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IBM snaps up DNS specialist NS1

And in a coup for NS1's leadership team IBM will also...

IBM has agreed to buy network automation and observability specialist NS1 for an undisclosed sum – the latest acquisition in the series of 30+ since 2020 under acquisitive IBM CEO Arvind Krishna.

New York-headquartered NS1 supports customers with traffic routing and DNS redundancy amongst other services and over the years has stolen significant work from Oracle Dyn (now part of OCI).

Under the deal NS1 employees will join IBM Software. NS1 affiliate NetBox Labs, born from its work with open source NetBox – a network monitoring tool that can track power systems, cabling, VLANs and IP addresses – will separate from NS1 as part of this transaction; IBM is investing in that company separately.

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“What a day!” said an understandably enthused NS1 founder and CEO Kris Beevers  in a post full of a healthy number of words like “thrilled”, “excited” and “proud” –  Beevers appears to have managed to pull the rare trick of selling up one company whilst retaining independence for another with open source roots in one move.

“With backing from IBM and other great investors, and the full NetBox Labs team joining the new company, we’ll be well funded and better positioned than ever to accelerate our mission to make it easier to build and manage complex networks” he said, adding that “Today’s announcement certainly marks an exciting milestone for NetBox Labs. We will increase our investment in both the commercial NetBox Cloud offering and the NetBox and Orb open-source communities. We’re fired up to pick up the pace of product development and deliver even more great tools and capabilities to our rapidly growing customer base…”

(Orb is another NS1 open source project that the company published in 2021. Orb is a dynamic edge observability platform built to help organisations to understand their networks, distributed applications and traffic-flows in real-time. Extraction of signals for takes place directly at the edge through the pktvisor agent, which can dynamically tap into network traffic streams so that users can conduct deep analysis on data at the edge to extract important signals for what NS1 described a the time as “distributed business intelligence.”)

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2023 and is subject to customary closing conditions.

Other IBM acquisitions over the past 12 months include sustainability performance management firm Envizi, telco consulting firm Sentaca, Azure specialist Neudesic, attack surface management startup Randori, data observability company Databand, and digital product engineering firm Dialexa and many more.

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