SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Trevor Parsons, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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Emirates Palace Completes Landmark Wireless Deployment; Becomes First Hotel in Middle East to Deploy Gigabit Wi-Fi

Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARUN), a leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise, today announced that Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s most prestigious hotels, is the first hotel in the Middle East to deploy a 802.11ac wireless network allowing guests to use gigabit Wi-Fi across the sprawling property. This landmark implementation, by MDS UAE, a leading IT service Company in UAE, leverages Aruba Networks’ 802.11ac and advanced security solutions.

Commenting on his organization's decision to adopt the latest in wireless networking technologies, Mehmet Akdeniz, Director of IT and AV at Emirates Palace said, “We remain deeply committed to offering our guests a truly remarkable experience. When we noticed that guest usage of bandwidth-hungry mobile applications was becoming a norm, we committed to deploying a solution that would meet their high expectations for the next four to five years. This is why we opted for Aruba’s gigabit Wi-Fi solution.”

Guided by MDS UAE through a six-month selection period, Akdeniz and his team evaluated solutions from Aruba Networks along with other wireless networking vendors. Aruba stood out by offering the most suitable 802.11ac technology for Emirates Palace. The Aruba 802.11ac solution, which includes the Aruba 220 Series Access Points, Aruba Mobility Controllers and the company’s patented ClientMatch™ technology, delivered the capabilities, functionality, high degree of security and effortless integration with the hotel’s newly deployed wired infrastructure that Akdeniz and his team required.

Emirates Palace deployed an Aruba 7220 series Mobility Controller and over 1000 Aruba AP-225 wireless access points across the expansive property about two months period to avoid inconvenience to guests. The hotel also implemented Aruba's AirWave Network Management platform, which delivers visibility into all devices and connections on the wireless network thus allowing administrators to proactively plan for capacity, visualize client performance and troubleshoot application issues.

Akdeniz said, “Having a highly regarded Aruba Platinum Partner carry out the implementation was a huge benefit to us. Even industry-leading technology is only as good as its implementation and MDS UAE ensured that the entire system was configured for optimal performance.”

While the most noticeable benefit of the new system was the increase in capacity from 54Mbps to 1.3Gbps, the centralized nature of the solution proved to be an appealing feature for the IT team. The Aruba 7220 series Mobility Controller has completely eliminated manual configuration of individual access points and has even automated software updates of all the Aruba 225 APs. Furthermore, with solution features such as white list co-ordination, valid AP lists, control plane security (CPsec) certificates and wireless intrusion detection and coordination, Emirates Palace has now achieved the highest level of security for its wireless network.

Through the controller's intuitive Graphical User Interface (GUI), administrators can make rapid changes to the network and its security settings. This has enabled a high degree of customization of the network which is required to meet the specific needs of each high-profile meeting and conference that the prestigious venue hosts. Akdeniz elaborated, “We no longer waste precious manpower tending to labor intensive processes. Everything is easily managed from one location and our newfound visibility into every element of the network has enabled proactive troubleshooting and thus, drastically improved our reaction time. Complaints about poor network performance have virtually disappeared and our business customers are often amazed to find how quickly we can accommodate their connectivity requirements.”

Akdeniz believes that the Aruba solution will now allow the hotel to deliver new features and capabilities to its guests. While the wireless infrastructure is currently used to support Internet services, point of sales and digital signage, the new network can allow a complete range of cutting-edge guest services. Emirates Palace already has plans under way to offer IPTV, online gaming for children, Internet music streaming and smart device-controlled operation of in-room entertainment. All of these services will rely heavily on the abundant availability of bandwidth - something that the Aruba Networks 802.11ac solution will provide for the foreseeable future.

“In the hospitality sector today, simply providing wireless is practically a given. But not all wireless is equal and this is something that our guests will be able to recognize instantly. We now have a solution that enables us to improve their experience in ways that they have not even considered as of yet. This is the kind of service excellence that Emirates Palace is synonymous with and we are happy to say that Aruba has been an enabler of our success,” concluded Akdeniz.

About Emirates Palace

Built as an iconic landmark showcasing Arabian culture at its finest, Emirates Palace, managed by Kempinski, has created an enviable niche in luxury hospitality. Welcoming world leaders, business travelers and holiday-makers from around the world, Emirates Palace offers a memorable and unique experience unparalleled in Abu Dhabi through contemporary facilities and personalized service.

Situated on 1.3 km of private beach, Emirates Palace comprises 394 rooms and suites carefully designed and furnished to offer guests superior comfort and luxury. With spectacular views of the manicured lawns or the glistening blue waves of the Arabian Sea, every room promises a palatial experience. A variety of fifteen award winning dining options highlight cuisine from around the world. The resort’s leisure facilities include two outdoor temperature-controlled swimming pools, an Anantara spa, tennis courts, a marina and state of the art fitness centers.

Emirates Palace is the premier meeting and conference destination in Abu Dhabi, attracting business drivers and influential decision makers from around the world. Within a total meeting and conference space exceeding 23,000 square feet, Emirates Palace plays host to a spectacular cultural calendar including the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and the best in world sports action the annual Coutts Polo at the Palace.

About Kempinski Hotels:

Created in 1897, Kempinski Hotels is Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group. Kempinski’s rich heritage of impeccable personal service and superb hospitality is complemented by the exclusivity and individuality of its properties. Kempinski now comprises a portfolio of 74 five-star hotels in 30 countries and continues to add new properties in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Each one reflects the strength and success of the Kempinski brand without losing sight of its heritage.

The portfolio comprises historic landmark properties, award-winning urban lifestyle hotels, outstanding resorts, and prestigious residences. Each one imbues the quality guests have come to expect from Kempinski while embracing the cultural traditions of its location. Kempinski is a founding member of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA): the world’s largest alliance of independent hotels.

www.kempinski.com/presswww.globalhotelalliance.com

About Aruba Networks, Inc.

Aruba Networks is a leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise. The company’s Mobile Virtual Enterprise (MOVE) architecture unifies wired and wireless network infrastructures into one seamless access solution for corporate headquarters, mobile business professionals, remote workers and guests. This unified approach to access networks enables IT organizations and users to securely address the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon, dramatically improving productivity and lowering capital and operational costs.

Listed on the NASDAQ and Russell 2000® Index, Aruba is based in Sunnyvale, California, and has operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific regions. To learn more, visit Aruba at http://www.arubanetworks.com. For real-time news updates follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook, and for the latest technical discussions on mobility and Aruba products visit Airheads Social at http://community.arubanetworks.com.

© 2014 Aruba Networks, Inc. Aruba Networks’ trademarks include Aruba Networks®, Aruba The Mobile Edge Company® (stylized), Aruba Mobility Management System®, People Move Networks Must Follow®, Mobile Edge Architecture®, RFProtect®, Green Island®, ETips®, ClientMatchTM, Virtual Intranet AccessTM, ClearPass Access Management SystemsTM, Aruba InstantTM, ArubaOSTM, xSecTM, ServiceEdgeTM, Aruba ClearPass Access Management SystemTM, AirmeshTM, AirWaveTM, Aruba CentralTM, and “ARUBA@WORKTM. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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