Packeteer Buys Network Acceleration Company for $16.5 Million

The WAN optimization provider has acquired Mentat, which makes networking gear for satellite and high-latency networks.

WAN optimization leader Packeteer Inc. jumped into the mergers and acquisitions frenzy Wednesday when it announced its acquisition of protocol acceleration provider Mentat Inc. for about $16.5 million in cash.

Network performance optimization is inching closer to the mainstream, as users look to get the most efficiency out of their expensive WAN links and to ensure that mission-critical applications get the bandwidth they need. Packeteers move to acquire the 17-year-old, privately held firm is another step in the march to consolidate multiple application traffic acceleration functions into a single product offering, according to John Fomook, director of worldwide marketing for Packeteer in Cupertino, Calif.

"We see customers wanting fewer devices in their rack and fewer vendors. Packeteer is driving that consolidation. This acquisition helps us drive this further and faster," he said.

Mentat brings to the table its acceleration technology for TCP/IP and HTTP geared toward high-latency links such as satellite links or intercontinental WAN links. The Los Angeles-based companys SkyX Gateway provides an XTP protocol gateway as well as acceleration for HTTP and for content distribution.

The product, which has hundreds of customers, is installed in between 70 and 90 countries around the globe.

Packeteer will integrate the technology into its PacketShaper appliance, which provides visibility into whats going on in the network, control over resources and how quality is achieved as well as compression. "Packeteer will integrate those capabilities into its core platforms for visibility, control, acceleration and now high-latency acceleration as well," said Mark Urban, a Packeteer product manager.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read about a high-end version of the PacketShaper appliance that supports 1G-bps speeds and hundreds of remote sites.

The acquisition, which is already completed, also calls for Packeteer to pay out about $3.5 million in cash and restricted stock for retention bonuses to Mentat employees over the next two years.

Mentat will operate as a business unit of Packeteer under Mike Schumacher, vice president of engineering.

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