Extreme extends network fabric to the edge with enhanced SD-WAN
Noting that as organisations become more distributed, the increasing shift of applications to the cloud is exacerbating the need for connectivity that unifies datacentre, branch, campus and cloud networks, cloud networking provider Extreme Networks has integrated network fabric capabilities into its ExtremeCloud SD-WAN platform to enable customers to securely connect these disparate environments from within a single platform.
Looking at typical scenarios and use cases within the context of the new demands on companies, Extreme Networks noted that healthcare providers must manage multiple remote clinics, growing school districts need to deliver connectivity for new buildings or temporary classrooms, and retailers have to manage store locations around the world.
Extreme said the launch was designed to make it easier to securely connect these disparate environments within a single platform, quickly set up new sites, identify and solve the root cause of network disruptions, and improve application performance.
Additional enhancements are said to include automated workflows as part of a simplified user interface and experience, as well as improved visibility and control for superior application performance. As a result, said Extreme, customers can automate tasks related to provisioning new sites and services, lower fabric deployment time by more than 90% and boost network security through hyper-segmentation.
Other key benefits of ExtremeCloud SD-WAN are said to be the ability for customers to “easily” extend network fabrics across new locations and the entire network, and manage it all through a single pane of glass. The integration of Extreme’s network fabric with software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) capability is intended to allow customers to automate discovery and configuration of fabric-enabled switches and access points, making it easier to extend connectivity to new sites while keeping costs low and improving security, visibility and application performance.
Further, administrators are said to be able to utilise hyper-segmentation to increase network security by preventing lateral attacks, helping avoid a potentially costly security breach.
The new SD-WAN streamlined workflows for planning, deployment and management are intended to allow IT teams to perform activities in minutes rather than hours. These include automated software-as-a-service (SaaS) application discovery, faster initial site configuration and deeper application performance visualisation. This could help IT teams more easily identify the root cause of issues affecting the user experience and deliver data-driven resolutions.
Dan DeBacker, Extreme Networks
Extreme said it has created an automated, maintenance-free approach to connecting to major cloud services such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure without limiting visibility or performance management. Customers can connect to these services using IPSec tunnels, without installing or managing SD-WAN appliances or software in the cloud service provider’s environment. This is said to bring connectivity to the edge of the network, simplify connections to new services, reduce network bottlenecks, and provide IT with greater control and visibility at both the application and the network level.
The hardware appliance within the new setup includes support for high-bandwidth use cases with 10Gbps connectivity, and Extreme’s new IPE2200 hardware appliance is ready to support high-bandwidth datacentre use cases. This appliance, available as part of an SD-WAN subscription, is described as being ideal for customers with large campus environments that need to support a large volume of traffic, such as extensive use of video collaboration services.
“As organisations grow, the network must be able to easily scale to offer users the same experience no matter where they are,” said Dan DeBacker, senior vice-president of products at Extreme Networks. “Extreme Fabric solutions help global organisations reduce risk, simplify operations and minimise time needed to set up and secure new sites.
“With the integration of Fabric and ExtremeCloud SD-WAN, we’re helping customers unify complex and disparate networks and enhance network security. We’ve set the competitive bar higher than ever with SD-WAN, making it simple and cost-effective to deploy across any organisation.”