Brocade did not reveal the value of the acquisition but confirmed the deal was all cash.
Vyatta is known for its network operating system (OS) which removes networking routing and security from the hardware and makes it a software function.
The Silicon Valley company prides itself on being open – Vyatta translates as “open” in ancient Sanskrit – and its OS can currently run on any suppliers’ network hardware.
Vyatta aims its software at enterprises and service providers. It said joining Brocade will bolster its ability to get into more organisations, thanks to Brocade's substantial sales team.
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“Our products and strategies are incredibly synergistic,” said Kelly Herrell, CEO of Vyatta. “We have a shared vision for networking's role in the agile datacentre, common commitment to openness, they're healthy and they have a global reach that we can leverage.”
“We get the best of both worlds: The solidity of a multi-billion-dollar network infrastructure player with the agility of an innovative software group.”
The acquisition is expected to complete by the end of 2012. Brocade will merge Vyatta into its existing software networking business, led by Ken Cheng.
“By combining the assets from this acquisition with our own internal development and our broad strategic partnerships, we believe our strategy is going to be a strong competitive differentiator as the world of hardware and software continues to blur,” wrote Cheng on this Brocade blog.
“The move to software networking enables Brocade to move up the value stack to our customers and partners and allows us to utilise both hardware and software development to become truly an end-to-end networking company.”
The buy follows the trend of a large US companies buying up small SDN players as the technology gathers momentum.
Earlier this year, VMware confirmed it had acquired Nicira for $1.2bn – a company Cisco was said to have initially bid on, according to sources – Oracle bought Xsigo and, last month, Cisco bought vCider for an undisclosed sum.