Groups for Device Configuration and Management

A group in Aruba Central is the primary configuration element that functions as a container for device management, monitoring, and maintenance. Groups enable administrators to manage devices efficiently by using either a UI-based configuration workflow or CLI-based configuration template.

Groups provide the following functions and benefits:

  • Ability to provision different types of devices in a group. For example, a group can consist of Instant APs, Gateways, and Switches.
  • Ability to create a configuration base and add devices as necessary. When you assign a new device to a group, it inherits the configuration that is currently applied to the group.
  • Ability to create a clone of an existing group. If you want to build a new group based on an existing group, you can create a clone of the group and customize it as per your network requirements.
  • A device can be part of only one group at any given time.
  • Groups in Aruba Central are mutually exclusive (independent) and do not follow a hierarchical model.

The following figure illustrates a generic group deployment scenario in Aruba Central:

Figure 1  Group Deployment

Group Operations

The following list shows the most common tasks performed at a group level:

  • Configuration— Add, modify, or delete configuration parameters for devices in a group
  • User Management—Control user access to device groups and group operations based the type of user role
  • Device Status and Health Monitoring—View device health and performance for devices in a specific group.
  • Report Generation—Run reports per group.
  • Alerts and Notifications—View and configure notification settings per group.
  • Firmware Upgrades—Enforce firmware compliance across all devices in a group.

Group Configuration Modes

Aruba Central allows network administrators to manage device configuration using either UI workflows or configuration templates:

  • UI-based configuration method—For device groups that use UI-based workflows, Aruba Central provides a set of UI menu options. You can use these UI menu options to configure devices in a group.
  • Template-based configuration method—For device groups that use a template-based workflow, Aruba Central allows you to manage devices using configuration templates. A device configuration template includes a set of CLI commands and variable definitions that can be applied to all other devices deployed in a group.

When you add Instant APs, Gateways, and switches to a group, Aruba Central groups these devices based on the configuration method you chose for the device type, and displays relevant workflows when you try to access the respective configuration menu.

For information, see Group Persona.

Default Groups and Unprovisioned Devices

The default group is a system-defined group to which Aruba Central assigns all new devices with factory default configuration. When a new device with factory default configuration connects to Aruba Central, it is automatically added to the default group.

If a device has customized configuration and connects to Aruba Central, Aruba Central marks the device as Unprovisioned. If you want to preserve the device configuration, you can create a new group and assign this device to the newly created group. If you want to overwrite the configuration, you can move the unprovisioned device to an existing group.

The unprovisioned state does not apply to Aruba Switches as only the factory-default switches can join Aruba Central. For more information on provisioning factory-default and pre-configured switches, see Getting Started with AOS-S Deployments

Best Practices and Recommendations

Use the following best practices and recommendations for deploying devices in groups:

  • Determine the configuration method (UI or template-based) to use based on your deployment, configuration, and device management requirements.
  • If there are multiple sites with similar characteristics—for example, with the same device management and configuration requirements—assign the devices deployed in these sites to a single group.
  • Apply device-level or cluster-level configuration changes if necessary.
  • Use groups cloning feature if you need to create a group with an existing group configuration settings.
  • If the user access to a particular site must be restricted, create separate groups for each site.