One year ago, I joined Extreme Networks in August 2019 during the acquisition of Aerohive.
Eleven years ago, I joined a start-up company, Aerohive Networks, after working for myself for many years. I decided to join Aerohive because they had disruptive Wi-Fi technology using a distributed wireless architecture that did not require a WLAN controller. During my tenure at Aerohive, a first-generation cloud, network management solution also evolved in the form of HiveManager, also known as HiveManager Classic. As depicted in Figure 1.1, HiveManager Classic provided Aerohive customers with configuration and 24/7 visibility for APs, switches, and branch routers. Ten years ago, HiveManager was ahead of its time, as it provided either online cloud or on-premises management.
Figure 1 – HiveManager Classic
HiveManager Classic served Aerohive customers well for many years; however, it is time to say goodbye! On March 31st, 2020, HiveManager Classic became end-of-sale, although support will be available for a few more years. While goodbyes are often bittersweet, I would like to encourage all remaining HiveManager customers to say goodbye to your old friend and hello to a new friend ExtremeCloud™ IQ shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2 – ExtremeCloud IQ
Before the acquisition by Extreme Networks, Aerohive began working on a next-generation cloud management platform as an upgrade for HiveManager Classic. That solution is now known as ExtremeCloud™ IQ – a 4th generation networking management platform that is built on containerized microservices and orchestrated by a Kubernetes infrastructure.
Thousands of HiveManager customers have already transitioned to ExtremeCloud IQ because of the many advantages the new platform provides to a customer. Please allow me to highlight just a few in this blog.
Scalability, Elasticity, and Resiliency: First and foremost, the 4th generation cloud architecture is far superior. Although groundbreaking ten years ago, HiveManager remains a monolithic application that resides as VM instances in data centers. As a result, both the online version and the on-premises version of HiveManager Classic had scalability limitations. However, ExtremeCloud IQ currently manages over 1 million networking devices and can scale infinitely because of the 4th Generation cloud architecture. By building ExtremeCloud IQ using a modern architecture, Extreme can scale cloud services dynamically. Each regional datacenter in the global network serves the needs of many customers simultaneously in a multitenant design. Then a Kubernetes service oversees the usage and monitoring of containerized service clusters, scaling up or down depending on network load. Each regional system can handle thousands of customers with this elastic design. As shown in Figure 3, the architecture is global, and the Extreme CloudOps team can stand up a new regional data center (RDC) in under 30 minutes. The 4th generation architecture also delivers well beyond the 7 nines of necessary uptime and 11 nines of data durability.
Figure 3 – ExtremeCloud IQ data centers
Choice: Some cloud solutions are only available via a single cloud provider. For a variety of reasons, certain cloud providers might not be the best option for a customer. For example, retail companies often prefer Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure because they view Amazon as a competitor. Additionally, a company might already have some cloud applications running on a specific cloud platform provider and might want their cloud networking management on the same platform. ExtremeCloud IQ is an entirely agnostic Cloud-Driven networking management solution. ExtremeCloud IQ is currently available in the Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure platforms.
Figure 4 – Cloud Agnostic
Visibility: ExtremeCloud IQ offers enhanced visibility into customer networks that just was never available with HiveManager Classic. Be sure and check out new insights such as Maximum Client Capabilities view, Client 360 view, Network 360 view, and multiple Network Health views. Stay tuned for more all-encompassing views into switching and Fabric.
Figure 5 – Enhanced Insights and Visibility
Simplicity: One of the best aspects of management from the cloud is simplicity. ExtremeCloud IQ streamlines every aspect of network management with a user interface (UI) that is friendly and easy to use. The UI of ExtremeCloud IQ is sufficient for 98 percent of configuration tasks as well as manual or automated troubleshooting tasks. A long-favorite configuration capability in HiveManager Classic was classifier tags. ExtremeCloud IQ takes configuration scalability to a new level with Cloud Configuration Groups. As shown, in Figure 6, Cloud Configuration Groups (CCGs) are used as a form of device classification that adds more flexibility when configuring network policies with ExtremeCloud™ IQ. Cloud Configuration Groups solves the management challenge of implementing template-based network policies for network devices that require different settings. Objects that can be assigned via CCGs that cannot be assigned with HiveManager classifier tags include: SSID profiles, AP Templates, Radio Profiles, SDR Profiles, and many more.
