Extreme Networks has always been about building the best possible Ethernet and few critics of network performance are harder to please than gamers. While for many network performance is a dry and dusty set of statistics, the gamer can feel how the network is performing in the same way a racer feels how his race car is performing. We are big supporters of the gaming community and have been active sponsors of large events, such as NorthCon in the past and The Summit: Arena LANparty Braunschweig this weekend, for a variety of reasons.
One reason is that we can get quick and very frank feedback on the performance of our gear. The gamers at these massive LAN parties are not like your casual gamers playing Wii Sports or some plants and zombies game on an iPad, these folks are the elite of the gaming world and take this stuff very seriously. Not only are low ping times and high bandwidth important but things like jitter count too. Remember, they are not just reading stats while sniffing packets in the basement, they feel how the network is performing. The benefit is that if we can please this particularly tough audience we will probably do very well with even the most challenging corporate UC, video and VoIP apps.
Another reason is that hanging out with gamers is good business and is an investment in the future. Personally one of the things that got me into IT were the struggles I had with getting Doom to run on a Gateway laptop, a battle which lead to learning the ins and outs of autoexec.bat, config.sys and the fun of running custom memory management packages like QEMM. One of our best SEs, Stephane Grosjean (who you can see here in a video about mobile backhaul testing at MPLS & Ethernet World Congress) , recently told me that the first time he had heard of Extreme Networks was at QuakeCon over a decade ago. Many of the same folks who run or attend LAN parties are either currently working in IT or are very likely to end up doing IT related work of some sort so winning hearts and minds with gamers is clearly a good long term bet.
One of the best reasons, but sometimes hardest to sell to the boss, is the fact that things like LAN parties and hardcore gaming are FUN. This is going to be a cool LAN party too. Set up in an arena (Volkswagen Braunschweig Hall) with 900 seats, gigabit fiber, 10 gigabit uplinks, free pizza from pizza.de, public IP addresses for everyone and a 4000 Euro League of Legends tournament, the weekend of 28-30
Here is what the network will be like:
1x BD8810 with MSM-48c, 2x 10G4Xc blades and 2x 48GXc blades for the core
2x X460-48p with 2 port 10G Uplink for aggregation.
1x X450e-48p with 2 port 10G uplink for aggregation.
Fanning out from the X460s and X450 are a large number of Zyxxel access switches providing user facing ports.
June is going to be an awesome one in Braunschweig. Hope to see you there!