Looking More Closely at HP's Acquisition of ConteXtream

Image Attribution: Flickr

HP has announced on its blog that it has purchased ConteXtream. HP has made it clear that it wants to become a force within cloud data centers. With HP’s already emerging position within the Network Function Virtualization field, the acquisition of ConteXtream seems like a no-brainer.
What exactly is Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and how can it help service providers? HP has indicated that it will market its new ConteXtream product to communications service providers.
Traditionally, data centers would use hardware to perform network functions such as packet optimization, firewall and filtering. When organizations choose to buy hardware to facilitate these tasks, there is an inherent disadvantage in doing so.
Traditional network functions that are serviced by hardware eats up man hours, server room space and overhead. With service providers operating on such thin margins as it is, virtualizing these functions and putting them in the cloud helps communication service providers regain an edge on price.
Network Function Virtualization also gives organizations the ability to provide custom tailored setups for each of their client’s requirements without having to build out additional data center infrastructure for each individual client.
Since HP operates the OpenNFV Program that has set forth standards and best practices for NFV, the acquisition of ConteXtream seems like a natural next step for HP. In fact, ConteXtream became a part of the OpenNFV community earlier this year.
ConteXtream is headquartered in Mountain View, CA. The company had emerged as a leader within the software defined networking field since its inception. HP says in its blog post that ConteXtream has been implemented by “a number of major networks across the globe.”
Nachman Shelef, the CEO of ConteXtream, will organizationally remain a part of project. HP reports that Shelef will report to Saar Gillai, Senior Vice President and General Manager of HP’s NFV Unit.