HPE wifi access points secure IoT connectivity

  • April 24, 2024
  • Steve Rogerson

Wifi 7 wireless access points from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) provide AI-ready edge IT to provide secure, high-performance user and IoT connectivity for capturing and routing data for AI training and inferencing.

HPE (www.hpe.com) says they provide up to 30% more capacity for wireless traffic than competitive products. The APs also strengthen network security and improve location-based services to provide connectivity for enterprise AI, IoT, location and security applications.

The performance is achieved with HPE’s patented tri-band hardware technology, which uses the 5GHz and 6GHz bands to eliminate automatically and continuously wasteful contention between the bands.

“With more than two decades of wifi innovation leadership, HPE Aruba Networking continues our commitment to delivering customers the reliable, secure, high-performance connectivity they need to meet their business objectives, which can range from immersive fan experiences to automated manufacturing processes,” said Stuart Strickland, wireless chief technology officer at HPE Aruba Networking. “Our Wifi 7 APs go far beyond improvements in performance and efficiency to become an intelligent IoT hub, securing the network, distributing the workload, characterising the environment, and providing a foundation for business and operational analytics.”

The APs, managed by HPE Aruba Networking Central (www.arubanetworks.com/products/network-management-operations/central), eliminate the need to deploy an IoT network overlay by providing built-in hardware support for a wide range of IoT protocols such as Zigbee and Bluetooth, or through dual USB interfaces. The APs also provide a secure connectivity platform for the increase in IoT devices organisations are deploying at the network edge, such as cameras, motor sensors, energy sensors and motion detectors.

As IoT devices offer a rich source of data for AI training and inferencing, an ecosystem of business options from more than 350 HPE technology partners (www.arubanetworks.com/partners/technology-partners) can help organisations efficiently capture, secure, transport and leverage IoT-sourced data to deliver real-time business insights, along with helping build their AI data lakes. With these innovations, these data can be used to train and activate their AI models for predictive maintenance, digital twins and personalised customer user experiences.

“Optimised connectivity is now mission critical and customers always want to make smart investments in their wireless infrastructure, considering the need to future-proof the network and provide desired business outcomes,” said Chris DePuy, principal analyst at 650 Group (650group.com). “With the huge growth in IoT devices, demand for ubiquitous security, and the need for backwards compatibility to accommodate legacy devices, Wifi 7 provides the processing power, flexibility, speed, reliability and capacity that today’s enterprises are looking for when making network upgrade decisions.”

With the debut of the HPE Aruba Networking 730 Series Campus APs, enterprises can increase the value of their wireless investments with features that include:

  • More wifi performance for demanding use cases: UTB filtering eliminates channel interference on adjacent channels in 5GHz and 6GHz bands, increasing performance and capacity, giving organisations the flexibility to use both bands simultaneously.
  • Enhanced wireless security: Policy-based access control and Layer 7 application firewalls build on a foundation of security-first wireless features such as HPE Aruba Networking Central Client Insights for improved IoT visibility and automated dynamic segmentation to deliver role-based access for users and IoT devices. Additional features include link level encryption capabilities, which extend wired data protection to the AP, and a personal wireless network mode that provides secure, self-service onboarding of user devices in group environments such as college campuses.
  • Eliminate IoT overlay networks: HPE Aruba Networking Central’s IoT operations dashboard streamlines device onboarding and eliminates high-overhead vendor-specific IoT overlay networks, allowing APs to act as a connector and local processing element for IoT devices to communicate directly with third-party IoT services.
  • Wider support for IoT protocols: Dual dedicated Bluetooth and Zigbee radios provide support for high-density IoT environments, and dual USB ports provide robust connectivity for a broad range of IoT devices using proprietary protocols. The AP’s integrated, non-permanent external antennas are designed for difficult RF environments.
  • AP for data processing: The APs feature twice as much SDRAM and flash memory as previous HPE models, enabling application-specific containers to run on the APs themselves, resulting in streamlined data transmissions and local processing of data for more rapid response to real-time conditions such as temperature or motion.
  • Precision location: The APs are the first to leverage the new wifi location standard, for improved location-aware services that deliver precision within one metre, for real-time, immersive and industrial use cases, as well as support for IEEE 802.11az to help enable self-location networks. Additional features include a GNSS receiver and a barometric sensor for floor-level mapping, which incorporate Bluetooth LE 5.4 for bi-directional IoT location data that can boost user engagement and track valuable assets to reduce loss.
  • Sustainability and energy savings: An AI-powered, dynamic power save mode helps lower energy footprint and costs for enterprises.

The access points (blogs.arubanetworks.com/solutions/introducing-wi-fi-7-access-points-that-deliver-more) will be generally available globally in July 2024, and include a limited lifetime warranty.