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One year after it acquired Enterasys Networks Inc., Extreme Networks is ready to show off its technology roadmap, rolling out new switches, enhancing its data center-focused, software-defined architecture and adding new products and partners to the mix.
The vendor's strategy is underpinned by high-performance hardware that spans across the wireless LAN, campus LAN and data center, and is based on a single unified operating system for orchestration, management and analytics. The announcement sends a signal that Extreme has done the work necessary to integrate Enterasys' technology into its product line and that it is now ready to lay out an architectural vision for enterprise environments, said Andrew Lerner, research director at Gartner Inc.
"This is kind of a coming out party after digging out from its Enterasys acquisition," Lerner said. "They've done it the right way, standardizing on the XOS [Extreme's operating system], moving forward and expanding their channel. Extreme is now laying out their plans and defining what markets they'll play in."
Extreme adds switches to software-defined architecture, enhances Purview
As part of its product rollout, Extreme announced a new, top-of-rack switch series, the Summit x670-G2, which comes in two flavors. The first, with 1280 gigabits per second (Gbps) capacity, has 48 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) SFP+ ports and 4 40 GbE QSFP+ ports. The second, with 1440 Gbps capacity, is configured with 72 10 GbE SFP+ ports.
Extreme engineered the Summit x670-G2 switch line, which is available now, to meet the needs of small and medium-sized enterprise customers, with latency speeds of less than 600 nanoseconds, according to Bob Noel, Extreme's senior director of solutions marketing.
Extreme has pitched its software-defined architecture (SDA) as an open, standards-based operating environment for data centers. Extreme has combined SDA with its Technology Solutions Partner (TSP) program, giving enterprise users the ability to use tools from other vendors for security, IT operations, cloud, software-defined networking and analytics.
Extreme also announced a new Application Sensor within Purview, the network traffic analytics appliance it acquired as part of its purchase of Enterasys. Purview will now present IT teams with a consolidated view of traffic from both the wired network and virtualized environments, Noel said.
"Purview is about delivering faster insights to the business by helping them understand the applications that are [running] in their data center environment, and making sure you can optimize the performance of those applications," Noel said.
Selling Purview to businesses that had other traffic analytics tools in place, like those from Cisco, used to be a challenge for Extreme, said Gartner's Lerner. "Now Extreme is able to offer Purview as a standalone appliance for analytics and better network visibility for [businesses] where they were being held back," he said.
Both the switches and Purview’s Application Sensor have been built to work with Extreme’s OpenDaylight-based OneController software for unified management, the company said.
Software-defined vision includes new partners
In addition to its product introductions, Extreme is expanding its Lenovo partnership and beefing up its TSP program with new members. Under terms of the new alliance with Lenovo, Extreme’s Ethernet offerings are now part of Lenovo's high performance computing (HPC) portfolio. Extreme and Lenovo are demonstrating the HPC infrastructure, featuring Lenovo servers, storage and software combined with Extreme's Summit series switches, at this week's Supercomputing 2014 conference in New Orleans.
The vendor also announced that its new TSP member companies include A10 Networks, NetOptics, Ixia and Sanbolic, who will be joining the ranks with existing partners, such as Microsoft, Palo Alto Networks, and VMware.
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