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Extreme Networks



Melbourne, Victoria
Sydney, New South Wales


Simon Barnard
Phone: 61 3 8610 6584


Extreme Networks provides converged Ethernet networks that support data, voice and video for enterprises and service providers. The company’s network solutions feature high performance and high availability switching that deliver insight and control enabling customers to solve their real-world business communications challenges. Operating in more than 50 countries, Extreme Networks provides wired and wireless secure LANs, data centre infrastructure and Service Provider Ethernet transport solutions that are complemented by global, 24×7 service and support. For more information, visit: http://www.extremenetworks.com


Extreme Networks was established by co-founders Gordon Stitt, Herb Schneider and Stephen Haddock in 1996 in California, USA, with its first offices located in Cupertino, which later moved to Santa Clara. Extreme Networks’ mission was and is to deliver high performance, Layer 3 IP/Ethernet networking technology, including Quality of Service and resiliency, with the scale and speed of emerging Gigabit Ethernet switching.

Its products were targeted at corporate enterprises and companies building and hosting the emerging broadband Internet. Extreme Networks launched its Initial Public Offering in April 1999, listed on the Nasdaq, as ticker ‘EXTR’. Extreme Networks’ first shipping product was the Summit1 gigabit switch, a 6 Port Ethernet Layer 3 switching device featuring 1000SX Dual GBIC SX interfaces. This product shipped in 1997 and won the ‘Best of Show’ award at the Networld+Interop industry tradeshow event in 1997. The Summit1was also named the ‘Best of the Best Grand Winner’ for the event. Extreme Networks won Best of Show awards at Networld+Interop five consecutive years, 1997 through 2001. Extreme Networks introduced its first modular switching products, including the BlackDiamond 8800 and Alpine 6800 switches, in 1999. Extreme Networks launched its first standards-based 10 Gigabit Ethernet solution in 2002, available with its BlackDiamond 6800 switch. Extreme Networks adopted an extensible, modular software Operating System (OS) for its switching products beginning in 2003, where a Linux abstraction layer was featured and debuted with its BlackDiamond 10K switch. The ExtremeXOS software OS was later expanded with its Summit line of fixed switches and the BlackDiamond 8800 family of modular products. Extreme Networks’ most recent high capacity switch is the BlackDiamond 20808, supporting 120 Gigabits per line card, and is purpose built for Carrier Ethernet networks, providing economical Metro transport.

Target Market

Scalable and Agile Solutions for Data centres, Cloud Computing and hosted environments. Enterprises and hosting companies alike rely on data centres to host essential business applications; universities and healthcare facilities rely on data centres to provide access to critical information and applications; and content owners rely on data centres to host and scale access to content. The data centre is required to offer high-performance and agile responses to the ever-growing demands of the applications and storage they support. The underlying switching infrastructure must have the intelligence to address security and resiliency issues, but do so with simple and efficient solutions. In addition to each of these demands, the switching infrastructure must be cost effective and energy efficient.

Core competencies

The Data Centre is the lifeline of the business today. Downtime in the Data Centre simply means that business stops, leading to lost productivity, lost revenue and increased customer dissatisfaction. With resiliency only as good as the weakest link, key to a 24×7 Data Centre is an investment in network infrastructure that is robust at every level – hardware, software and network. Comprehensive high-availability capabilities are central to Extreme Networks solution spanning resilient hardware, modular software, and leading protection switching features, enabling a highly available network infrastructure. Extreme Networks gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) top of rack, end of row and core switches provide agile network infrastructure solutions to keep ahead of the growing bandwidth demands in data centre networks. The Summit® X650 switch helps optimise new server deployments while providing a seamless migration path from existing gigabit to 10 gigabit high-performance servers. The BlackDiamond® 8800 and 8900 series switches’ purpose-built core, aggregation, edge and data centre modules meet high-density switching requirements.


