Aruba Networks will buy privately held Avenda Systems to bolster its network security portfolio to help organizations protect personal devices being used in the enterprise.
Aruba Networks will offer enterprises a single management console that can secure all devices being used within the enterprise and apply consistent security policies, Hitesh Sheth, chief operating officer at Aruba said on a Nov. 18 call with analysts. Users can connect mobile devices to secure WiFi networks without needing to involve the IT department.
The acquisition of Avenda Systems would give Aruba Networks a way to protect devices in a heterogeneous environment, regardless of the underlying network architecture or the actual devices being used, the company said during the Nov. 17 earnings call for its first fiscal quarter, ended Oct. 31. Financial details of Avenda buyout were not disclosed and the acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of Aruba's fiscal year, ending Jan. 31 2012, pending standard regulatory approvals.
"This should be viewed as a technology acquisition," Sheth said on the call with analysts, noting that the Avenda technology covers a wide range products and platforms.
Avenda's authorization and authentication eTIPS platform help enterprises apply security and access policies across networks and provide visibility into device profiles. The identity-based platform allows provisioning of networking and security credentials for devices running iOS, Android, MacOS or Windows via self-service.
Avenda's product offers role-based policy control, differentiated access, endpoint health checks, managed guest/contractor access and extensive reporting and enforcement options. The server and associated applications can be locally deployed or run as a cloud-based service.
While the Avenda platform would originally be sold as a stand-alone product, the goal is to integrate it into Aruba's Mobile virtual Enterprise (MOVE) architecture, which identifies the user, device type, application being run and current location to apply customized access policies, Sheth said. MOVE applies different access policies depending on the user's location, such as when the application is being accessed from a coffee shop as opposed to from a branch office. The eTIPS platform would enhance MOVE to help organizations manage the "Bring-Your-Own-Device" (BYOD) trend, he said.
"Legacy networking vendors have struggled to deliver a purpose-built solution for today's mobility age," said Sheth.
Aruba will provide customers with a "simple, cost-effective and device agnostic approach to connecting and securing" BYOD users, Sheth said. The BYOD trend will continue, with employees using their personal devices to access corporate resources, but it will also expand to include desktops and laptops, not just smartphones and tablets, Sheth said. He predicted that there will be a time when corporations will just give employees a stipend and have them use their personal computers to do their work, provided the machines meet "certain basic security policies."
Founded by former Cisco executives, Santhosh Cheeniyil and Krishna Prabhakar, Avenda has offices in Santa Clara, Calif. and in India. All 27 employees are expected to join Aruba at the close of the acquisition, Sheth said, who noted that the company's close proximity to Aruba's offices in Sunnyvale, Calif. helped make the acquisition more attractive.
Aruba has made several small acquisitions recently. The company acquired assets and technology from Amigopod, an Australia-based network authentication vendor, in Dec. 2010, and outdoor wireless mesh specialist Azalea Networks in May 2010.