Cisco acquires datacentre and cloud start up

Networking vendor Cisco has announced its intent to fully acquire start up datacentre and cloud solutions provider Insieme Networks.

In April 2012, Cisco made a $100m investment in Insieme Networks and agreed to commit an additional $35m in November 2012.

Upon the close of the transaction, Insieme will become a wholly-owned business of Cisco. The maximum potential payout as a result of Cisco’s acquisition is $863m, the firm added.

The firm said that Insieme’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) lineup will give firms a single platform for configuring switches to connect up virtualized systems. According to David Krozier, principal analyst, network infrastructure – telecoms at Ovum, Cisco is continuing to promote the role of hardware in delivering future high performance networks. He said the firm took great pains to distance itself from pure software based overlay virtualized networks in the datacentre, such as the Nicira technology that VMware acquired, Juniper’s Contrail, and Alcatel-Lucent’s Nuage.

“Ovum notes that while the 9000 Series switches can operate standalone, the features provided by the APIC controller require Cisco hardware.  While this may raise the hackles of those who believe future networks should be based on generic hardware platforms, this approach is unlikely to match the performance capabilities of ACI,” Krozier said.

He explained that Insieme’s ACI solution consists of: the 100 Gbps ready Nexus 9000 Series switches that run under a new optimized version of NX-OS and can support up to 1.92 Tbps of bandwidth capacity per slot. The 8-slot Nexus 9508 is available now, and other switches in the family will follow.

The application policy infrastructure controller (APIC) also supports a common policy framework that Cisco will extend to bring compute, storage, and network infrastructure under a common pane of glass for management and control, Krozier added.

“APIC uses a common application network profile similar to the service profile in Cisco’s UCS that will allow applications to be placed where they need to be instead of being tied to an IP address. APIC and the optimized NX-OS will be available in April 2014.”

Earlier this year, Cisco made a host of acquisitions in the telco space, including LTE small-cell specialist Ubiquisys, policy management solutions firm BroadHop and SON software provider Intucell.

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