Extreme Networks Targets Enterprise With Open Fabric Solution


Extreme Networks is taking its data center-focused Open Fabric solution into the enterprise with the launch of Open Fabric Edge, a new network architecture Extreme says can help IT more efficiently manage campus networks, especially those supporting an influx of mobile devices and virtualized environments.

Extreme said Open Fabric Edge provides a single pane of glass from which IT can manage wireless LAN (WLAN), unified communications solutions, audio-video bridging (AVB) and physical security systems, four items Extreme said are traditionally siloed on enterprise networks. This biggest benefit of this convergence, Extreme said, is cost savings, with enterprises being able to slash capital expenditure costs by up to 81 percent.

"You still see IT organizations, because of the way they are set up, that have Wi-Fi network, a physical security network and a UC network running separately," said Jake Howering, director of data center marketing solutions at Extreme. "That's a challenge. And because of that challenge, you lead to this incremental, inefficient resource utilization on your network, and you have duplicated expenditures to support multiple, redundant network infrastructures."

[Related: Extreme Adds AVB 802.1Q Support To Ethernet Switches]

In addition to breaking down network silos and simplifying network management, Extreme said its new Open Fabric Edge supports programmable APIs and the open-source OpenStack and OpenFlow technologies for network automation and customization.

Open Fabric Edge runs on Extreme's homegrown operating system ExtremeOS, and it also includes the latest version of its Ridgeline network and service management software -- version 4.0 -- which provides a central console for managing network switches, access points and wireless controllers.

With the launch of Open Fabric Edge, Extreme Networks ushered in two new series switches -- the Summit X430 and Summit X440 -- for Layer 2 switching, along with its new Altitude 4022 and 4522 WLAN access points. The two new access points are compatible with 802.11n wireless networks and support direct forwarding, meaning they can direct network traffic without having to communicate with a central controller.

Meanwhile, Extreme Networks also announced Tuesday interoperability with Microsoft Lync, expanding its list of supported UC applications beyond those from Avaya, ShoreTel and Mitel. Lastly, Extreme announced a partnership with surveillance camera provider Axis Communications, whereby Extreme's networks will automatically detect, provision and manage one of Axis Communications' cameras, reducing the need for manual operations and provisioning.

PUBLISHED APRIL 9, 2013