Fortinet to buy Coyote Point to merge security with application delivery

The company sees functions converging in data centers and cloud infrastructure

Network security appliance maker Fortinet will expand its offerings for application delivery by acquiring privately held Coyote Point Systems.

On Friday, the company announced a definitive agreement to buy Coyote Point for an undisclosed sum. Fortinet makes firewalls for small, medium-size and large businesses, while Coyote Point specializes in traffic management appliances for improving application performance. Fortinet said Coyote Point's products would complement its own.

Fortinet said it won't immediately change Coyote Point's products, sales channels or customer support, nor its own products. Coyote Point will maintain its headquarters in Millerton, New York, after the acquisition. Fortinet is based in Sunnyvale, California. It has about 1,800 employees and posted revenue of US$534 million last year.

Application delivery controllers have expanded beyond their original role of balancing application loads among servers to include security and other functions. Fortinet's security expertise, which includes 200 researchers investigating the latest threats, will set its ADC products apart from those of F5 and other competitors, said John Maddison, Fortinet's vice president of marketing.

Fortinet believes application security, network security and load balancing will converge into one appliance. That will let enterprises and cloud service providers save capital and operating costs, apply a single set of security policies and simplify management, Maddison said.

Fortinet resells an ADC from Array Networks as FortiBalancer. It bought Coyote Point partly because it wanted to own its ADC technology, Maddison said. Fortinet plans to phase out the OEM product from Array but keep the FortiBalancer name for its ADC products going forward, including ones it derives from Coyote Point's technology, according to Maddison.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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