M&A 2015

Brocade acquires Riverbed ADC to bolster virtual delivery services

Virtual SteelApp software will augment Vyatta, Vistapointe offerings

Brocade this week said it will acquire Riverbed Technology's SteelApp product line in an all-cash asset transaction. Terms were not disclosed.

SteelApp is a virtual application delivery controller (ADC) for enterprise, cloud, and e-commerce applications. The SteelApp product line controls traffic to and from applications to improve application delivery.

Riverbed obtained SteelApp, formerly called Stingray, with its acquisition of Zeus Technology and Aptimize Limited.

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Under the terms of the agreement, Brocade will acquire the assets of the SteelApp business unit, and SteelApp development and field personnel will join Brocade after closing. SteelApp will become one of Brocade’s Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) offerings for virtual service delivery.

NFV is taking the ADC market by storm. Citing data from Dell’Oro Group, Brocade says the nearly $2 billion ADC market is seeing virtual ADCs grow 30% compounded annually vs. only 1% for hardware ADCs. Deploying ADC features in software enables a better level of flexibility and cost, Brocade says. Brocade offers its own virtual ADC – the vADX software product – but the roadmap will go forward with SteelApp, Brocade officials said.

The Riverbed deal will have no impact on Brocade’s ServerIron ADC product line, they said. Brocade officials would not disclose which other ADC assets it evaluated before deciding on Riverbed’s.

Brocade expanded its NFV portfolio with the acquisition of Vyatta for virtual routing, and Vistapointe’s analytics assets. Brocade also offers an OpenDaylight-based SDN controller. Riverbed says it is divesting the SteelApp business to focus on core competencies. Riverbed also offers its SteelHead WAN optimization platforms among other products.

Upon completion of the acquisition, the assets of the SteelApp business unit will become part of Brocade's Software Business Unit, led by Kelly Herrell, senior vice president and general manager. Brocade did not say how many Riverbed SteelApp employees were offered positions at Brocade but said it expects most to transition.

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