Enable an Aruba AP for Location Services

This article provides the information you'll need to enable an Aruba Network for Meridian Location Services, including Mobile Engagement and Asset Tracking.

Prerequisites

Aruba network prerequisites for enabling Meridian Location Services.

Product Recommended AOS Versions
7xxx Controllers
210 and 220 series APs, with addition of Aruba USB Beacon* AOS 6.5.4+/8.2+
300 series APs with built in BLE Beacon, Controller-based AOS 6.5.4+/8.2+
300 series APs with built in BLE Beacon, Aruba Instant Access Point (IAP) AOS 6.5.4+/8.2+
  • AP 205H is supported on controller-based deployments.

1. Get Started with Meridian Access & Maps

First, make sure you have a Meridian account.

Meridian access usually begins with the purchase of a Meridian subscription, but access is also available through the Meridian Eval program (accessible by Aruba sales and pre-sales teams).

The Meridian team will create the new Meridian Editor environment, called a "location," and provides access to designated users via email invitations. These invites allow users to create their Meridian Editor login and password in order to gain access to their Meridian account.

Maps are a key component of Meridian Location Services. In order to get started getting maps into the Meridian Editor, you'll gather floor plans for any area being covered by Location Services, and then submits them to the Meridian Maps team. You can provide architectural floor plans, either as PDF or PNG image files. CAD drawings aren't necessary.

For more information on the Meridian mapping process, please see this article on Creating Meridian Maps.  

2. Enable Location Services:

Second, you'll enable their Aruba Network for Meridian Location Services.

Once maps have been created and imported into the Meridian Editor by the Meridian Maps team, the next step is to enable Location Services. Whether using a controller-based or controller-less network, the process you'll use to enable location services is performed using the CLI or web-based UI:  

Before accessing the CLI/UI, enable Beacons Management in the Meridian Editor location. This generates the access token needed CLI or web-based interface.   1. Once you've logged into the controller, go to the AP system profile configuration, and then set ble-op-mode to Beaconing. 2. Add the Meridian BLE URL: edit.meridianapps.com/api/beacons/manage. This is necessary for Meridian services such as Beacons Management and Asset Tracking. 3. Add the Beacons Management token, which can be found in the Meridian Editor's Beacons Management Settings page.

In the Meridian Editor sidebar, click BEACONS, and then click the gear icon to go to the Settings page. ACCESS TOKEN is the value used in the CLI or web-based interface.   For more detail on this step, please see this Controllers and Beacons Management article.  

3. Deploy Beacons:

Finally, you'll deploy AP-based Beacons to their physical space.

One the AP-based Beacons are deployed, Meridian can use those Beacons, along with any additional Aruba battery-powered Beacons, to provide Location Services, including Blue Dot wayfinding.

There are two ways to deploy these Beacons:    1. The most common way is to use the iOS Aruba Beacons app. The app is available in the Apple App Store and is used to deploy Aruba Beacons and assign them to a Meridian environment. For more information on how to do this, please see this article on  Deploying Beacons. 2. Alternately, you can use Meridian's new Auto Deploy feature. This will allow Meridian to use your network to automatically deploy any AP-based Aruba BLE Beacons.

Documentation supporting this feature will be published in February 2018.

Conclusion

With the completion of these three easy steps, your Aruba network will be ready and able to support Aruba Location Services, including Blue Dot wayfinding, Location Sharing, Asset Tracking, and proximity-based Campaigns.   

  • To ensure the best end-user experience, Aruba Meridian recommends a Beacon density of at least one Beacon per 900 square feet (for open areas) / one beacon per 30 linear feet (for corridors). Given an average Aruba AP density of 1 AP per 50 feet, this usually means adding another 1-2 battery-powered Beacons per AP.