Cisco to buy SDN startup Embrane

Cisco is already an investor in the virtualized network appliance company

Cisco plans to beef up its SDN [software-defined networking] technology by acquiring Embrane, a startup with an architecture for virtualized network appliances.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Cisco is already an investor in Embrane, which is based in Santa Clara, California, near Cisco headquarters. The acquisition is expected to close within three months.

Embrane's Heleos platform can deploy software-based appliances such as firewalls across a pool of commodity servers, using more or less computing power as demands rise and fall. It lets cloud service providers quickly deploy new, differentiated services, the company says. With open APIs, users can integrate Embrane's technology with third-party billing and orchestration tools.

The acquisition will help Cisco enhance ACI [Application-Centric Infrastructure], its SDN architecture, and offer more choice to customers of the Nexus data center switch portfolio, Cisco said in a blog post.

Embrane is led by former Spirent Communications CEO Bill Burns but includes several former Cisco engineers in its top management team. They will join Cisco's Insieme Business Unit.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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