Aruba Networks has upgraded its cloud-based Aruba Central network-management package to support better control of and visibility into enterprise assets.\nHewlett Packard Enterprise\u2019s network subsidiary also rolled out a new network-as-a-service, Agile NaaS, aimed at streamling the process of choosing network infrastructure components available through the serivcethat that fit customers\u2019 business needs.\nFirst introduced on 2014, Aruba Central is the vendor\u2019s flagship network management package that supports device onboarding, network configuration, health monitoring, and troubleshooting as well as intrusion detection and prevention services for campus, branch, remote, data center, and IoT wired and wireless networks.\nTo that package the company has added a more visual interface and features including new intelligent-assurance indicators that alert admins of network and device problems in real time. Assurance metrics such as client experience and device health are derived from correlations across the network stack spanning access, LAN, services, WAN, and application layers offering improved visibility and reporting capabilities.\nThe company is also adding new AIops features that help operators more quickly discover problems and fix them. Yet another piece provides a point-in-time view of the network that allows recovery in minutes to a specific point prior to an issue.\nOne goal of the new featurs is to help enteprises that face skills shortages troubleshoot more efficiently. \u201cThe networking teams have had to deal with skill shortages and resource issues, and deal with the huge amounts of complex data their networks are handling and they are juggling all that in a very threatening security environment,\u201d said Larry Lunetta, vice president of wireless local area network and security solutions marketing at Aruba.\n\u201cWhen you think of these complex, highly distributed networks, understanding what normal operation is very difficult to do that manually.\u00a0 Aruba Central establishes what\u2019s normal operation quickly and now uses AI and the other upgrades to quickly determine network problems,\u201d Lunetta said.\n\u201cOn the security side, is we automatically see and fingerprint everything that\u2019s on the network. When it\u2019s a user and their phones, that\u2019s pretty easy. But with IoT devices, that\u2019s a big challenge. Up to 25% of all things connected to the network generally aren\u2019t seen by the IT teams.\u201d\nAI-Ops enhancements like the ones that HPE is making are critical for campus network expansion, said Si\u00e2n Morgan, research director with the Dell\u2019Oro Group.\n\u201cIn developed economies, there are fewer and fewer greenfield opportunities in which to sell Wireless LAN connectivity. The next problem to tackle is simplifying the installation and ongoing management of IT networks,\u201d Morgan said.\n\u201cTo expand the market, service providers and vendors need to gain scale [and] manage more networks with fewer resources and make advanced network management features more accessible to a broader range of enterprises. In the same way that IaaS and PaaS broadened the accessibility of compute resources, AI-Ops will broaden enterprises\u2019 access to advanced network management features.\u201d\u00a0\u00a0\nThe overarching idea behind Aruba Central is to help and simplify the enterprise network operators and administrators experience, according to Brandon Butler, research Manager with IDC\u2019s Network Infrastructure group.\u00a0\n\u201cThe enhancement that provides new ways of getting insights into networking deployments, including both across different types of networks and at different points in time, will help with troubleshooting. This is important as organizations pursue more integrated management of their wired and wireless LANs, and as they look to incorporate management of their SD-WAN, cloud and remote worker connectivity too,\u201d Butler said.\u00a0\n\u201cAnother important enhancement provides more proactive management of the network. The platform uses device-health and client-experience indicators to more quickly recognize when there is a problem on the network, identify the root cause of it, and provide actionable remediation recommendations,\u201d Butler said. \u00a0\nAgile NaaS\nAgile NaaS includes design and development tools customers can use to design a network project up front and then offers a range of acquisition, deployment, and management models to build it out.\n\u201cThe idea is that Agile NaaS helps organizations define their desired business outcomes at the start of a project and then develop an acquisition and consumption approach that fits their needs,\u201d Lunetta said. \u00a0\u201cThere is a lot of confusion around what NaaS is and how it should be implemented and paid for, with some vendors pushing \u2018one size fits all,\u2019 model.\u00a0 We avoid that idea.\u201d\nHPE is recognizing that different market tiers have different needs, said Dell\u2019Oro\u2019s Morgan.\nAgile NaaS is different from HPE\u2019s initial Intelligent Operations NaaS, which focused on very large enterprises interested in having HPE directly manage their IT networks, Morgan said. The down side is that wasn\u2019t accessible to companies with smaller budgets, and it competed directly with HPE\u2019s channel partners. \u201cWith Agile NaaS, HPE is packaging Aruba technology into easy-to-order functional service blocks which are billed in a recurring manner,\u201d she said.\nAruba also wants to enable gradual adoption of NaaS models by making it easier to trial before deploying them more widely, IDC\u2019s Butler said. \u00a0\n\u201cOne recent finding from our research is that increasingly, decisions on whether to use a NaaS model are being made less by network operators, and increasingly by senior and C-level leaders,\u201d Butler said. \u201cSo, Aruba\u2019s enhancements to position NaaS across both networking teams and business leaders will be an important way to continue to grow this market.\u201d\nAruba also rolled out a Network Policy NaaS service pack to handle network access control based on the Aruba ClearPass policy manager. The pack complements eight other service packs that typically include any hardware, software and support services all in one bundle. The previous packages included wired, wireless, and SD-Branch NaaS service packs.\n\u00a0 \u201cThese Service Packs are designed for their Managed Services Provider partners to purchase and then deliver Campus NaaS to enterprises,\u201d Morgan said.\u00a0 \u201cThis will give Aruba\u2019s Enterprise Campus NaaS offer more scale in the broader market.\u201d\nAruba announced Aruba Central and Agile NaaS at its Atmosphere conference this week. The products are available in Q4.