Light Reading

Cisco Investing $6 Million in Embrane: Reports

Mitch Wagner

Cisco Systems is investing $6 million in software-defined networking (SDN) startup Embrane, part of a $12 million funding round for the vendor, according to industry reports.

The investment strengthens Cisco's support for the higher levels of the network stack, according to a report on GigaOm. Cisco is looking to ensure Embrane technology works well with its own platforms.

Embrane raised $18 million in Series B funding in 2011, taking its total investment to $27 million. In late 2013, Embrane cut jobs but said a Series C round was under way. Investors include New Enterprise Associates, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and North Bridge Venture Partners.

Embrane declined to comment on the investment, while Cisco is yet to respond to questions.

Embrane supports the Layer 3-7 portion of the networking stack, company CEO Dante Malagrinò said in a video interview with Light Reading. "We focus on the services that let applications get more agility out of the network infrastructure," Malagrinò said. (See Embrane CEO Dante Malagrinò.)

The company started by filling unmet needs for early infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud providers. "It was clear to us that being able to spin up a load balancer on demand in a matter of seconds in an automated fashion or a firewall or any other type of network service as a very significant priority for them," said Malagrinò.

Previously, Cisco launched and then almost immediately acquired its own SDN startup, Insieme, in a maneuver popularly known as a "spin-in." That acquisition was announced as Cisco unveiled its Application-Centric Infrastructure. (See Cisco Unveils Application-Centric Infrastructure and Cisco's ACI Gets Physical With SDN.)

We'll have more on this story later.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Blogger
2/10/2014 | 9:47:41 PM
Re: Embrane
Perhaps a lot more deals are about to happen then, as big companies realize how someone else's niche product can help fill out their own networking strategy--or as they realize how much it's in the way, and needs to be vacuumed up.
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/10/2014 | 6:00:01 PM
Re: Embrane
Acquisition seems like the endgame for SDN companies. It seems like a niche rather than a full suite of services and products. 
C Chappell
C Chappell,
User Rank: Blogger
2/7/2014 | 6:01:03 AM
Re: Embrane
Interesting - because Cisco is also developing its own network functions deployment and orchetration mechanism, Elastic Services Controller - so has it acquired Embrane to take a potential competitor out of the market or to augment its own function in key places? The deployment orchestration function that Embrane has developed is a key piece of the NFV management puzzle that's missing in OpenStack and not well-defined in the ETSI MANO stack. It's the focus of a big land grab from all sorts of players at the moment. Will the addition of the Embrane solution make Cisco's approach to NFV orchestration more open?
User Rank: Blogger
2/6/2014 | 5:17:07 PM
In theory, this looks like a pretty good fit with what Cisco is doing with ACI at lower layers. More companies have started to move in to Embrane's applications territory, increasing the competitive mix, so I wonder if Cisco will face a decision about buying the company eventually if it really does like the technology.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (3) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (1) comment

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Pay-TV User Experiences Millennial-Friendly

11|16|15   |   6:42   |   (0) comments

The unique challenge of reaching and engaging Millennials is driving pay-TV video experience transformation that can include higher quality UIs, viewing of multiple content streams at once and seamless transitions between handheld devices and the television.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Electric Power Summit 2015 – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

11|16|15   |   1:28   |   (0) comments

Huawei, together with Ethiopia's Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, hosted the Huawei Electric Power Summit 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The event gathered industry experts and senior executives of global electric power companies to discuss emerging industry trends including: improvements in new energy conversion efficiency, reduction of line losses ...
Between the CEOs
Mobily on Bringing Innovation to Saudi Arabia

11|13|15   |     |   (2) comments

Mobily CEO Ahmad Farroukh talks to Steve Saunders about the realities of being a mobile operator in Saudi Arabia.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Sprint Undercuts Rivals With Half-Price Offers
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/18/2015
Routers Are Facing Extinction: Let’s Not Save Them
Scott Sumner, VP solutions marketing, Accedian Networks, 11/18/2015
Sprint, Verizon Face Reorganization, Job Cuts
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/20/2015
Sprint to Get $1.2B From New Leasing Venture
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Mobily CEO Ahmad Farroukh talks to Steve Saunders about the realities of being a mobile operator in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.