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1 White Paper Network Solutions for Modern Data Centers By Bob Laliberte, Senior Analyst October 2013 This ESG White Paper was commissioned by Extreme Networks and is distributed under license from ESG.

2 2 Contents Why the Status Quo Doesn t Work Anymore... 3 Challenges in Legacy Networks... 4 Extreme Networks Solutions... 6 Extreme Networks in Action... 6 The Bigger Truth... 8 All trademark names are property of their respective companies. Information contained in this publication has been obtained by sources The Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) considers to be reliable but is not warranted by ESG. This publication may contain opinions of ESG, which are subject to change from time to time. This publication is copyrighted by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. Any reproduction or redistribution of this publication, in whole or in part, whether in hard-copy format, electronically, or otherwise to persons not authorized to receive it, without the express consent of The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc., is in violation of U.S. copyright law and will be subject to an action for civil damages and, if applicable, criminal prosecution. Should you have any questions, please contact ESG Client Relations at

3 3 Why the Status Quo Doesn t Work Anymore A dramatic shift is happening in the way modern data centers are designed and architected. This dynamic shift has been driven by virtualization and cloud computing. However, the reality is that most legacy data center designs and infrastructure lack the performance, scale, and agility required to support current business operations. Forty- three percent of ESG research respondents have indicated that their primary reason for upgrading their network to a 10 Gigabit Ethernet standard network I/O interface is the increased throughput required for server virtualization. 1 In a separate recent ESG study, 33% of respondents reported the primary reason for the 10 Gigabit Ethernet upgrade as the increased throughput required for the increased number of devices due to BYOD initiatives. 2 Organizations need to move beyond the status quo of infrastructure design and find new solutions capable of enabling the business. This is especially true for the network, which has been often cited as the bottleneck to improving agility. Therefore, it is imperative for organizations to take a new approach to architecting networks or risk falling behind. Several industry trends and technologies are contributing to the demand for a redesigned data center, including enhanced security, server virtualization technologies, data center consolidation initiatives, and the need to support BYOD. ESG research validates this, as all are represented in the top ten responses received from organizations about their most important IT initiatives for 2013 (see Figure 1). 3 Figure 1. Most Important IT Priorities Which of the following would you consider to be your organizaaon s most important IT prioriaes over the next 12 months? (Percent of respondents, N=540, ten responses accepted) Informadon security inidadves Improve data backup and recovery Increased use of server virtualizadon Manage data growth Data center consolidadon Desktop virtualizadon Use cloud infrastructure services Major applicadon deployments or upgrades Deploying applicadons on or for new mobile devices Improve collaboradon capabilides 29% 27% 26% 25% 24% 22% 22% 22% 20% 20% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, When looking at these initiatives, it is clear that server virtualization technologies have made a significant impact on creating a more agile compute environment; however, as a result of its success, it has also created significantly more traffic and pressure on the network to enable advanced mobility and availability features. The type of traffic is also dramatically changed as modern applications leveraging virtualization drive significantly more east- west traffic. 1 Source: ESG Research Report, Data Center Networking Trends, January Source: ESG Research Report, The Evolving State of the Network, due to be published October Source: ESG Research Report, 2013 IT Spending Intentions Survey, January 2013.

