Riverbed Picks Up Mazu, Rolls Into Optimization

Network acceleration vendor Riverbed is aiming to get into the network visibility
game, thanks to its purchase of Mazu Networks.

While Riverbed has been focused on network acceleration, Mazu’s technology provides
additional visibility into application traffic over the network. The $25 million cash
acquisition, which also entails up to a $22 million payout if Mazu hits certain sales
targets, is Riverbed’s first, and the company expects the purchase to close at the end of
first quarter.

The deal also follows a similar move by competitor Blue Coat, who
acquired network visibility vendor Packeteer
last year. It all points to a converging
trend toward greater network acceleration intelligence to better optimize enterprise
applications.

“The acquisition of Mazu adds important capabilities our customers have been asking
for,” Jerry M. Kennelly, Riverbed’s president and CEO, said during a conference call
discussing the acquisition. “Our enterprise customers have been telling us they need
better visibility and reporting as they seek to deploy transparent and robust
infrastructure for managing their application performance.”

Kennelly added that Riverbed decided to buy Mazu rather than build its own technology
to move into the field more quickly. Kennelly denied, however, that Riverbed had been
losing deals to competitors because it lacked network visibility technology.

Still, the technology is seen as important to Riverbed’s overall mission. Mazu works
by analyzing the interaction of users, systems and network devices that comprise an
application delivery infrastructure, according to Eric Wolford, Riverbed’s senior vice
president of marketing and business development.

Mazu’s flagship product, Profiler, uses this analysis to determine typical traffic
patterns. It then can look for deviations that could signal performance issues, and for
underutilized resources that can be reallocated, Wolford said during the call.

Wolford added that Mazu has also developed a means of determining a baseline level of
performance and anomaly-based defect detection. According to Wolford, the baseline
feature offers carriers and enterprises a good way to figure out service-level agreements
and objectives.

Riverbed also will not have to wait until Mazu’s product can be fully tied into
Riverbed’s to start profiting from the acquisition, it said.

“We are not dependent on any massive amount of integration to begin to recognize
benefits,” Wolford said. “There are upside opportunities for us to do some integrations,
but that’s not a major dependency.”

Riverbed is set to officially announce its fourth-quarter fiscal 2008 financial
results on Feb. 3. On Tuesday, the company announced preliminary results with revenues of
approximately $91 million to $92 million, representing a 20 percent gain from a year
ago.

Article courtesy of InternetNews.com

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