Aruba co-founder labels SA as key investment market

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Keerti Melkote, co-founder and president of Aruba Networks.
Keerti Melkote, co-founder and president of Aruba Networks.

Aruba Networks’ recent acquisition of South Africa-based Cape Networks is an important seed in the company’s business strategy for the country.

This was the word from Aruba Networks co-founder and president Keerti Melkote, speaking to journalists during the company's press conference at the EMEA Atmosphere 2019 event in Sibenik, Croatia.

From a business opportunity standpoint, said Melkote, South Africa is an important country for Aruba to invest in, and acquiring Cape Networks fit into this agenda.

“SA has been a phenomenal place for finding talent; to us it has been an investment opportunity as well as a profit opportunity. It is not just about selling our products there but building products in SA, for SA and for the globe.

“Cape Networks has built a fantastic platform to understand how users are experiencing the network. We build networks, while the Cape platform is about measuring delivery on the user experience. This then becomes the foundation of the entire offer we are providing, and it has been extremely well received in the market.”

Aruba is part of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise after the $3 billion acquisition in 2015. It competes against networking companies such as Cisco and Motorola Solutions, among others.

Last year, Aruba acquired Cape Networks, which offers a networking monitoring tool and identifies problems that can be fixed remotely. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Zoning in on the edge

Much of the focus at this year’s Atmosphere event is on the era of edge computing.

Edge computing is the new experience being enabled by edge technologies for customers, employees, students, patients and any users of network services, according to Aruba’s definition. Edge technologies allow the processing of data by devices at the edge of networks, which is where users and devices are.

Market analyst firm TrendForce found that edge computing architecture not only increases the efficiency of computing and data applications, but could also enhance further implementation of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and 5G.

For the next decade, the trend Aruba expects to see is the emergence of edge computing, and as a result, it is positioning itself to take advantage of the economic opportunities the edge presents, said Melkote.

“The last 10 years, what we have done is implement technology that is increasingly centralised in the cloud, which is nothing but a data centre. We consume the technology that is sitting there through applications. The face of the cloud, for most of us, is mobile. At the edge, mobile is just one part of it.

“Mobile will be the digital interface to the network, and the Internet of things (IOT) is the other big piece of the puzzle changing the equation at the edge. By implementing sensors to detect and sense the environment around us, we are creating new data to provide enhanced real-time experiences at the edge.

“A simple example of a sensor is a video camera. Typically, video cameras have been used for video surveillance, but what is changing with video is real-time analysis. Video is one example of an IOT sensor that is transforming use cases within the edge.

“Not a lot of technology at the edge is compute, as compute is still very much in the cloud. As we implement IOT at the edge, there is going to be more data and as we use the data to drive real-time experience, we’ll need to bring compute closer to the edge.”

Noting Aruba’s role in the face of edge computing, Melkote concluded: “Our initial goal is to provide the connectivity because everything has to be connected. Secondly, provide the security fabric so that the connection is secure, and thirdly, provide the compute and storage layer.”

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