Riverbed Technology (NASDAQ:RVBD) has posted an 81% return since its October IPO. Now, investors eager to find the next blowout networking company have set their sights on Aruba Networks (NASDAQ:ARUN). With a 29% surge on its first day of trading this week, Aruba already seems to make the cut for demanding investors.

Aruba's technologies secure wireless and wireline networks. Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Motorola (NYSE:MOT) also provide similar offerings, but Aruba claims its approach is faster, cheaper, more widely compatible, and easier to deploy.

Apparently, the company makes a convincing argument. Since its product launch in 2003, Aruba has racked up more than 2,000 customers, including biggies like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Guangzhou Metro, the U.S. Air Force, and SAP (NYSE:SAP).

Mobile security is in heavy demand as smartphones, mobile phones, and laptops proliferate. An IDC study estimates that there were 744 million mobile workers worldwide in 2006. The firm also projects that the market for WLAN (wireless local-area network) solutions will surge from $1.3 billion in 2006 to $3 billion in 2010.

Aruba is already the No. 2 player in its market, having posted $51.1 million in revenues for the past six months. That's a year-over-year increase of 84%. On the bottom line, Aruba registered a loss of $11.5 million in the same period, but that mostly stems from the company's need to bolster infrastructure to support its heady sales growth.

Trading at 11 times revenues, Aruba looks cheap next to Riverbed's 19 times revenues. Compared to other networking companies like Acme Packet and BigBand Networks (NASDAQ:BBND), its valuation seems additionally reasonable.

Still, investors must realize that Aruba's entire sector has been volatile, and the turbulent ride will likely continue. Hypergrowth doesn't usually follow a straight line. Foolish investors seeking a long-term investment can probably wait to get a better price.

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Fool contributor Tom Taulli, author of The Complete M&A Handbook, does not own shares mentioned in this article. He is currently ranked 1,590 out of 24,619 in CAPS.