The fast-growing software-defined WAN over the past several years has attracted a broad mix of established vendors and pure-play startups looking to make it easier and less costly for enterprises to move applications and data between branch and remote sites, the network edge and the cloud.
Recent years have seen necessary consolidation within the highly crowded field, including Riverbed Technology buying Ocedo and Xirrus Networks to build out its SD-WAN portfolio, Cisco Systems buying Viptela for $610 million in 2017 to add to its homegrown SD-WAN capabilities and VMware adding to its NSX network virtualization offering with its acquisition of VeloCloud.
Oracle joined the list of top-tier vendors buying SD-WAN companies this month with the announcement that it will acquire Talari Networks, another stalwart in the SD-WAN space, for an undisclosed amount. According to Oracle officials, Talari’s Failsafe SD-WAN offering, which is designed to ensure reliability, predictability and security in both site-to-cloud and site-to-site connectivity, will complement Oracle’s session border controller (SBC) and network management infrastructure.
“Talari’s Failsafe SD-WAN solution complements Oracle’s enterprise communications portfolio by delivering high availability and Quality-of-Experience (QoE) connectivity and cloud application access across any IP network with the reliability and predictability of private networks,” Douglas Suriano, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle’s Communications Global Business Unit, said in a letter to Oracle and Talari customers and partners. “Together, Oracle and Talari will accelerate digital transformation and cloud adoption by providing companies with complete enterprise network solutions that ensure reliability and performance of real-time communications and mission-critical applications over any network.”
The deal, which is expected to close before the end of the year, comes at a time when such trends as the cloud, the proliferation of mobile devices, bring your own device (BYOD), edge computing and the internet of things (IoT) continue to reshape how companies conduct their business. Network traffic traditionally has traveled between branch offices and the corporate data center via bulky and expensive technologies like Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS). However, with more traffic moving directly between the branch and the cloud, with a much more mobile workforce pulling down applications from the cloud onto devices like smartphones and tablets, enterprises needed to find less costly ways to securely address these changes.
SD-WAN enables businesses to move applications and data over the internet without them having to reach the central data center first, improving performance and the user experience. Securing and managing these connections have become important parts of the equation. It’s become the fastest-growing segment of the larger network virtualization space, with IDC analysts forecasting that the SD-WAN market will grow 40.4 percent a year between 2017 and 2022, when it will hit $4.5 billion.
“Organizations of all sizes are modernizing their Wide Area Networks to provide improved user experience for a range of cloud-enabled applications," Rohit Mehra, vice president of IDC’s network infrastructure unit, said in a statement. "Incumbent networking vendors have quickly realigned their routing and WAN optimization portfolios to take on the growing cadre of startups in this market. Enabled by a rapid uptake across the service provider domain, SD-WAN infrastructure will continue to grow rapidly in the coming years, providing a beachhead for other software-defined networking and security functions in the enterprise branch."
Talari was launched in 2007 and now has 500 enterprise customers in 40 countries in such industries as the public sector, financial services, insurance, retail and manufacturing, according to CEO Patrick Sweeney. In a blog post, Sweeney said that becoming part of Oracle will mean more resources to build out the technology and offer it as part of a larger and more complete enterprise network solution as well as having a more global reach.
“When the transaction closes, we’ll serve a vastly expanded landscape with Oracle,” he wrote.
Drew Lydecker, co-founder and president of Avant, a Talari partner, told eWEEK in an email that the “network world has not changed much over the past decade, but enterprise network and data center needs are changing dramatically with migration to cloud services, growing mobile workforce, and dramatically changing enterprise WAN network patterns.”
Lydecker noted that “behemoths like Oracle are gobbling up the nimble innovators and disruptors like Talari as a way of leapfrogging into this new technology space. SD-WAN is really about improving the application experience and enhancing the WAN security posture and [Talari] will be a phenomenal complement to Oracle’s portfolio.”
Talari has been aggressive in building out its product portfolio. Most recently, Talari officials in August announced the company was partnering with startup Meta Networks, a move to offer its customers the ability to use Meta’s network-as-a-service (NaaS) platform for remote access to corporate applications from outside the enterprise, whether the applications are in on-premises data centers or in the cloud. The following month, the company rolled out Cloud Connect, a multi-tenant platform that ensures that customers get high performance, reliability and user experience when accessing public cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) services.