Extreme Networks became the latest vendor to announce a major new switch, today launching the Summit X770, a 40 Gbit/s datacenter switch that can support up to 104 10Gig Ethernet ports in one rack-unit, a density that Extreme claims is industry-leading. (See: Extreme Intros High Port Density Switch for Datacenters.)
Unlike competitors such as Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), and Arista Networks Inc. , however, Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR) is more focused on the big data space and not on creating new overlay networks or consolidating in preparation for virtualization, says Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research . That may help Extreme stand out a bit in a time period that has seen unprecedented switch rollouts. (See: Cisco's ACI Gets Physical With SDN, Cisco's ACI Gets Physical With SDN, and Arista Announces Datacenter Switches.)
"I don't remember there ever being a period of time when so many new switches were announced," Kerravala told me. That's largely because everyone was waiting for the long-delayed Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) Trident II chips, on which these new switches were built, he notes.
The Summit X770's port density of 10GbE, advanced scalability, programmability, and software features are intended to address the need to store and access big data for analytics, and cloud services, says Derek Granath, senior director of product management for Extreme.
"Enterprises are not only creating a lot of data, people are doing analytics on that data, and that means storing it, indexing it, moving from storage array to database server and then to an app server and then to the end-user to make it useful," Granath says.
The new Extreme switch is designed to support a low-latency data center networking infrastructure built on a large amount of 10-Gig connectivity, he adds.
The other thing Extreme has done is make the new switch backward-compatible to existing Extreme products, so that it is easy for its existing customers to drop this into what they already have, Kerravala notes. He credits the company for thinking through what it takes to make this easy to deploy.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading