Aruba 7200 series, and the function of Mobility Controllers

The Aruba 7200 Series Mobility Controllers are Aruba’s next step up from the 7000 series. So what is a mobility controller? It basically soups up the performance of a Wide Local Area Network. It does this by centralizing all control of individual access points. So it acts as the mothership of a fleet of (what could be) widely dispersed access points.

The Aruba 7200 series consists of the 7205, 7210, 7220, 7240XM, and 7280.

Controllers improve security, even thought they are not themselves security appliances.They do this with Aruba’s Policy Enforcement Firewall. This is a next-generation role-based user, device and application firewall. It provides automated Dynamic Segmentation for wireless and wired access security in any Aruba environment. It’s available through Mobility Controllers, Gateways and APs in Instant mode.

The PEF enforces policies based on user role, device type, application, and location. And simplifies and secures wired and wireless network access. Traffic is put in GRE tunnels for complete encryption all the way from an AP or switch.

It’s worth mentioning here that Aruba access points can either operate under a mobility controller like the Aruba 7200, or in Instant (controllerless) mode.

More stuff the Aruba 7200 Mobility Controllers does

Controllers also improve client roaming, and general utilization. For example, in a difficult environment that requires 24/7 mission-critical connectivity, Aruba’s AI-wireless technology integrates right into the ArubaOS. The same OS used by all Aruba devices. And that means everything’s talking the same language.

Adaptive Radio Management, AirMatch and ClientMatch (now enhanced with Wi-Fi 6 grouping) provide RF optimization. This improves user experience and network health based on changing environmental conditions. It also corrects for noisy or congested RF and resolves sticky client issues during user roaming. RFProtect provides advanced spectrum analysis and wireless intrusion protection (WIPS/WIDS). This helps identify and mitigate Wi-Fi and non-Wi-Fi interference, and contains potential security risks. So the mobility controller is sort of the mastermind of a self-monitoring, self-healing network.

Aruba Mobility Conductor

When deployed with Aruba Mobility Conductor, you can easily join the 7200 Series to a controller cluster. A Mobility Conductor is basically the next step up in the hierarchy. It controls all the controllers that are controlling all the access points. Up to 1000 mobility controllers and 10,000 access points, as a matter of fact. And the mobility conductor does add it’s own capabilities, too.

You can increase scale, obviously. But you also can improve reliability with enhanced high availability. And, you can adopt configurations seamlessly based on hierarchy, support Live Upgrades to reduce maintenance, and share licenses from a global licensing pool. The 7200 Series also serves a key policy enforcement role in Aruba’s 360 Secure Fabric. Aruba AirWave provides real-time monitoring, reporting and Wi-Fi planning and visibility services.

Back to the 7200 series

Do you find yourself managing multiple WAN connections? The Aruba 7200 Mobility Controllers can connect to Aruba’s SD-WAN fabric right out of the box. And, Aruba’s integration with Microsoft can detect Microsoft 365, Teams and Skype for Business traffic. Then, it prioritizes them over less critical applications. Through management interfaces on ArubaOS, Aruba Central, and Aruba AirWave, call quality metrics such as MOS, latency, jitter, and packet loss can be visualized for additional insights.

Enhanced capabilities

Who doesn’t like those? Well, with Aruba ClientMatch, the performance, speed, and efficiency of Wi-Fi 6 (as well as the key features like OFDMA, 1024-QAM, and bidirectional MU-MIMO) is maximized by grouping 802.11ax clients together. This will optimize the multi-user experience.

We’ve touched on security a little. Support for WPA3 brings stronger encryption and authentication methods, while Enhanced Open brings automatic security to open networks. And there’s now simpler passkey management for WPA2 devices. Should the Wi-Fi password on one device need to be changed, no additional key changes are needed for other devices on the network.

And the Policy Enforcement Firewall mentioned earlier. It tunnels traffic to a stateful firewall on the Aruba 7200 Series through GRE tunnels for inspection. Policies are enforced based on user role, device type, application and location. It is enabled by the PEF license. As part of the PEF license, there is also application visibility with Deep Packet Inspection. It evaluates and optimizes performance and Quality of Service policies for over 3,000 applications. Even for encrypted or hidden traffic. You also get Web Content Filtering, Zero Touch Provisioning, and built-in VPN services, with no additional hardware needed.

Specs on the Aruba 7200 Mobility Controllers

The Aruba 7205 supports 256 access point licenses, the 7210 supports 512. The 7205 supports 8,192 concurrent users/devices, and the 7210 supports 16,384. The 7220 supports 1,024 access point licenses and 24,576 users/devices. The 7240XM and 7280 both carry 2,048 access point licenses, and 32,768 concurrent users/devices.

The 7205 pushes 12 gbps of Firewall Throughput, 12 Gbps of Wired Bridged Throughput, and 5 Gbps of encrypted throughput (3DES).

The 7210 delivers 20 Gbps of Firewall Throughput, 20 Gbps of Wired Bridged Throughput, and 7 Gbps of encrypted throughput (3DES).

The 7220 delivers 40 Gbps of Firewall Throughput, 40 Gbps of Wired Bridged Throughput, and 25 Gbps of encrypted throughput (3DES).

The 7240XM delivers 40 Gbps of Firewall Throughput, 40 Gbps of Wired Bridged Throughput, and 28 Gbps of encrypted throughput (3DES).

The 7280 delivers 100 Gbps of Firewall Throughput, 100 Gbps of Wired Bridged Throughput, and 57 Gbps of encrypted throughput (3DES).

Summary

The Aruba 7200 series is well suited for large organizations. Each 7200 Series provides connectivity for up to 32,768 concurrent users or devices and 2,048 access points. Plus, they include up to 24 Ethernet ports and multiple WAN uplinks. And they come with up to 80 virtual CPUs and 100 Gbps of maximum throughput to perform their built-in firewall features.

The Aruba 7200 series delivers superb, easy user experience for high density environments.

And Corporate Armor gives you uninterrupted 5-star service and years of specialization in Aruba’s whole family of products. So call us at 877-449-0458, or email us with any and all questions.

Aruba 7200 series Mobility Controller highlights

Support for new Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), WPA3
Unified policy enforcement for wired and wireless traffic through Aruba Dynamic Segmentation
Connectivity for up to 32,728 concurrent users or client devices, 4096 access points
Built in AI-powered wireless/RF optimization
Up to 100 Gbps of maximum firewall throughput