Oracle today revealed plans to bolster its networking portfolio by buying Corente, a company that has developed software for programming network resources between data centers.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it should close later this year.

Corente lets businesses control aspects of their networks through a single software interface rather than forcing administrators to manually set configurations on individual pieces of hardware.

Oracle wants to use that technology to help customers set up networks fast.

“The combination [of Oracle and Corente] is expected to enable companies to quickly and securely provision and manage global private networks connecting to any site, over any IP network,” an Oracle slide deck on the acquisition states.

From there, it could become easier for Oracle customers to connect their on-premises data centers with Oracle’s public cloud resources.

Looking out further, perhaps many telecommunications companies such as Verizon or CenturyLink would be interested in the combined Oracle technology. They could use it to become brokers of multiple cloud services, Akshay Sharma, a Gartner analyst who covers networking and communications equipment, said in an interview with VentureBeat. “Then, down the road, Oracle can become one [cloud services broker] themselves,” Sharma said.

On a Corente data sheet, the company says it can “prioritize application traffic.” The capability contrasts with the traditional way of sending lots of information over networks without giving any thought to treating different applications in different ways. Networking hardware giant Cisco has been announcing solutions that can make networks more aware of the needs of applications, although not all of the new technology has become generally available yet.

Corente’s software is meant to be used to manage connections among data centers, not necessarily inside of a single data center. That specialty is known as wide-area networking (WAN). Viptela, a stealthy startup working on SDN over WANs, recently picked up $33 million in funding.

Generally speaking, Corente rides on a trend that’s taken hold in the past few years known as software-defined networking (SDN). Big enterprise-focused vendors such as Juniper and VMware have been making acquisitions to bring on SDN capabilities, and even Oracle itself made an SDN deal by buying Xsigo in 2012. The Xsigo acquisition gave Oracle new abilities to connect any virtual machine (a virtual slice of a physical server) to any network, storage, or other virtual machine.

Corente started in 2007, according to Oracle. Based in Bernardsville, N.J., the company has raised at least $1.9 million, according to a 2005 document on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Investors include Sofinnova Ventures and VantagePoint Capital Partners. British Telecom, Illinois Tool Works, and other service providers and enterprises have deployed Corente’s technology.


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