This content is part of the Conference Coverage: Interop 2015: Special conference coverage
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Extreme Networks SDN platform gets Skype for Business support

The latest version of the Extreme Networks SDN platform uses OpenDaylight to prioritize Skype for Business video conferencing.

LAS VEGAS -- Extreme Networks has updated its software-defined networking controller to automate the process of setting a quality of service for Microsoft's Skype for Business.

Extreme unveiled the upgrade today at Interop 2015 in Las Vegas. The latest version of the Extreme Networks SDN platform lets enterprises get the most out of Microsoft's unified communications software.

"Extreme feels like this is a play they can take from the data center, out through the campus, and through the wired and wireless network to create an end-to-end performance story for Skype for Business," said Brad Casemore, IDC research director.

At the start of a video or voice session, a Skype server determines the number of flows needed and then passes that information to the Extreme controller. Using the OpenDaylight communications protocol, the controller ensures that network switches fulfill the requirements.

Without such automation, programming a network to prioritize a demanding application with real-time traffic like Skype for Business is a very manual process, said Derek Granath, Extreme's senior director of product management. Use of the SDN platform and Extreme's OpenDaylight-based controller -- OneController -- automates the process while also providing the security needed for a particular session.

Extreme is the first vendor to manage quality of service for Skype for Business using OpenDaylight, Microsoft said.

Also at Interop, Extreme unveiled plans to support the Group-Based Policy (GBP) abstraction language in the NetSight software-defined networking (SDN) management console. GBP lets a developer request network resources for specific applications without having to deal with the underlying infrastructure.

NetSight will support GBP once the standard is finalized. With GBP under the covers, policies set in NetSight can be deployed across multivendor networks. Extreme will be demonstrating this support across both an Extreme and Cisco network at its booth at Interop.

"It's a model that gives [enterprises] a foundation to extend policies across the network," Casemore said.

Extreme Networks SDN enterprise deployments

Extreme plans to highlight at Interop two SDN deployments using the vendor's technology, Granath said.

Representatives of the Town of Enfield, Conn., will discuss how it cut costs and boost operational efficiency with the Extreme platform. Enfield's school district deployed an on-demand service portal for mobile lab scheduling. The system lets users self-provision learning resources, while automatically prioritizing bandwidth for critical systems.

The University of New England in Australia will describe how it improved the quality of Skype for Business services through the use of OneController and Extreme's OneFabric Connect software, which automates network provisioning.

Let us know what you think about the story; email: Gina Narcisi, senior news writer and follow @GeeNarcisi on Twitter.

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