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Security firm Arbor buys Ellacoya

Acquisition adds deep packet inspection technology into Arbor’s flow-based security

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Security technology firm Arbor Networks today announced it has acquired Ellacoya Networks, a pioneer in the increasingly crowded field of deep packet inspection (DPI), a technology that enables service providers to better detect and control different types of network traffic.

The two privately held firms did not disclose the financial terms of their agreement and promise no sweeping changes at either company. But they will be combining their technologies to add capabilities, according to Robert Malan, Arbor’s co-founder and chief technology officer, and Kurt Dobbins, Ellacoya’s co-founder and CTO. The combined company’s revenue will be more than $70 million, Malan said.

“If you think about what Arbor has had in the past with its network-wide flow-based measurement and monitoring, which covers the transit peering and core side of the network, if you now add the broadband edge and DSL presence that Ellacoya brings with its DPI technology, it will enable us to fill out the visibility of the network from a control and operations perspective,” Malan said. “One single system gives a total view of what the network is doing. One probe offers really wide and really deep information as to how the network is operating, which is what service providers need to deliver services in an IP world. It is critical to them to understand how the network is operating to a point that carriers have never had before.”

Arbor’s flow-based system already gives service providers protection from network threats such as denial of service attacks, botnets and worms as well as visibility into network performance to detect other problems. By adding DPI, Arbor will add further network visibility to enable better traffic and service management of revenue-generating IP services, Malan and Dobbins said.

“I’m really bullish about this market because there is a worldwide transition to an all-IP network infrastructure and a whole new set of consumer electronic devices and applications,” Dobbins said. “The next evolution of the Internet, the video Internet, is another thing that drives new services in the IP world. Service providers are going to need what we are calling the secure and protected delivery of these new IP services. As more and more demand for broadband service comes around, there is really going to be more and more demand for the combined solution for Ellacoya and Arbor.”

Over the next 12 to 18 months, the companies will work to integrate Arbor’s flow-based technology into Ellacoya’s e30 and e100 platforms and to integrate Ellacoya’s DPI expertise into Arbor’s Peakflow SP system.

Arbor estimates that the combination of its traditional infrastructure security and control market with the DPI market will create a $750-million market opportunity this year that will grow to $1.5 billion next year.

Ellacoya was an early entrant in the DPI field and has seen the use of its core technology shift from its original goal of helping creating new broadband service offerings to enabling service providers to detect and limit proliferation of peer-to-peer traffic and other rogue traffic that can absorb network bandwidth. The company is privately held and has survived the rocky times of the telecom market in recent years.

There are no plans to close offices at this point, Malan and Dobbins said. The two companies have a similar corporate culture that will make the integration process easier.

“We’ve been talking about this for 13 to 14 months now at least,” Malan said. “Private-to-private deals are really rare things. It’s a lot of fun. Both sides recognized the power of putting together best-of-breed technologies. We are still small and agile – we can do a quick integration and move on.”

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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