Cisco Buys Cloupia to Manage Virtual Infrastructure

Cisco’s Nexus modules.

Cisco has acquired Cloupia, a privately held software company that automates converged data center infrastructure, allowing enterprises to simplify the deployment and configuration of physical and virtual resources from a single management console. The pickup will be especially key as the company moves to complement its Nexus switch line with virtualized services.

Final price for the buy was $125 million in cash and “retention-based incentives” in exchange for all Cloupia’s stock shares, according to Cisco. The deal will close in the second quarter of Cisco’s fiscal 2013.

Cisco’s own blog posting suggested that the acquisition “benefits Cisco’s Data Center strategy by providing single ‘pane-of-glass’ management across Cisco,” and that Cloupia’s assets will integrate into the Cisco data center portfolio “through UCS Manager, UCS Central, and Nexus 1000V, strengthening Cisco’s overall ecosystem strategy by providing open APIs for integration with a broad community of developers and partners.”

Robert Lloyd, president of development and sales, may have tipped the purchase on Cisco’s earnings call earlier this week:

“If we support any hypervisor, any orchestration and management layer, any storage partnership, and we do so with really tightly integrated solutions, we’re solving the problem that customers are challenged with,” he said. “We’re going to combine the N1K, the Nexus 1000D with a series of virtualized services, virtualized WAAS, virtualized routing, virtualized security and not those to the physical networks that our customers have relied on across any hypervisor, that’s actually what our customers want us do.”

For its first fiscal quarter of 2013, Cisco said it grew profits 17.8 percent to $1.8 billion, while revenue increased by 5.5 percent to $11.9 billion. Data center revenues grew by 61 percent. The company added that it now holds the number-two position in the x86 blade servers category in the United States, and the number three position worldwide.

What are Cisco’s plans for the data center? Cement partnerships, CEO John Chambers said on the earnings call: “In terms of opening up, however, the relationships, you are seeing us move with Citrix, and you saw the first of a series announcement there. You are going to see us get closer to players like NetApp’s and Red Hat, probably Microsoft, IBM if they’ll have us. And you will see us do much what VMware has done in terms of an open approach to the market, supporting all four hypervisors, multiple players on the stock, et cetera.”

Chambers added that he continues to believe that hardware will drive the communications space, particularly ASIC-driven solutions. “ We don’t miss market transitions,” he said. “We will get it right ahead of people, either cloud and where we’re today in the data center, or IP telephony or the role that our business models are going change in search matter, where we very quickly adjust within it.”


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