HP buys Aruba and next thing you know Dell is reselling Aerohive WiFi gear

Aerohive Networks announced Monday that Dell will begin reselling its wireless LAN and related management products -- not a shocker in light of longtime Dell OEM partner Aruba Networks being snapped up by HP in a multi-billion deal last month.

Aerohive Networks has announced that Dell will begin reselling its wireless LAN and related management products -- not a shocker in light of longtime Dell OEM partner Aruba Networks being snapped up by HP in a multi-billion deal last month.

Aerohive says Dell is a good fit in that the 802.11ac access points and HiveManager NG cloud-based management platform help to fill out Dell's line-up of products spanning from the data center to endpoints.

"We believe there is a large demand from customers that like doing business with 'pure play' access layer solution providers vs. large networking companies like Cisco and HP," says Bill Hoppin, Aerohive VP of Business Development.

RELATED:Aruba is different than HP's failed wireless acquistions | Aerohive's latest 11ac AP ships | Full speed ahead for 802.11ac Gigabit WiFi

While HP's $US2.7 billion buyout of Aruba was generally well received by market watchers, questions have been raised about what would become of Aruba's OEM partners who might not want to resell what would become HP gear. That would include HP server and switch rival Dell, which has had an OEM deal in place with Aruba since 2010 and had partnered with Aruba for years before that to sell products. (A PR firm for Dell was seeking a response to our questions about the fate of Dell's Aruba relationship when this story posted; Aerohive declined to comment on other Dell partner arrangements.)

But as an Aerohive product marketing executive blogged last month following the HP-Aruba deal "Past acquisitions like this have introduced us to some of our best channel partners :-)." Aerohive also launched a Get Me Off This Island discount program shortly after the HP-Aruba union was announced to lure Aruba customers to use its products.

Industry watchers have said that the Aruba acquisition might trigger further consolidation in the WLAN market, whether via acquisitions or partnerships, such as the Dell-Aerohive one. In fact, speculation has swirled about Aerohive being a possible acquisition target for Dell.

Aerohive, which went public last year and registered $137M in 2014 revenue, trails Cisco, Aruba, Ruckus, HP and Ubiquiti in worldwide enterprise WLAN revenue market share, according to IDC. Infonetics ranks Aerohive #7 in worldwide enterprise/SMB revenue market share for calendar year 2014 (2.3%) and #6 for North American share.

Gartner has Aerohive in the "Visionaries" segment of its 2014 Magic Quadrant on wired and wireless LAN access infrastructure.

Read more: What does HP think it's doing?

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