Brocade is beefing up its software, IP-based, data centre networking infrastructure portfolio by announcing its intent to acquire Riverbed Technology’s SteelApp product line of virtual Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) in an all-cash asset deal for an undisclosed amount.
The deal is expected to close in Brocade’s second quarter of fiscal 2015 and then there will be a three to six month transition period during which customer support responsibilities and purchase order processing and invoicing will be handled jointly by Brocade and Riverbed. Once the acquisition is complete the SteelApp business unit will become part of Brocade’s Software Business Unit, led by Kelly Herrell, Senior Vice President.
The deal is a win-win for both companies. The acquisition of SteelApp, a market leading virtual ADC advances Brocade’s leadership in Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and enables more advanced solutions for the company’s data centre and service provider customers.
It is clear from recent acquisitions like Vyatta (virtual routing and firewall) and Vistapointe (virtual network visibility and analytics) that Brocade sees a big future in software-networking and the company now boasts an impressive software portfolio including virtual routing, firewall, VPN, SDN controller, and network visibility and analytics. It is now geared to assist organisations as they transition to the ‘New IP’ – a state-of-the-art, virtualised IP network.
This new infrastructure provides a more dynamic, automated capability based on leveraging software and virtualisation. It allows customers to exploit best-of-breed technologies, based on open architectures and open ecosystems, and not be locked into any one vendor.
For Riverbed, it is a continuation of its efforts to sell off non-core assets In October of last year the company’s SteelStore cloud storage gateway business was snapped up by NetApp for US$80million.
“The decision to divest the SteelApp product line reflects Riverbed’s ongoing commitment to focus on businesses and opportunities that leverage our core competencies,” said Jerry M. Kennelly, chairman and CEO of Riverbed Technology. “Riverbed is focused on providing solutions that provide CIOs unparalleled visibility, optimisation, and control in the hybrid enterprise, ensuring on-premises, cloud and SaaS applications perform as needed.”
SteelApp is one of the top virtual ADCs providing scalable, secure, and elastic delivery of enterprise, cloud, and e-commerce applications. The SteelApp product line controls traffic to and from applications and enables fast, reliable, and secure application delivery to users anywhere from the cloud or data centre.
The last Gartner Magic Quadrant for Application Delivery Controllers report mentions ‘the SteelApp products offer a rich and growing set of ADC capabilities, including content optimisation and WAF security capabilities. The SteelApp ADC offers good integration with various cloud and SDN environments, and its micro-ADC Linux container provides for efficient, highly scalable ADC instances.’
ADCs provide application availability, acceleration, and security for users. This includes shielding them from interruptions due to bursts in demand, providing various optimizations based on application type, and facilitating access based upon specific policies. Deploying this functionality in software (vADCs) enables a dramatically better level of flexibility and cost, and aligns directly with Brocade’s NFV strategy. vADCs are also experiencing a much higher growth rate as compared to hardware-based ADCs with Dell’Oro a 30% CAGR growth for vADCs versus only 1% for hardware ADCs.
“Brocade continues to execute aggressively to capitalise on the disruptive force of software in IP networking,” said Lloyd Carney, CEO of Brocade. “Brocade is the #2 data centre networking vendor worldwide; this acquisition strengthens Brocade’s unique position as the adoption of software-centric networking is accelerating. We are thrilled to add SteelApp’s widely-adopted solution to our portfolio and will invest our existing ADC resources to aggressively advance the roadmap and extend it into our open Vyatta Platform offering for NFV and SDN.”