Extreme Consolidates Switching and Wireless Infrastructure, adds Free Apps

Companies are looking to do more with less and often burden IT with more responsibility with the same or smaller budgets. Meanwhile, CIOs and others, need to manage digital transformation while dealing with the challenges of ever-growing complexity.

None of this was lost on Extreme Networks who has announced universal platforms for its switching and wireless portfolios which enable simplified ordering, licensing and warranty processes, as well as reduced complexity and flexible operations. This creates a more effortless experience for customers.

Customers of the new ExtremeSwitching 5520 Series and ExtremeWireless AP300C and AP400C Series APs can choose the appropriate OS for their business needs and activate it via automated, zero-touch deployment. They can do this through ExtremeCloud IQ or manually through customized on-premises deployment. The good news is there is only a single hardware/software SKU to order and that hardware can be applied to multiple use cases.

We broke the news on the Extreme purchase of Aerohive back in June of last year and told you it was done in-part for the cloud management the company offered to Extreme customers. Today’s news validates our analysis and goes further by taking the simplification of central management and adding simplified ordering, licencing, warranty and more.

This is a solid way to differentiate your switching company from the pack.

The 5520 Series is a family of high-performance, feature-rich universal edge and aggregation switches designed for organizations seeking greater operational efficiency and capability. It provides end-to-end secure network segmentation, includes 24- and 48-port 1 Gigabit models, 1/2.5/5 Gigabit multi-rate models, as well as a 24-port 10 Gigabit model.

A nice bonus – multi-watt PoE makes it an ideal wired backend for wireless APs or support for next-gen powered Ethernet devices, such as digital signage, pan-tilt-zoom cameras, smart lighting, or point-of-sale terminals. The 5520 further supports 10G and 25G modular uplinks for flexible linkage to other switches or devices over a range of media.

Extreme Networks AP305C

The AP300C and AP400C series universal access points are high-performance, high-efficiency, and deliver next-generation connectivity through Wi-Fi 6. The AP300C series are indoor enterprise APs based on a new system-on-chip (SoC) featuring two built-in dual-band radios, with options for models with either internal or external antennas. Advanced radio technology delivers Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) data rates up to 2.4 Gbps concurrently on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios. The AP400C series provides 802.11ax data rates up to 4.8 Gbps in the 5 GHz band and concurrent 2.4 Gbps in the 2.4 GHz band.

Expect the Extreme Switching 5520 Series family in November 2020, and the AP300 and AP400 series will be available in January 2021. The universal hardware will come with a limited lifetime warranty, providing platform replacement and access to publicly available software for the lifetime of the products.

In addition, the company has added five applications to ExtremeCloud IQ Pilot Subscription at no additional cost.

  • Essential applications available within the platform enable Pilot subscribers to do more for their organizations at no additional cost, while potentially retiring overlay applications used to deliver these services. Applications include:
    • Extreme AirDefense delivers 55+ threat vectors for Wireless Intrusion Prevention (WIPS) and adds Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy or BIPS as an Essential Service.
    • ExtremeLocation delivers proximity, presence, and location-based services for advanced contact tracing in support of the location-intelligent enterprise.
    • ExtremeGuest delivers exceptional guest Wi-Fi access capabilities coupled with advanced network analytics for retail, hospitality, and large event venues.
    • ExtremeIoT delivers simple and secure onboarding, profiling, segmentation, and filtering of IoT devices on a production network.
    • ExtremeCompliance delivers automated and comprehensive compliance testing for PCI, HIPAA, and GDPR.

There is great news for techs as the new ExtremeCloud IQ mobile app, available October 1, 2020 in mainstream app stores, allows IT to quickly onboard new devices using just a serial number or leverage a smartphone or tablet to scan barcodes or QR tags. They can also manage and troubleshoot issues remotely, providing a simplified, flexible experience. This feature is a particular asset to those IT teams tasked with managing networks stretching across wide geographic areas or hundreds of buildings.

ExtremeCloud IQ platform licenses come in multiple tiers. The Connect tier provides basic device management and is free with the purchase of any supported Extreme hardware platform. The Navigator tier now enables Extreme’s established WiNG wireless solution to interface directly with the cloud and provides visibility and management features. The Pilot tier offers advanced infrastructure management, reporting, and remediation tools, including ML and AI-driven insights and analytics. Pilot tier subscriptions are $150/year regardless of device under management, and offers public, private, or on-premises deployment methods.

Mike Leibovitz, Head of Americas, Office of CTO at Extreme Networks

In an exclusive interview with Mike Leibovitz, Head of Americas, Office of CTO, we discussed a range of intriguing topics. For example, 802.11ax WiFi is a highly-efficient network optimized for many devices and dense networks. Corporate offices, mass events, outdoor hotspots, shopping malls, airports, exhibition halls, dense residential apartments, stadiums, and so on, are all examples of dense environments.

He said some of it has been delivered in the real-world and some is coming and the WiFi Alliance decided to call it WiFi 6 instead of 802.11x Wave 1 and Wave 2. We think this was a great branding move by the way and aligns nicely with DECT 6.0 that was named somewhat randomly (in terms of numeric designation) as well.

“It absolutely takes WiFi to the next level,” he exclaimed. The result is there is a great deal more spectrum in which to transmit and receive data which is great for everyone.

He said, “Every customer out there has a journey, a path where there existing infrastructure can come into the cloud; how it can be cloud enabled, as we would suggest, and different tiers. Some we’re offering to customers, just at a base level for free.”

The net result of the news from Extreme Networks and the interview we had with Mike is, WiFi is going to get even better in the near future as we take advantage of newly available frequencies. In addition, Extreme is continuing to differentiate itself by making solutions that are easier to use, easier to try, easier to deploy and easier to fix in case of issues.

At a time when the world is on edge, not knowing if an invisible microbe will cause clots in our bodies, it is nice to know Extreme Networks is focusing on reducing the stress level of IT in terms of doing more with less and doing more remotely… They also take the burden off enterprises, allowing them to try new and innovating applications without paying. If they like them, they can upgrade, choose to pay, etc.

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