Brocade Acquires New-Gen Network Virtualization With SteelApp

SteelApp controls traffic to and from applications and enables fast, reliable and secure application delivery.

In an effort to bolster virtualization choices in its product line, Brocade Communications Systems on Feb. 5 said it will acquire Riverbed Technology's SteelApp product line in an all-cash asset transaction. Financial details were not released.

SteelApp is a respected virtual application delivery controller (ADC), providing scalable, secure and elastic delivery of enterprise, cloud and e-commerce applications. The SteelApp product line controls traffic to and from applications and enables fast, reliable and secure application delivery to users anywhere from the cloud or data center.

San Jose, Calif.-based Brocade, which focuses mostly on Fibre Channel networking, network-attached storage, switches and other networking hardware, had no virtual app director like SteelApp in its product line.

Under the terms of the agreement, Brocade will acquire the assets of the SteelApp business unit, and SteelApp development and field personnel will join Brocade after the deal closes. The addition of the product line extends Brocade's software portfolio and enables more advanced solutions for the company's data center and service provider customers, the company said.

A key trend within data center-centric IT, which virtualizes most network infrastructure, is network functions virtualization (NFV). The ADC product segment—which includes SteelApp—is one of the earliest to make the transition.

Researcher Dell'Oro has reported that the $2 billion ADC market is being disrupted by NFV; virtual ADCs are growing 30 percent per year, versus only 1 percent for hardware ADCs.

ADCs shield applications from interruptions due to bursts in demand, provide various optimizations based on application type and facilitate access based upon specific policies.

The SteelApp line will be added to Brocade's expanding portfolio of software networking products that include virtual routing, firewall, VPN, SDN controller, and network visibility and analytics.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...