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Aruba buys Azalea for outdoor mesh capabilities

Aruba Networks is to pay $40m for Azalea, the company whose kit provided video and Wi-Fi access at the Beijing Olympics
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Aruba Networks has bought mesh networking specialist Azalea Networks, in a bid to extend its portfolio to the outdoor industrial enterprise.

The $40m (£27m) buyout was announced on Monday. In a statement, Aruba chief operating officer Hitesh Sheth said his company intended to use Azalea and its technology to provide outdoor applications such as video surveillance.

"Enterprises need a secure, reliable link between their assets and the people who use them, wherever they work or roam," Patel said. "Outdoor networks need to cope with a wide range of environmental factors, and this challenge is compounded when video and voice need to be sent over long distances in real-time."

"Azalea has made outdoor mesh work in industrial enterprise applications that cut across a wide range of verticals."

Mesh networking involves intelligent nodes that can reorganise themselves if one or more node becomes unavailable, thereby allowing the network to 'self-heal'. Azalea and Aruba's rivals in this space include Cisco and Ruckus Wireless.

According to Aruba, Azalea's technology is well-suited to video and voice, both of which are highly sensitive to latency.

The technology was used in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, where Azalea deployed more than 600 nodes to provide voice, video and Wi-Fi access over 50 square kilometres.

The Aruba takeover will let Azalea introduce mesh networking technology to new markets, Azalea co-founder Frank Wang said in the statement. "It also provides continuity to our existing customers, who are assured of uninterrupted support from Aruba's award-winning customer care," he added.

The deal will close in the first quarter of Aruba's 2011 fiscal year. Aruba is paying $27m in stock and up to $13.5m in cash over two years.

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