Brocade Acquires Vistapointe, Creates New Network Visibility Unit

Looking to bolster its network functions virtualization (NFV) offerings for mobile operators, Brocade this week said it acquired network visibility and analytics company Vistapointe.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Privately held Vistapointe makes software-based network visibility and analytics solutions targeted at mobile operators. Its solutions virtualize traditional hardware-based network probes and other analytics tools, allowing carriers to monitor and analyze network traffic in a more "software-centric" model, Brocade said.

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With Vistapointe, Brocade is specifically targeting mobile operators that are embracing NFV, a close technology relative of software-defined networking that virtualizes layer 4-7 network functions, such as firewalls and load balancing. Carriers, in particular, are embracing NFV as a way to speed up the delivery of new services and reduce operational costs.

Vistapointe's software will give operators better visibility into their networks and subscriber base, a capability Brocade said is increasing in importance as more and more mobile devices traverse 4G or LTE networks.

"With the massive growth in connected devices and the dominance of data in mobile networks, network visibility and analytics will be more important than ever. And, as mobile operators continue the aggressive pace at which they intend to adopt software networking solutions, they will benefit from complementary, NFV-based analytics tools to improve subscriber quality of experience and security while also dramatically reducing costs," said Jason Nolet, vice president of the Switching, Routing and Analytics products group at Brocade.

Apart from complementing Brocade's NFV portfolio, Vistapointe's software also will be used to enhance Brocade's own MLX-based IP telemetry solution for network visibility, the company said.

Andrew Fisher, CEO of Myriad Supply, a New York-based solution provider and Brocade partner, said the Vistapointe acquisition seems in line with Brocade's recent push around SDN and NFV, but he wonders if the move will have any implications on Brocade's enterprise business.

"The acquisition is definitely in keeping with Brocade's stated commitment to providing carrier-grade SDN and NFV-based solutions," Fisher told CRN in an email. "The Vistapointe acquisition looks primarily to address the optimization needs of mobile network operators, and I can't help but wonder if Brocade plans to adapt the technology for enterprise clients as well, as network visibility and analytics are becoming more and more important to enterprises of all sizes."

Brocade is creating a new business unit, called the Network Visibility and Analytics Group, to house the Vistapointe solutions. The group will report into Nolet. Vistapointe CEO Ravi Medikonda also is joining Brocade to serve as vice president of the new unit.

In addition, Brocade has hired the Vistapointe development team, which will report into Medikonda.

The Vistapointe deal is one of several recent investments Brocade has made in the SDN and NFV arenas. Earlier this year, the San Jose, Calif.-based company rolled out new SDN partner certifications and hosted SDN-focused road shows to train solution providers on the technology.