Extreme Zooms In On Physical Security Market


Count Extreme Networks among networking vendors eyeing a rich opportunity in physical security -- specifically, the IP networks used to support and manage video surveillance cameras and other security assets.

Extreme this week confirmed software updates to its ExtremeXOS operating system that enable camera and device discovery, configuration, authentication, power management via Power over Ethernet (PoE), and network policy assignment.

The software updates for Extreme's Summit X440, X460 and X670 Gigabit switch lines include the ability to configure for specific devices and create dedicated security networks to tamp down on interference from other network assets. In addition, Extreme's Ridgeline Service Management Software enables identity management for third-party devices and other functions such as intelligent alarm systems.

[Related: Extreme Networks Names New Global Sales Chief]

Bill Murphy, director of marketing for Extreme, told CRN that only about 10 percent of Extreme partners sell physical security solutions now. But according to researcher Frost & Sullivan, the overall physical security market will approach $3 billion within the next decade.

"Security continues to be a top-of-mind priority for organizations, such as with retailers, hotel resorts or banks," Murphy said. "High-resolution video is getting very feasible to deploy; it just needs a robust network for a natural fit. VARs today are looking at new opportunities to expand their business, and this market is growing fast. Cameras are becoming as ubiquitous as light bulbs."

Extreme previously didn't much focus on physical security, Murphy said, because it was "generally relegated to lower-end network providers selling unmanaged, L2-only switches." But the market is very much in transition, he said.

"The opportunity for channel partners, like the switch vendors, is to take their IP expertise and apply it to a new market with a CAGR in the range of 25 [precent] to 30 percent. The technology is now moving toward their strengths," Murphy said.

ExtremeXOS supports a wide range of camera endpoints, though Extreme, Santa Clara, Calif., is partnering closely with market specialist Axis Communications and management software provider Milestone.

Other players in the physical security networking space also have expanded their portfolios in recent months. Earlier in September, Cisco mounted a nearly across-the-board update to its physical security and video surveillance product line, including a version of its surveillance software tailored for Cisco Unified Computing System deployments. And Axis itself is scheduled to update its solution providers during its partner summit next week in Chicago.

PUBLISHED SEPT. 25, 2012