Extreme Networks launched Automated Campus, the company’s first product that integrates elements of its own portfolio with an offering from the networking business Extreme acquired from Avaya just two months ago.
Extreme Automated Campus enables customers to use Extreme’s software-based network management system – the Extreme Management Center (EMC) – to control Avaya’s Fabric Connect and Fabric Attach infrastructure.
The integration of EMC with Fabric Connect makes it possible to operate a mix of Avaya’s and Extreme’s hardware within a network. It remains unclear if equipment from other vendors can be brought into the mix.
Automated Campus supports what Avaya calls hyper segmentation. One of the original rationales for segmentation was to be able to create virtual local area networks (vLANs). But once a company starts growing the number, size, and complexity of their vLANs, managing them became increasingly difficult. The goals of hyper segmentation are to make segmentation more dynamic and configurable, and therefore more easily managed. It can also isolate each segment for security reasons, as Avaya explained when it introduced the hyper segmentation concept.
Automated Campus provides centralized, policy-driven management of hyper segments, including fine control over providing access to specific users or devices to specific segments. That includes up to 200,000 users and/or devices, which the company believes will make Automated Campus appropriate for some Internet of things (IoT) applications.
The company claims that Automated Campus is unique in its ability to provide a view of the network (both wired and wireless), users, devices, and applications through integrated management, analytics, and policy. The system can support customizable signature sets for more than 7,000 applications.
EMC integrates with third-party solution providers through open application programming interfaces (APIs) so that customers can orchestrate workflows based on third-party alerts.
Lacking in the Automated Campus announcement is any mention of software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN). Fabric networking and SD-WAN are distinct and can be complementary. To gain access to SD-WAN technology, Avaya last year entered an exclusive deal with FatPipe. That deal remained active at least through earlier this year.
Shortly after the deal was struck, Avaya explained how the two technologies interact: “…hybrid cloud has become the preferred deployment model. Avaya’s SDN Fx enables geodispersed sites to interconnect, but it needs to interoperate with SD-WAN solutions to realize maximum efficiencies. … Automatically detecting and rerouting a degrading WAN connection provides seamless failover of VoIP, video, and data sessions.”
If there is further integration work to be done – and after only two months, there is certainly more integration work to be done – it is possible that drawing FatPipe’s SD-WAN products into the Extreme environment will happen next (if it hasn’t already happened and Extreme just didn’t mention it). SDxCentral attempted to contact Extreme about this, but the company was unable to respond by press time.
At the same time Extreme introduced Automated Campus, it also made available two new fabric-enabled hardware platforms for 10/40/100 Gb/s aggregation and core networking. The VSP 8600 is a seven rack-unit core chassis with more than 21 Tb/s of switching capacity. The other is the VSP 8404C, a 2RU modular core with four pluggable slots.