
  • and compute resources.

Picture 3. Liqid components

The MANAGEMENT

Liqid Command Center is the powerful management software platform that automates, orchestrates, and composes physical computer systems from pools of bare-metal resources. It provides administrators with a way to graphically and programmatically create the desired configuration systems using compute, storage, network, GPU, and other resources present on the Fabric.

https://www.liqid.com/products/composable-infrastructure/liqid-command-center

 

Picture 4. Liqid Command Center

 

 

The FABRIC

The Fabric is a crucial component of a Liqid solution. All components in a server (i.e., CPU, memory, storage, GPUs) are connected through the PCIe bus. The Liqid solution disaggregates devices, removing them from one physical point and placing them in designated physical enclosures.  The Liqid software maps this disaggregates devices across a PCIe fabric via copper or optical connection.  Liqid Fabric switches offer low enough latency and allow the components to be disaggregated. Port-to-port measurements showed that the latest PCIe 4.0 Liqid fabric switch has a low latency below 100 nanoseconds, small enough to be non-impactful to the complex application.

Picture 5. Liqid Fabric

 

In collaboration with Brodaccom, Liqid has developed new PCIe 4 generation switches, and the real example is Liqid Grid LQD9448 48 Port Gen 4 Fabric Switch. This scalable and highly available PCIe 4.0 switch doubles throughput regarding PCIe 3.0, which allows the bandwidth of up to 256 GT/s(Giga transfers per second) per port, which reduces latency and increases performance.

This communication method, via PCIe fabric, enables Liqid to avoid additional protocol translation and make easier and faster communication between components. Using the native PCie network allows Liqid to combine many different resources and dynamically assign them to the physical server that the user needs for a particular application.

 

The RESOURCES

The Liqid composable disaggregated infrastructure uses software to create bare-metal server deploys pools of resources using commodity hardware of Optane-based Memory, NVMe, NIC’s, GPU’s, FPGA’s. Compute resources are provided by commodity x86 servers containing both CPU and RAM. The Liqid Command Center software is responsible for the orchestration and connecting resources from approved hardware across ultra-low latency PCIe fabric and all major data center fabrics, including PCI-Express, Ethernet, and Infiniband.

 

Picture 6. Liqid resources

 

Components such as GPUs, FPGAs, NICs, SSDs, and AICs are placed in chassis, which can be connected via PCIe or Ethernet. There are several different ones, such as LQD300x20X Expansion Chassis, LQD300x04X Expansion Chassis, and LQD300x24X Expansion Chassis.

 

More information:

https://www.liqid.com/products/composable-infrastructure

https://www.liqid.com/products/composable-infrastructure/liqid-lqd300x04x-expansion-chassis

https://www.liqid.com/products/composable-infrastructure/liqid-lqd300x20x-expansion-chassis

https://www.liqid.com/products/composable-infrastructure/liqid-lqd300x24x-expansion-chassis

 

Liqid delivers improved resources with software-defined infrastructure composability for solid-state non-volatile memory (NVMe) solutions. Liqid enables IT users to compose NVMe devices alongside FPGAs, CPUs, GPUs, NICs, and other PCIe-connected technologies. Composable NVMe on Liqid intelligent fabrics expands the promise of composability, allowing IT users to create and maintain a more efficient data center infrastructure. Likewise, Liqid enables the clustering of dozens of GPUs for the most demanding workloads, real-time GPU to CPU allocation, and even CPU bypass for “peer-to-peer” data transactions. High-performance GPU resources are allocated through software at bare-metal across Liqid’s ultra-low-latency platform, simplifying scalability and resource orchestration. Composable Intel Optane Technology combines the unparalleled high throughput, low latency, quality of service (QoS), and endurance of Intel Optane SSDs with Liqid’s industry-leading PCIe fabrics. It provides composability with the scaling of capacity and bandwidth.  Achieving DRAM-like data speeds, Intel Optane SSDs are allocated directly across PCIe as bare-metal resources.

Composable NVMe, GPU, and Intel Optane unlock the performance and efficiency necessary for a wide variety of use cases in artificial intelligence and machine learning, high-performance computing, cloud, and edge computing environments.

 

More information:

https://www.liqid.com/solutions/expansion/liqid-composable-nvme-flash

https://www.liqid.com/solutions/expansion/liqid-composable-nvidia-gpu

https://www.liqid.com/solutions/expansion/liqid-composable-intel-optane-technology

https://www.liqid.com/products/composable-storage

 

 

 

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