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US firm unveils new strategy for networking

Publication Date : 11-07-2012


Extreme Networks Inc. has unveiled a broad strategy to accelerate software-defined networks (SDNs) and standard protocols such as OpenFlow and Open Stack.

Key elements include an OpenFlow software module to help automate data centre networks, a free network hypervisor that supports Citrix, Microsoft and VMware virtualisation platforms, and a crowd-sourced marketplace for SDN applications called xKit.

SDN makes way for easy deployment of innovative routing and switching protocols, not only to optimise performance, but also to address specific issues such as network flexibility to support virtual machine mobility, high security networking and next generation IP-based mobile networks, Extreme said.

Extreme has developed several SDN applications for its network operating system called ExtremeXOS.  Adding an OpenFlow software module to its operating system introduces higher levels of cloud scalability.  This module will help data centre operators virtualise and automate their network operations, using Extreme’s Open Flow-ready network hypervisor called XNV.

Extreme also announced a go-to-market agreement with NEC of Japan.  Both companies have agreed to do inter-operability work as well as to market and sell each other’s products.   Extreme has specifically agreed to support NEC’s OpenFlow Controller.   In the last 12 months, Extreme has announced similar support for OpenFlow controllers from Big Switch, NTT of Japan and Nicira.  

“Customers should be able to program their network like compute and storage apps,” said Shehzad Merchant, vice president of technology strategy. “Extreme plans to use OpenFlow and other standard protocols to standardise SDNs as part of a larger strategy to create all-Ethernet open fabrics. We believe OpenFlow is shaping up for networks what Linux represented to servers 20 years ago.”

Extreme will standardise OpenFlow across its entire product portfolio.   In July, Extreme will release an open flow software module for all its products, when it updates its Extreme XOS 15.2 operating system.  Extreme also will distribute a free network hypervisor called XNV that is OpenFlow ready and also supports virtualisation products made by Citrix, Microsoft and VMware.  

In June, Extreme will introduce a virtual marketplace called XKit, which will allow customers and third-party developers to be a crowd-source for Open Flow scripts and software-defined network applications.

Extreme Networks is a market leader in high-performance Ethernet switching for cloud, data centre and mobile networks.


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