Cisco Snaps Up Network Services Virtualization Specialist

Cisco Wednesday said it will acquire LineSider Technologies, a provider of network management software said to enable easier creation and deployment of cloud computing infrastructure. According to Cisco, LineSider's technology will allow it to offer faster and more efficient provisioning of network services in a virtual environment.

LineSider, based in Danvers, Mass., was founded in 2005 and is privately held. It focuses on enterprise customers, cloud providers and systems integrators with its flagship product OverDrive, a network services virtualization platform that offers real-time automation and control of network services.

Cisco was previously both a channel partner and a technology partner of the company, whose other strategic partners include Cisco allies like EMC and VMware.

"Cloud computing represents a significant opportunity for Cisco customers to create more effective business models and increase the operating efficiency of the network," said Jesper Andersen, senior vice president of Cisco's Network Management Technology Group, in a statement. "With the acquisition of LineSider, Cisco will gain a key component to helping customers make this shift. LineSider's advanced network management software integrates both physical and virtual network services with a policy-based approach and makes networks more flexible and responsive to change."

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Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Cisco expects the acquisition to close during the current quarter, the second of its fiscal 2011. Following the close, LineSider's team will join Cisco's Network Management Technology Group, according to Cisco.

According to an FAQ posted to Cisco's Web site, Cisco will fulfill the terms of LineSider's current customer contracts with no disruption, and in the future, will sell LineSider technology branded as Cisco.

Cisco's most recent 2010 acquisition was a video content management system company, ExtendMedia. The LineSider move continues Cisco's acquisitions streak that's gone more or less unabated for nearly two decades.