Extreme Networks has launched an extension to its edge switching portfolio with three new modules for its BlackDiamond 8800 chassis.

The modules transform the chassis into the BlackDiamond 8500-series, a wiring closet switch optimised for automating the discovery and service provisioning of devices at the edge of the enterprise network, and enabling resiliency and security. The modules include a redundant management switch module (MSM), a 24-port Gigabit Ethernet fibre module, and a 48-port Gigabit Ethernet 1000Base-T card.

The MSM is called the 8500-MSM24. It features eight optional 1G/10G ports for connection to a redundant MSM and other switches. The MSM is the brains of the switch, running Extreme’s XOS operating system and handling the provisioning of network access, security, service levels and failover procedures.

The 24-port fiber card is called the 8500-G24X-e. The Gigabit Ethernet ports are small form-factor pluggable transceivers.

The 48-port 1000Base-T card is called the 8500-G48T-e. It features RJ45 interfaces.

The modules fit into the BlackDiamond 8810/8806 chassis and use the same power supplies, fan trays, accessories and ExtremeXOS operating system as that switch. This is designed to protect chassis investments and ensure consistent operation and management from edge to core.

The BlackDiamond 8500 will go up against Cisco’s Catalyst 4506 and 4506E switches, and HP’s ProCurve 5400zl. Extreme claims twice the per slot switching capacity -- 48Gbps vs. 24Gbps – at lower cost: $25,965 in a 144 Gigabit Ethernet port configuration vs. $26,292 for HP, and between $33,000 and $40,000 for Cisco.

The BlackDiamond 8500-series modules will be available this quarter. The MSM has a list price of $4,995. The 24-port Gigabit fiber module has a list price of $6,995, and the 48-port Gigabit Base-T module has a list price of $3,995.

The launch follows Extreme Networks' quarterly report, which saw stock fell close to 15 percent after the company lowered quarterly revenue expectations.

Extreme expects to log $66 million in sales in its current first fiscal quarter. Wall Street was expecting revenue to come in at $80 million.

"Our supply chain was constrained during the quarter, impacting our ability to deliver product, close transactions and recognise revenue. Our North America business was particularly soft, as some deals were lost and others were delayed beyond the end of the quarter," said Mark Canepa, president and CEO of Extreme Networks, in a statement. "I am disappointed that we did not execute to our advantage.”

Some analysts blamed the shortfall on poor execution and stiffening competition in LAN switching from Cisco, Brocade, HP, 3Com and Juniper. 3Com just recorded a first quarter in which revenue and earnings per share exceeded guidance and consensus analyst estimates.

Extreme's sinking stock price -- at press time it was trading at $2.45 per share, down $.42, with a market cap of $218 million -- may make the company an attractive takeover target. Some on the blogosphere speculated that storage adapter company QLogic should acquire Extreme to bulk up its 10G Ethernet portfolio for the data center, thus making QLogic more of an attractive acquisition target.