5G is the first generation of cellular technologies built on cloud-native principles.
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the mobile network. Technology has moved into the era of the Infinite Enterprise, where distributed network access, scalable cloud services, and consumer-centricity are driving new ways to work, create, and play.
New use cases at the mobile and enterprise edge are driving incredible amounts of data and requiring more and more bandwidth. Service Providers need to make sense out of that data to provide the best, most reliable service possible and the way Service Providers think about visibility hasn’t yet transformed. If they are not building a composable network to support 5G network visibility, they will be left behind.
Most traditional network visibility tools cannot be as easily adapted for future use cases like autonomous vehicles or industrial IoT. Because many 5G use cases are still undefined, Service Providers need a composable solution that provides visibility into highly distributed environments and is flexible enough to be adjusted for specific purposes as they arise without requiring expensive, time-consuming infrastructure upgrades.
The expectation of greater and more flexible visibility into data on the network is driving distributed data visibility requirements. Service Providers need to have the value of a cloud-native experience with the reliability of carrier-grade platforms for their automation and visibility. Cloud-native systems are designed to embrace rapid change at a large scale with resiliency built-in to produce value faster and focus on business objectives.
The Extreme 9920 is a distributed network visibility platform, built with cloud-native design principles and a composable data pipeline, to provide highly scalable traffic aggregation, packet filtering, replication, and advanced network packet processing for analytics tools to deliver data insights and provides the flexibility to adapt for future network enhancements, so Service Providers can quickly respond to new user demands and new 5G use cases.
Figure 1: Extreme 9920 – Cloud-Native Network Visibility Platform
The recent Extreme Networks announcement highlights the following key features:
Flexible, Scalable Network Visibility Platform: With greater power efficiency and a smaller physical footprint, the 9000 series is ideally suited for Service Provider and large Enterprise deployments. The 9920’s composable packet broker service delivers a hierarchical packet management architecture, enabling customers to adapt for diverse, developing mobile edge use cases, with the ability to grow, and scale for environments including large data centers and cloud architectures.
Designed for Cloud-Native Composability: The network visibility platform leverages a microservices based composable operating system, The containerized, Kubernetes based clustered architecture can also be patched without service interruption, maintaining network reliability, and reducing operational risk.
Management based on Microservices API-first Design Principles: The Extreme Visibility Manager has an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) to establish new rule sets and commands for all Extreme’s visibility devices and provides full visibility into every aspect of the network, from a highly geographically disbursed environment with regions and zones to the services running on the system. Customers can easily integrate the solution with existing operational support systems without replacing expensive infrastructure.
The Extreme 9920 is based upon the new Intel Tofino2 Programmable ASIC and provides a composable data pipeline for maximum flexibility ensuring any future enhancements can be done with a run-time compiler using the P4 programming language while achieving high throughput. The Extreme 9920 comes with a high-density chassis with 8 interface module slots, each interface module with up to 16x100G or 16x40G, total up to 128x100G or 128x40G ports. The 9920 supports up to 256 multispeed ports with either 25G or 10G speed, and aggregates and monitors up to 12.8 Tbps of total traffic.
This makes the Extreme 9920 suitable to be deployed in a central location for network data processing and analysis. It also leverages Extreme’s existing packet broker portfolio to create a hierarchical scale out architecture to better align function, robustness, and value, and with the ability to scale out for the largest data center, cloud, or service provider environment. Combine this with visibility software based on a containerized architecture to provide an integrated management solution, greatly simplifying time to rollout.
Nabil Bukhari, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Product Officer, Extreme Networks, comments:
“With this new intelligent network visibility solution, Extreme is reducing complexity and minimizing opportunities for error by enabling service providers to more easily adapt and scale for new use cases without predefining every specific scenario. Our years of expertise in building highly scalable, composable, visibility solutions make Extreme uniquely positioned to provide the visibility service providers need to prepare for a future that is distributed, dynamic, and data-driven.”
Camille Mendler, Chief Analyst, Enterprise Services, Omdia, summarizes:
“5G is a powerful technology that demands equally powerful management tools. To get the best out of their 5G investment, enterprises and service providers must have total network visibility for deeper data insights and control. A flexible and customizable network visibility platform like Extreme’s can adapt and scale for the real-time performance needs of emerging 5G use cases and scenarios.”