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Extreme Networks: Now With Universal Hardware For Switching, Wireless

‘This is a topic that has been talked about for long time and is happening in other categories, but really hasn‘t happened where you de-couple the system from the hardware in networking,’ Extreme’s CMO Wes Durow tells CRN.

Extreme Networks has unveiled universal platforms for its switching and wireless portfolios, fulfilling a big ask from enterprises and channel partners.

“This is a topic that has been talked about for long time and is happening in other categories, but really hasn‘t happened where you de-couple the system from the hardware in networking and really provide choice,” said Wes Durow, chief marketing officer for Extreme who joined the cloud-focused networking company in April.

Durow said that Extreme is the only networking vendor right now offering universal wired and wireless platforms for enterprise infrastructure.

San Jose, Calif.-based Extreme‘s universal platforms can run multiple Extreme operating systems, no need for any rip and replace, which provides flexibility and extends the lifespan of wired and wireless products, the company said during Extreme Connect Virtual 2020 event on Wednesday.

[Related: Extreme Networks CRO: ‘We’re Leading’ In Network-As-A-Service Movement]

“When you think about making it effortless -- you can order, you can maintain licenses and processes and simplify operations by taking a universal hardware approach,” Durow said. ”It‘s a big step forward for us.”

The ExtremeSwitching 5520 Series and ExtremeWireless AP300C and AP400C Series wireless access points customers will be able to choose the appropriate operating system for their needs and activate it through ExtremeCloud IQ, the vendor‘s cloud management platform. It can also be manually activated through customized on-premise deployment, the Durow said. This gives users one hardware or software SKU to order, which can be applied to multiple use cases, according to Extreme Networks.

“With the intersection of wired and wireless and the moves towards 5G, you want as much flexibility as possible because you want the data from your network to be able to make the smartest decisions available, Durow said. ”We think that is the big, unlocked opportunity here.”

The high-performance Extreme Switching 5520 Series family will be available in November 2020, and the Wi-Fi 6-enabled indoor AP300 and AP400 series will be available in January 2021. The universal hardware will come with a lifetime warranty, Extreme said.

As the partner motion evolves from that of a transactional nature to taking on more of a managed services and subscriptions focus, universal hardware gives their clients operational efficiency, Durow said.

“When you can provide insight into different locations and data intelligence and speed things like IoT deployments and help get customers up and running faster, those are all things that allow a [partner] to really spend their time equipping their customer with the best outcome and less time on the management,” he said.



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