Riverbed is buying the German startup Ocedo, which makes hybrid WAN gateways, to get an SD-WAN product to market faster. Late last year, Riverbed announced an SD-WAN roadmap, called Project Tiger, and expected to ship products in the second half of 2016. With the Ocedo purchase, the company can start selling Riverbed-branded SD-WAN appliances this March.
There is some cause for urgency: SD-WAN is attracting a great deal of interest from companies that need to operate branch offices and are frustrated with the cost and provisioning time of MPLS.
SD-WAN products let companies mix and match private circuits, broadband, and even 4G connections. Most SD-WAN vendors also provide mechanisms to ensure suitable performance and security across Internet links.
At present, SD-WAN startups such Viptela, CloudGenix, and VeloSystems, as well as more established vendors such as Talari and Silver Peak, are building beachheads by snapping up customers in retail, financial services, and other key verticals.
By tapping Ocedo to get products in the pipeline earlier than it could on its own, Riverbed hopes to blunt the lead of these competitors. As an incumbent, Riverbed can leverage an extensive client list and well-established sales channels, as well as a reputation for network and application acceleration chops.
Mix, Match, Meld
For its initial product rollout, Riverbed will add its own path selection, QoS, and application identification capabilities to the hybrid WAN hardware and virtual gateways from Ocedo. These are the gateways that get deployed at branch and remote sites.
Riverbed will roll out its own internally-developed Project Tiger gateways later this year.
Riverbed has also decided to use Ocedo’s controller software as the management platform Ocedo gateways and forthcoming Project Tiger devices.
“Ocedo has a nice management portal that can be hosted in cloud or on premises, and that will be the pane of glass for managing Ocedo and Tiger products,” said Josh Dobies, Sr. Director, Product Marketing, at Riverbed.
Riverbed’s goal is to meld the two product lines. “Ocedo and Tiger will interoperate with common set of management and overlay protocols, so it will be one product line,” said Dobies. “It’s not a two separate product lines.”
The company also noted that it plans to have a single management platform for all its products, including WAN acceleration. That management platform will be based on Ocedo. However, that’s still a work in progress.
Besides hybrid WAN gateways, Ocedo also makes a line of Ethernet switches and wireless APs. Riverbed will sell these products under its own brand. The rationale is to provide policy and application controls that go from the data center to the remote office all the way to the WiFi port that a branch user is connecting to. However, it’s not necessary to purchase a switch or AP to use the SD-WAN gateway.
Riverbed said Ocedo has approximately 100 customers, located primarily in Europe.