What the main differences between Aerohive and Aruba?

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What are the main advantages of the solution Aerohive compared to Aruba?
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Cassiano Pinheiro

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Posted 4 years ago

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Stefan van der Wal, Champ

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Hi Cassiano,

I find that in this post there's already been a very adequate discussion and comparison of products: https://community.aerohive.com/aerohive/topics/aerohive_vs_aruba

Ofcourse this does not cover the latest features from both products but it may give you an indication.
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Cassiano Pinheiro

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Thank you Stefan

I read the post, but I understood that Aerohive has a better management, more simple  than Aruba. But it is only?
Do you know something more specific?
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BJ, Champ

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Not exactly sure what you're looking for, but in my case I went with Aerohive due to their cooperative control (a distributed network model) vs. controllers. There's nothing like telling a manager to budget thousands of dollars for controllers, oh by the way you don't have a wlan yet.    
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Crowdie, Champ

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It is more a design issue than a cost issue.  A number of Aruba access points are considerably less expensive than Aerohive's AP121 so the price difference between the access points multiplied by the number of access points required can commonly exceed the cost of the wireless LAN controllers.  Therefore, the Aruba hardware costs can actually be lower than the Aerohive equivalents.

VLANs - One of the biggest issues quoted by WLC fans is that you don't have to run the VLANs out to the edge (the access points).  In a number of scenarios this issue is a major problem but Aerohive access points can act as a VPN server (smaller deployments) or a Cloud VPN Gateway (CVG) can be deployed to terminate the tunnels from the access points on the edge.  The CVG option is also really useful if you want to have all the wireless traffic traverse a firewall(s) as you configure the CVG's default gateway to be interface(s) on the firewall(s).

ClearPass - IMHO one of Aruba's advantages is the ClearPass server.  It is extremely feature rich and Aerohive's Client Management cloud service cannot match it feature to feature.   ClearPass also has the advantage of being able to be deployed on-premise (hint, hint Aerohive) including as a VM.  ClearPass, unlike Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE), is designed to work with other vendor's wireless equipment so, if it suits your requirements, you could deploy Aerohive access points and use Aruba's ClearPass server as your RADIUS, provisioning server, etc.

Management - For smaller deployments the Aerohive HiveManager is hard to beat.  You can even see transmit/receive retries and channel utilisation without having to install an expensive reporting engine.  Aruba's equivalent is called AirWave and it can be difficult to configure.  It has a few bugs (which management server doesn't?) particularly when configured in monitor only mode.  It follows the Cisco design concept that you create templates and configure the wireless network using those templates.  If you just want to use AirWave as a "monitoring and reporting" service and configure the wireless network in the WLC you can run into difficulties.

If I was asked to recommend one over the other it can commonly come down to the skill level of the wireless engineer.  The Aruba system, due to its inbuilt wizards, is the quickest to deploy a basic wireless network.  If you want more intermediate features then Aruba's inbuilt wizards can't help you (apart from the initial basic configuration) and you have to drop to the CLI (a number of Aruba features are easier to configure via the CLI than the WLC GUI) or try to work through the WLC's complex GUI.  With a very advanced configuration it almost comes down to personal preference as both vendors make very feature rich products and a wireless engineer deploying a complex design will appreciate the more complex Aruba interface and, at the same time, Aerohive's advanced functionality.

How was that for sitting on the fence? :-)
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Cassiano Pinheiro

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Thank you BJ!