Aruba rolls out Wi-Fi mesh gear from Azalea deal

Aruba has updated technology from its Azalea buyout with 11n and management software

Aruba Networks is introducing the first fruits of its acquisition of Azalea Networks this week, boosting the speed of the wireless mesh gear with IEEE 802.11n technology and integrating it into the Aruba MeshOS management system.

By buying Azalea, Aruba acquired access-point technology that can route traffic across a mesh without forcing all the data to go through a single gateway. The US$40.5 million acquisition closed in September. Starting on Monday and continuing over the next few months, Aruba will roll out its own products based on Azalea's technology, which it will combine with its own existing mesh products and sell under the AirMesh name.

The gear is designed primarily for outdoor mesh networks across wide coverage areas such as cities and industrial facilities. Because the access points can handle multihop routing, network designers are less constrained in laying out the infrastructure because they don't have to find as many sites for wired uplinks from an access point, said Greg Murphy, vice president and general manager of Aruba's outdoor mesh and industrial business.

Aruba expects to find a significant customer base for such products in local governments, which mostly have moved away from the public municipal Wi-Fi schemes of the past decade but are deploying wireless networks for their own operations, Murphy said. The speed boost to 802.11n from the 802.11a/b/g technology that Azalea sold will allow both government and enterprise users to put bandwidth-hungry tools such as IP (Internet Protocol) video surveillance systems on wireless networks, according to Aruba.

The company has equipped two outdoor routers in the AirMesh lineup with multiple radios that can be configured for the 4.9GHz public-safety band as well as the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands used in Wi-Fi. It expects municipalities to also use the networks for broadband services for public-safety workers such as police and firefighters.

Administrators can configure these access points to suit their particular needs, assigning different radios to different bands. The flagship MSR4000 outdoor mesh access point comes with four radios. So, for example, it can be set up with two 2.4GHz radios for client access in different channels and two 5GHz radios for redundant backhaul connections to the rest of the network, Murphy said. The MSR2000, a current Aruba product with two radios, also can be configured to use two different bands at the same time.

In addition to those routers, Aruba is introducing the MST200, a single-radio 802.11n outdoor mesh router that uses 5GHz. The MSR1200, a dual-radio indoor 802.11n router with 2.4GHz and 5GHz capability, was introduced earlier by Aruba.

All the AirMesh devices can be managed using the Aruba MeshOS software, with features for intelligent routing, high-definition video support and mobile session persistence. The company is also announcing the Aruba Outdoor RF Planner, an application designed primarily for system integrators and other Aruba channel partners to lay out mesh networks for their customers. It gives planners a 3D view of the area where the network is to be deployed and indicates where radios can most effectively be installed, Murphy said.

The MSR4000 is available beginning Monday for a starting list price of $5,495. The MST200 will ship around the third quarter for a price that has not been announced. The MSR2000 and MSR1200 are already shipping, priced starting at $3,295 and $1,495, respectively.

Prior to the Azalea acquisition, Sunnyvale, California-based Aruba had about 800 employees. With the buyout, Aruba absorbed a Milpitas, California, company of about 100 employees, most of whom were based in Beijing. A flagship project for Azalea was a Wi-Fi mesh built for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Aruba has maintained the Beijing development team and integrated it with operations in Silicon Valley and India, Murphy said.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags wirelessNetworkingAruba networks

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?