Brocade Beefs Up Data Center NFV Play With Riverbed ADC Acquisition

Virtual ADC is major growth area within NFV space

Yevgeniy Sverdlik

February 6, 2015

2 Min Read
Brocade Beefs Up Data Center NFV Play With Riverbed ADC Acquisition
Brocade headquarters in San Jose, Calif.

Brocade is buying the application delivery controller business of Riverbed Technology, a San Francisco-based network technology company. Terms of the transaction were no disclosed

Riverbed’s virtual ADC technology plays a key role in the acquisition. It is one of the fastest-growing segments of the emerging network function virtualization market – a major strategic focus for Brocade.

NFV, as well as software defined networking, are expected to drive the next phase of growth in data center networking. Brocade’s SAN business still generates the bulk of the company’s revenue, but that business isn’t growing, while its data center Ethernet and IP network business was up 5 percent year over year in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The company has been taking big steps to get involved as much as possible in the NFV market. In 2012 it acquired Vyatta, developer of virtual routers, virtual firewalls, and VPNs. Last year, Brocade bought Vistapointe, maker of virtual network analytics tools.

Brocade has been involved with OpenDaylight, an open source project to develop a common framework, or set of standards, for NFV and SDN. The company announced a Vyatta SDN controller that supports OpenDaylight standards last September.

Investors have responded positively to the company’s recent activities. Its stock has risen steadily over the past two years.

Riverbed’s ADC product line, called SteelApp, will become part of Brocade’s Software Business Unit when the acquisition completes. ADCs are used to make sure applications are delivered to users smoothly and securely.

“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,” Brocade CEO Lloyd Carney said in a statement.

Riverbed has been undergoing big changes. The company sold its storage backup appliance business, called SteelStore, to NetApp in October of last year.

Also last year, it was acquired by private equity firm Thoma Bravo for $3.6 billion. Thoma Bravo beat Elliot Management’s $3-billion takeover bid in January.

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