JDS Uniphase buys itself a channel

JDS Uniphase has remade itself several times after the former Canadian carrier optical networking component giant crashed when the dot-com bubble burst a dozen years ago.

On Wednesday it made another move, this time into enterprise network and application performance management solutions by striking a deal to buy Network  Instruments for US$200 million.

Now headquartered in California, JDSU said that if the deal gets regulatory  approval it will strengthen the company as a key provider to the enterprise,  data centre and cloud networking markets.

The purchase would bring three of Network Instruments’ mail products to JDSU:

  • the Observer monitoring platform, including Observer Reporting Server,  Observer Infrastructure and Observer performance monitoring software;
  • the GigaStor Retrospective Analysis Appliance, which does time-based and  retrospective network analysis; and
  • the recently launched Matrix Network Monitoring Switch, which combines  filtering, de-duplication, packet trimming and outbound traffic routing.

JDSU “is not really an enterprise player,” said Zeus Kerravala, principal  analyst at ZK Research. “With the telco business being lumpy this is a good  market opportunity for them.”

With new technologies such as network virtualization and software-defined  networking (SDN) growing, network management tools will increasingly become  important in data centres, he said. In fact, he added, arguably such tools will  define the future of such technologies.

JDSU still makes optical components such as modulators and transceivers, but  it also makes lasers, network test tools, the PacketPortal cloud network  analytics software,  pigments and threads used in the making of currency,  and anti-counterfeiting tools for products.While it had previously maintained two head offices – one  in Ottawa and another in San Jose – JDS Uniphase announced on Thursday that it  will consolidate its head office operations to the

In October it reported a profit of US$300,000 on revenue of $429 million for  the quarter ending Sept. 28. That compared to net revenue of US$420.9 million  and a net loss of $11.6 million for the same period in 2012.

It still has a R&D facility in Ottawa.

Privately-held Network  Instruments, headquartered in Minneapolis, has about 125 employees and had  annual revenue of approximately $40 million. It opened a Toronto office in  2005.

Canadian customers have included Rogers Communications, SaskTel and SAIC  Canada.

There was no word in the announcement of the future of NI co-founder and CEO  Douglas Smith.

But in a statement he said that being bought by JDSU “will provide our  customers with considerable benefits. JDSU’s commitment to product innovation  and its leadership position with service providers will provide Network  Instruments with a strong entry into the carrier market for performance  management solutions.  In turn, our robust product line and strong  relationships with our enterprise channel partners will benefit JDSU as we bring  our products under the JDSU brand.”

JDSU and Network Instruments offer highly complementary product portfolios, the two  companies said. “As enterprise and carrier network performance management  requirements converge, driven by an ever-increasing number of connected mobile  devices and the need for improved visibility into application performance, JDSU  and Network Instruments are uniquely qualified to create new and differentiated  solutions for both markets.”

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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