Extreme targets cloud services, SD-WAN, WiFi 6 with US$210M Aerohive grab

Extreme targets cloud services, SD-WAN, WiFi 6 with US$210M Aerohive grab

Extreme buys Aerohive’s wireless networking technology – including its new WiFi 6 gear – SD-WAN software and cloud-management services.

Ed Meyercord (Extreme Networks)

Ed Meyercord (Extreme Networks)

Credit: Extreme Networks

Extreme Networks opened the checkbook again this week to the tune of US$210 million for wireless-networking vendor Aerohive.

The move will bring to Extreme Aerohive’s wireless-networking technology – including its new WiFi 6 gear, SD-WAN software and cloud-management services. 

In addition the company has an SD-WAN offering that can be managed through HiveManager, letting customers manage wired and wireless wide area network. On the SD-WAN technology Extreme said it is “investigating roadmap and strategy opportunities and will continue to update this plan as the companies integrate over the next few months.”

“In the case of SD-WAN, we really look at SD-WAN as SD branch. There's a branch router and capability that Aerohive brings to the equation here, which is something where we feel we have pent-up demand. There is a lot of opportunities where we have not been in a strong competitive position to compete and now we will be,” said Ed Meyercord, President and CEO of Extreme Networks.  “We’re not really looking at from a traditional SD-WAN perspective, we’re really looking at the branch capabilities and how we’re going to be able to deliver on this with our customers.”

Extreme said that Aerohive recently introduced a  trio of Wi-Fi 6 access points, along with a pluggable access point. “Aerohive has a global footprint of 30,000 cloud wireless LAN customers in verticals including education, healthcare, state and local government, and retail,” Extreme stated.  This acquisition will bring new automation and intelligence capabilities to Extreme’s Elements portfolio.

Extreme Elements is a menu of the company’s new and existing Smart OmniEdge, Automated Campus and Agile Data Center software, hardware and services that customers can order to build a manageable, secure system.  Aside from the applications, the Elements include Extreme Management Center, the company’s network management software; the company’s x86-based intelligent appliances, including the ExtremeCloud Appliance; and ExtremeSwitching X465 premium, a stackable multi-rate gigabit Ethernet switch.

How all of the is integrated into the Extreme family of wired and wireless switches remains to be seen, especially as Extreme has a variety of wireless  products of its own, obtained via its buy of Zebra Technologies  in 2016.  Since then Extreme has also bought Brocade Communications for its data center technology and Avaya for expanding its networking hardware and software offerings.

From the Extreme viewpoint, the company said Aerohive will bring customers more choices for cloud and on-premises wired  and  wireless  offerings.  “Post-acquisition, customers and partners will be able to mix and match a broader array of software, hardware, and services Elements to create networks that support their unique needs, and that can be managed and automated from end-to-end, from the enterprise edge to the cloud, to advance their digital transformation efforts,” Extreme stated.

“After scaling Extreme’s business to $1B in revenue and expanding our portfolio to include end-to-end enterprise networking solutions, we are now taking the next step to transform our business to add sustainable, subscription-oriented cloud-based solutions that will enable us to drive recurring revenue and improved cash flow generation,” said Meyercord.

In a letter to Aerohive customers, Meyercord wrote: “Aerohive has the most advanced cloud-based network management and wireless networking platform in the industry, providing secure and robust coverage to large enterprises with some of the most sprawling, complex operations. We will have the industry’s largest cloud and data footprint with over 10,000 customer data sets that will allow us to optimize performance with the industry’s leading artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. In addition, we will be adding cloud-based network access control capabilities and software-defined WAN solutions.”

“There's been collaboration with the executive leadership team at Aerohive in identifying Extreme assets, Aerohive assets in the best way for us to bring them together. The one point that I want to make is that we are absolutely going to continue to invest in their cloud-management platform, and bringing over the agile team and the DevOps operation for running that cloud is going to be a critical capability for us,” Meyercord said.

The acquisition is expected to close in Extreme’s FQ1’20.

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