12 Key Networking Mergers Of 2016

The networking industry continued to morph with several significant acquisitions so far this year.

Marcia Savage

November 21, 2016

10 Slides

With all the changes in the networking industry as trends like SDN and cloud gain steam, the vendor landscape is shifting fast. What used to be an industry dominated by a handful of established vendors has become one in which startups supplying innovative approaches to networking pop up with regularity.

But as with the entire IT market, mergers and acquisitions are common in networking, as the giants snatch up innovative startups to build up their product lines. There have been several significant deals, including chipmaker Broadcom's $5.9 billion agreement to aquire Brocade.

The always-acquisitive Cisco continued to fill up its shopping cart in its ongoing quest to expand beyond its traditional hardware equipment business and evolve into a software and services company. Most notably, it snatched up IoT startup Jasper for a cool $1.4 billion. Other significant acquisitions that boost Cisco's software strategy include CliQr and ContainerX.

Rival Juniper Networks made a couple of its own moves, one to deepen its SDN capabilities and another to acquire silicon phonetics technology.

Gartner expects continued consolidation in networking, primarily due to a shakout in the SDN space. "There were a number of networking vendors that came to market in the 2011-2015 timeframe, during the SDN hysteria. Several of these vendors have been successful and are growing nicely, both in terms of revenue and customer acquisition," Andrew Lerner, a research VP at Gartner, told me in an email. "There are other vendors that are not having as much success, and their investors tend to get nervous and look to pivot or an exit."

Not all the recent M&A action in the networking market has involved SDN technology. The wireless networking space continued on its rapid consolidation trend with two acquisitions this year. Today there aren't many standalone WLAN vendors left as established networking vendors snap up wireless technologies to fill in their product portfolios, a trend that reflects the growing role of wireless networking in the enterprise.

As this year comes to a close, there are lots of  rumors of more M&A deals in networking, including Avaya and F5 Networks. But read on to review the M&A activity in the networking industry so far in 2016.

(Image: istocksdaily/iStockphoto)

About the Author(s)

Marcia Savage

Executive Editor, Network Computing

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