Brocade on Monday said it will acquire Vyatta, a privately held company focused on network virtualization, with the aim of becoming a software defined networking leader.
Vyatta has network virtualization, software defined networking (SDN) and cloud computing platforms that Brocade will couple with its Ethernet fabric architecture. Brocade has been an early supporter of OpenFlow, a networking architecture.
In a nutshell, SDNs are used to run networks in a new way that abstracts hardware and allows it to be configured and managed from one place. The upshot to all of this is that networking gear will be virtualized just like servers were.
The promise of SDNs is that companies can reduce administrative costs (notably people) and create more agile networks. The catch is that Gartner estimates there is more than $40 billion of non-SDN compatible gear deployed. In other words, SDNs are more of a greenfield technology.
In a statement, Mike Klayko, CEO of Brocade, said the company is aiming to be an "innovation and thought leader in the software networking category."
Ken Cheng, vice president of Brocade's routing, application delivery and software networking group, said in an interview that the two companies have been partners well before the deal was announced. Cheng added that Brocade will announce more about platform and technology integration plans in 90 to 180 days.
Kelly Herrell, CEO of Vyatta, said the deal gives his company "a global partner who understands IT networking and has a product line our product line doesn't encroach on."
Cheng added the Vyatta purchase puts Brocade in a position to leapfrog Cisco and Juniper.
Vyatta's key asset is its networking operating system that focuses on routing, security and VPN services. Brocade will take that technology and integrate it with its virtualized data center applications.
For the IT buyer, the SDN rush is more about monitoring developments. Cheng said SDNs were a revolutionary, but would have an evolutionary adoption curve.