• Scale 10GbE switching solutions to 40GbE and 100GbE in the Summit X650 with the Versatile Interface Module or in the BlackDiamond 8800 series switches with new blades.
• Handle 363 Mpps of traffic in the Summit X650 switch and 2.84 Tpps with BlackDiamond 8900-series modules in the BlackDiamond 8800-series switches
• Realise up to 582 10GbE or 2,352 gigabit ports in a single rack.
• Experience under 2µsec ultra low latency 10GbE chassis switching for High Performance Cluster Computing.
• Provide sub-50 millisecond failover for common network architectures with Ethernet Automatic Protection Switching (EAPS).
• Monitor, analyse and respond to network threats at line-rate speeds with CLEAR-Flow.

The combination of the ExtremeXOS® operating system and a host of redundancy capabilities provide a resilient, reliable platform that ensures availability in the most adverse circumstances.

• Monitor processes in real time, quickly detecting an unresponsive or crashed process and automatically restarting the process without packet loss with the ExtremeXOS operating system.
• Simplify management processes with automation widgets and build an application-aware network infrastructure with the ExtremeXOS InSite XML software development kit.
• Track and manage assets in a network that is undergoing rapid changes with EPICentre®.

Extreme Networks solutions are cost-effective throughout their lifespan.

• Conserve energy, without sacrificing performance, at the end of row and core with BlackDiamond 8810 tested by The Tolly Group as the most energy-efficient chassis-based switch.
• Connect 10GbE application servers with SFP+ or 10GBASE-T to accommodate existing and future cabling architectures.
• Protect investment through cross-portfolio stacking for architectural flexibility and operating system consistency.
• Help control operating expenses with ExtremeXOS operating system’s feature continuity, simplified network administration, and reduced training requirements.

Network Design
Extreme Networks supports a complete list of standard based protocols including:

• Spanning Tree, VLAN Spanning Tree, Rapid Spanning Tree (IEEE 802.1w), and Multiple Spanning Trees (IEEE 802.1s) protocols for Layer 2 resiliency.
RIP, OSPF, and BGP layer-3 protocols with graceful-restart extensions to avoid route flapping and improve network uptime.
• Cross module link aggregation (IEEE 802.3ad) that enables grouping of multiple links on a single logical connection (called a trunk). When one link in a trunk fails, traffic is routed to the remaining links in the trunk.
• Unmatched ring-resiliency for Data Centre aggregation and core connections using Ethernet Automatic Protection Switching (RFC 2619) or EAPS in short. EAPS is superior to the Spanning Tree or Rapid Spanning Tree Protocols, offering sub-second (less than 50 milliseconds) recovery and delivers consistent failover regardless of number of VLANs, number of network nodes or network topology. Best off all, similar to other software features from Extreme Networks, EAPS is available across the entire portfolio of fixed Summit and modular BlackDiamond switches.

Products and Services

A successful network design for the data centre is further simplified by Extreme Networks’ comprehensive solutions including interface diversity. Connectivity options include 10 Gigabit over copper and fibre, Gigabit over copper RJ45 and MRJ21, as well as fibre. The diverse options open up unique ways to more simply architect the Data Centre infrastructure with fewer tiers and more resilient network designs.

BlackDiamond 8800 Modular Series
The BlackDiamond® 8800-series switches from Extreme Networks simplify the data centres architecture with purpose-built data centre core and aggregation modules in an agile, scalable chassis configuration. Traditional three-tier architectures can be replaced with a streamlined two-tier network that reduces management overhead, operational complexity and capital expenditures.

• Traditional gigabit or 10 Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switch with over 3.87Tbps of switching capacity and 2.84Tpps of throughput.
• Low power consumption for reduced power and cooling costs.
• Modular ExtremeXOS® Operating System (OS) for non-stop operations.

Summit X650
The Summit® X650-series switch is a purpose built Top-of-Rack switch designed for emerging 10 Gigabit Ethernet enabled servers, deployed in Enterprise data centres. Summit X650 optimizes the new server deployment while providing an excellent migration path from the existing gigabit Ethernet based servers to the 10 Gigabit Ethernet based high-performance servers, to seamlessly start the transition to the new virtualized environment.

