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Arbor snaps up Ellacoya to move out of security ghetto

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Network security tools firm Arbor has sealed a deal to acquire broadband service optimisation firm Ellacoya Networks. Terms of the deal, announced Thursday, were undisclosed.

Arbor specialises in protecting service provider networks from security threats ranging from DDoS attacks to the effects of botnet infestation. Its software technology also addresses issues such as traffic and routing instability.

Ellacoya makes packet inspection technology that looks deep into traffic flows to provide the ability to prioritise traffic on a per-subscriber and per-application basis. The technology helps ease the introduction of new services such as IPTV and digital video.

Arbor's technology, by contrast, looks more at traffic flows. The main clients for both Ellacoya and Arbor are large telcos.

Ellacoya is the sort of startup that traditionally falls to Cisco. Network startups used to anticipate, almost plan for, getting bought by Cisco a year or two down the line. Typically the network giant would offer share options valued at about $1m per employee. Arbor said the Ellacoya deal is part of larger expansion plans.

The deal moves Arbor away from being primarily a security player towards offering a broader range of traffic and service management products and services. Arbor reckons the combination of its traditional infrastructure security market with service control sales creates a $750m market opportunity in 2008, which it hopes will grow to $1.5bn by the end of this decade. ®

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