Extreme Networks Inc is to launch a series of managed network monitoring services, most of which do not depend on the customer running any of Extreme’s networking hardware.
The Santa Clara, California-based company will unveil its Premier Service Program (PSP), comprising seven chargeable services, all of them based on the presence of an appliance serving as a data collector, polling the managed devices every five minutes.
This appliance then feeds the information back to Extreme’s data center in the US, where the company runs analytics on it and produces a variety of reports. The company envisages that the services will be delivered directly by Extreme as well as through channel partners that already have, or plan to develop, a managed service offering.
Bruce Todd, Extreme’s director of worldwide service marketing, enumerated the services available:
1.Network monitoring, in which the appliance auto-discovers any device from a vendor with a MIB, said Todd, adding that Extreme supports the IETF’s standards-based versions 1-3 MIBs and will extend to private MIBs if a customer has a particular requirement.
2.Utilization analysis, where we can calculate the cost of utilization of hardware down to the individual port, device, group, business unit, location and so on.
3.Applications, where we can inform companies how much bandwidth individual apps will require so that they can make better decisions about provisioning.
4.Security, the only event-driven service in the group, providing a higher-level dashboard than our Centrient [IDS/IPS] device, said Todd, explaining that it will monitor and report on a company’s entire security infrastructure.
5.Convergence management, which reports on how well VoIP is running over a corporate data network.
6.Documentation, which keeps network documentation current and is updated on a quarterly basis. We have tools to reduce a process that might take days or even weeks for a company to a matter of hours, giving them a physical nad logical presentation of their networks, said Todd.
7.Foundation, which takes information on configurations, capacities available, software release levels, calls, tickets, training and certificates to a deeper level, specifically for Extreme hardware.
This service includes a quarterly training session on a technology chosen by the customer, enabling knowledge transfer specific to their requirements, Todd said.
Extreme will also launch a free software tool called EPICenter Asset Discoverer, which Todd described as a wizard-based tool to give a bill of materials on every Extreme device a customer is running, including the SLAs and maintenance coverage on each box.
For the seven chargeable PSP services, Extreme will base the amount on the number of devices managed, regardless of whether they are from Extreme. The entry level is $15,000 a year for up to 50 devices, after which customers can add devices in chunks of 50, Todd said. The customers access the information from the services via a Web portal, and data is kept for one year.
The logic for the development of the monitoring service portfolio, which took approximately 18 months, was we saw a gap in the market, in that many companies offer full network management with a portal for customers to see what they’re doing, but nobody is doing customer empowerment, Todd said.
The services will not necessarily result in additional hardware sales for Extreme, he went on, though clearly, in as much as it will result in the vendor gaining preferred advisor status, it should at least put it among the frontrunners whenever a company does decide to add more networking gear.