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Extreme Brings Carrier Provisioning Tools Into The Fold

Extreme Networks has announced the acquisition of Soapstone Networks' software control plane and service-aware provisioning system. The software will be integrated into the Extreme's EPICenter Network Management System, adding provisioning and management of carrier Ethernet networks and protocols. 
Soapstone Networks' software provides provisioning and service assurance for carrier Ethernet networks, including Provider Bridging (PB), Provider Backbone Bridging (PBB), Provider Backbone Bridging with Traffic Engineering (PBB-TE), Ethernet Access Protection Switching (EAPS) and Virtual Private Line (VPLS). The acquisition is a logical one for Extreme, which plays heavily in the carrier Ethernet market. In fact, prior to the acquisition, Extreme and Soapstone were partners in delivering products to this carrier market. When Soapstone Networks began liquidating its assets, Extreme stepped in to bring the provisioning tools in house.
Glenn Weinberg, Vice President and General Manager, Extreme Networks Software Business Unit, says, "We were pleased to have Soapstsone as a partner, and we are excited to bring this product into the fold at Extreme." The carrier provisioning product will be integrated with Extreme's EPICenter network management tool, which will serve as the front-end to Provider Network Controller (PNC) product.
The EPICenter integration is the most compelling part of the announcement. With unified front-end management for all of its products, Extreme will be able to offer a single, common interface to its customers, whether they are enterprise or service providers. This should be of particular interest for the carriers, who typically manage their own internal networks and customer-facing technology as separate silos. Products like EPICenter could serve as a unifying force to centrally manage all of the providers' Ethernet, reducing administrative and management costs.  
This integration could benefit Extreme's enterprise customers as well.  With only a single platform to support and develop, Extreme will be able to put all of its attention on EPICenter, as well as taking any lessons learned from working with service providers and apply them to the needs of enterprise customers.