Riverbed Buying Aternity for Endpoint Management

Mitch Wagner

Riverbed Technology is buying Aternity, adding end-user devices to Riverbed's performance monitoring line in an acquisition driven by the needs of cloud application users.

Riverbed Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: RVBD) plans to close the acquisition within two to three weeks, bringing about 95% of Aternity's 140 employees on board to join Riverbed's 2,300 workers, Nick Koutsoukos, Riverbed VP product marketing, tells Light Reading. Upper management will be part of the transition, but Koutsoukous declined to comment on whether the CEO and other top leadership would stay on long term.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Both companies are private.

Riverbed's SteelCentral product provides application performance monitoring on networks. Aternity will be incorporated into SteelCentral, and extend that visibility to desktop, mobile and other end-user devices. Enterprises need that visibility to meet demands of public, private and hybrid clouds, as well as apps such as Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Office 365 that are delivered as a service from the cloud, Koutsoukous says.

Aternity "works very well with SaaS applications because it doesn't care where the application is hosted," Koutsoukous says. Instead, it installs an agent on the end device and monitors performance that way.

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The acquisition gives Riverbed "an early-mover advantage for the time being," 451 Research analyst Jim Duffy tells Light Reading.

"Riverbed's SteelCentral has been focused up to now on end-user experience management from the network and browser perspective," Duffy noted in an email. "Aternity gives them now an endpoint agent to complete the application performance management and end-user experience picture. Few [network performance management] vendors have the endpoint agent capability but I expect you'll see more enter this field very soon."

Riverbed will compete with niche players including Knoa Software, as well as virtual desktop infrastructure monitoring vendors such as Lakeside Software, a Microsoft partner; and Citrix Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS) partners Liquidware Labs and eG Innovations.

"Existing end-user application performance management is typically at the browser level for external applications; Aternity and Knoa focus on [end-user experience] of internal, enterprise-owned applications. Riverbed appears to be one of the first 'household name' NPM vendors to obtain this capability," Duffy says.

— Mitch Wagner, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor, Light Reading Enterprise Cloud

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