Riverbed to acquire cloud-enabled Wi-Fi networks provider Xirrus, strengthening SD-WAN offering



Riverbed Technology announced Wednesday signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Wi-Fi networks company Xirrus. The acquisition of the privately-held company will expand Riverbed’s SD-WAN (software-defined wide area network) and cloud networking solution Riverbed SteelConnect with the integration of a robust and proven suite of advanced, high density and cloud-managed Wi-Fi solutions. This gives Riverbed customers and partners the power of unified connectivity and policy-based orchestration that spans the entire distributed network – WAN, LAN/WLAN, data center and the cloud. Riverbed will also continue to offer Xirrus as a stand-alone enterprise WLAN solution.

Last January, Riverbed acquired Ocedo Networks, a SD-WAN provider to accelerate the delivery of Riverbed’s next-gen networking solutions, and launched SteelConnect as an early access offering in April 2016, which included “one-click” connectivity to AWS.

In September 2016, Riverbed announced general availability of SteelConnect 2.0 with many new features, including integrated visibility with Riverbed SteelCentral.

In early 2017, Riverbed added “one-click” secure connectivity to Microsoft Azure, integration with the market-leading WAN Optimization solution (Riverbed SteelHead SD), and a new offering for large-scale data center deployments; and in March 2017 Orange Business Services announced it will leverage SteelConnect to deliver a managed SD-WAN service. Currently, Riverbed’s over 300 SD-WAN customers span across a range of industries globally, including retail, manufacturing, healthcare, professional services, finance and technology.

Riverbed plans to offer Xirrus solutions through its robust partner ecosystem. The acquisition of Thousand Oaks, California-based Xirrus is expected to close this month. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Riverbed SteelConnect is a highly differentiated SD-WAN solution offering: unparalleled simplicity and improved agility with centralized and unified management spanning the entire network fabric with policy-based orchestration and one-click connectivity to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure; superior performance with integrated WAN optimization and visibility; network and application intelligence with business intent-based policies and user experience driven control. By adding Xirrus, the power of policy-based orchestration by SteelConnect will be further extended to the wireless edge.

“Xirrus is a strategic acquisition for Riverbed, providing us with a leading enterprise-grade Wi-Fi solution, and enhancing SteelConnect to deliver an unmatched SD-WAN offering that will help further fuel our growth in this hot market,” said Jerry M. Kennelly, Riverbed chairman and chief executive officer. “In today’s digital, cloud, and mobile world, enterprise networks are more complex and unpredictable than ever before and IT is struggling to manage all of this. A fundamental rethink to networking is required and with this acquisition, Riverbed and our partners are uniquely positioned to provide CIOs and businesses with a software-defined networking approach that delivers unified connectivity and orchestration across the entire network.”

Xirrus’ proven technology performs under the most demanding circumstances, offering consistent “wired-like” performance with superior coverage and security.

The Xirrus suite of Wi-Fi solutions – high density access points, access points and cloud services – provide seamless connectivity and unified management across the network.  Xirrus is recognized by Gartner in the “Visionaries” quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for the most recent Wired and Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure report.

With solutions deployed on tens of thousands of networks and hundreds of thousands of cloud instances, Xirrus customers include some of the best known global companies and recognized brand names, including Microsoft, University of Mississippi, Liverpool Football Club and Paul Hastings Law Firm.

“Together with Riverbed, we embrace a tremendous opportunity to create the world’s first SD-WAN solution that covers the core to the edge of the network,” said Shane Buckley, CEO of Xirrus. “The integration of our solutions combines best-of-breed federated identity and application control with differentiated SD-WAN technology, addressing the stringent requirements of today’s cloud, mobile and digital world. We are thrilled to be part of the Riverbed family and continue to thrive in this fast-growing, critical market.”

“A key facet of network transformation is convergence at the enterprise branch as IT/network managers look to unify network operations and management across wired and wireless LANs and WANs, all within the context of a cloud-enabled architecture,” said Rohit Mehra, Research Vice President, Network Infrastructure, IDC. “With this acquisition, Riverbed is well positioned to address this shift, adding an enterprise-grade WLAN solution to a broader enterprise branch offering with SD-WAN that also integrates industry-leading WAN optimization and visibility.”

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