Validated Reference Design Guides

The Aruba Validated Reference Design (VRD) series is a collection of technology deployment guides.

These guides include descriptions of Aruba technology, recommendations for product selections, network design decisions, configuration procedures, and best practices for deployment.

Together these guides comprise a reference model for understanding Aruba technology and network designs for common customer deployment scenarios. Each Aruba VRD network design has been constructed in a lab environment and thoroughly tested by Aruba engineers. Our partners and customers use these proven designs to rapidly deploy Aruba solutions in production with the assurance that they will perform and scale as expected.

The guides are available in multiple formats including PDF, HTML, ePub (iOS and Android), and Mobi (Kindle). In general, you will need to download the ePub and Mobi files to a computer and then transfer them to your mobile device.


The Indoor 802.11n Site Survey and Planning guide covers the design and installation of an Aruba WLAN. It includes information on choosing the right AP, performing a virtual survey, and performing a physical survey. The guide also covers using the Aruba Instant AP for physical site surveys.

This guide covers Aruba Mobility Controllers and is considered part of the foundation guides within the VRD core technologies series. This guide will help you understand the capabilities and options you have when deploying an Aruba Mobility Controller. This guide describes operating modes for the mobility controller, licensing, forwarding modes, logical and physical deployment, redundancy, and how to select the appropriate mobility controller based on scalability requirements. Version 9 includes information on the 7200 series controller.

This guide covers indoor 802.11n WLANs and is considered part of the foundation guides within the VRD core technologies series. This guide describes 802.11n, differences in 802.11n vs. 802.11a/b/g functionality, and Aruba-specific technologies and access points (APs) that make 802.11n-based WLANs a viable replacement for wired Ethernet in the majority of deployments.


Aruba product level stencils for use in both Visio and Omnigraffle on the Mac. These are actual products as opposed to the generic VRD icons.


These stencils are the same icons used throughout the VRD series of guides. You can load these in either Visio or Omnigraffle on the Mac.

For WLANs to be able to reliably support mission-critical, high-throughput, or time-sensitive applications, RF interference must be continuously monitored. The WLAN must automatically and dynamically adapt to mitigate the effects of any interference in the environment. WLAN infrastructure has to provide the administrators with real-time, historical, and proactive visibility into the air to diagnose and mitigate interference. In this application note we will look at some of the tools that Aruba offers as a part of its WLAN solution that enable administrators to ensure reliable, high performing RF.


The Aruba Network Rightsizing Best Practices Guide provides an overview of network rightsizing. Network rightsizing is a network capacity planning and cost optimization strategy based on the principle that wired and wireless LANs should be sized and structured to meet current and future demand. After explaining the principles of network rightsizing and how it can benefit your organization, the methodology for analyzing and planning a rightsized network will be discussed. Finally, you will learn how to implement a rightsized yet scalable Aruba 802.11n network.


This guide covers the deployment of Aruba WLAN in a typical campus network, and it is considered part of the base designs guides within the VRD core technologies series. This guide covers the design recommendations for a campus deployment and it explains the various configurations needed to implement the Aruba secure, high-performance, multimedia grade WLAN solution in large campuses.

This lab setup document emulates the recommended campus and remote access point networks discussed in the Aruba Campus Networks Validated Reference Design and the Aruba Remote Access Point (RAP) Networks Validated Reference Design. All the screenshots and command-line interface (CLI) configurations in the Aruba Campus Networks Validated Reference Design and the Aruba Remote Access Point (RAP) Networks Validated Reference Design are from this setup.


This Solution Guide describes best practices for implementing an Aruba 802.11 wireless network that supports thousands of highly mobile devices (HMDs) such as Wi-Fi phones, handheld scanning terminals, voice badges, and computers mounted to vehicles. It describes the design principles particular to keeping devices that are in constant motion connected to the network as well as best practices for configuring Aruba Networks controllers and the mobile devices. The comprehensive guide addresses six areas of network planning to ensure a high quality of service for roaming data and voice sessions: device configuration, airtime optimization, roaming optimization, IP mobility configuration, IP multicast configuration, and interference resistance. A detailed troubleshooting section covers common issues that arise with these types of WLANs.

This guide explains how to implement an Aruba 802.11n wireless network that must provide high-speed access to an auditorium-style room with 500 or more seats. Aruba Networks refers to such networks as high-density wireless LANs (HD WLANs). Lecture halls, hotel ballrooms, and convention centers are common examples of spaces with this requirement. Because the number of concurrent users on an AP is limited, to serve such a large number of devices requires access point (AP) densities well in excess of the usual AP per 2,500 – 5,000 ft2 (225 – 450 m2). Such coverage areas therefore have many special technical design challenges. This validated reference design provides the design principles, capacity planning methods, and physical installation knowledge needed to successfully deploy HD WLANs.

