Tektronix Communications has strengthened its position in the mobile network and service assurance market with an agreement to buy Arbor Networks Inc., the security and deep packet inspection (DPI) vendor, for an undisclosed sum. (See Tektronix Secures Arbor Networks and Arbor & Ellacoya Team Up.)
Tektronix Communications, which was spun off as a separate company from Tektronix Inc. by parent Danaher Corp. in early 2008, is already a major player in the mobile network test-and-measurement and service assurance sectors, but this move gives it something extra . (See Tektronix Monitors LTE Core, Tektronix Monitors Femtocells, and Danaher to Buy Tektronix.)
It's Arbor's Peakflow Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) prevention platform, which is used for IP network security and analysis, that appears to have attracted Tektronix Communications, and with good reason, notes Heavy Reading senior analyst Patrick Donegan, who is currently working on a communications network equipment security report. (See Arbor Intros 40-Gig DDoS Defense and Arbor Watches the Net.)
He notes that there is "a real issue about the security of mobile networks. As you get more data in the networks, the security threats grow. The shift towards IP is heralding a shift in the security fundamentals."
He adds: "The testing business is fundamental to network security, and I can see why a company such as Tektronix would make a play for a company like Arbor. It's logical for a test vendor to expand its portfolio with a bespoke security acquisition," not least because "much of the network infrastructure deployed in communications networks have security flaws, which in turn creates a business opportunity for the bespoke security vendors."
Donegan also says that what Tektronix and Arbor have in their portfolios "speak to the bread-and-butter of mobile network security. There's a lot of brouhaha at the moment about security concerns linked to BlackBerry services. That's a distraction. That's not where the real security issues are at." (See RIM Reprieve .)
And Arbor's DDoS technology looks well suited as an additional element that can be integrated into Tektronix's GeoProbe platform (acquired in 2004) that monitors IP network traffic, giving Tektronix an extra, and increasingly important, weapon in its Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) arsenal. (See The SPIT Manifesto and Tektronix Acquires Inet for $325M.)
Tektronix's parent company, Danaher, has plenty of practice integrating other companies into its test-and-measurement businesses (Tektronix, Tektronix Communications, and Fluke Networks), as it's made a number of acquisitions during the past few years to bolster its video monitoring, VoIP assurance, and customer experience management capabilities. (See Tektronix Mixes In Some M&A , OSS News: Tektronix Strikes Again!, and Tektronix Buys VOIP Test Firm.)
â€” Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading