Competition has intensified in the network switch market. In order to protect its position in the data center, Extreme Networks unveiled a new fixed Ethernet switch family that offers customers more capacity as well as longer distance transmissions than previous systems.The vendor launched the Summit X460 family of Gigabit Ethernet fixed switching solutions, which feature up to 80G bps of switching capacity. A 24 port model, the Summit X460-24t has a price starting at $4,495, and a 48 port model, the Summit X460-48x comes in at $6,995. The switches support transmissions operating at distances up to 100 meters and work with Extreme's ExtremeXOS® operating system.
The products offer users a variety of 10G bps cabling options: XFP, SFP+, 10GBASE-T and XENPAK. Each port supports the Power over Ethernet Plus (an IEEE 802.3at standard that uses up to 30 watts of power) and PoE (IEEE 802.3af ) standards. The power supplies feature load sharing, and PoE-plus ports can take priority in case of a power misstep.
Extreme has done well in the data center where its products have attained a number two market position, and the new family is designed to help the vendor maintain that position. However, the company has been struggling recently. For its 2010 fiscal year which ended June 27, 2010, revenue was $309.4 million compared to $335.6 million in the prior fiscal year. A couple of factors have contributed to the decreasing revenue. Larger vendors have been cutting pricing in order to increase market share. In addition, customer interest has been shifting. Rather than stand alone network devices, their focus is moving to consolidated devices, those able to support server and storage systems functions as well as networking capabilities. While Extreme has done well delivering fixed networking devices, it must expand from this niche in order to survive as the market continues to mature.