If you haven’t yet heard much about how “edge” networks are going to become a major force in the IT of the future, you’d better be prepared for reading a lot about them soon. In fact, right now is one of those times.
For the past few years here at eWEEK, we’ve been citing the continued convergence of new-gen networks, unlimited storage, faster and cooler-running processors, versatile devices and leaner software to create entirely new markets, such as artificial intelligence, AR/VR, automated cars, blockchain, cloud services and many others.
At the same time, users and their devices at the network edge, coupled with high demand for secure, reliable connectivity, have created major complexity for enterprise IT charged with managing it all.
What’s an Edge Network?
An edge device is one which provides an entry point into enterprise or service provider core networks. Edge devices also provide connections into carrier and service provider networks.
For the record, an edge network can be a fabric of independent edge devices–servers, sensors, desktop computers, smartphones, tablets and other connected devices–that are able to join together to get tasks done outside of a data center or a cloud. An edge network could–and usually will–connect with a cloud at some point, but it doesn’t have to do so. Edge networks will make up the bulk of internet of things deployments in the future.
All of this behooves enterprise IT administrators to have some kind of intelligent management system in place before it’s needed–and it will be needed.
To help provide it, San Jose, Calif.-based Extreme Networks on June 19 introduced Smart OmniEdge, an artificial intelligence-enabled network edge platform. This package gives enterprises the ability to deliver good customer-driven experiences with the pervasive intelligence, business adaptability and top-grade security to upgrade their legacy systems.
Package Includes Secure, Wireless/Wired Structure and AI
Smart OmniEdge is comprised of a secure, unified wired/wireless infrastructure and AI-driven management capabilities, accessible through a single control panel. It provides common visibility, policy and authentication services across the entire infrastructure, the company said.
Aimed squarely at the growth of users and internet of things (IoT) devices, Smart OmniEdge delivers a consistent screen experience across diverse network environments—either as an on-premises deployment or an as-a-service offering.
Smart OmniEdge includes Extreme’s established wired, wireless, network management, cloud, analytics and security capabilities. New features introduced June 19 were designed specifically to enhance the edge network. They include:
- ExtremeAI for Smart OmniEdge: This is a hosted application that augments human intelligence with proactive artificial intelligence to simplify the complex task of RF management. The solution uses machine learning to collect network analytics, device statistics, connection rates, and user and application experience characteristics. This enables the network to continuously learn and adapt to a customer’s clients and applications accessing the Wi-Fi network.
- ExtremeCloud Appliance: Designed for customers that love the simplicity of the ExtremeCloud solution and want an on-premise solution. ExtremeCloud Appliance delivers cloud-like licensing and management with tightly integrated services and features on-premise deployments require. ExtremeCloud Appliance is container ready for operational expansion. It is also available as a virtual machine (VM) for customers that have their own private cloud services.
- Extreme Extended Edge Switching: An innovative technology that collapses multiple network layers into a single logical switch, enhancing the intelligence of edge switches, while flattening the network and eliminating deployment complexity. The result is a simplified operational model that reduces costs.
- Extreme Defender for IoT: A comprehensive security solution that simplifies onboarding and securing of wired IoT devices. The Defender for IoT application can be deployed on the ExtremeCloud Appliance in any form factor, and used to help ensure secure access of IoT devices plugged into the wall jack AP or the Extreme Defender Adaptor. The solution provides centralized visibility and management, enabling IT to analyze traffic flows and pinpoint anomalies. The solution works with the Extreme Fabric Connect solution or over third-party networks to protect IoT devices, and is ideal for healthcare environments.
Smart OmniEdge incorporates pervasive intelligence and security throughout the solution, the company said. As the network edge has become the primary access for users, devices and IoT, it has also become an attack surface. Smart OmniEdge is intrinsically secure, from the Wi-Fi RF, access point and Ethernet switches which extend through the campus to the data center, with automated compliance checks, threat detection, analytics and mitigation from the time of IoT device onboarding until completion of the user’s session, the company said.
Extreme Networks said that Smart OmniEdge will become available worldwide in Q3 2018.
For more information, go here.