Second Acts in Enterprise Networking

Am I the only one who finds it funny that Enterasys is rumored to be taking an acquisitive run at Extreme Networks?

Way back when, in the prehistoric 1990s, Cabletron Systems was an enterprise-networking competitor to Cisco Systems and 3Com. Cabletron was a combative east-coast player, led by truculent executives who liked to engage in bodybuilding, employee intimidation, and competitive hardball. They held business meetings standing up, not sitting down, and they hosted militaristic sales meetings at which tanks and swords were not out of place.

Eventually, Cabletron self-destructed, breaking apart into corporate fragments.

Why I am talking about Cabletron? Well, network-industry historians will recall that Enterasys was one of four Cabletron units spun off in 2000. Enterasys was the enterprise-networking piece, and it found sustenance, if not outright success, as a purveyor of network-security gear.

Now, if rumors are to believed, the erstwhile-Cabletron business unit is looking to Extreme Networks, a vendor of high-speed Ethernet enterprise switches. Just like 3Com, Enterasys has chosen to go back to the future. Let’s hope it has better results.

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