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Extreme technology pact puts high-speed strategy in gear

Extreme Networks plans to use technology from optical component maker MRV Communications to speed up its strategy for high-speed networks.

    Extreme Networks plans to use technology from optical component maker MRV Communications to speed up its strategy for high-speed networks.

    MRV plans to supply Extreme with fiber-optic technology the company will add to its current line of high-speed switching devices. It also plans to use the technology within a soon-to-be-released set of equipment targeted at optical networks in metropolitan areas and Internet service providers (ISP), according to the company.

    Extreme first targeted businesses with its high-speed switches, but has recently said it would alter its strategy to include technology for ISPs and metropolitan networks. Other upstarts in the networking business, such as Foundry Networks and Sycamore Networks, have reaped huge Wall Street gains for a similar high-end focus.

    The company has been working with MRV on the technology for about six months, according to an Extreme executive.

    Extreme will add the MRV components to its existing high-end Black Diamond switching devices as well as new equipment targeted at fiber-optic metropolitan networks, a lucrative niche that has attracted the attention of numerous start-ups and entrenched players in the market. The new equipment will likely be released by the end of this month.

    The MRV technology will allow Extreme to send four to eight "channels," or wavelengths, across a single fiber. Those channels will run at gigabit speeds, a prerequisite for a firm that was born out of the growth in gigabit networking technology.

    "We're now getting to the point where we're including (the technology) in our products," said George Prodan, vice president of worldwide marketing for Extreme.