​Cisco to buy Embrane to boost datacenter SDN play

Cisco buys Embrane, an early software-defined networking player that it made a strategic investment in last year.

Cisco has announced plans to buy Embrane, a software-defined networking startup which has already attracted investment from the networking company's investments arm.

The deal, which is expected to close by the end of this quarter , will give Cisco Embrane's software platform, which provides layer 3-7 network services for things like firewalls, VPN termination, server load balancers, and SSL offload. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

At the time of Cisco Investments' funding last year, Embrane added life cycle management for Cisco's Adaptive Security Virtual Appliance, Cisco's Sourcefire virtual appliance, and other third-party systems.

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"The Embrane team will help to expand our strategy of offering freedom of choice to our customers through the Nexus product portfolio and enhance the capabilities of Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)," Hilton Romanski, Cisco's senior vice president and head of business development, said.

"With this acquisition, we continue our commitment to open standards through programmable APIs and multi-vendor environments. More importantly, we remain committed to the rich ecosystem of partners and customers in production through the automation of network services, cloud and system management orchestration and automation stacks."

The Embrane team will join Cisco's Insieme business unit, which came from its 2012 acquisition of SDN vendor Insieme, which has since been bolstered with other acquisitions including Memoir Systems.

Cisco's Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) has been a key component of the company's SDN story so far, which Embrane's Elastic Service Manager works with to manage firewalls and load balancers.

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