The Quest for Visibilty - Riverbed Nabs Mazu

Yesterday, Riverbed made it's first official acquisition, snagging Mazu Networks for a bargain price of $25M (versus the $50M that Mazu had raised in venture funding over the years). Riverbed claims the driving rationale was demand from their enterprise and service provider customers for more visibility into the traffic transiting Steelhead-optimized WANs, and the desire to identify problems while also verifying that corrective actions were adequate. This has long been a challenging point for the WAN optimization vendors. While they all have excellent case examples regarding how well they have reduced WAN bandwidth and accelerated application performance, few have been able to directly demonstrate what's going on behind the curtains. This has driven many to partner with network performance management vendors in order to deliver greater visibility, such as global enterprise views and before/after comparisons of optimization. In Riverbed's case, their partnership with NetScout was based on this need. One of the elements that seems to be missing is the strong heritage that Mazu had within the security space. Riverbed SVP Eric Wolford called out Mazu's adaptation of behavior anomaly detection, developed for security monitoring, into a successful application performance monitoring tool. But no mention yet of what happens to that original set of security-oriented solutions, which Mazu still offers (or did, as of yesterday morning.) Also missing are plans regarding whether or not Mazu remains in the open as a competitive network-based APM player, or it just becomes window dressing for Riverbed's core products. This move really makes sense for Riverbed's service provider solutions, where the improved reporting is table stakes as a element of supporting Managed Network Services. What it means for their enterprise clientele is not yet as clear. More on this as it develops....

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