Infoblox buys out Netcordia in network management union

IP address management vendor Infoblox acquires network change and configuration management technology with Netcordia

Infoblox acquires Netcordia in a move the companies say will enable closed-loop management and automation of change and configuration across network devices.

IP address management vendor Infoblox announced Tuesday it had acquired for an undisclosed sum Netcordia, a maker of appliances that provide network change and configuration management capabilities.

Tech M&A deals of 2010

Infoblox CEO Robert Thomas said during a press conference call that Netcordia represented the stand-alone leader in the pure-play NCCM market and that coupling its strengths with Infoblox's expertise in DNS, DHCP and IP address management would provide "closed-loop" network management for customers.

Netcordia's technologies will also help Infoblox more quickly expand its network infrastructure automation technology portfolio, according to Steve Nye, executive vice president of product strategy and corporate development at Infoblox.

"When IP addresses are not available, machines don't talk to machines, applications don't talk to other applications and people don't get connected to the Internet, so the perception is that network isn't working," Nye said on the call. Infoblox is able to provide "a single pane of glass" with its management capabilities, he added, explaining that "no matter how many members are on the grid, it still appears to be a single pane of glass."

Add to that the mostly complementary Netcordia NetMRI appliance functionality and the two vendors will be able to offer customers NCCM, automation and IP address management capabilities, said Don Pyle, CEO of Netcordia.

"The products stand on their own and will continue to stand on their own as time goes on, but we believe when we put them together the sum will be greater than the two parts," Pyle said. "Infoblox technology is real-time network infrastructure capabilities and NetMRI is network management capabilities. The intersection of those two [sets of capabilities] hasn't really been delivered before by a NCCM vendor."

For Netcordia, the acquisition means a more rapid expansion of business by tapping a "much larger" pool of engineering and support resources, and Infoblox adds management capabilities to its arsenal. The companies admit there is slight overlap in discovery capabilities.

Jim Frey, research director at Enterprise Management Associates, said the deal was surprising in a way, because "most of the consolidation in the space of NCCM vendors has taken place at the hands of the larger platform vendors." The acquisition makes sense for both companies as well as customers, he added.

"There really has been a steady but unending rate of change at the network layer, in part driven by virtualization and the cloud. Automation is the only practical answer because mere mortals won't be able to keep up with the rate of change," Frey said on the call. "This is a very strong combination and an innovative step for the [DNS, DHCP and IPAM] sector to move toward this closed-loop approach."

The deal includes complete assumption of Netcordia's 65 employees, assets and products. Headquartered in Annapolis, Md., Netcordia also brings 330 customers to Infoblox. Infoblox, based in Santa Clara, Calif., boasts 3,800 customers worldwide.

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