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Inside Aruba Networks’ efforts to weave digital infrastructure into buildings

Sometimes technology charts an unexpected path. Google went from search engine to cartographer with Maps.

Now HPE subsidiary Aruba Networks is no longer just installing Wi-Fi, but wants to join up the dots for a single networking infrastructure that will be able to make digital sense of physical context and semantics.

“I look at what’s in a networked building: the servers and storage have moved out to data centres and to the cloud these days,” says Aruba CTO Partha Narasimhan. “What’s left in the building? People, things, some type of infrastructure, but space itself is an important attribute in here.”

Aruba acquired Portland-based location services business Meridian in 2013, which now serves as a dedicated team to understanding physical space through the lens of location data for the vendor.

Acquired by HPE in 2015, Aruba delivers wired and wireless networks for businesses and increasingly targets digital transformation projects for enterprises, providing networking from on-prem through to cloud and edge, and with a focus on enabling mobile.

According to Narasimhan, Aruba wants to be able to understand how empty space relates to the objects and people in it, enabling it to deliver innovative digital experiences.

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