Riverbed To Acquire Xirrus To Boost SD-WAN And Cloud Networking Solutions

The networking market continues to consolidate as Riverbed Technology said it will acquire wireless specialist Xirrus in a move to boost Riverbed's software-defined WAN and cloud capabilities.

"Xirrus is a strategic acquisition for Riverbed, providing us with a leading enterprise-grade Wi-Fi solution, and enhancing SteelConnect to deliver an unmatched SD-WAN offering that will help further fuel our growth in this hot market," Riverbed CEO Jerry M. Kennelly said in a statement.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Riverbed plans to leverage Xirrus technology to further extend SteelConnect, its SD-WAN offering, to the wireless network edge.

"The SteelConnect offering is unique in that it is the first SD-WAN solution that has extended the power of policy-based orchestration out to the broader reaches of the distributed network," said Paul O'Farrell, senior vice president of the Riverbed SteelConnect, SteelHead and SteelFusion Business Unit, in a statement. "By combining the advanced Wi-Fi capabilities of Xirrus and SteelConnect’s intuitive and powerful orchestration, we're taking a bold step to bring the power of policy-based network management out to the wireless edge."

Privately held Xirrus, based in Thousand Oaks, Calif., provides Wi-Fi solutions that include high-density access points and cloud services. The vendor touts itself as the leading provider of high-performance wireless networks, offering consistent "wired-like" performance with superior coverage and security.  

San Francisco-based Riverbed says it will also continue to offer Xirrus as a stand-alone enterprise WLAN solution.

"In today's digital, cloud, and mobile world, enterprise networks are more complex and unpredictable than ever before and IT is struggling to manage all of this," said Kennelly. "A fundamental rethink to networking is required and with this acquisition, Riverbed and our partners are uniquely positioned to provide CIOs and businesses with a software-defined networking approach that delivers unified connectivity and orchestration across the entire network.”

Xirrus was named a "visionary" in Gartner's 2016 Magic Quadrant for Wired and Wireless LAN infrastructure.

The acquisition is expected to close in April.

Over the past two years, networking vendors like Aruba Networks, Meru Networks and Ruckus Wireless have been acquired by larger companies. Avaya last month announced its intent to sell its networking business to Extreme Networks, while Extreme also plans to acquire Brocade Communications networking business.

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