Know The Truth About Aruba Access Points - CXtec

Posted by The Team at CXtec on Mar 21, 2022 1:54:23 AM

A couple allegations have surfaced surrounding the Aruba AP-310 series access points in comparison to other AP’s in the Aruba...

A couple allegations have surfaced surrounding the Aruba AP-310 series access points in comparison to other AP’s in the Aruba indoor 300 level Wave 2 lines. What better time to discuss these accusations and take a deep dive into how the AP-310 compares to the 300/320/330.

Accusation #1: The AP-315 is better than the AP-325

Here’s one that I’ve heard a handful of times – The AP-325 will enter a “Power Saver” restricted mode, if an access point does not have two wired 802.3 at Ethernet connections, making AP-315 the better option. This is because it does not require two connections.

According to the AP-325 data sheet, it’s power sources and consumption is outlined as:

  • The AP supports direct DC power and Power over Ethernet (POE)
  • When both power sources are available, DC power takes priority
  • Power sources sold separately
  • Direct DC source: 12 Vdc nominal, +/- 5%
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE): 48 Vdc (nominal) 802.3af/802.3at compliant source
    • Unrestricted functionality with 802.3at PoE
    • Power-save mode with reduced functionality from 802.3af PoE
    • USB port disabled
    • Second Ethernet port disabled
    • 2.4 GHz radio in 1x1:1 mode

    According to the AP-315 data sheet, it’s power sources and consumption is outlined as:

    • The AP supports direct DC power and Power over Ethernet (POE)
    • When both power sources are available, DC power takes priority
    • Power sources sold separately
    • Direct DC source: 12 Vdc nominal, +/- 5%
    • Power over Ethernet (PoE): 48 Vdc (nominal) 802.3af/802.3at compliant source
      • Unrestricted functionality with 802.3at PoE
      • Power-save mode with reduced functionality from 802.3af PoE
      • USB port disabled
      • Second Ethernet port disabled
      • 2.4 GHz radio in 1x1:1 mode

        Myth Busted

        So does that mean that the AP-315 is better than the Ap-325 because the 325 will not operate in unrestricted mode with dual connections to 802.3at power sources? No!
        Their power requirements/restrictions are the same. Digging a little deeper you can find some specs on the AP-325 installation guide. The guide says:

        Power

        The E0 and E1 ports support PoE-in, allowing the device to draw power from an 802.3at source (recommended) or an 802.3af source. When both PoE and DC power sources are available, the access point defaults to using the DC power source.
        If PoE is not available, the 320 Series has a single 12V/30W DC power jack socket to support the AP-AC-12V30UN AC-to-DC adapter kit (sold separately).

        Power Modes

        The 320 Series can operate in two power modes. The modes are not configurable and are determined by the access point based on the amount of power available. The 320 Series access points operate without restrictions when powered by a DC or 802.3at PoE source. When powered by an 802.3af PoE source, the following restrictions apply:
      • Second Ethernet Port disabled
      • USB interface disabled
      • 2.4 GHz in 1x1:1 mode
        Nowhere in this data does it say that an AP will require both Ethernet connections to operate in full unrestricted power mode. So after all that data sheet quoting, why does this matter? CXtec takes aggressive stocking positions on many Aruba access points, take a look.

        Accusation #2: AP-315 is superior to any other 300 level AP

        The second accusation and likely the more difficult to understand, is that the AP-315 is superior in all ways to any other 300 level AP. Why? Because buyers believe the AP-310’s use a “newer chip set” and therefore are better. Can a newer chip set lead to better functionality?  Sure!  Is this better functionality big enough to justify choosing a lower model access point with less features? Depending on what features you really need – most likely not.

        The 325 for example, when compared to the 315, does show some differences in the Radio MIMO Types.  310 = 4X4:4 for MU-MIMO, 4X4:4 for SU-MIMO, where the 320 = 4X4:3 for MU-MIMO, 4X4:4 for SU-MIMO. Say that three times fast. All this means is that, the 310 supports 4 single steam clients, where the 320 supports 3 in MU-MIMO.

        Asking the easy questions

        All things considered what is the performance boost from that difference? Does that minor difference mean you should not consider the AP-320’s? It really depends most on what you need in your environment. Does having a secondary Ethernet connection matter to you?  What is the price difference between the 310 and other 300 level AP’s?

    When using Aruba’s product finder for Access points, if you select the “highest Device Density” and “highest performance” only 2 access points show – the 340 and the 330’s. Therefore, having that newest chip set does not make the AP-315 superior to other AP’s in the line.  It does however make it an interesting contender when considering AP’s.

    Where does this misinformation come from? If I had to wager a guess on why - it probably would come down to one simple thing – money. If there is a focus from a manufacture on a certain product set that typically means back end rebates for the partners who sell those items. 

    What makes CXtec different? We will try to find you the best access point for your needs and budget regardless of what Aruba may be trying to market heavily!