Extreme To Help Businesses Virtualise Data Centres

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Extreme Networks will outline its strategy for helping businesses migrate data centers from physical infrastructures to virtualised environments

Extreme Networks wants to help guide data centres down the road from traditional physical infrastructure to virtualised environments.

At the Gartner Data Centre Conference in Las Vegas on 3 December, Extreme officials will outline their blueprint for future data centres and the necessary steps for making the migration.

The key is the networking infrastructure, and Extreme has built a portfolio of products that is ready for virtualised and cloud environments, is an open architecture and shares a common operating system, according to Gordon Stitt, company chairman and co-founder.

“Our approach lets businesses migrate from physical infrastructures today to virtual and cloud infrastructures,” Stitt said in an interview. “This not only applies to enterprises, but also to mid-sized and smaller businesses as well.”

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As data centres become more virtualised – moving from a static situation to a more dynamic one – the line between the networking layer and servers begins to blur, he said. In Extreme’s strategy, the virtualised network and the virtual ports in particular become a vehicle for bringing greater insight into virtual machines, tracking and managing them as they move across the network, he said.

Extreme officials mapped out what they are calling the “four pillars” solution for moving from a physical data centre to an automated and customised cloud environment.

The move from the physical to the efficient level is where data centres first become more dynamic in nature, with greater integration with and support of VMs from vendors such as VMware, Microsoft and Citrix Systems. From there data centres will move to a scalable environment, where thousands of switches can be provisioned across multiple sites and networks scale from 1 Gbps to up to 100GB. Extreme officials also are placing their bet on VEPA (Virtual Ethernet Port Aggregator), a spec before the IEEE that would create a virtual link between NIC (network interface cards) found in servers and switches.

“It would eliminate the need for a switch in every server,” increasing efficiency, performance and scalability, Stitt said.

Eventually data centres will get to become more automated and customised.

Stitt and Shehzad Merchant, director of strategy at Extreme, pointed to the company’s portfolio of products that can ease that migration for businesses, from its EPICentre management software and ExtremeXOS operating system to the switches it offers for enterprises and SMBs and which are ready for the move to 40GB and 100GB.

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