What are the benefits of Aruba’s Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP) for remote employees?

The COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping the way companies operate, many organizations are transitioning those that can work from home to a remote workforce. This change helps keep workers healthy, but it can also place IT departments under strain since they must now maintain their organization’s accessibility and security from remote locations. For example, IT staff must provide these workers with access to the company’s network without being able to see them in person. Aruba Wireless has worked hard to offer solutions to easily perform remote installation and configuration of networks. These solutions include Aruba Central, Aruba SD-Branch and Aruba Zero-Touch Provisioning (ZTP), which also provide benefits for employees working from home.

What is Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP)?

Deploying network controllers has historically been a multi-step process in which administrators first install a master controller and provision local configurations for it. The next steps in this process are to connect managed devices to the network and establish a secure tunnel to the controller and download global configurations from it.

Zero Touch Provisioning simplifies that by automatically configuring and deploying managed devices through plug-n-play technology, allowing the devices to obtain the information they need to provision themselves directly from the network. This information includes local and global configuration settings as well as license limits. ZTP leverages the full power of Aruba’s network infrastructure providing a flexible solution for provisioning without the physical presence of a network engineer. Installing a network manually requires the execution of multiple steps, ZTP simplifies this process.

The configuration bridge between an organization’s network and its devices allows Zero Touch Provisioning to streamline device management. This process consists of the following four phases:

  • Setup
  • Inventory
  • Management
  • Protection

The setup phase configures settings for capabilities like email and Wi-Fi, ensuring those settings are consistent across all devices. The inventory phase collects the configuration settings for these devices, including hardware, software, and security. Management functions include deploying applications across the network from a central node and reassigning licenses can be performed as needed. Security is also important in today’s high cyber-crime environment, but ZTP allows you to take remote actions for protection like enforcing passwords, locking devices and event deleting data when needed.

Here’s a quick diagram of how to setup a controller using ZTP:

Zero Touch Provisioning 1

What are the benefits of Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP) for remote employees?

The benefits of ZTP for remote employees include streamlined network operations, faster installation and deployment, and fewer provisioning errors.

Streamlined Network Operations

Traveling is particularly expensive for companies these days since they must protect employees from Covid. In many cases it is simply safer to work remotely. ZTP allows your IT team to work with employees and help deploy, configure, manage, and optimize their software-defined (SD) WAN connections from a single interface, including the onboarding of new devices. The setup wizard automatically synchronizes credentials, adds accounts and assigns them to devices as needed. This process uses an integrated installer app that maintains VPN gateway configurations, saving time while maintaining security.

Faster Installation and Deployment

Zero Touch Provisioning allows IT staff to remotely deploy network access points anywhere in an existing branch, without the need for in-person visits. Perhaps the greatest benefit to ZTP however is simplifying this process to the point that even nontechnical workers can use a remote app to set up access points, gateways, and switches on their own, eliminating the need for IT to conduct tutorials or make unsafe site visits. ZTP can reduce network overhead costs over the long run by saving time and boosting productivity across the entire organization. Aruba’s comprehensive solutions for deploying and managing networks go beyond helping organizations transition to completely remote operations.

Fewer Provisioning Errors

Eighty percent of all network downtime is attributable to human error, ZTP eliminates this human element by communicating automatically with a server over the cloud to manage devices automatically. For setup, users can now deploy devices with a little instruction and a few mouse clicks, so administrators don’t need to spend any time creating system images, tracking them, and pushing them to network devices. Zero Touch Provisioning therefore allows both your IT staff and your remote workforce to do their jobs more efficiently.

Easy Branch Deployment with the Aruba 7000 Series Controllers

For those of us that are visual, the Aruba 7005 Mobility controller is a good example of a compact, branch platform that can be powered by a power-over-Ethernet (PoE) switch.

The Aruba 7000 series Mobility Controllers improve delivery of cloud services and application security for hybrid WAN at branch offices, while reducing the cost and complexity of deploying and managing the network.

Zero Touch 2

Embrace Zero Touch Provisioning

Networks are in the process of evolving from static to dynamic and even as a service solutions or cloud solution, requiring a new class of switches and the software needed to extend their reach. Aruba is one of the few vendors fully embracing Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP) to allow network automation, and extensible operating systems. These capabilities ease the operational burden of both virtual machines and physical servers on a scale not previously possible. For more information on Aruba Wireless solutions, reach out to Comport.

Extend the capabilities of your IT team with Comport’s technology services and solutions.

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