Sonus shores up SDN capabilities with Treq Labs purchase

Sonus has reached a deal to acquire Treq Labs for $10.1 million, an acquisition that will bolster its portfolio with a new set of software defined networking (SDN) capabilities.

By acquiring Treq, Sonus will get new technology that it says it can use to optimize networks for voice, video and Unified Communications (UC) for both enterprise and service provider customers.

One of the advantages Sonus said that Treq's technologies bring to the table for enterprises is that it allows them to prioritize latency-sensitive traffic based on business rules. Likewise, the technology enables service providers to offer secure on-demand network services to their enterprise customers. By using a web-based portal, enterprise customers can quickly provision application-aware network services in minutes instead of weeks or even months.

Part of the motivation to acquire Treq was to have more flexibility to work with other vendors in driving SDN into their product sets to support various applications. 

Tony Scarfo, Executive Vice President, Product Management and Corporate Development for Sonus, told FierceTelecom that while it still enjoys a long-standing relationship with Juniper to integrate SDN into its product portfolio, they wanted a simpler method.

"We had spent a lot of time with Juniper looking at how we could take our intelligence about what is happening in the network from a voice and video standpoint and push that information down into the network so we can set up flows," Scarfo said. "That got us engaged with them and we were spun up in their MX router and then they acquired Contrail so we had to keep rejiggering our stuff, but then I came across Treq."

Scarfo added that "we were setting up voice and video and Treq understood the applications and what requirements the applications had and then taking that intelligence they use OpenFlow to open in."

One of the benefits of having Treq on board is that Sonus will still work with not only Juniper's Contrail SDN solution, but also with other vendors.

"We can continue to work with Contrail from an orchestration layer and use Treq to work with other vendors and anybody that can support OpenFlow and the fact that they could not only look up into the applications and what it needs for the network, but also look down and do discovery to understand the topology," Scarfo said. "Instead of setting up MPLS links, you could actually change the flows on a per-segment, per application, and per flow type set up and providing some redundancy and resiliency with understanding the network topology."

Treq also brings an impressive set of customers to the Sonus fold. The company's products have already been deployed in a number of large scale enterprise and service provider networks, including State Street, a leading global provider of financial services to institutional investors, and Pacnet, which is in the process of being acquired by Telstra.  

Under the terms of the agreement, Sonus has also entered into an Earn-Out Agreement whereby the company has agreed to issue up to an aggregate of approximately 6.6 million shares of common stock over a three-year period if aggregate revenue thresholds of at least $60 million are achieved by the SDN business during that period, and up to an aggregate of an additional approximately 11 million shares (17.6 million shares in total) if aggregate revenue thresholds of at least $150 million are achieved by the SDN business during that period.

For more:
- see the release

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This article was updated on Jan. 13 with additional information from Juniper.