Sunday, November 5, 2006

Aruba Networks Outlines Enterprise FMC Roadmap

Aruba Networks outlined a five-phase plan to bring enterprise fixed-mobile convergence (E-FMC) to its enterprise mobility platform. The plan addresses both enterprise-centric and carrier-centric E-FMC architectures. Aruba said it will work with others across the E-FMC value chain, including mobile handset manufacturers, IP-PBX vendors, FMC infrastructure vendors and mobile operators.

Aruba's five-phase plan includes:

  • Vo-Fi Awareness (December 2005): The first phase of the plan, bringing voice-aware WLAN features to Aruba mobility controllers, was completed in December 2005. These features were enabled by the Aruba mobility controller's integrated stateful firewall and application-aware adaptive radio management.

  • Vo-Fi Scalability (November 2006): Phase two brings new capabilities for scalability, performance and reliability features based on the IEEE 802.11e standard. The new features include WMM, TSpec, WMM-PS, and additional enhancements. Aruba is providing full
    support for the TSpec protocol, allow increased control over the number of active voice calls on an access point (AP) at any given time, assuring bandwidth availability and better call quality, even as voice clients roam between APs. Aruba has implemented an algorithm that enables completely accurate call counts to prevent near-simultaneous call attempts from overloading an AP.

    Aruba is also introducing "Opportunistic Key Caching" (OKC) for WPA2, as well as WPA, that saves considerable authentication time and reduces call interruption when a client roams or hands over from one AP to a neighboring AP. Clients implementing these features have shown
    consistent handoff times of less than 8 milliseconds on the Aruba infrastructure.

  • Enterprise Integration (1st half 2007): In the third phase, Aruba will add the WLAN/cellular network call handover function to its existing mobility controllers. The company said this function will be explicitly designed to augment and scale the handover function being planned by IP-PBX vendors, and an open application programming interface (API) will provide the integration hooks necessary for easy integration. The API will also deliver greater visibility into VoIP calls made over the mobile LAN, enabling IP-PBX vendors to inject mobile LAN awareness into their existing VoIP management systems. Phase three will also include the release of a client behavior specification designed to help mobile handset manufacturers deliver faster handoffs both within the WLAN and between cellular and Wi-Fi.

  • Carrier Integration (2nd half 2007): Phase four will augment carrier FMC architectures based on the Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) standard with managed WLAN and security services.

  • Seamless Networks (2008): The fifth phase will focus on delivering seamless interworking across enterprise-based IP multimedia services and carrier-based IP multimedia services and will rely on IMS architecture being standardized in the 3GPP standards body.

See also