Software Defined Networking and Network Functions Virtualization have come a long way in a short amount of time, far enough to grab the attention of large technology giants like Hewlett Packard. In a move that accelerates its entry into the space, HP said yesterday that it has agreed to buy ConteXtream for an undisclosed sum.
ConteXtream had already been a significant player in HP's ecosystem. By bringing their technology in-house, HP is demonstrating how big an opportunity they see for the underlying technoogies. ConteXstream had some powerful backers, both in private equity and in the carrier/cable MSO world. Both Comcast and Verizon were apparently investors.
In particular, HP seems interested in ConteXtream's OpenDaylight controller, for which they launched an SDN fabric for NFV in December. The technology bridges the gap between SDN, which helps automate network resource tasks, and NFV, which uses some of the same concepts to manage and automate network functions that act directly on the data traversing those networks - like encryption, firewalls, etc.
HP has been pouring investment into its own NFV capabilities for some time now, and has been looking to make waves in the carrier space with it. Bringing the ConteXtream team in-house gives them a complementary, open-source interface with which to package those NFV capabilities as they sell them to the carrier marketplace.
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