Ciena to buy Vyatta virtual routing and switching technology from AT&T

Sept. 2, 2021
The agreement, which the parties expect to close by the end of this year, calls for Ciena to continue to support AT&T’s use of the Vyatta technology in the service provider’s wireless network, including 5G use cases.

Looking to enhance its router and switch expertise, Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) says it has agreed to purchase AT&T’s Vyatta virtual routing and switching technology for an undisclosed sum. The agreement, which the parties expect to close by the end of this year, calls for Ciena to continue to support AT&T’s use of the Vyatta technology in the service provider’s wireless network, including 5G use cases.

AT&T purchased the Vyatta technology from Brocade in 2017 (see “AT&T to boost VNF efforts with Vyatta network operating system buy”). The service provider has been using the technology to support open cell site routers, among other applications (see, for example, "AT&T submits white box cell site gateway router specs to Open Compute Project" and "AT&T shows off Ufi Space white box cell site gateway router based on OCP specifications").

Ciena sees the acquisition as a step forward for its Ciena’s Adaptive IP portfolio. Speaking during an analyst call to discuss the company’s fiscal third quarter results, Ciena President and CEO Gary Smith said the technology should improve Ciena’s play in metro and edge applications as well as 5G. Scott McFeely, Ciena’s senior vice president of global products and services, also noted that the deal brings them closer to an important customer in AT&T as well as provides them with engineering resources in the UK, where the company currently doesn’t have a similar capability.

“The addition of the Vyatta talent and assets to our Routing and Switching business will extend Ciena’s success in helping customers create virtualized networks and deploy new features faster and cost effectively across 5G, enterprise and cloud use cases,” McFeely was quoted as saying in the press release regarding the transaction.

“This agreement is a sign of the maturity of the ecosystem and encompasses years of innovation, collaboration and expertise,” add Andre Fuetsch, chief technology officer of network services at AT&T via the same release. “Our acquisition of the Vyatta assets in 2017 helped us virtualize 75% of our network and led to the development of the first telco-grade open-source network operating system. We’re looking forward to the continued use of Vyatta and the development of new use cases as a result of this transaction.”

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