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Riverbed buys Xirrus to add wireless to SD-WAN line-up

Network performance technology supplier says acquisition will strengthen its software-defined network offering

Network performance technology supplier Riverbed is to acquire cloud Wi-Fi provider Xirrus for an undisclosed sum, expanding the capabilities of its software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) offering and cloud networking SteelConnect system.

The firm said it would now be able to offer unified connectivity and policy-based orchestration from the core to the edge of the enterprise network, from WAN to wired and wireless local area networking (LAN and WLAN), datacentres and cloud.

“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,” said Riverbed CEO Jerry Kennelly.

“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. 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 technology is already in use across tens of thousands of customer networks. In the UK, its equipment is particularly well-used in the education sector and at large event venues, including Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre and Liverpool Football Club.

“A key facet of network transformation is convergence at the enterprise branch as IT/network managers look to unify network operations and management across wired and wireless LANs and WANs, all within the context of a cloud-enabled architecture,” said Rohit Mehra, network infrastructure research vice-president at IDC.

“With this acquisition, Riverbed is well positioned to address this shift, adding an enterprise-grade WLAN solution to a broader enterprise branch offering with SD-WAN that also integrates industry-leading WAN optimisation and visibility.”

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