Brocade Acquires Linux Software Defined Networking Vendor Vyatta

Brocade expands beyond OpenFlow and OpenStack for SDN

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Nov 5, 2012
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Networking vendor Brocade today announced that it was acquiring privately held software defined networking (SDN) vendor Vyatta. Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed. A Brocade spokesperson told InternetNews that the financial value of the deal would not be material to Brocade's business.

Ken Cheng, vice president of the Routing, Application Delivery and Software Networking Group at Brocade said that the Vyatta brand would be retained as well as all Vyatta employees. Current Vyatta CEO Kelly Herrell will now become the head of Brocade's Software Networking business unit and will report to Cheng.

Vyatta got its start back in 2006 with an open source Linux routing platform called the Open Flexible Router. The company evolved in the following years to position itself as an open source based alternative to Cisco and networking technology from proprietary vendors. Vyatta has raised millions in funding over the years, including a $10 million C round led by Citrix Systemsin 2009.

In 2012, Vyatta evolved further with its vPlane technology which is a Layer 3 forwarding plane for network traffic.

"We believe that Vyatta has the best for software network and we believe that virtual routing will be next phase of routing," Cheng said.

From a Vyatta perspective, CEO Kelly Herrell said that the acquisition is a fantastic match for Vyattahis company. He noted that Vyatta's products do not encroach on any Brocade products.

"That means that Brocade is in a position to wield a software strategy with great aggression," Herrell said. "That's not something that you can say about other incumbents."

Herrell added that Brocade is deeply knowledgeable about the business of IP networking and as such already understand the value of what Vyatta is all about.

OpenFlow and OpenStack

Brocade is no stranger to the world of Software Defined Networking. On the core networking side, Brocade is an active participant in the OpenFlow protocol development effort. Brocade announced OpenFlow support on its MLX series of 100 Gbps routers in May of this year.

Brocade is also active in the OpenStack open source cloud effort. A core component of OpenStack is the Quantum SDN project. Going even further into SDN, Brocade has a partnership with OpenStack vendor Piston Computing to advance SDN cloud deployments.

"If you think about the SDN value stack we have the Ethernet fabric at the network layer, we have a WAN virtualization solution with OpenFlow hybrid mode," Cheng said. "With Vyatta we now have a platform in software networking right inside the rack of servers."

Cheng added that the Vyatta piece adds a critical footprint that Brocade did not have before. Cheng noted that from a product perspective, the plan is to share roadmap ideas sometime in the next 90 to 120 days.

"We see a lot of strategic opportunities ahead of us that we want to pursue together with Vyatta," Cheng said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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