4 4 The advent of server virtualization can be considered an inflection point defining and driving data center architectures. For example, server virtualization increases the number of servers, applications, and end- users running within the data center infrastructure, which drives the need for increased bandwidth (as seen in movement from 1 to 10 to 40 to 100 Gigabit Ethernet ) and increased resiliency (an issue affects more users in the virtualized world). Another trend impacting the network is data center consolidation. As enterprise organizations continue to decrease (or consolidate) the number of data centers, the business applications and data which used to reside in those multiple locations must now be confined to fewer but much larger, more complex, and powerful data centers. The remaining data centers must now also contend with the additional traffic and security threats generated from the influx of personal computing devices (smartphones and tablets) in the workplace (via BYOD initiatives). Finally, a new trend is emerging: software- defined networking (SDN). SDN enables organizations to have a centralized view of the network and allows applications written by internal IT staff or from commercial application developers to control and manage the entire SDN networking ecosystem. While many different approaches to delivering SDN are available, most vendors have taken an open approach and a number of open standards are being developed (e.g., OpenFlow, OpenDaylight, etc.). As these initiatives rapidly transform the data center and infrastructure, it will be critical for the network to deliver the requisite levels of performance, security, agility, and scale. However, most legacy networks are not up to the task and a new approach will be needed. Challenges in Legacy Networks Legacy networks have struggled to keep pace in highly dynamic and high- performance modern data center environments. ESG research highlights many of the challenges organizations need to overcome to better enable modern data centers. The top three most- cited overall challenges identified by respondents include network security, budget pressures, and network performance. 4 Indeed, in addition to being a top IT initiative reported by respondents (as cited in Figure 1), in ESG s 2013 IT Spending Intentions Survey, network security was chosen by more than half of the respondents to a separate recent ESG survey (56%) as one of the biggest challenges facing their networking teams. Also, with macroeconomic conditions still uncertain, it should come as no surprise that the second most- cited challenge facing the network team is budget pressure, with 53% of respondents citing it as a top challenge. 5 Again, this is in line with ESG IT spending research that indicated that 50% of the organizations surveyed reported that their budgets would be flat in 2013, thus making it more difficult to spend on innovative, transformational solutions. 6 Rounding out the top three most- cited networking challenges reported to ESG research was network performance (41%), no doubt driven by the pressure that server virtualization, data center consolidation, and increased traffic from BYOD are placing on the network. 7 Drilling down a bit deeper into the network teams, ESG research explored the operational challenges associated with current network environments. The data shown in Figure 2 highlights the problems resulting from manual processes, closed systems, and heterogeneous management systems. 8 Respondents indicated that they have experienced difficulties or delays in provisioning network services to support new/upgraded applications and difficulties or delays with the network devices themselves. Continuing along similar lines, today s network teams are also inundated by the number of manual tasks they are increasingly being asked to complete. Oftentimes, these basic, repetitive provisioning and change management processes are creating time- consuming delays and are hampering dynamic environments from reaching their full performance potential. Given 4 Source: ESG Research Brief, 2013 Networking Spending Trends, March Source: ESG Research Report, The Evolving State of the Network, due to be published October Source: ESG Research Report, 2013 IT Spending Intentions Survey, January Source: ESG Research Report, The Evolving State of the Network, due to be published October Source: Ibid..

5 5 the need to be able to rapidly respond to changing business needs, this will be an important hurdle to overcome and modern networks will need to incorporate greater levels of automation. Another operational challenge that needs to be addressed is the lack of integration and cooperation between the network and other IT domains. Because of the tight interdependencies created in highly virtualized environments, organizations need to have visibility and integration across the entire data center. While legacy network systems have been closed and proprietary, modern networks need to be open and simple to manage. Respondents also reported difficulties stemming from having heterogeneous management systems for different parts of the network. With rapidly scaling data center environments, organizations will need simplified management solutions. Figure 2. Network Operations Challenges To the best of your knowledge, has your organizaaon experienced any of the following network operaaons problems? (Percent of respondents, N=303, mulaple responses accepted) Integradon and cooperadon between network operadons and other IT domains Difficuldes and/or delays in provisioning network services for new applicadons, upgraded applicadons and/or VM mobility Difficuldes and/or delays in provisioning network devices such as servers, switches, and security appliances We have a heterogeneous network where different technical elements need their own network operadons skills and tools We rely on too many manual processes 27% 27% 26% 24% 23% Difficuldes/delays associated with change and/or configuradon management Inability to implement new technology due to poor coordinadon between IT administradon teams 22% 21% Limited skills in the networking team 21% Inability to implement new technology in a dmely manner due to a lack of maintenance windows 20% Lack of applicadon and network visibility 16% We have not experienced any network operadons problems 19% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, 2013.

