What’s the future of Ethernet networks?

By : |November 2, 2008 0

NEW DELHI, INDIA: The future of Ethernet in the enterprise can be found in two distinct places, the data centre, where 10 Gigabit technology will flourish and at the network edge, where intelligence and emerging wireless standards, 802.11n, will also take hold.

Jitendra Gupta, Country Manager, Extreme Networks India.Enterprises should be paying particular attention to 10 gigabit technology because customers are already beginning to deploy servers with high speed interfaces to support their most intensive applications. 

Extreme Networks is delivering enhanced 10 gigabit connectivity for the Data Centre ‘top of rack’ with this year’s release of our Summit X650 family of switches. This product delivers full non-blocking stacking performance, 10 Gigabit and SFP+ configurations and a modular operating system at the heart of the data centre.


10 Gigabit Ethernet is an optimal technology for this because servers today contain multiple processing cores supporting multiple execution threads with high performance memory and I/O buses.  These multi-core CPUs require much higher network bandwidth to realise their internal efficiencies. Furthermore, the increases in server density and the requirement for high performance, high availability attachment to the network make 10 Gigabit vital.

Wireless LAN is also an area to highlight. Customers, including corporations, government agencies and educational institutions benefit from the flexibility and performance associated with this technology.  Extreme Networks demonstrates that a combined wired and wireless infrastructure presents the greatest value for them. Wireless LANs are best built as an overlay edge network for nomadic users, be it in conference rooms, or for guests, contractors, or mobile devices like VoWLAN phones or scanner guns in a distribution facility.

Extreme Networks offers unique benefits regarding 802.11n. Our 802.11n based Access Points provides full, dual radio 11n performance with standard 802.3af Power over Ethernet, unlike major competitive solutions, thus saving customers money because they can use existing their PoE switches and 100 meter single-cable runs.  Additionally, Extreme Networks’ 802.11n Access Point uses several watts less thus making it ‘greener’ to operate over the long-term. Customers purchasing new WLAN equipment should always select 802.11n access points, even if they will not expect a majority of their 11n clients in the near-term.

Changing Ethernet network vendor scene
The vendor landscape is certainly always changing, but one constant has been our decade-long focus on Ethernet technology and our commitment to helping customers, enterprises and service providers, with their greatest challenges.  We feel that this focus, despite any other events regarding consolidation or other vendors shifting their own vision, helps us and our customers. As long as we stay the course and live up to our promises with them, the future remains very promising for Extreme Networks.

Biggest obstacles to adoption of higher speed communications
Power efficiency will continue to be a top of mind issue amongst customers. ‘Green IT’ has been central to Extreme Networks value proposition for more than a year.  Power is the major consideration for Enterprise IT as the demands of higher density server and compute environments is straining their already over-subscribed power into the data centre, while it also creates cooling challenges with the consumption demands of network, storage and server devices.

Extreme Networks leads the industry with core switches that consume one third of the power of comparable Cisco solutions under numerous configurations and loads. This fact has been independently certified by Tolly Group and a report published by Tolly confirms these findings. In addition, Extreme Networks provides a unique capability – Universal Port – that enables Network Administrators to configure the network so that it intelligently controls power delivery to attached devices and in doing so can reduce consumption in the wiring closet by over 50 percent.


What are end users seeking and are the vendors meeting this demand?
Customers are seeking simplicity, value for money, choice and reliability. They need the flexibility to deploy 10/100 or gigabit technologies where appropriate, and insist on having the freedom to deploy best-of-breed technologies.

Most vendors are aware of these demands, but some have responded faster than others. At Extreme Networks we design, build and install a complete range of Ethernet infrastructure solutions that solve the toughest business communications challenges. Our commitment to open networking sets us apart from the alternatives by delivering meaningful insight and unprecedented control to applications and services. We believe openness is the best foundation for growth, freedom, flexibility and choice.

Extreme Networks focuses on enterprises and service providers who demand high performance, converged networks that support voice, video and data over a wired and wireless infrastructure. The market is responding readily to this approach.

Where is the market heading?
Ethernet take-up matches global levels of technology adoption. End users are taking advantage of the trend towards higher speed communications.  Service providers are already planning for 100Gb technology and preparing their infrastructure (optics etc.) to be ready for when the standards are ratified.  Ethernet will also have a large role to play in the data centre, which is an increasing part of our business at Extreme.  

Extreme Networks: Where is the company heading?
Extreme Networks focuses on the delivery of innovative network solutions that solve real world business challenges. We specialise in converged Ethernet networks that support data, voice and video for both enterprises and service providers.  Our solutions feature high performance and high availability switching that deliver insight and control enabling customers to solve their real-world business communications challenges.  Today, we operate in more than 50 countries and throughout Asia Pacific.

We have a proven record of accomplishing this since inception of the organization and with our track record of Enterprise-empowering capabilities including Universal Port to automate common tasks, Ethernet Automatic Protection Switching (EAPS), providing rapid, sub 50 millisecond failover, and native XML support on all our switching products.

We will continue to prove that there is more to an Enterprise vendor than just their presentation. Our value is the mission to deliver to our customers leading price/performance, low power demands compared to other vendors, the simplicity and reliability of a single, modular Operating System, ExtremeXOS software, across our portfolio and to provide the most intelligent switch stacking within the industry.

The author is Country Manager, Extreme Networks India.

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