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Extreme stretches datacentre fabric with added automation

As the battle for the datacentre becomes much more than speeds and feeds, Extreme Networks announces new capabilities for its Fabric Automation software

Extreme Networks has announced new capabilities for its Fabric Automation software, as part of its stated journey of using the need to be disruptive in its own business to support digital transformation and disruption for customers that are increasingly in a cloud-driven environment.

Ed Meyercord, president and CEO of Extreme, told Computer Weekly that through the acquisitions it has made – including Avaya, Brocade, Zebra and, most recently, Aerohive – it has invested tens of billions of dollars in its own infrastructure as part of its own digital transformation to remove friction from its business.

“This ties into who we are and where we are going,” said Meyercord. “Our purpose is to ultimately make it easier for customers to deliver a high-quality secure network experience.”

Fabric Automation is the latest evolution of such network technology from the cloud-driven company, designed to help IT teams accelerate transformation initiatives and reduce time spent on administrative tasks. The system automatically manages the validation, testing and operation of datacentre fabric networks while providing critically important network reliability and resiliency.

In addition to the software, Extreme has also announced the availability of two new switches embedded with guest virtual machines (VMs) – the SLX 9150 leaf switch and the SLX 9250 spine switch. Extreme said the new datacentre software and hardware will give IT teams streamlined network automation, simplified integrations and operations, and greater control of when and where datacentre assets are deployed.

Key user benefits that it said customers should expect include automation and cloud-speed provisioning capabilities that support day-zero infrastructure provisioning and day-one tenant/services provisioning.

The company said IT teams can deploy a fabric in seconds after simply cabling devices, powering on the switches and running the Extreme Fabric Automation application from any SLX spine or leaf switch. Also, it claimed, such rapid setup of an entire fabric network gives IT teams valuable time to focus on higher-level projects that will drive the business forward.

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Brad Casemore, research vice-president, datacentre networks, at IDC, said: “Enterprises are demanding that their datacentre networks become more agile, architecturally and operationally, so that they align better with cloud operating models and the imperative of digital transformation. More than ever, the modern datacentre network must be fully responsive to the needs of workloads, which are increasingly distributed across multi-cloud environments.”

Abby Strong, vice-president of product marketing at Extreme Networks, added: “The datacentre is no longer about speeds and feeds – it’s where digital transformation is won or lost. Extreme Fabric Automation is built using a cloud-native architecture to enhance fabric orchestration and management capabilities. It offers simplicity to datacentre teams, removing the need for manual switch-by-switch configurations and allowing IT teams to move at the pace of their businesses – at cloud speed.”

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