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10 most important networking acquisitions of 2015

This was a big year for mergers and acquisitions in the networking industry. Here are the ones that are most likely to have the biggest long-term impact on the industry.

Check Point Software acquires Hyperwise and Lacoon

Although these were small acquisitions (both in the $80 million range), they were notable as Check Point rarely makes acquisitions.

Check Point has been one of the leaders in combatting threats that go through a firewall, but more hackers are now finding ways to get around perimeter security. These acquisitions help Check Point’s customers fight the security fight on other fronts.

Hyperwise’s SandBlast technology hunts down malware that evades sandboxing mitigation solutions.

Lacoon is a mobile security solution for Android and Apple devices. Mobile device management (MDM) has been a hot market over the past five years, and Check Point hasn’t been able to participate in it. Lacoon’s differentiator is that it has a cloud-based analytic engine.

Cisco's security acquisitions

Cisco, the industry’s largest security vendor, was lagging behind many of its competitors just a few years ago. This year was a big one for Cisco security, spending more than $1 billion in two major acquisitions.

In June, Cisco announced plans to acquire OpenDNS for $635 million, an important component of the Security Everywhere initiative that Cisco announced at Cisco Live in June. OpenDNS is a cloud service that protects customers from connecting to dangerous websites by offering security DNS services.

In October, Cisco announced it will acquire long-time partner Lancope for about $450 million. Cisco has been positioning the network as both a security sensor and mediator, and Lancope’s analytics, visibility, and security intelligence fit that vision nicely.

HP acquires Aruba Networks

HP, or HP Enterprise as it’s known now, announced in February it was acquiring Aruba Networks for $3 billion. This was a significant move for HPE for a number of reasons. First, the company does have a broad networking portfolio, but it did lack a credible wireless solution. Aruba has been duking it out with Cisco for technology leadership for years, and has a great portfolio that includes a robust management software, strong integrated security, analytic tools, and everything else needed to help its customers maximize the potential of Wi-Fi. Additionally, HPE inherits some great talent, including Aruba CEO Dominic Orr, to run HP Networking, and Aruba’s founder and CTO Keerti Melkote.

Avago acquires Broadcom

Avago’s $37 billion acquisition of rival semiconductor manufacturer Broadcom was one of the largest technology purchases of all time.

Avago has strength in wireless communications, enterprise storage, wired infrastructure, and industrial equipment. Broadcom chips are used primarily in wired networking devices and Apple and Samsung smartphones. The combined organization will be the third largest US semiconductor supplier, behind Intel and Qualcomm, and sixth largest in the world.



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