Figure 6 – Cloud Configuration Groups
But rest assured, Extreme still offers a means of remote command-line interface (CLI) capabilities from the cloud for the power-user. Supplemental CLI configuration objects can be appended to any network policy or device-level policy. Furthermore, the SSH Proxy diagnostic tool provides advanced CLI troubleshooting to any remote networking device via ExtremeCloud IQ.
Cloudification: Extreme Networks has been very busy with the cloudification of the entire networking product portfolio. The term cloudification refers to the conversion and/or migration of data and application programs to cloud computing. All the new Wi-Fi 6 APs and future wireless platforms are fully supported in ExtremeCloud IQ. Unlike HiveManager Classic, the bulk of the Extreme switch portfolio is supported in ExtremeCloud IQ, including management and monitoring of EXOS, VOSS, and SR series switches.
Figure 7 – Extreme Switching Management
All of these networking solutions and applications from Extreme Networks have a clear management path via the cloud:
Security: ExtremeCloud IQ is the first major cloud-networking vendor to attain ISO/IEC 27001 certification for its Information Security Management Systems (ISMS). The cloud providers where ExtremeCloud IQ are hosted implement their own set of activities and controls to keep data centers and the customer data in them secure. These include business continuity and disaster recovery processes, comprehensive controls, and facility monitoring.
Extreme takes additional measures to secure cloud-based applications, including firewalling, continuous threat monitoring, DDOS prevention, daily backup, penetration testing, DevOps activity audits, and much more. Stay tuned for more industry-backed security certifications that validate our 100% commitment to security.
Figure 8 – Innovation
Cloud-Speed Innovation: ExtremeCloud IQ is built on an internal process of continuous integration and continuous deployment that enables what Extreme calls Cloud-Speed innovation. This continuous deployment model provides new enhancements and features which are updated weekly and sometimes daily. Ongoing cloud updates offer a steady flow of new functionality, but administrators remain in control of device updates, ensuring minimal downtime and disruption. Hardware OS updates can be scheduled for all or part of the network, at a time convenient for the organization.
To learn more about ExtremeCloud IQ innovations, be sure to check out our monthly Cloud-Speed Innovation video series on Extreme Network’s YouTube video channel at https://bit.ly/CloudSpeed and follow my Cloud-Speed innovation blog series.
Big Data and Unlimited Data: As shown in Figure 9, ExtremeCloud IQ currently ingests telemetry from over 5 petabytes of traffic every day from customer networks. To explain what that means, one petabyte of data is equal to 13.3 years of HD video. Therefore, every day, ExtremeCloud IQ analyzes health and behavioral patterns of the data equivalent of 66 years of HD video. Data science and machine learning algorithms are applied to such large datasets to drive accurate and high-performance data insights within the system.
Figure 9 – Big Data in the Cloud
ExtremeCloud IQ offers rich data metrics for IT administration and business operations. For example, the Client 360 visualization displays both a real-time and historically time-line view of a Wi-Fi client’s connectivity experience. All customers have 90-days of data visibility by default, but we are not done yet! A real game changer is that all our new customers can choose between a 90-day data plan or an unlimited data plan. A customer can access an unlimited data horizon, meaning their entire data set is available for the full duration of service.
As you can see, there are numerous reasons for HiveManager Classic customers to transition to ExtremeCloud IQ. So once again, I encourage all our remaining HiveManager customers to say goodbye to your old friend and hello to a new friend ExtremeCloud™ IQ. To learn more about why you should migrate to the industry’s leading end-to-end cloud networking platform, please contact us at https://content.extremenetworks.com/l/classic-xiq-explore.