• Realise 512 Gbps of non-blocking stack performance by stacking two Summit X650 switches for 48-ports of 10 GbE with the SummitStack™512 Gbps stacking solution.

• Connect 10 GbE application servers with SFP+ or 10GBASE-T to accommodated existing and future cabling architecture.
• Protect investment through cross-portfolio stacking for architectural flexibility and Operating System consistency from top of rack to end of row.

Summit X450a
Combining excellent resiliency, comprehensive security, and non-blocking performance, Summit X450a is the cornerstone of a high-performance network. Summit X450a provides a high bandwidth, non-blocking architecture with tri-speed copper Gigabit Ethernet ports for demanding edge applications. With optional 10 gigabit trunks, Summit X450a connects to gigabit edge devices a high-performance aggregation layer in a traditional three-tier data centre.

• Monitor processes in real time, quickly detecting an unresponsive or crashed process and automatically restarting the process without packet loss via ExtremeXOS. modular operating system.
• Non-blocking forwarding and minimized latency at the aggregation tier.
• Ethernet Automatic Protection Switching (EAPS) resiliency protocol.

Market differentiators

Extreme Networks provides high performance networks that support data, voice and video for enterprises, carriers and data centres. The company’s solutions differentiate themselves with resilient hardware, modular software and by providing full featured support of network switch and server virtualisation, end-to-end scalability beyond 10 Gigabit Ethernet, ultra low latency, high availability through redundancy and superior resiliency. Extreme Networks helps customers solve their real-world business challenges, from the data centre, to the cloud to the LAN edge, and the carrier IP edge.

Resilient Hardware
Extreme Networks chassis and stackable switches are designed with several hardware redundancy capabilities. The BlackDiamond chassis products for Data Centre End-of-Row and Core leverage a passive backplane and mid-plane designs and provide redundant and hot-swappable fabric, management and control modules. High availability design elements further include isolated control and data planes, hardware-based traffic monitoring, redundant controller boards for power distribution, and fan control and environmental monitoring to identify anomalies before they affect network availability. The power-supplies and fan tray also provide N+1 redundancy and are hot swappable such that the switch continues to operate even under rare cases where individual elements have to be replaced.

The Summit fixed-configuration products for Data Centre Top-of-rack incorporate patented SummitStack™ resiliency that provides quick failover at stacking speeds up to 512Gbps, which is quadruple or higher compared to other solutions in the market. Summit switches for 100M, 1G and 10G connectivity can be combined into a single stack with a single IP address enabling Data Centres to more seamlessly migrate servers to higher speeds without compromising network resiliency by introducing additional switch layers and architectures.
Modular Software

The complete switching portfolio from Extreme Networks leverages a common operating system, ExtremeXOS®, enabling customers to architect resilient Data Centre designs without introducing complexity and variability of multiple operating systems. Further, unlike unwieldy monolithic operating systems, ExtremeXOS uses a modular system design enabling capabilities such as process restart so applications continue to perform under isolated fault conditions. Newer version of services such as SSH can be dynamically loaded/unloaded software without requiring a switch reboot, thus avoiding unnecessary impact to mission-critical customer applications during such changes. Protocols such as OSPF and VRRP run as separate operating-system processes that are protected from each other as shown in the figure below. Additional enhancements to increase Network availability include the ability to monitoring in real time the independent OS processes and automatically restart them in the rare case these processes become unresponsive, or stop running. Introduced in 2003 and on its 12th major production release in 2009, the ExtremeXOS provides common resilient software for Data Centre Top-of-Rack, End-of-Row and Core enabling error-free network-wide policies. With Scripting and XML further an integral to ExtremeXOS, administrators are then able to build robust Data Centre orchestration capabilities leveraging a common Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for the entire Data Centre infrastructure.

Other offerings

Extreme networks offers a comprehensive and high performance Ethernet network portfolio for wired and wireless LAN from the enterprise edge, to core, to data centre, cloud and service provider edge.

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