New IP

Brocade Buys NFV Management Smarts

Brocade has acquired the technology assets and team of Vistapointe, a network visibility and analytics firm whose technologies add depth to Brocade's pursuit of deals with mobile operators migrating to NFV and the New IP.

Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) is launching a direct hit at a market segment it describes as the current lair of incumbent probe vendors and analytics application providers that aren't changing with the times. "There's an entire group of companies like Ixia, Gigamon Systems, NetScout Systems and others that are dependent upon a high revenue model of selling purpose-built boutique solutions into this space," says Jason Nolet, vice president of the Switching, Routing, and Analytics products group at Brocade. "Vistapointe's software strategy differentiated them. The incumbents are all pretty married to their hardware."

Vistapointe's technology itself will be married to Brocade's MLX routing product, which Nolet says plays the role of a network packet broker. "The analytics applications on top of the packet broker will create an end-to-end solution." Further details on what that will look like in product form will be announced at a later date, Nolet adds.

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The deal is the latest step in Brocade's own ongoing migration from storage hardware vendor to software networking supplier more focused on data centers and service providers than its traditional enterprise targets. The Vistapointe solutions address another layer beyond infrastructure where NFV is changing the game, by virtualizing the network monitoring and analytics tools that mobile carriers will need to call upon to manage the increasingly complex array of devices on 4G/LTE networks. (See Brocade Buys Vistapointe NFV Assets and Brocade Weaves Software-Based Networking Strategy .)

Brocade is not the only company positioning for an NFV payoff from mobile operators. Nokia recently has been talking up its ability to deliver an analytics-rich NFV solution to 4G carriers. Meanwhile, more entrenched network visibility specialists Nolet knocked have been strategizing around NFV, too. (See Nokia's NFV Strategy Starts With VoLTE , Nokia Networks Boasts CEM Advance, Ixia Names NFV Pioneer Mayer CEO, Gigamon Steps Up Traffic Intelligence and EXFO Acquires Assets of Aito Technologies.)

By the way, if you don't know whether you're part of the New IP generation or not, you probably should take our founder's handy New IP test. (See Introducing 'The New IP' .)

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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