CRN Exclusive: Extreme Networks To Launch New SMB Switches

Extreme Networks revealed a new low-end switching product line for small and midsized businesses at the XChange Solution Provider 2017 conference today.

"For the first time in many years, Extreme is moving into the SMB space and delivering low-cost PoE and non-PoE stackable and non-stackable switches," said Gordon Mackintosh, senior director of worldwide partner program and sales business development for Extreme. "These are going to be low-cost, stackable and standalone switching that will play perfectly in the retail and hospitality space and in the SMB market."

In early April, Extreme will launch its new 200 ExtremeSwitching Series. The new series consist of a total of six Layer 2, gigabit switches and six Layer 3 switches that contain 12, 24 and 48 port options.

[Related: XChange: Dell EMC's Wilson Lays Out Path To Partner Profitability, Spotlighting $150M Channel Investment]

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The switches can be managed on-premises or in the cloud, according to Mackintosh.

"Being cloud-managed is quite a differentiator in that [SMB] space because most low-cost switches from some of our competitors can't be managed by the cloud," said Mackintosh. "So if you have a customer thinking about wanting to become cloud-managed and they're not sure, well they can buy these switches and future-proof the network, and they can come back and buy some cloud license and manage it that way."

Bill Smeltzer, chief technology officer of Seabrook, N.H.-based Focus Technology Solutions, an Extreme partner ranked No. 396 on the 2016 CRN SP 500, was excited that the SMB-targeted 200 Series is cloud-managed.

"The cloud management piece is critical and should help to add centralized management," said Smeltzer.

He said the new switches fit nicely into verticals that Zebra's technology is targeting, such as in hospitality and retail space that requires Ethernet attached devices. Extreme completed its acquisition of Zebra Technology's wireless LAN business for $55 million in October, creating one of the top three WLAN enterprise campus providers in the world.

By leveraging Zebra's technology, Extreme channel partners can now target the retail and transportation markets, according to Mackintosh.

"The [200 series] is a fantastic complimentary product for Zebra," said Extreme's Mackintosh.

Specifically, Mackintosh said the new switching line goes "really well together with" the company's new ExtremeWireless WiNG and WiNG Express management portfolio that includes access points, controllers, and software.

"The great thing is that when there's a lot of disruption as there is in the networking space, we are absolutely laser focused on it and this is a great testament that we're investing in a new range of switches to take us into the lower part of the market that we weren’t in before," said Mackintosh.