Extreme’s new Intelligent Mobile Edge products will provide tools for businesses to manage employees’ personal devices
Extreme Networks is addressing the growing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend with an initiative that includes new Ethernet switches, a new access point and identity management capabilities that touch both wired and wireless networks.
Extreme’s Intelligent Mobile Edge strategy is designed to help IT administrators who find themselves in the position of having to protect the corporate network and data while simultaneously giving employees access to both through their personal mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.
Key BYOD issues
Security and management are the key issues facing corporations as the BYOD trend continues to grow, according to David Ginsburg, Extreme’s chief management officer.
“Organisations are allowing their employees to access the enterprise via personal devices at a rapidly increasing rate,” Ginsburg said in a statement. “This trend has put enterprise mobility on the fast track, yet IT departments are still grappling with how to cope.”
The vendor’s Intelligent Mobile Edge initiative, which is being showcased this week at the CeBit show in Germany, is designed to give the IT professionals the help they need, he said.
The BYOD trend is gaining steam as a growing number of businesses embrace the move. According to a report from Avanade released in January, about 60 percent of companies are adapting their IT infrastructures to give employees access to the corporate network via their personal devices. In addition, almost 90 percent of the business leaders said they were aware that employees are using personal technology for work purposes, and another 65 percent of C-level executives said the growing use of employee-owned technology is a top priority in their organisation.
“Despite the notion that business leaders are resisting the shift, we found that companies are investing in staff and resources to enable the consumerisation of IT and have many of the resources that are needed today,” Avanade CTO Tyson Hartman said when the report was released.
Extreme joins a large number of networking vendors looking to offer ways to make it easier and more secure for employees to use their smartphones and tablets to access corporate networks. Everyone – from Cisco Systems to Juniper Networks to Arista Networks – is offering products to address the BYOD trend. Brocade officials said their upcoming HyperEdge technology for managing campus networks will help businesses address BYOD and other trends impacting the network by offering greater automation in switches.
The Intelligent Mobile Edge product range includes new Summit X440 Gigabit fixed switches that run the vendor’s ExtremeXOS operating system. The switches, which include 10 new models, offer eight to 48 ports in a 1U configuration and bring ExtremeXOS to the converged edge, according to company officials. They also enable mix-and-match stacking, which enable streamlined switch management and identify awareness.
The company is also rolling out an 802.11n WLAN portfolio – the WM3000 series – that is based on Motorola’s WiNG 5 architecture for removing bandwidth bottlenecks.
In addition, through its Ridgeline management platform, Extreme is enabling businesses greater identity-aware access control and policy enforcement, as well as the ability to identify devices connected to the network. The software can then apply security and adapt resources to the new devices, key capabilities when dealing with a flood of employee-owned devices that are hitting the network.
According to Extreme, the smart identity management capabilities work across LAN, WLAN and 3G and 4G environments, enabling businesses to dynamically manage employees and their devices. Network access is based on Active Directory, Radius and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).