Cisco Buys Into SD-WAN with $610M Viptela Acquisition

No area of IT networking has been hotter for new startups in the last two years than SD-WAN, and networking giant Cisco has taken notice. Today Cisco announced its intention to acquire SD-WAN startup Viptela for $610 million in cash. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2017.

The promise of SD-WAN is access technology that can help organizations replace expensive MPTS links with lower-cost, high-quality, software-defined (SD), public internet WAN links. Cisco already has SD-WAN capabilities in its portfolio with the iWAN offering that is already being deployed by large customers and benefits from a partnership with Verizon.

As a startup, Viptela was building its own SD-WAN solution with the brand name Viptela Fabric. The promise of the Viptela Fabric is a bit more than just enabling cheaper WAN links and extends to include a more agile layer 2 local network that can extend beyond the boundaries of a campus LAN.

Vipetela is led by CEO Praveen Akkiraju, who is no stranger to Cisco. Akkiraju spent 19 years at Cisco, starting as an engineer in the company’s internet architecture group in July 1993.

“The Viptela fabric especially, as it relates to SD-WAN and cloud networking, fits in as an important piece of Cisco’s Enterprise Networking strategy which is driving an industry-wide transition to a software centric architecture and business model,” Akkiraju  wrote in a blog post. “Viptela’s cloud-first, software-driven approach uniquely complements Cisco’s Digital Networks Architecture (DNA) and its principles of security, virtualization, automation, and analytics.”

After the close of the deal, Viptela will become part of Cisco’s Enterprise Routing group led by senior VP David Goeckeler.

The Viptela acquisition is the second acquisition so far in 2017 for Cisco and follows that acquisition of AppDynamics in January for $3.7 billion.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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