July 19, 2011

Form, Fit and Function

Today we’re announcing a new line of Ethernet Access Switches (EAS), staking our claim to the network access layer.  The access layer, the domain of WLAN access points and less sophisticated Layer 3 and simple Layer 3 switching, complements our existing ExtremeXOS-based products and automation architecture at the network edge and core. Why EAS?

One doesn’t have to look far to understand margin pressures within the industry, especially in Layer 2 and 3 switching.  Low-cost competitors have proven their viability and marketing mettle, while larger companies, new to the game, are battling for market share.   Incumbents react, creating downward pressures on average switch port (ASP) pricing, reflected in a market where port counts are rising while revenue is shrinking.  This trend was very apparent in the Q1CY11 results from the Dell’Oro Group.  Total revenue declined from $4.8 billion in the first quarter of 2010 to $4.4 billion during the same period in 2011.  However, port counts grew from 64 million to 67 million, a 4.7% increase.

This structural change in the industry was confirmed just yesterday by RBC Capital Markets, which stated that the overall switching market “may decrease in value this year and next due to intense pricing pressures and increased competition.”  At the same time, port shipments were predicted to grow 9-12%.

And, every day one reads increasingly depressing news regarding the global economy.  This last Sunday, the New York Times reported “How the Bursting of the Consumer Bubble Continues to Hold the Economy Back.” This of course puts a damper on corporate infrastructure investment, and is not limited to the United States. What this means is that enterprises, when they do invest, will look for lowest TCO and will scrutinize every purchase for price-performance, operational efficiency, sustainability, and vendor follow-through.  They’ll look for form, fit, and function for each part of their network.  They’ll also look for an enterprise-class vendor to provide them with products in the access layer, the edge, and in the core.   Extreme Networks, and our new Ethernet Access Switches, has the products to deliver on this mandate.

For more details, visit the EAS-Series page

-Dave

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Extreme Marketing Team

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