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Cisco Acquires vCider

Cisco is pleased to announce that it has acquired privately-held vCider. Based in Mountain View, California, vCider has expertise in the development of virtual network overlay technology for secure data center infrastructure. vCider will be integrated into Cisco’s Cloud Computing organization, reporting to Lew Tucker, chief technology officer, Cloud Computing, and will play an important role in the Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE) strategy, particularly in support of OpenStack.

OpenStack is a key pillar of Cisco’s open, multi-hypervisor, multi-stack Cloud computing strategy. Cisco joined OpenStack 18 months ago and has been a significant contributor to the OpenStack Quantum API track ever since.

With Quantum becoming a core OpenStack service, it’s clear that programmable networking is quickly becoming an important component in large scale, multi-tenant, cloud computing environments. Cisco’s Quantum plug-in is designed to give application developers increased programmability of both virtual and physical networks linking the world of cloud computing to the advanced capabilities of Cisco’s Open Networking Environment (ONE).

So where does vCider come in? The vCider team has created a multi-tenant distributed virtual network controller. vCider’s code and technology will be integrated into our current development efforts of the OpenStack Quantum network service.

Mergers and acquisitions along with investments remain a key part of Cisco’s build, buy, and partner innovation framework and supports our strategy of providing best-in-class solutions for our customers. The vCider acquisition is well-aligned to our strategic goals to develop innovative virtualization/cloud technologies, while also cultivating top talent.

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Cisco Acquires Virtuata

Cisco is pleased to announce that it has acquired privately held Virtuata. Based in Milpitas, Calif., Virtuata provides innovative capabilities for securing virtual machine level information in data centers and cloud environments. Together, Cisco and Virtuata will enable consistent and enhanced security for virtual machines allowing customers to accelerate the deployment of multi-tenant, multi-hypervisor cloud infrastructures.

Cloud and virtualization are significant disrupters in the market. When customers move to these environments, security concerns arise where infrastructure is shared across multiple applications, business units or even organizations. As more and more business applications move to virtualized platforms, security and isolation become necessary conditions at the virtual machine level. This acquisition is highly complementary to Cisco’s vision of a unified data center that securely connects people and businesses with applications and data through virtual and cloud environments.

The Virtuata acquisition reinforces Cisco’s build, buy, partner innovation framework and supports our strategy of providing best-in-class solutions for our customers. It is well-aligned to our strategic goals to develop innovative virtualization, cloud and security technologies, while also cultivating top talent. The Virtuata team will join Cisco’s Data Center Group led by David Yen, senior vice president, Data Center Group.

As we continue to use all of Cisco’s assets to drive innovation, acquisitions such as Virtuata will help bring additional top talent, new technology, and unique business models into Cisco. The Virtuata acquisition reinforces Cisco’s commitment to deliver an intelligent network by providing market leading infrastructure across the data center.

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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire BNI Video

Today, Cisco announces the acquisition of BNI Video, an emerging supplier of video back-office and content delivery network (CDN) analytics capabilities to service providers. This announcement is another step forward in Cisco’s leadership in video, one of Cisco’s five strategic priorities. We will continue to drive growth in this important and exciting market through internal innovation, complemented by acquisitions like BNI Video.

In fact, BNI Video is one in a line of strategic acquisitions to accelerate Cisco’s growth and differentiation in video.  Over the last year and a half, Cisco has acquired ExtendMedia and Inlet Technologies, which added video content management and adaptive bit rate capabilities to our portfolio, respectively.  BNI Video brings back-office video session management and control expertise to Cisco—key elements involved in helping to efficiently deliver ‘TV Everywhere’ services. Together, these additions to Cisco’s video solutions will help service providers in their transition to deliver more powerful on-demand video services and experiences to customers.  This move further demonstrates Cisco’s commitment to our service provider customers and our Videoscape strategy. Additionally, with Boost headquarters in Boxborough, this acquisition will continues Cisco’s ongoing effort to grow our already strong presence in the greater Boston area on top of recent acquisitions such as Starent Networks and LineSider.

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Does Enterprise IT need a M&A Strategy?

In the past I’ve written about the classic challenge within Enterprise IT, and specifically within the Data Center, that 70-80% of the resources are allocated to “legacy” activities. This obviously leaves very little time to work on new technology-centric innovations to drive the business. Or to put a different way, “IT only does innovation on Friday”.

The McKinsey Quarterly recently had an interesting article about reshaping IT management, where they introduce the concepts “Factory IT” and “Enabling IT”. The premise being that the focus of the Factory IT (70% of the activities) groups should be about cost-reduction, scale, standardization and simplification. The Enabling IT (30%, hopefully growing) should be focused on innovative ways to enable the business to grow. And the management of those groups doesn’t necessarily have to the same, since they’d have different objectives. Read More »

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