Extreme adds muscle to Wi-Fi appliances

Extreme Networks introduces Wi-Fi appliances that can manage considerably more access points than previous versions.

Wireless networking company Extreme Networks, Inc., has beefed up the capacity of its Wi-Fi appliance for managing the vendor's access points.

Extreme's C35 IdentiFi appliance, released last week, manages up to 250 access points (APs), 2.5 times more than its predecessor, the C25, according to Mike Leibovitz, director of mobility solutions at Extreme. The higher density means companies can purchase fewer appliances while managing more APs.

The IdentiFi appliance lets companies add and configure APs, distribute applications and services, and manage the wireless network through a single dashboard. The Wi-Fi appliance also provides troubleshooting capabilities.

The C35 list price is $5,995.

Extreme also sells a virtual appliance that provides the same capabilities. The software supports up to 500 APs, but companies can purchase a license that only covers the number of APs in use. Companies can change the license anytime to cover more or fewer APs. The software starts at $2,695.

Along with the C35, Extreme introduced the AP3801, a single radio AP that supports 802.11ac, the latest W-Fi standard, also referred to as gigabit Wi-Fi. The device costs $449 and can be enabled to operate on a frequency of 5 Ghz or 2.4 Ghz. The former is for 802.11ac networks, while the latter can be used on older networks.

The AP3801 is roughly $200 less than Extreme's dual-radio AP. Customers can keep costs down by using the AP3801 to support more mobile devices, said Leibovitz.

Changes to Purview analytics software

Finally, Extreme has changed its Purview application analytics platform, so one instance of the software can gather metrics from wireless networks in multiple locations. The feature is useful to companies with networks in branch offices.

The previous version of Purview required deploying the software in each location.

Purview draws intelligence from wireless network devices without the need for additional infrastructure or agents. The software's dashboard provides data on devices and applications accessing the network. The product can also measure network and application response times.

Extreme competes with many vendors in the wireless LAN equipment market, which reached $4.9 billion globally in 2014, according to Infonetics Research. Aruba Networks, acquired by Hewlett-Packard for $3 billion this year, and Cisco led the market in 2014.

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