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Ciena To Buy Cyan for SDN, NFV Technology

Ciena Corp. is the latest networking vendor to eschew the homegrown route and buy its new-age technology outright, this time in the form of a $400 million acquisition of Cyan Inc.

In this case, the technology acquired is software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) developed by a "leading provider of next-generation software and platforms to enable open, agile and scalable software-defined networks."

A news release stated Cyan's "SDN, NFV, and packet-optical solutions deliver orchestration, agility, and scale to networks, that until now, have been static and hardware driven."

The Petaluma, Calif.-based Cyan was founded in 2006 and is known for its Blue Planet SDN Platform.

"Before there was SDN, there was Cyan," the company states on its Web site. "We disaggregated software from hardware from day one and then evolved Blue Planet to manage, orchestrate, visualize, and automate multi-vendor networks. Blue Planet is open, supports more than 50 devices from third-party vendors, and is the de-facto SDN and NFV orchestration platform for network operators around the world."

Ciena said its $400 million cash-and-stock acquisition is expected to close in its fourth fiscal quarter this year.

The Hanover, Md.-based Ciena, founded in 1992, has a long history of using acquisitions to expand its technology offerings beyond its initial focus on optical networking equipment. Five years ago, for example, it bought Nortel Metro Ethernet Networks for $774 million.

The Cyan acquisition further illustrates Ciena's turn toward disruptive, new-age technologies that are transforming the industry. The Cyan technology will join its present offerings, such as Agility, an OpenDaylight-based Multilayer WAN Controller. It also offers Agility Matrix, a turnkey NFV solution.

The move follows similar acquisitions on the part of traditional, mainstream networking companies to grab new-age technologies, such as Cisco buying Embrane and Telstra buying Pacnet, both occurring last month.

"Together, we will provide our customers with the technologies they demand for a software-controlled operational model, orchestrating services on top of a scalable network, with the ability to rapidly create revenue streams in the new virtualized, on-demand world," said Cyan CEO Mark Floyd in a statement. "This combination enables greater monetization for network operators through more efficient utilization of network assets and faster time-to-market with differentiated and profitable services."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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