HP Snaps Up ConteXtream

SDN Specialist Counts Comcast as Investor, Customer
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Hewlett Packard has struck a definite agreement to acquire ConteXtream, a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of OpenDaylight-based software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) products, and a card-carrying member of HP’s  OpenNFV initiative.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the deal will help HP push further into SDN and NFV, technologies that are factoring into cable product roadmaps as MSOs look add efficiencies to their networks through virtualization and away from purpose-built hardware.  

ConteXtream, maker of an SDN controller platform, claims to have products deployed with wireless and MSO networks spanning more than 50 million subscribers. Telenor Group and Comcast, which is also an investor in ConteXtream and recently became the first service provider member of OpenDaylight, are among ConteXtream’s known deployment partners.

“ConteXtream’s open SDN controller platform complements HP’s NFV expertise and telecommunications and IT experience,” Saar Gillai, SVP and GM, NFV at HP, explained in this blog post about the deal. “This acquisition will further strengthen HP’s leadership in the fast-growing NFV market, which some analysts expect to grow to $11B by 2018.”

Gillai added that ConteXtream will become part of HP’s Communications Solutions Business, and that ConteXtream’s current CEO, chairman, and co-founder, Nachman Shelef, will continue to lead the ConteXtream business within HP. Shelef will report to Gillai.

“We’re moving away from being tied to dedicated machines to having a resource pool with automated, self-service mechanisms,” Gillai noted. “In the networking world, there are countless functions – firewall, caching, optimization, filtering etc. – and a bunch of inflexible hardware to do those things. NFV is about saying, ‘Why can’t we put these various functions in the cloud? Why does each function need to be on specialized and dedicated hardware?’”

Other ConteXtream investors include Verizon, Benhamou Global Ventures, Gemini Israel Funds, Norwest Venture Partners and Sofinnova Ventures. Founded in 2006, ConteXtream has raised $23.8 million via three rounds, according to CrunchBase.

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