Aruba beefs up the Pentagon's wireless, wired and security profile

The Pentagon is modernizing its wireless, wireline and security capabilities by working with Aruba. (Business Wire)

Aruba has landed a deal to modernize the Pentagon's wired, wireless and security services across all of its network classification levels.

Aruba said the Pentagon was streamlining its network administration, training and support onto a single common platform as part of its network modernization plan. Aruba is providing the Pentagon with an automated networking infrastructure that eliminates manual processes such as port mapping and initial switch configuration. Aruba didn't say when the project would be completed or how much it was worth.

The across-the-board network modernization effort will enable the Pentagon to tap into software-defined networking (SDN) capabilities that interoperate with other vendors and systems. Using SDN will also create operational efficiencies for the Pentagon. Aruba will also provide automated secure device access across the Pentagon's 6.5 million square feet of office buildings.

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Aruba, which is a division of HPE, said the Pentagon was previously using a legacy wired switching infrastructure that was provided by Cisco. The Pentagon is replacing those legacy switches with Aruba access switches across all of its classification levels. When it's completed, the entire wired deployment will include more than 150,000 wired ports. On the wireless side, the Pentagon will add an additional 3,000 access points from Aruba.

For SDN, the Pentagon is expanding its deployment of Aruba's ClearPass Policy Manager, including the solution’s colorless ports feature, for secure network access control across its networks. In the future, the Pentagon could use ClearPass to unify access control for wired and wireless access across all network classifications.

RELATED: As it takes on Cisco and VMware, HPE wraps up $925M deal to buy SD-WAN vendor Silver Peak

While Aruba didn't mention SD-WAN in Monday's press release, the deal with the Pentagon could include the use of Silver Peak's SD-WAN capabilities as part of a wireless local area networking (WLAN) platform for all aspects of wired and wireless local area networking and wide area networking. HPE bought Silver Peak for $925 million earlier this year and integrated it into its Aruba business unit.

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