Riverbed Acquires Xirrus

Riverbed has joined the chorus of networking vendors that have acquired a WiFi vendor. Riverbed announced its intention to acquire Xirrus on April 19; financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Xirrus was founded in 2004 and had raised approximately $120 million in venture capital funding. As opposed to a traditional wireless access point, Xirrus has long branded its wireless access points as wireless arrays, providing a circular footprint providing an innovative antenna setup.

Riverbed plans to integrate Xirrus’ technology with its SteelConnect platform.SteelConnect is Riverbed’s software defined solution, providing organization with the ability to create SD-WAN capabilities in the cloud, as well as integrating application acceleration and WAN optimization

“The SteelConnect offering is unique in that it is the first SD-WAN solution that has extended the power of policy-based orchestration out to the broader reaches of the distributed network,” Paul O’Farrell, Senior Vice President of the Riverbed SteelConnect, SteelHead and SteelFusion Business Unit at Riverbed, said in a statement. “By combining the advanced Wi-Fi capabilities of Xirrus and SteelConnect’s intuitive and powerful orchestration, we’re taking a bold step to bring the power of policy-based network management out to the wireless edge.”

Shane Buckley, who became CEO of Xirrus in 2012, sees the acquisition by Riverbed as an opportunity for the SD-WAN market.

“Together with Riverbed, we embrace a tremendous opportunity to create the world’s first SD-WAN solution that covers the core to the edge of the network,” Buckely said in a statement. “The integration of our solutions combines best-of-breed federated identity and application control with differentiated SD-WAN technology, addressing the stringent requirements of today’s cloud, mobile and digital world. We are thrilled to be part of the Riverbed family and continue to thrive in this fast-growing, critical market.”

Xirrus is the latest in a line of formerly independent Wi-Fi vendors to be acquired by Wired networking vendors. In 2015, Hewlett Packard Enterprise acquired Aruba for $3 billion in 2015 while Fortinet acquired Meru Network for $44 million. Ruckus Wireless has changed hands twice in the last two years, first being acquired by Brocade for $1.2 billion in 2016, then resold to Arris in February of this year for $800 million.

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

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