VMware explains how its acquisition of networking startup Nyansa plays into its big new push into cybersecurity

VMware explains how its acquisition of networking startup Nyansa plays into its big new push into cybersecurity
  • Last week, VMware announced it would acquire the network analytics startup Nyansa.
  • With Nyansa, VMware plans to help customers secure and monitor their networks for suspicious activity and devices.
  • Acquiring Nyansa, as well as its most recent acquisitions of Pivotal and Carbon Black, can help customers with simplifying security and running their applications on any cloud or device.
  • Click here to read more BI Prime stories.

VMware is adding another company to its shopping list as it announced last week that it would acquire the network analytics startup Nyansa.


Nyansa builds technology that provides analytics to help companies see what's going on in their network and monitor for suspicious activity.

With Nyansa, VMware wants to create a "self-healing network," says VMware vice president and general manager Sanjay Uppal - one that automatically detects and responds to cyberattacks and other incidents that might affect the reliability of the network.

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Uppal says that it's another piece of VMware's big push into cybersecurity, where it believes that it can unify all the various different ways that the IT department needs to protect its infrastructure from harm under one banner.

"Security is a very complicated picture today for a business," Uppal told Business Insider. "How do you pick and choose across thousands of security solutions? We have a goal of simplifying security for enterprises."


The acquisition is expected to close sometime next quarter, and the terms were not disclosed. It came about after Nyansa and VMware started talking last year about a potential partnership.

"From time to time, you discover a pretty significant alignment in vision that can take the conversation from, let's partner and be independent companies, to let's combine forces," Nyansa CEO and co-founder Abe Ankumah told Business Insider. "The alignment is pretty significant."

'Our underlying strategy stays the same'

VMware has been bolstering its cybersecurity strategy through acquisitions and partnerships. Most recently, it closed acquisitions of Carbon Black and Pivotal for a total of $4.8 billion, which analysts see as a move to attract more developers and firmly establish itself as a force to be reckoned with in cybersecurity.

Uppal says that VMware is making these acquisitions to help customers adapt to the cloud and allow them to run their applications on any cloud or device.

"While all of these changes happen, our underlying strategy stays the same: to provide the best software infrastructure to run their business on any cloud, any device, any application," Uppal said. "Whether it's on the container side, or the security side, or the visibility side, these all fit into the bigger picture."


Uppal says that its acquisitions of Carbon Black and Nyansa both make security easier for customers, though in different ways. Where Carbon Black is designed to protect PCs and phones from viruses, malware, and other bad things - so-called endpoint security - Nyansa is specifically focused on protecting the network that connects them.

"Obviously being backed by a multibillion dollar company and disruptive companies like VMware only sets us up to serve the general market," Ankumah said. "We're combining forces with VMware and realizing this network edge vision. A company like VMware can only take it to much much higher heights."

A 'perfect fit'

Uppal said that he had been looking for a company like Nyansa to join up with VMware for a while, but most companies he saw required customers to buy specific hardware to make it all work. Nyansa, by contrast, can be used by any customer, on any cloud.

VMware learned of Nyansa through conversations with customers and partners, who spoke highly of that company. VMware also liked that Nyansa has attracted marquis customers like Tesla, Uber, and Lululemon, Uppal said.

"You come across the company, you start to track them a bit, and you actually get to know people within the company," Uppal said. "That's how these conversations got started. Then things accelerated. It was a perfect fit from a culture standpoint."


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