Aruba Central Online Help

Groups for Device Configuration and Management

Aruba Central simplifies the configuration workflow for managed devices by allowing administrators to combine a set of devices into groups. 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 multiple devices in a single group. For example, a group can consist of multiple Instant AP Virtual Controllers (VCs). These VCs can share common configuration settings and push the configuration updates to member Instant APs in their respective Instant AP clusters. For example, you can apply a common security policy for the devices deployed in a specific geographical location.
  • 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. You can also secure the UI-based device groups with a password and thus restrict user access.
  • 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.

If your site or store has different types of devices, such as the Instant APs, Switches, and Gateways, and you want to manage these devices using different configuration methods, that is, either using the UI or template-based workflows, you can create a single group and define a configuration method to use for each type of device. This allows you to use a single group for both UI and template based configuration and eliminates the need for creating separate groups for each configuration method.

For example, you can create a group with the name Group1 and within this group, you can enable template-based configuration method for switches and UI-based configuration method for Instant APs and Gateways. Aruba Central identifies both these groups under a single name ( Group1). If a device type in the group is marked for template-based configuration method, the group name is prefixed with TG prefix is added (TG Group1. You can use Group1 as the group ID for workflows such as user management, monitoring, reports, and audit trail.

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 on how to create a group, see Creating a Group.

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-Switch 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.

Working with Groups

See the following topics for detailed information and step-by-step instructions on how to manage groups and provision devices assigned to a group: