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Extreme launches managed service

Hochmuth, Phil

Extreme Networks this week is expected to announce network and device management services intended to give customers a clearer picture of what they have in terms of network devices and how well that equipment is performing. Application-specific management services for VoIP, security and other areas also are options in the services offering.

Extreme's Premier Services Program (PSP) mixes in network device management and monitoring, asset management, infrastructure planning and network performance evaluation.

The Foundation Services features give customers access to Extreme engineers and support professionals through weekly calls with Extreme staff, the delivery of updated reports on network performance and availability, and quarterly on-site visits from Extreme engineers with a customers network team. Customers also can choose an option in which Extreme support staff monitor the performance of customer networks and send alerts to customers during certain events, such as equipment failures, network attacks or other issues. Users also get access to a portal interface to view their own network performance through Extreme's hosted software.

Applications, traffic types and other utilization statistics also can be monitored through the PSP service. The monitoring service lets users know what applications are most and least used on a network, as well as what kinds of software are consuming the most network bandwidth.

Another area of the service provides documentation of physical network assets, including maps of what devices are interconnected, maps of virtual LAN topologies, network addressing schemes and redundancy paths.

By tying users more closely to support specialists and product engineers, Extreme says the service offerings give customers another layer of assurance for network availability and performance beyond standard point-product support. While some Extreme resellers offer managed services, Extreme says PSP will not compete or crowd out such services, since channel partners can offer PSP alongside the products they sell.

One longtime Extreme user welcomes the new service focus a company that in the past was mostly focused on cranking out new products.

"As an Extreme customer, I would like to see more service offerings," says Bill Senter, head of network services at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. TCU runs a backbone of Extreme Black-Diamond switches, which support such applications as IP video streaming and voice. Alpine and Summit switches from Extreme also connect servers and end-user PCs to the campus LAN and WAN. Senter says he will investigate the PSP offering to see if it fits the school's needs.

The PSP starts at $15,000 for 50 managed devices.

HIGH-SPEED LANs

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Copyright Network World Inc. Oct 10, 2005
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved





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