If you had to choose between simplified management of the core network with increased security and reliability or a highly granular and powerful control over the network edge, what would you pick? With the new ExtremeSwitching 5520 Series… you can have it all. Let’s hear about its capabilities from Simon Inns, Senior Systems Engineer at Extreme Networks!
The 5520 is a new switching platform from Extreme. It is designed for both advanced edge and aggregation applications and has enough power to provide flexible edge security and access control as well as core network processing and bandwidth. From the outset, the specifications are impressive with up to a 1000 Gbps of switch bandwidth in the core or over 3500W of PoE budget allowing not only edge aggregation, but also down-stream power to smaller switches and distributing PoE+ to access-points.
However, for me it’s not the size of the datasheet numbers that actually make this solution worthwhile…
The next generation
The 5520 is the first of a new generation of ‘Universal Hardware’ switches from Extreme. Those of you who have been working with our equipment for a while now, know well enough that there are several families of switches offered by Extreme, such as EXOS, VOSS and SLX. Each family has its own range of hardware. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some good reasons for this; switching is quite a specialist game and there are a wide spectrum of requirements depending on both the customer and the position of the switch in the overall IT architecture.
However, most of this differentiation is matching the right network operating system for the task with hardware that provides both physical connectivity and processing power for the task.
A good example of this is the VOSS and EXOS offerings from Extreme – VOSS provides Fabric Connect, a powerful core networking technology that greatly simplifies the management of the core network while, at the same time, increasing the security and reliability of the network. While both EXOS and VOSS have quite a lot of functional overlap, EXOS provides highly granular and powerful control of the network edge as well as Fabric Attach (which allows the edge to communicate with the Fabric Connect core).
So, we are seeing more and more customers leveraging both platforms in unison to great effect. For these customers Universal Hardware means that, no matter how you decide to architect your network, you will always be using the latest, greatest and most popular hardware. And the 5520 Series is just the first of these platforms to be released – there are more to come shortly!
ExtremeSwitching 5520 Series - a universal edge/aggregation switch platform.
It’s always good to have an alternative
The 5520 is a switching platform capable of supporting both VOSS and EXOS. You can choose its ‘personality’ right at the deployment phase, but if you change your mind at some point, don’t worry – you can swap personalities any time. This provides some major end-user benefits. Perhaps you’re not ready for Fabric Connect just yet. In that case, you can invest in Extreme, run EXOS and then repurpose hardware later. It’s always good to have an alternative.
Spares are another case-in-point: you are using only one hardware platform, regardless of where you use it. Universal Hardware allows you to choose the best tool for the task and then repurpose that investment as the network grows and changes with your business. SLXOS users shouldn’t despair either. SLXOS support for the 5520 is planned to be available in the near future, bringing the same benefits to all of Extreme’s customers!
So, in a nutshell, Universal Hardware simplifies the initial choice, maintenance and product delivery from end-to-end and, at the same time, gives our customers far more freedom around how to deploy and plan the network over time.
Seven models, one platform to rule them all
Of course, no discussion around a switching platform would be complete without at least a little sneak peek into the datasheet numbers. So I think I should mention that the 5520 Series is, in reality, 7 different hardware models. You have a choice of 24 and 48 port copper models, with and without PoE+, as well as a 24 and 48 port fiber models. The 5520 is stackable and has advanced features such as MACsec support and bridge controller support for V300/V400 edge devices.
The icing on the cake is that the 5520 Series is fully compatible with the ExtremeCloud IQ management platform. This means a true single pane of glass management solution for both fixed and wireless networking. Out of the box, without the necessity to invest in additional hardware since ExtremeCloud IQ is available as a 100% public-cloud based solution.
Pretty neat, isn’t it? :)