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As a network admin, you sometimes have your hands full keeping up with all the notifications you get about the state of the network. Not all messages are relevant, but they still take up time. Ultimately, this can and should all be done a lot more efficiently. Extreme Networks wants to provide a solution for this with the new ExtremeCloud IQ CoPilot.

As the name suggests, ExtremeCloud IQ CoPilot is part of Extreme Networks’ cloud platform. It’s an additional subscription that you can take out within that environment. At the moment it is a public beta, by the end of this year that phase should end. If you are already using the Pilot module of Extreme’s platform, you will automatically gain access to CoPilot.

AI and ML to provide insights

ExtremeCloud IQ CoPilot uses AI and ML to give admins insights. These models should help you, not only in terms of troubleshooting, but also by not generating false positives. According to Extreme Networks, CoPilot has been extensively trained and calibrated. Also, they use explainable AI. That is very important, according to CTO Nabil Bukhari during the keynote of Extreme Connect, because this means you can actually trust it.

According to Extreme Networks, ExtremeCloud IQ CoPilot gets it right 99 percent of the time. So you only get a false alarm in 1 percent of the cases. The idea is that you can and will rely more or less blindly on CoPilot’s reports and suggestions. You should be able to save a lot of time and therefore money with this.

As indicated, ExtremeCloud IQ CoPilot is currently still a public beta. This is not because Extreme Networks is not yet convinced of its qualities. This has to do with the customer-centric way of product development it advocates. By the time this beta is over, in late 2021, CoPilot will have become even better, is the expectation. It is possible for customers to provide feedback immediately during the beta and thus help train the models. New features will only come after the public beta is ready.

How it works: from baseline to insights

ExtremeCloud IQ CoPilot begins by establishing a baseline for the network environment in which it operates. This is obviously important in order to then be able to identify anomalies and determine where a specific issue is located. Only then is it possible to determine its impact, identify the cause and make proposals to resolve it. Based on these insights, admins can quickly take the necessary steps to resolve the issues.

At the moment, CoPilot monitors network issues in six different categories:

  • Wi-Fi Efficiency
  • Wi-Fi Capacity
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE) Stability
  • High Multicast-Broadcast
  • Uplink Efficiency
  • Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) Recurrence

New categories will be added in the future.

Role of trusted advisor

Eventually, ExtremeCloud IQ CoPilot should take on the role of advisor. For now, it is not the intention to let CoPilot make decisions autonomously. He has the role of assistant to the admin. The human remains in control. Should CoPilot discover a critical problem, which the admin himself does not know how to deal with, it is possible to escalate to the Extreme Networks Global Technical Assistance Center. This is possible without leaving the CoPilot environment. Again, you keep the necessary overview and control as an admin.