SDN architectures

One to Watch: Adara Networks

The new year may bring some new news from Adara Networks, the software-defined networking (SDN) vendor that made a big splash as part of a Verizon demo in early 2012 but has been fairly quiet amid the SDN cacophony of the last 18 months.

San Jose-based Adara Networks just announced a new senior director of sales: 25-year industry veteran Frank Mlotkiewicz. Mlotkiewicz most recently worked for Adva Optical Networking but also had stints with Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) and Nortel Networks. However, company officials recently told Light Reading two more announcements, including possible customer news, should be coming shortly.

That little hint, and the Mlotkiewicz hiring, almost qualify as information overload from a small software company that has been around for more than 10 years but often gets lumped in with the throng of SDN startups that have popped up in the last two years.

Other than occasional product updates, the biggest bit of news out of Adara in the last two years was its featured role in a Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) SDN demonstration at the 2012 Open Networking Summit. Adara was also included in Verizon's SDN-related innovation center that launched around the same time. (See Why Verizon Is Keen on OpenFlow, Adara Upgrades Its SDN Platform, and Adara Claims SDN First.)

"We had been working on network issues for several years, primarily with the [US Department of Defense], but we were singled out by Verizon at that time because we were the only production SDN company that existed," Adara Chairman and CEO Eric Johnson tells Light Reading.

The notoriety that followed the Verizon pairing led to speculation that Adara could quickly go the way of fellow SDN startup Nicira and be acquired, a notion Johnson himself did not do much to dispel in media reports. Johnson also has kept up the boastful chatter about Adara's products, most notably its multi-layer Constellation Full Stack Engine solution, Horizon SDN platform, and open-source Meta controller.

Yet, as in much of the SDN sector, the acquisition speculation about Adara has cooled, and the company has not come forth with major customer news. Could that be about to change?

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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