In centralized Aruba WLAN deployments, the mobility controller is the heart of the network. The controller operates as a stand-alone master, or in a master-local cluster. Aruba provides several redundancy models for deploying mobility controllers. Each of these options, including the choice to forgo redundancy, must be understood so that the correct choice can be made for each deployment model.

The Aruba Mobility Access Switch family of products provides various features including voice VLAN, Link Layer Discovery Protocol – Media Endpoint Discovery (LLDP-MED), and Quality of Service (QoS) to enable successful deployment of VoIP in enterprise networks. This application note addresses traditional techniques and introduces new device-aware support to deploy VoIP phones. This document is intended for all system engineers and network administrators who are deploying a VoIP solution in an enterprise network.

This guide presents a new wireless architecture to deliver a multimedia-grade experience to students living in residence halls. We will show that large numbers of low-power microcells located directly in the student rooms is the only effective solution to fully meet user expectations. We provide simple rules to determine the density of these microcells for different types of construction. We also provide migration options to enable many institutions to deploy this architecture without pulling additional cabling.

The application note focuses on configuration and operation of guest access solutions on ArubaOS. The native guest access solution including configuration of the guest access and guest provisioning profiles, guest administration, and captive portal configuration.

This guide focuses on configuration of DHCP fingerprinting, which is used in conjunction with user roles on the Aruba Mobility Controller. When a user authenticates, their device type is taken into account. Based on that device type, a new role can be assigned to the device, such as restricting access to certain protocols or completely blocking access.


This guide covers the deployment of Aruba remote access points (RAP) in fixed telecommuter and micro branch office sites, and it is considered part of the base designs guides within the VRD core technologies series. This guide covers the design recommendations for remote network deployment and it explains the various configurations needed to implement a secure, high-performance virtual branch office (VBN) solution with Aruba RAPs.

Virtual Intranet Access (VIA) is part of the Aruba remote access solution that includes remote access points(RAPs), Aruba Instant (IAP),and the Remote Node solution. To address the demands of the current mobile workforce, which requires corporate access from hotspots such as those in airport, hotels, and coffee shops . The Aruba VIA solution is designed to provide secure corporate access to employee laptops and smartphones. This guide will walk through planning and deployment of the VIA solution.

This guide provides a description of the various bandwidth reservation and quality of service (QoS) options for supporting voice traffic in an Aruba remote access point (RAP) telecommuter deployment scenario. The RAP solution is a key component of the Aruba virtual branch network (VBN) architecture. The Aruba RAP deployment model meets the needs of fixed telecommuter and small branch office deployments while maintaining simplicity and ease of deployment. Aruba RAPs extend the corporate LAN to any remote location by enabling seamless wired or wireless data and voice wherever a user finds an Internet-enabled Ethernet port or 3G cellular connection. RAPs are ideally suited for small remote offices, home offices, telecommuters, mobile executives, and for business continuity applications.


This document describes the process for leveraging the ClearPass Guest captive portal to bypass the Captive Network Assistant (web sheet) that is displayed on iOS devices such as iPhone, iPad, and more recently, OS X machines running Lion (10.7) and above.

This guide details the advanced guest access features available to organizations through the combination of Aruba’s Amigopod and Mobility Controller solutions. This includes details of workflow management, RADIUS configuration, AAA configuration, and testing of the solution. This guide builds on the network defined in the Campus VRD.

Outdoor Mesh

This Solution Guide is designed to help customers understand the Aruba system architecture and the individual components that are needed to deliver reliable, high-capacity outdoor networks using 802.11n with multiple-in and multiple-out (MIMO) radios. Aruba has extensive experience designing complex outdoor WLAN solutions for applications like stadiums, outdoor transportation terminals, oil and gas facilities, municipalities, and large campus environments. This guide describes the lifecycle of an outdoor MIMO wireless network deployment; typical basic processes and tools that are used in outdoor wireless networking; MIMO antenna selection and placement for maximum capacity; design recommendations for common deployment scenarios; and much more.

Point-to-point (PTP) wireless connections have many use cases including linking buildings on university campus, creating connections between offshore oil rigs, and eliminating the need to pull fiber cable between buildings on opposite sides of a busy road. This guide will help you select the right hardware platform (including both the AOS-based AP-175 and Aruba¹s new AirMesh products; Choose appropriate antennas and accessories; Identify and overcome some of the most common outdoor installation challenges; Set up and configure the Aruba solution.