F5 to acquire Swan Labs

Application traffic management vendor to pick up WAN optimization player.

F5 Networks Tuesday announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Swan Labs in a $43 million cash deal set to close in F5's fiscal 2006 first quarter.

F5, a player in the Layer 4-7 switching and application traffic management market with its Big-IP switches, plans to incorporate WAN optimization and application acceleration technology from Swan Labs. Swan Labs' WANJet devices help customers speed application traffic over WAN connections with a variety of technologies, some of which include storing large blocks of data locally so they don't have to be sent in their entirety across the WAN.

"The acquisition will accelerate the execution of our strategy to deliver application acceleration and WAN optimization," said F5 President and CEO John McAdam, in a press release.

F5 says the integration of F5 and Swan Labs' technology will "offer an integrated framework that extends application and network security, acceleration and availability to remote, branch and private users regardless of where they are coming from." Specifically, F5 plans to integrate its Traffic Management Operating System with Swan Labs' WANJet and WebAccelerator solutions. Swan Labs had recently augmented its product suite with the acquisition of Pivia, a WAN application acceleration vendor.

F5 competitors such as Peribit and Redline Networks were earlier this year acquired by Juniper Networks, while Cisco picked up FineGround Networks. In a recent interview with Network World, McAdam said the activity from big vendors in the application acceleration market "makes the market as a whole more visible and creates opportunities that weren't there before."

The $43 million cash transaction for 100% of the equity of Swan Labs is subject to customary closing conditions, including acceptance of employment with F5 by certain employees of Swan Labs, according to a press release.

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