Extreme announces high-end Universal Switch, SD-WAN service

Extreme Networks has added digital-twin support to its Copilot management tool, created the ExtremeCloud SD-WAN service, and extended its wired/wireless switch family.

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Extreme Networks has extended its Universal Switch family and added an SD-WAN subscription package to provide more flexible enterprise networking options.

At the Extreme Connect user conference the company added a new top-end switch—the 5720—to its Universal Switch familty, a wired or wireless switch that can be managed from the ExtremeCloud IQ (XIQ) cloud-based console. XIQ offers a variety of wired and wireless management, analytics, location tracking, security and IoT support. It supports cloud providers including AWS, GCP, and Azure.

As with other Universal Switches, the 5720, which ships in July, lets customers pick and choose wired or wireless where they need it, or upgrade software to both new and legacy equipment, said Nabil Bukhari, chief product officer and chief technology officer of Extreme Networks. The universal hardware products can be deployed across a  wired or wireless edge, aggregation, and wiring-closet environments.

Among its varied roles, the 5720 can support Wi-Fi 6E deployments, Bukhari said.  “We are seeing customers move to Wi-Fi 6E because they are looking for more bandwidth and the ability to support more data-heavy applications, and the 5720 has been designed to handle those environments,” Bukhari said.

In its most recent financial results call, Extreme said that within just two quarters, Wi-Fi  6E has become 10% of its bookings, signifying a fast adoption by its customers.

SD-WAN service

At the conference, Extreme also rolled out a subscription-based SD-WAN service that is available now. ExtremeCloud SD-WAN is mostly comprised of the technology it acquired from Ipanema last summer for about $73 million in cash. The ExtremeCloud IQ -managed SD-WAN platform is designed to deliver workloads and applications securely across conventional wide-area networks and multicloud service providers. The service can automatically adjust application traffic flows based on real-time network conditions, which increases performance and improves quality of experience for end-users, Extreme stated.

“Customers order one subscription, and you get everything from hardware software management of all things together in one package to simplify your acquisition and simplify deploying it and obviously reduce your total cost of ownership,” Bukhari said.

In addition to the switch and SD-WAN service, Extreme also upgraded its CoPilot AI-based management tool to include support for digital-twin technology. Digital twins are virtual replicas of physical devices that organizations can run tests on before they install the physical ones. The idea is to let customers stage and validate network switches and access points before they go live, Bukhari said. 

The use of digital twin technology in networking environments is seeing a groundswell of use, Gartner senior director Mike Toussaint told the Extreme Connect audience. “Going to a digital twin allows you to have everything—from your wired to wireless network—do all of your testing in that virtual environment so if you break something it’s in your sandbox,” Toussaint said.

CoPilot is available now.

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