January 31, 2013

Riding the Wave

Nazare Canyon

An underwater canyon off the coast of Nazare, Portugal shapes and focuses the waves.

Off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal, the undersea topography is special. There is a deep underwater canyon with just the right shape and depth that focuses and aligns the waves. Some say that this canyon is the world’s biggest wave generator and evidence in favor of that judgment is pretty compelling.

While the waves are immense, so are the challenges. The waves bring the surfers who are both bold and skilled enough to take on some of the most challenging surf in the world very close to rocky cliffs – so close that people standing on top of the cliff can yell out to surfers on the sea. Good news for spectators, potentially bad news for the surfers who need to avoid being dashed on the rocks of the cliff.

waves of nazare

Some of the worlds biggest and best surf.

Legendary surfer Garret McNamara just topped off a nearly 30 year professional surfing career with a world record ride on a monster 100 foot wave, bringing fruit to a nearly decade long effort to do what some called impossible. His first trip to Nazaré was in 2005 when he was awestruck. 100 foot waves on the first day he got there, an unbelievable find for a surfer. The spot is clearly special to him, as he married his wife, Nicole, on the cliffs above, a couple months ago.

In 2011 he broke the world record, riding a wave estimated at 78 feet high, but it looks like he may have broken his own record with an epic ride on a 100 foot monster. If you are going to ride a wave, you may as well make it a good one, right?

Which reminds me of some of the same fanatic dedication, commitment and willingness to dare and achieve that I see here at Extreme Networks. When our engineers set out to build the BlackDiamond X8 they were like Garret McNamara on his first trip to Nazaré. Where others saw danger or the chance of failure, they saw opportunity and the chance to show the entire world just how good they could be. At a certain level some things go beyond technical or professional, they become personal and this is the level where the good are separated from the great.

Forrester Wave: Data Center Networking Hardware 2013 Q1

Forrester Wave: Data Center Networking Hardware 2013 Q1 – click for larger image

With the BlackDiamond X8 we rode the 100 foot monster and came back to tell the story. 20 Tbps switching performance, 2.3 µs latency, 192 wirespeed 40 GbE or 768 10 GbE ports running at an industry leading 5.6 watts per port. There was risk, some said that we couldn’t do it or it couldn’t be done, but just like McNamara we took the dream, the obsession, and made it reality with the lab tests to back it up.

While McNamara rode his wave in Nazaré, we have been riding another wave here in Santa Clara, with the arrival of The Forrester Wave ™: Data Center Networking Hardware 2013 Q1, a report from independent research firm Forrester Research, which found Extreme Networks to be a Strong Performer in the highly competitive data center network space. We are proud that they appreciate our vision, seeing value in the effort we have put into virtualization, ExtremeXOS, SDKs and APIs:

After decades of experience in the networking business, Extreme continues to take an open approach with the hardware, software, and development community. With ExtremeXOS (EXOS) modular software, its development community, and its data center switches (Black Diamond X8 and Summit), Extreme Networks Open Fabric architecture enables I&O professionals to deploy a shared and standardized platform. Its open approach and standards-based solution extends beyond traditional networking hardware; Ridgeline (Extreme’s network management software) hooks into Citrix XEN, VMware, and Microsoft’s Hyper-V. Its strong support for software development kits (SDKs) and application programming interfaces (APIs) has given it an edge in allowing its solution to integrate into third-party tools.

Customers looking to keep their hardware options open and have a multiple hypervisor environment should put Extreme Networks on their shortlist.

Read the entire report, The Forrester Wave™: Data Center Networking Hardware, Q1 2013.

About The Contributor:
Extreme Marketing Team

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