Extreme Networks debuts proactive network management tool

Extreme Networks has transformed its acquisition of the former Soapstone Networks' intellectual property (IP) to a new product: the Ridgeline Service Advisor.

Ridgeline is a response to service provider's need to adopt a more proactive networking and service monitoring attitude. And with business and residential consumers having more services choices today, service providers have to find ways to solve problems so they won't drive a subscriber to drop them for a competitor.

"On the residential side, if it's not Comcast, it's AT&T, and if it's not AT&T, it's Verizon, while on the business side it is newer players like tw telecom," said Mark Showalter, Senior Director of Service Provider Marketing and Business Development at Extreme Networks. "There's a lot of competition, which gives the subscriber choice. Subscriber choice along with putting multiple services on the same line means that service management is more important than ever."  

Leveraging Soapstone's IP with Extreme's EPICenter, Ridgeline can perform the functions of service fulfillment, service assurance and service engineering across Extreme's Summit and BlackDiamond Ethernet Transport switches. Unlike traditional management solutions, Ridgeline can not only accelerate service provisioning (residential triple play, business Ethernet, mobile backhaul and wholesale services) but also reduce provisioning errors with a graphical network view and point-and-click provisioning.

Instead of a command line interface, Ridgeline leverages visual software that can translate menu-based commands and mouse clicks to switch instructions for various network switches. In addition, Ridgeline automates the provisioning of Ethernet Automatic Protection Switching (EAPS) for Ethernet rings with point-and-click provisioning of resilient EAPS domains.

At $19,995 for 20 nodes, it's possible that Ridgeline could resonate with smaller tier 2-3 carriers that are expanding their wholesale and retail offerings, but can't afford or perhaps don't want to deal with the incumbent vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent or Juniper for their network management and switching needs. Securing a win with a tier 2-3 service provider could help Extreme prove its case in a market that's likely to see other players offering similar platforms.  

For more:
- see the release here

Related articles:
Extreme snaps up Soapstone Networks at bargain price
IEEE honing long-awaited PBB-TE standard
CTO leaves control plane innovator Soapstone