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Posts Tagged ‘Cisco acquisitions’

This morning, Cisco announced its intention to acquire Whippany, New Jersey-based WHIPTAIL for $415M. For those who don’t know WHIPTAIL, the Cisco press release describes the company as a leader in “high-performance, scalable solid state memory systems.”

However, if you look at the WHIPTAIL website, the company describes its products as “The First Family of High Performance Storage.” So, which one is it? Well, both really, as the company offers highly scalable, flash-based storage arrays, and if you look at the specs on these products, they’re fast. How fast? Well, WHIPTAIL can move data faster than the Buffalo Bills can choke away a fourth-quarter lead (I included this just for Duffy). I think Cisco is being careful in its choice of words, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

First, the WHIPTAIL products – the company has three main products to its storage family. The high-end system can scale up to 360TB of storage at 4 million IOPS. The low end of the product line is a product that ranges from 3-12 TB at 250K IOPS, so it has quite the range of from the low to high end. These systems aren’t designed to replace massive enterprise storage systems but rather to be used where speed of storage is critical. Bare metal applications, video transcoding and analytics, such as HANA, come to mind. The continued growth of digital content combined with the Internet of Things will increase demand for big data and analytics, requiring faster-performing data access, which is the value proposition of WHIPTAIL.

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This morning Cisco announced the intention to purchase privately held Cloupia for approximately $125 million in cash, adding to its long list of cloud-related acquisitions.

For those who don’t know Cloupia, the company sells management software to orchestrate and manage cloud (physical and virtual) infrastructure through a single pane of glass. Cloud is driving the need for converged infrastructure and the vendor industry has responded nicely with Cisco, EMC, Network Appliance, Dell, HP and others having participated in building converged infrastructure. However, managing converged infrastructure is significantly different than managing legacy infrastructure. The CAs and HPs of the world do a great job of managing static, physical infrastructure, but a gap exists with virtual and even a bigger gaps exists in managing physical and virtual in a single plane of glass. This is the gap that Cloupia is trying to fill with its products.

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Cisco added to its long list of acquisitions after recently plucking off Silicon Valley-based Virtuata. Virtuata is a provider of virtual machine and cloud security and will be incorporated into Cisco’s data center group, which is run by former Q-Fabric chief David Yen. No financial details were given but the company only has 15 people, so it’s likely to be a relatively small deal for Cisco.

This is typical of Cisco, which either buys large, market-leading firms like Tandberg or WebEx, or very small technology companies that can be dropped into existing business units. Considering the Obama administration has yet to grant a repatriation holiday, and is unlikely to prior to the election, this is likely to be what we will continue to see from Cisco regarding domestic acquisitions.

This move makes sense for Cisco for a number of reasons. First, security remains the biggest inhibitor to cloud and virtual environments, so adding a security product into the mix makes total sense. Virtuata is also a technology company, making integration into Cisco’s existing products such as its Unified Computing System (UCS) and Nexus-based Fabric much easier than if it had been a product company with a large install base.

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