Extreme Networks Brings Network Management to the Cloud

The company's ExtremeCloud platform will enable organizations to more easily manage wired and wireless network switches and access points.

cloud management

Extreme Networks is rolling out a cloud-based management platform that officials say enables users to more quickly adapt to changing application needs and to manage both network switches and wireless access points.

The company's ExtremeCloud offering delivers zero-touch provisioning and simple management capabilities that is designed to enable network administrators to address not only the requirements of current infrastructures but also business needs in the future, according to Extreme officials. It includes a simple user interface and a flow-based application architecture that they said enables faster data processing.

Organizations are relying even more on networks to communicate with both customers and employees, according to Extreme President and CEO Ed Meyercord.

"Because of this, increased dependency combined with the need for pervasive connectivity are driving businesses to embrace a cloud-based management model," Meyercord said in a statement. "To address these needs and empower IT, Extreme is entering the cloud-based network management market as a mature organization with years of experience in building and managing enterprise-class wired and wireless networks and addressing connectivity challenges throughout the world."

Extreme's heritage is in the wired world. The company rapidly expanded its wireless capabilities in 2013 when it bought Enterasys Networks for $180 million. It has since broadened its wireless portfolio. With the ExtremeCloud platform, users can now manage ExtremeCloud switches and wireless access points (APs) either through the cloud or on premises.

The zero-touch capabilities of ExtremeCloud enable wired or wireless devices to automatically locate the platform, instantly configure themselves and quickly become fully operational, officials said. The ability to manage the hardware through the cloud or on-premises enables businesses to address network transformation efforts in an evolutionary way rather than having to spend a lot of money on new hardware and software. It also means that organizations can more easily bring on the newest WiFi technologies, such as 802.11ac Wave 2 access points.

As a cloud-based offer, ExtremeCloud offers customers a pay-as-you-grow model that enables them to expand their networks and the services they're using as the need arises.

Vendors, such as Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE), are expanding their wired and wireless capabilities and looking to the cloud to make it easier to manage both. HPE last year grew its wireless expertise when it bought Aruba Networks for $3 billion, and the company has since worked to ease the management of hybrid networks.

Last month, Dell and Aerohive Networks introduced HiveManager NG, a cloud-based unified management solution that enables Aerohive's management tool to also include Dell's N-Series switches, a nod to the ongoing convergence of wired and wireless networks over the last several years.