Extreme Networks Reveals ‘Cloud Continuum’ Experience, New Hardware For Edge Use Cases

The networking specialist rounds out its Wi-Fi 6E access point series, adds three new switches to its popular universal hardware series, and takes to its annual conference to unveil ExtremeCloud Edge, an offering that presents partners and end customers with a “cloud continuum,” the company tells CRN.


Extreme Networks has completed its Wi-Fi 6E access point series and added three new switches to its popular universal hardware series. It’s also been busy building ExtremeCloud Edge, a way to simplify cloud choice to create a “one network” experience, the net working specialist revealed at its annual Extreme Connect 2023 conference.

On the hardware side, the new AP3000 is the industry’s smallest, most power-efficient Wi-Fi 6E access point (AP) for budget-conscious customers. At the same time, Extreme is growing its Universal Switch series by three new switches. The 7520 and 7720 were designed for enterprise core and aggregation use cases, while the new 8820 switch is a high-density switch router designed for large enterprise networks and service providers, the company revealed on Tuesday at its event in Berlin.

ExtremeCloud Edge, on the other hand, is an industry-first “cloud continuum,” Dan DeBacker, senior vice president of product for Extreme, told CRN.

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The platform spans across public, private, and edge cloud deployments to help enterprises and perhaps more importantly, channel partners, reduce the complexity and operating costs associated with managing a wide spectrum of cloud use cases, DeBacker said.

“[Multi-access edge computing] MEC is a term that everyone knows very well. General use computing, moving closer to the edge, move applications for the users closer to the edge makes perfect sense. The thing that has been missed in the industry is the fact that no one has taken the cloud experience and the networking applications and move them to the edge of the network,” he said.

ExtremeCloud Edge gives enterprises more choice and flexibility when it comes to running networking applications, including management, analytics and AI, from anywhere, while also prioritizing data sovereignty, an increasingly important requirement for global enterprises, DeBacker said.

“Basically, we go to a customer, and they can deploy cloud their way,” he said. “ExtremeCloud Edge is our ability to bring the entire cloud experience on premises and we’re not bringing the burden of management to the customer, but the customer will now be able to use all the same capabilities that we have available in ExtremeCloud IQ that sits in either AWS or Azure or GCP, on premise.”

The first release of ExtremeCloud Edge will be available through select partners only and later, enterprises, according to the company.

“We want to enable our partners to go out to their customers and sell that solution and make it easy for the partner to manage their customer environments with that same cloud experience,” DeBacker said. “We see this as a really big step forward for our partners and that they can go to their customers and say: ‘Yes, I can provide you data sovereignty. I can make sure that all of your data is kept in country.’ And for the partner themselves, their operating model becomes much easier, because they can manage multiple customers from one place because the data is all right there and they have Extreme backing them up.”

“This will probably play as well or better for partners than it will for enterprises,” he added.

The Hardware

Extreme is billing its latest AP3000 as the Wi-Fi 6E access point with the lowest power consumer in the smallest form factor. It was designed to optimize performance in both high-density and harsh environments. The access point is available in two form factors and has a 2x2:2 dual radio and the option for external antennas with an extended temperature range, suitable for environments like freezers and hot climates, as well as K-12 and higher education classrooms.

“We’ve run into a lot of situations, especially when you look at warehousing and places that have very high ceilings; where do you put APs, how do shoot coverage down aisles, and things like that, so having those external antennas provides critical capabilities for Wi-Fi coverage,” DeBacker said.

The AP3000 rounds out Extreme’s Wi-Fi 6E portfolio, which includes the AP4000 and AP5000 series, which was introduced last year.

“Pick your size, pick your requirements, pick your technology. What do you want to do? How do you want to cover? We’ve got all those areas covered now with 6E,” he said.

On the switching side, the new 7520 and 7720 Universal Switches show that Extreme is bringing universal hardware to the core of the network. The two switches offer feature-rich core and aggregation switching and can work alongside Extreme’s existing network infrastructure for automated, zero-touch onboarding and auto-sensing of Extreme and third-party devices, as well as improved network security through hyper-segmentation, according to the company. These two new switches are designed for demanding environments, such as government, healthcare, manufacturing and higher education settings.

The 7520 is designed to address 1/10/25Gb server and top of rack deployments within data centers and wiring closet environments. The 7720 addresses higher-speed core switching needs with up to 32 x 100 Gb ports and consolidates up to eight different aggregation/core switch lines from previous generations into a single family, according to Extreme.

On the high-density side, the Extreme 8820 switch extends the company’s Universal Platforms to large enterprises and service providers and can be used in the data center as a border leaf or spine switch and provide core aggregation. The 8820 can reduce costs and improve network speeds for large enterprises and service providers to reduce costs and increase network speeds, Extreme said.

“We continue down the path of universal hardware [and] it’s been just so wildly successful beyond what we ever thought it would be,” DeBacker said. “The uptake in the market has been phenomenal. Customers and partners really see the value of being able to buy hardware once and then change the persona, change the OS, change the whole entire thing, without actually having to change out the hardware.”

Extreme’s Universal Platforms let end users select their OS of choice and change it as necessary, which extends the life of the hardware and can eliminate network upgrade costs, according to the company.

“Now, I think we’ve got the campus and the data center very well covered from the core all the way out to the edge,” DeBacker said.

Extreme last month reported its fiscal third-quarter 2023 earnings that ended March 31. The company posted revenue of $332.5 million, up 16 percent year-over-year. Extreme’s SaaS ARR was $117 million, up 22 percent year-over-year.