Diggin' technology every day

August 25, 2010

Moving on up to Number two

Filed under: Networking — Tags: , — Nate @ 4:06 pm

Brings a tear to me eye, my favorite switching vendor had a pretty impressive announcement today:

Extreme Networks commanded the #2 revenue position for data center Top-of-Rack switches according to the quarterly Ethernet market share report, behind only Cisco, driven by its industry leading Summit(R) X650, Summit X450 and Summit X480 switches. In the “Top of Rack” switch port shipment category, Extreme Networks increased its port shipments by 194% compared to the same quarter one year ago. This demonstrates continued momentum for the Company in the dynamic and demanding data center Ethernet market.

If you haven’t already seen the X650, X480 and even X450 Series of switches check them out. They do offer several capabilities that no other vendor on the market provides. And they are very affordable.

I have blogged on some of my more favorite topics in the past, with regards to their technology. I’ve been using Extreme stuff for just about 10 years now I think.

[tangent — begin]

I remember the 2nd switch I bought(this one for my employer), a Summit 48 with an external power supply I think it was in 2001. Bought it off Ebay from what I assume was a crashed dot com or something. Anyways they didn’t include the cable(sold “as is”) to connect the switch to the redundant power supply. So I hunted around trying to find what part to order, couldn’t find anything. So I called support.

The support tech had me recite the serial# of the unit to him, and he said they don’t have a part# for that cable, so they couldn’t sell me one. But he happened to have a few cables laying around so he put one in a fedex pouch and shipped it to me, free. I didn’t have a support contract(and didn’t get a support contract until I made a much larger purchase several years later). But I guess you could say that friendly support engagement certainly played a factor in me keeping tabs on the company and the products going forward, leading up to a million dollar purchase several years later(different company) of more than 3,000 ports.

I used my first switch, also Summit 48 as my home network switch for a good 5 years, before I decided it drew too much power for what I needed(48 port switch running on maybe 5-6 ports total), and was pretty noisy(as are pretty much all switches from that era, I think it was manufactured in ’98).  Got a good deal on a Summit 48si, and upgraded to that! For another year, and then retired it to a shelf. It drew half the power, and after replacing all of the fans in the unit(original fans too loud) it was quieter, but my network needs shrank even more from ~5-6 systems to ~2-3 (yay VMware), and I wanted to upgrade to gigabit.

From the Summit 48 article above, I thought this is a good indication on how easy their stuff is to use, even more than 10 years ago:

[..]We tested it with and without the QoS enabled. Without the QoS enabled, I began to see glitches in the video. The video halted abruptly at rates over 98 percent. With two commands, I enabled QoS on the Summit switches. Summit48 intelligently discarded the packets with lower priority, preserving the video stream’s quality even at 100 percent utilization.

Eventually recycled my Summit 48, along with an old Cisco switch(which I never used), couple really old Foundry load balancers(never used them either) a couple of years ago. Was too lazy to try to ebay them or put them on craigslist. Still have my 48si, it’s a really nice switch I like it a lot, they still sell it in fact even today. And still release updates(ExtremeWare 7.x) for it. The Summit 48 code base(ExtremeWare 1.x-4.x) was retired probably in 2002, so nothing new released for it for a long time.

[tangent — end]

So, congratulations Extreme for doing such a great job.

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