Both Radware and Nortel issued press releases yesterday that kick off a process that has been rumored for some time. 

Originally news outlets were reporting that Radware was going to purchase Nortel's Metro Ethernet switching business.  When I heard that, it just didn't sound right and prompted me to write this blog entry.  As it turns out, it was the Alteon business that Radware was targeting - the Metro Ethernet rumor just didn't make sense.

Since Nortel is in bankruptcy, the Radware announcement will trigger an auction process that will allow any other interested parties to bid for the Alteon business.  So, it's not a done deal yet.

If Radware is successful in the bidding process, I'm not sure how existing Alteon customers will react.  Customers would be going from a ship that is sinking to one that lost $7.1 million on revenues of $24.9 million last quarter.  Radware's net loss for all of 2008 was $31 million, up from $12 million in 2007.  The sum of Alteon and Radware's market share will still put them in a single digit range.

Many of the customers who purchased Alteon in the past will have done so because of Nortel being behind the product.  I believe that F5 can provide a better alternative for customers that want the best in technology, support and financial stability in this space.