Extreme Networks Hones Cloud Vision With New Gear


Like other networking vendors, Extreme Networks has made the data center, and subsequently virtualization and cloud computing, a top priority. In December, Extreme unveiled its data center strategy to bring enterprises from the physical world to the virtual world and eventually into the cloud. This week, it added to that vision delivering a new module and new stackable edge switch designed to significantly increase the scale of the data center network to drive the levels of performance required for cloud computing and virtualization, said Shehzad Merchant, Extreme's data center strategy senior director.

The BlackDiamond 8900-xl modules include Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet data center solutions that can double Layer 2 and 3 table sizes to deliver high-speed 128 Gigabit per line card switching. The new modules also boost port density and scale, enabling large data centers to minimize network tiers while supporting more virtual machines. The modules are available as upgrades to the BlackDiamond 8800 series switch family.

And the new Extreme Summit X480 is a fixed-configuration switch, a 48-port 10/100/1000 switch for data center class functionality with Layer 2 and 3 scalability, front to back airflow and dual internal hot-swappable power supplies and fans. Up to eight X480s can be stacked and managed as a single virtual chassis for up to 1.8 Terabits of switching capacity as a single managed device. Taking advantage of the optional VIM2 slot, which is 40-Gigabit-Ethernet ready, the Summit X480 supports a four-port 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink module or a stacking support module, which provides 40-Gbps or 128-Gbps throughput.

The addition of the BlackDiamond 8900-xl modules and the Summit x480 completes Extreme's data center portfolio and is part of the first phase toward a virtualized or cloud environment, said Merchant. The new releases come as cloud providers, hosting companies and enterprises are increasing scale of their data centers in preparation for virtualized environments and cloud-based applications and systems. Merchant said the new architecture enables resources to be dynamically managed and deployed and deliver stronger flexibility, agility and scale.

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While the new gear falls into the physical network phase of Extreme's cloud computing approach, it provides interconnect and backbone within global data centers acting as the foundation for virtualized architectures and topologies, becoming an essential component to support cloud computing in the future by increasing the number of virtual machines available.

Once the physical network phase is complete, the remaining phases, which add efficiency, scalability and, ultimately, automation, customization via the cloud can be achieved, Merchant said, adding that in order to get to that point, the network must become virtualization-aware.

All told, Extreme's data center portfolio is the hardware that will "fuel the migration from the physical to the cloud," Merchant said.

Kevin Ryan, Extreme's director of data center solutions, said the BlackDiamond 8900-xl Modules and the Summit X480 address higher-end cloud environments.

"They support very large-scale cloud deployments," he said, adding that often larger cloud deployments can be difficult to implement and to scale.

The BlackDiamond-xl modules for the BlackDiamond 8800 start at $15,995, while the Summit X480 switch has a list price starting at $11,995 for fiber and $9,995 for copper. Both are shipping now.