5 Things For Partners To Know About Cisco's Skyport Systems Acquisition

Cisco's acquisition of Skyport Systems last week is the latest move by the networking giant in the hyper-converged space. Here are five things partners need to know.


Cisco Systems' hyper-convergence moves this week signal the networking behemoth's realization that one size almost certainly does not fit all when it comes to hyper-converged infrastructure.

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The company on consecutive days this week rolled out major enhancements to its HyperFlex platform, and saidthat it intends to acquire Skyport Systems, a privately held hyper-convergence startup backed by Cisco and other industry heavyweights.

Skyport markets cloud-managed hyper-converged systems with a bit of secret sauce in its recipe for security. Cisco Vice President for Corporate Business Development Rob Salvagno wrote in a blog this week that the company will be folded into Cisco's Data Center Computing Systems Product Group.

One of the key challenges of hyper-convergence and hybrid cloud architecture is that they can be difficult to secure, and the acquisition of Skyport allows Cisco to tackle that problem head on. Salvagno said Skyport's intellectual property is likely to be used across Cisco's portfolio.

Click through to see five things Cisco partners should know about the acquisition.


Skyport is privately held and was founded about five years ago, and the company has raised a total of about $67 million in funding. Much of the Mountain View, Calif.-based company's funding has come from Cisco Investments and Google Ventures, which pumped $30 million into the company in 2016. The company has also attracted investment from Intel and Index Ventures.

Security Checkpoint

Skyport calls its hyper-convergence systems "hyper-secured infrastructure." The company differentiates itself with a security system that essentially wraps security around each workload, designing security into its products rather than leaving it to security policies or encryption. The system makes workloads more difficult to breach and makes it suitable for running critical applications.

Diversified Portfolio

According to Salvagno, Cisco will use Skyport's intellectual property, as well as its "seasoned software and network expertise" in what he calls "priority areas [across] multiple Cisco portfolios." Salvagno said Skyport's team will join Cisco's Data Center Computing Systems Product Group, which is led by Senior Vice President Liz Centoni. Skyport employees will also end up in Cisco's Network Group led by General Manager Jonathan Davidson.

Sans Hardware

It appears that while Cisco is keen to roll Skyport's software into its wider portfolio, it will not use Skyport's appliance. In addition to Salvagno's assessment that Cisco will make use of Skyport's people and intellectual property, Skyport Product Chief Nils Swart tweeted this week, "Sadly the current product will not continue. Sincerely hope the technology will indeed find its place in a good line-up of (new?) Cisco products."

Flex Time

By acquiring Skyport, Cisco continues its move toward providing a flexible hyper-convergence portfolio that is able to suit the needs of a wide variety of customers. Also this week, the company introduced the most significant enhancements to its HyperFlex hyper-convergence platform since it was launched in 2016. HyperFlex is the result of Cisco's acquisition of hyper-convergence software firm SpringPath, and the company expects the latest updates to give that product line an advantage in the market by providing multi-cloud infrastructure that is highly scalable and able to host any application in any cloud.