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Riverbed Buys Xirrus to Bolster SD-WAN Offering

Scott Ferguson

Riverbed Technology has signed an agreement to acquire Xirrus, a company that specializes in WiFi and other networking equipment. The deal is expected to close in May, although financial details were not released.

The deal, announced April 19, is expected to expand Riverbed's SD-WAN offerings, specifically through the company's SteelConnect product.

The global SD-WAN market is still niche right now, but it's expected to grow in importance over the next several years. By 2021, the market is expected to grow to nearly $3 billion in revenues, mainly driven by service providers in the telecom space. (See SD-WAN Market Soaring to Nearly $3B, Report Finds.)

SD-WAN uses software-defined networking to establish connections between distant locations, such as enterprise facilities and cloud providers. It provides a more flexible, less expensive alternative to wide-area networking depending on dedicated hardware.

(Source: Geralt via Pixabay)

Riverbed has been building out its SD-WAN capabilities to provide services, such as cloud and Internet of Things (IoT), to customers across geographic locations. This also requires the ability to control the network from the edge to the center of the data center. (See Enterprise Cloud Requires Cloud-Like Carriers – Riverbed.)

The deal for Xirrus now allows Riverbed to address some of these issues across the network, whether it's through LAN/WLAN, WAN, the data center, or the cloud itself. Riverbed's SteelConnect offering already integrates with Amazon Web Services, as well as Microsoft Azure.

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"Riverbed plans to integrate the Xirrus solutions into SteelConnect SD-WAN to deliver a more robust Wi-Fi capability and a unique enterprise networking solution, and will also continue to offer a stand-alone enterprise WLAN solution to customers," Joshua Dobies, vice president of product marketing for Riverbed, wrote in an email to Enterprise Cloud News.

"The acquired technology will complement existing Riverbed strategic investments in R&D, and will add to its growing portfolio, creating significant value for Riverbed customers as well as new growth opportunities for Riverbed and its partners," Dobies added.

For its part, Xirrus was founded in 2004, and has collected more than $120 million in venture capital funding, according to Crunchbase . Xirrus is known for multi-radio access points that provide solid WiFi coverage in high-density user environments such as IoT, education, and large enterprises. In its statement, Riverbed did not say how many Xirrus employees would move over to the company after the deal closes next month.

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— Scott Ferguson, Editor, Enterprise Cloud News. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

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