Extreme CEO sketches 2021 enterprise networking challenges

Ed Meyercord talks cloud network management, core enterprise network changes and 5G opportunities as Extreme nears its 25th anniversary.

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Extreme Networks

Fresh off a solid quarterly earnings report, Extreme Networks is set for an active 2021, according to Ed Meyercord, president and CEO of the networking company.

Extreme plans to roll out a range of new products to expand its universal networking family, which offers customers standardized hardware products that can be deployed across edge, aggregation, and wiring-closet environments. Also on tap are upgrades to the company's core ExtremeCloud IQ cloud management platform, which has seen six straight quarters of customer growth and currently manages about 1.5 million networking elements.

Meyercord sat down for a virtual meeting with Network World to talk about the challenges of today's distributed networks and what to expect from Extreme in 2021, as the company approaches its 25th anniversary. This is an edited version of the conversation.

What do you see as the top challenges enterprise networking teams face in 2021?

The major trend is obvious—the enterprise network got very distributed in 2020, and it will continue that direction in 2021. With that, the edge of that very distributed network grew and became more important as well. The challenge will be controlling and managing that distributed environment. It's a different challenge for enterprise IT networking teams who want to control the end-user experience no matter where the end user is. How they deal with that distributed network is the biggest challenge going forward. But it's also the place where a cloud-based network management system can help by offering complete visibility into that distributed network and all of its components.

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