6 6 Extreme Networks Solutions Despite all of the hurdles in legacy networks, there is hope: Network companies out there are looking to change the status quo in networking. Extreme Networks is one of those companies. In order to meet the needs of next- generation data center architectures, Extreme has taken an open, modular, and secure approach to its entire suite of networking solutions. Extreme refers to this as the Open Fabric architecture. It is based on open standards and is capable of delivering high performance on a low latency network infrastructure. To better address the challenges facing enterprise networks, Extreme delivers: Cost- effective solutions. Extreme addresses budget pressure through a single ExtremeXOS image across all product lines, which reduces both the time and cost to deploy and operate new devices. It also decreases the time and money spent on software QA testing prior to production deployments. The high- density scalable platforms are highly efficient to reduce power and cooling requirements, and leverage the latest technologies and manufacturing processes from ecosystem partners to help lower initial costs. High- performance networks. Extreme addresses network performance with high- density (192 wire speed 40 Gigabit Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet), high- bandwidth ( Gigabit Ethernet) products, including standards- based resiliency technologies like Link Aggregation (LAG) and Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL) to maintain uptimes in the DC. In addition, Extreme also enables advanced services like Audio Video Bridging (AVB) over its network. Secure connectivity. The ExtremeXOS enables users to have visibility into network traffic, allowing security teams to know who is on what device and what they are doing. For example, the ExtremeXOS automatically detects when a physical security camera is connected and applies the appropriate port configuration, eliminating manual errors. Furthermore, its policy- driven intelligent network can differentiate between a PC and camera and can block access to unauthorized devices. Ease of use. To remove complexity, Extreme Networks utilizes ExtremeXOS, its network operating system, across its entire product line from core to edge. This simplified and modular operating system will help organizations accelerate the provisioning and change management processes with its advanced scripting and automation capabilities. Software- defined networking with the ability to automate and orchestrate. By leveraging open standards- based management capabilities, including OpenStack, OpenFlow, and open APIs like XML and SOAP, Extreme enables integration with automation and orchestration engines as well as other IT domains. These capabilities are available across Extreme Network Data Center solutions, including the BlackDiamond X Series and the Data Center Summit Series. BlackDiamond X Series Designed for enterprise and cloud data center environments and capable of supporting high- performance computing (HPC) and internet exchange points (IXP). This series enables networks to rapidly scale with support for up to 192 wire speed 40 Gigabit Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet ports in a compact footprint (14.5 RU). Additionally, this series provides investment protection by having the capability to deliver up to Gigabit Ethernet ports in the future. To keep operating costs to a minimum, this series features a low- power design. Data Center Summit Series Designed to be purpose- built top- of- rack switches to support 1 or 10 Gigabit Ethernet- enabled servers with optional 40 Gigabit Ethernet uplinks to better support highly virtualized environments. Extreme Networks in Action To better understand how Extreme Network solutions are helping to overcome the challenges of modern data centers, ESG spoke with NewAge Enterprise Data Centers, a data center outsourcing organization that operates out of Data Holdings LLC s new Milwaukee, Wisconsin facility; a 46,000 square foot, tier- 3, LEED certified, carrier neutral data center serving southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois owned by the Potawatomi Business

7 7 Development Corporation. The data center was built on the principles of high performance, flexibility, security, and reliability to serve as a cost effective and efficient primary or secondary data center facility. When discussing the environment with NewAge, it quickly became apparent that they did not take the status quo approach to building out this data center. Wanting to create the flagship carrier hotel environment for Wisconsin, NewAge needed to design and implement network solutions that would have the requisite performance, scale and efficiency plus be agile enough to respond to rapidly changing requirements. To satisfy their challenging current and future networking demands, they selected Extreme BlackDiamond X8 switches to power what they expect to be the premier data center facility in the state. According to NewAge, the Extreme Networks BlackDiamond X8 switching platform was chosen because it is currently the fastest, most scalable open switching platform on the market. The system is built to the highest redundancy levels and conforms to the latest software defined networking standards. It is also the most efficient switching platform in regards to cost to purchase and to operate. A primary concern to the team designing the data center environment was the ability to handle both current and anticipated traffic. By deploying the BlackDiamond X8 switch, each platform is capable of scaling up to Gigabit Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet ports, while providing significant investment protection provided with the ability to scale to 100 Gigabit Ethernet traffic when required in the future. NewAge recognized that the network would be one of the critical components of the build out and would be required to attract both customers and top tier carriers. Based on their ability to sign up 8 of the top 10 carriers in the Milwaukee area after only eight months in business, it would appear that their choice of networking solution has been validated.

8 8 The Bigger Truth Data centers are rapidly transforming. They are becoming highly virtualized and far more complex while needing to rapidly scale. As a result, unprecedented levels of pressure are being put on the network to perform and respond in a timely manner. Simply put, networking solutions must be able to adapt and enable the business, not inhibit it. Data centers need network solutions that are secure, that make it easy to manage and provision applications, and that provide the performance and scale needed to keep the business running. Not to be forgotten or downplayed is the notion that IT must become more cost- effective. As macro- economic concerns continue to cause headaches for businesses (both enterprise and SMB) everywhere, it is imperative that IT no longer be viewed as a fixed high cost. Network solutions must become more efficient and deliver significant return- on- investment if they are expected to be widely adopted by an increasingly price- conscious buyer base. Extreme Networks has developed a line of high- performance solutions leveraging open standards and a single operating system to help organizations overcome the challenges associated with legacy environments. As modern data centers scale to meet the demands of the business, Extreme Networks solutions are positioned to enable organizations to move forward with open, yet secure networks that improve business processes and deliver significant return on investment.

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