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Extreme to Acquire Zebra's WLAN Business


Userlevel 7
By now, you've probably heard the news - Extreme Networks has agreed to acquire the WLAN business from Zebra Technologies.
Here's an announcement about this from our CEO, Ed Meyercord.

You can read more here:
What are your thoughts on this acquisition? We're excited about it, and I hope you are too!

-Drew

11 replies

I can understand the purchase in terms of supporting legacy purple wireless, as well as entering a new vertical, but I'm less clear about what technology benefits will result. Will features be integrated into a single platform (eg NSight into Netsight) as has happened with red and purple switching, or will the two product lines remain separate indefinitely?
Userlevel 6
James A wrote:

I can understand the purchase in terms of supporting legacy purple wireless, as well as entering a new vertical, but I'm less clear about what technology benefits will result. Will features be integrated into a single platform (eg NSight into Netsight) as has happened with red and purple switching, or will the two product lines remain separate indefinitely?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts James. Always good to read your take on things.
I love how forward thinking our Hub members are on these types of issues.

I'm hoping others will similarly post their thoughts.

It's engagement like this and our customer's inquiring minds that serve as input to future purple technology decisions.
Userlevel 5
Hi Looking at the Zebra product line (Not being exposed to this in the past) the location based service and Air Defense is great. The WiNG also looks like a good product with nice features build into the AP (NAT, GRE ect ect). My question/concern is the same as James. Will the current Identify/Zebra product all be incorporated into one system? If we look at other Wireless vendors like HP they have three different product lines. None of them can operate with the other and each requires different management. So ultimately I think this is great, Extreme Networks will move into a strong number 3 in the overall Vendor WIFi space, but will the two product lines stay separate or will they be merged with a single platform?
Andre Brits Kannemeyer wrote:

Hi Looking at the Zebra product line (Not being exposed to this in the past) the location based service and Air Defense is great. The WiNG also looks like a good product with nice features build into the AP (NAT, GRE ect ect). My question/concern is the same as James. Will the current Identify/Zebra product all be incorporated into one system? If we look at other Wireless vendors like HP they have three different product lines. None of them can operate with the other and each requires different management. So ultimately I think this is great, Extreme Networks will move into a strong number 3 in the overall Vendor WIFi space, but will the two product lines stay separate or will they be merged with a single platform?

I did come across an article saying product rationalisation would occurr in late 2017.
Userlevel 6
Andre Brits Kannemeyer wrote:

Hi Looking at the Zebra product line (Not being exposed to this in the past) the location based service and Air Defense is great. The WiNG also looks like a good product with nice features build into the AP (NAT, GRE ect ect). My question/concern is the same as James. Will the current Identify/Zebra product all be incorporated into one system? If we look at other Wireless vendors like HP they have three different product lines. None of them can operate with the other and each requires different management. So ultimately I think this is great, Extreme Networks will move into a strong number 3 in the overall Vendor WIFi space, but will the two product lines stay separate or will they be merged with a single platform?

Nice share James. Network World's very own Zeus Kerravala's take on things is always great.
Userlevel 6
Thanks Andre for sharing your thoughts and ideas on the future.

Though we can't yet share too many details about this announcement (beyond what Drew's cataloged at the beginning of the thread of course), rest assured that our Product Management team is watching this very thread.

We all very much appreciate your engagement and excitement for the future of our WLAN roadmap.

Hope others share on the Hub as well.
Does this mean we'll be able to put our existing Extreme branded WM3x00 controllers back under maintenance and get current/future software releases for them? I'd also like to know if this means we'll be able to purchase 802.11ac AP's for the existing controllers. I have a mix of identiFi and WiNG in my environment. The identiFi deployment is actually happening right now (replacing some REALLY OLD WM100's and AP350's). If I can save some money on the remaining infrastructure by just replacing AP's on the WiNG deployment that would be awesome.
Userlevel 6
Curtis Brabham wrote:

Does this mean we'll be able to put our existing Extreme branded WM3x00 controllers back under maintenance and get current/future software releases for them? I'd also like to know if this means we'll be able to purchase 802.11ac AP's for the existing controllers. I have a mix of identiFi and WiNG in my environment. The identiFi deployment is actually happening right now (replacing some REALLY OLD WM100's and AP350's). If I can save some money on the remaining infrastructure by just replacing AP's on the WiNG deployment that would be awesome.

Welcome to the Hub Curtis. We're glad to have you join the Extreme Community officially.

Great questions here. Drew Claybrook (Hub Community Manager) and I have been in contact with your Account Manager and will get you a response for your specific scenario.

I suspect other folks that run their WLAN on WiNG over the years have similar questions, so we'll get a broader response to this for those that read in the future.

Thanks for your trust in Extreme Networks. More to come on this.....
Curtis Brabham wrote:

Does this mean we'll be able to put our existing Extreme branded WM3x00 controllers back under maintenance and get current/future software releases for them? I'd also like to know if this means we'll be able to purchase 802.11ac AP's for the existing controllers. I have a mix of identiFi and WiNG in my environment. The identiFi deployment is actually happening right now (replacing some REALLY OLD WM100's and AP350's). If I can save some money on the remaining infrastructure by just replacing AP's on the WiNG deployment that would be awesome.

Thanks, Ryan. He reached out to me the other day. I'm anxiously, but patiently awaiting further information. I expect others are as well. 🙂
Userlevel 6
Curtis Brabham wrote:

Does this mean we'll be able to put our existing Extreme branded WM3x00 controllers back under maintenance and get current/future software releases for them? I'd also like to know if this means we'll be able to purchase 802.11ac AP's for the existing controllers. I have a mix of identiFi and WiNG in my environment. The identiFi deployment is actually happening right now (replacing some REALLY OLD WM100's and AP350's). If I can save some money on the remaining infrastructure by just replacing AP's on the WiNG deployment that would be awesome.

Hey Curtis,

I talked to your Account Team this morning and they'll definitely be in touch. Sounds like we have a few options. They'll ensure we find a Product/Service strategy that works for you going forward.
Userlevel 6
There will be on-going updates on this topic from our Product Management team as the WLAN roadmap solidifies. As those announcements are made, Drew will be sure to keep the Community informed.

Here are the SW and HW EoL Dates on the Summit WM Series:
    Software End of Life date -- 12/30/2016 Hardware End of Life date -- 6/30/2020
Obviously 12/30/2016 will be here shortly, but for clarification that is just for SW. Your HW can still be covered with a maintenance agreement (gets you access to GTAC and RMA coverage) through 2020.

The corresponding last major release for the Wireless Mobility (WM) OS is 5.5.

Here is screen capture and link to that specific WM Announcement.



http://extrcdn.extremenetworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Summit_Altitude_WLAN_Product_EoS-Announcement09_30_2014.pdf

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