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Extreme Networks Expands its Low End Product Line

Extreme Networks has made its mark largely by delivering products to large companies. However, the company recently extended its edge switching line, with devices that may appeal to small and medium businesses.The vendor unveiled modules that transform its BlackDiamond 8800 chassis into the BlackDiamond 8500-series wiring closet switch. The new modules feature a management switch module (MSM), a 24-port Gigabit Ethernet fiber module, and a 48-port Gigabit Ethernet 1000Base-T card. The new line also includes Universal Port software that eases network provisioning and stronger security functions, such as dynamic Access Control Lists (ACLs) for faster response to security threats The MSM costs $4,995, the 24-port Gigabit fiber module is priced at $6,995, and the 48-port Gigabit Base-T module sells for $3,995.

In business since 1996, Extreme has been able to carve out a successful niche in the highly competitive network equipment market. The company has delivered sophisticated networking features in devices that often came with a hefty price tag. With the market maturing, the vendor is looking to move further downstream and into the small and medium business sector.

The move comes at an important time for the firm. Earlier this week, the vendor stated that revenue for the quarter would be $66 million rather than the $80 million anticipated. The company blamed softening demand in North America for the shortfall, however, competitors, such as Cisco and HP, do not seem to be having the same problems. After Extreme made its announcement, its stock price plummeted, and the company emerged as a possible acquisition candidate. So while the vendor has robust networking products, small and medium businesses should be cautious until the companys long term future becomes clearer.