Network performance testing provider Ixia on Monday announced it has acquired the source code rights to NetIQ Corp.s Chariot network traffic simulation software.
The Calabasas, Calif.-based company acquired exclusive U.S. and Canada distribution rights to Chariot, along with the source code access, for $17.5 million and royalties on existing Chariot products. Ixia also has the option to buy the remaining Chariot assets after 18 months for $2.5 million.
The deal builds on an existing distribution agreement between the two firms, but it allows Ixia to integrate Chariot with its existing network testing hardware platform and add other extensions that customers want to see, according to Tom Miller, chief financial officer for Ixia in Calabasas. "NetIQ is a good partner, but they werent interested in doing development work for us. Now we have an irrevocable source code license and the right to exploit five patents that they have. We can take Chariot and go to our biggest accounts like Cisco (Systems Inc.), Extreme (Networks Inc.), and we can now do development to meet their needs," said Miller who added that Ixia will own any derivative products they create based on Chariot.
Chariot, which came along with NetIQs acquisition of Mission Critical Software Inc. a couple of years ago, never served the primary target market that NetIQ or Mission Critical Software addressed. "Network testing has been a profitable business, but the primary audience is not core to NetIQ," said Tom Kemp, senior vice president of corporate strategy and development at NetIQ in San Jose, Calif. "NetIQ is focused on the systems manager, the security manager, and so on. Ixia is already selling to the Chariot buyer," he added.
Chariot, which simulates the kind of traffic generated by networked applications such as Voice Over IP, IP Multicast as well as Oracle and SAP transactions, allows Ixia to provide testing for higher layer protocol traffic. Ixias customers, typically either network equipment or enterprise network operators, use the Real World Traffic Suite to test switches, routers and full-blown networks before going into production. Combining Chariot software with the hardware-based Real World Traffic Suite allows Ixia to offer in a single chassis the ability to simulate an entire enterprise network carrying application-level traffic, combined with wire-speed Layer 2 and Layer 3 traffic.
"We started out at Layer 2 and Layer 3 as a packet blaster. Over time weve seen customers move up the stack to content-aware switches. Weve had to move up with them and this is a key piece to do that. This is a great deal for us," said Miller.
As part of the deal, Ixia will provide product support for domestic customers. Miller would not outline Ixias development plans for Chariot, beyond its intent to integrate Chariot with its hardware.