On the 20th of February, last week, it was the very first time that we at Extreme participated in a Network Field Day, NFD (we did also participate in the Wireless Field Day a few weeks ago just for the records).
Joining the NFD goes back to a non-disclosure briefing that I did on Purview with Ivan Pepelnjak last fall. While he and I had several activities and conversations around data center and SDN last year where he was very pleased with our data center interconnect solution he strongly recommended to present Purview also to the technically demanding audience of the NFD. Said and done, we went there. In preparation of the event as we ramped up our PR and AR activities around the acquisition, the new company and also purview we touched several of the participants of the NFD as well. This resulted in preliminary feedback and a set of expectations like that: “…. Also, any of the stuff they obtained in the Enterasys acquisition is amazing, YEARS ahead of its time. They should brag about the CoreFlow ASICs and their policy management engine software. Shout it from the rooftops. The industry’s best kept secret is that SDN is looking at problems Enterasys was on the way to solving 10 years ago” was one of them. A pretty bold statement, so high expectations that I think we were able meet with during the event.
It was good to see that after the initial presentations about the market and Extreme that the audience warmed up during my presentation and we had some great interactions and conversations. Most notably we did not really get any pushback from an audience that is known to be very critical about what vendors do present to them. Comments reached from “I have not seen anything comparable in the industry so far” to “I did manage a 140,000 port higher ed network before and I would have killed for having such a visibility into my network”. It was also pointed out that Cisco is trying to do something similar but had to acquire Insieme for more than 800M USD to get there. So I felt pretty good about that.
In general the SDN movement in the industry has resulted in a re-vitalized interest in a specific technology: the advantage in terms of visibility and control of flow-based system. So the understanding of what hard problems we can solve with CoreFlow2 was there right away. The potential to address new customers and markets with Purview was clearly identified and we were encouraged to pursue this and not lock ourselves too much into our existing customer base where we also have a huge opportunity – in both the legacy Extreme and legacy Enterasys base. Reaching out beyond as we did with the NFL for example is obviously something to focus on as well.
I am looking forward to our next participation at the NFD, I think SDN will deserve another NFD in the not too distant future … let’s see.
The New Extreme Networks
Presenter: John Hanahan, VP of Product Management
Drivers for Application Intelligence
Presenter: Eric Stinson, Direct of Product Management
Purview Hardware and Software
Presenter: Markus Nispel, VP of Solutions Architecture
Presenter Markus Nispel, VP of Solutions Architecture