Extreme Networks Unveils New Networking Modules

Extreme Networks is readying a new family of networking modules, aimed at the wiring closet level, for its BlackDiamond 8800 chassis. The 8500 series joins existing modules that are aimed at other layers up to the data center. The new family of modules will enable businesses to run networking devices that touch on the wiring closet, core and data center levels from within the same chassis.

Extreme Networks is adding new modules to its BlackDiamond 8800 switching family that will enable the portfolio to cover all scenarios, from the wiring closet to the data center.

Extreme on Oct. 7 unveiled its 8500 series modules, which is aimed at the access edge and wiring closets. The modules join Extreme's 8800 c-series modules for the aggregation/core level and the 8900 series for data centers as networking options that fit inside the 8800 enclosure.

"[The new 8500 series family] pretty much gives the 8800 a complete portfolio," said Huy Nguyen, director of enterprise marketing at Extreme. "It allows the 8800 chassis to be deployed anywhere, from the wiring closet to the data center."

That's important, Nguyen said, because businesses tend to be reluctant to switch out enclosures.

"Once I have a chassis in my rack, it's going to take a lot to remove it from my rack," he said. "Businesses don't want to do it."

All the BlackDiamond modules use the same 8800 infrastructure, from power supplies to fan trays to accessories. A key to this ability to offer such a wide range of modules in a single enclosure is the company's operating system, ExtremeOS, which gives all the modules a common base, Nguyen said.

This gives businesses the ability to upgrade their network modules as needed without having to overhaul their entire switching environment, he said. Unlike competitors such as Hewlett-Packard and Cisco Systems, the BlackDiamond 8800 also offers dual management modules at all levels, for greater redundancy, Nguyen said.

The three new modules-the 8500-MSM24, which is the management switch module; the 8500-G24X-e, a Gigabit fiber module; and 8500-G48T-e, a 48-port Gigabit Base-T module-offer automated service recovery for high resiliency, as well as automated configuration and security. They will all be available in the fourth quarter.