Cisco has acquired vCider, a provider of virtual network overlay technology to support its Open Network Environment (ONE) strategy. VCider will become part of the company’s cloud computing division and support Cisco’s role in the OpenStack cloud project.
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The financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The acquisition of the virtual network company comes at a time when programmable networking is becoming an important component in large scale, multi-tenant, cloud computing environments.
“The vCider team has created a multi-tenant distributed virtual network controller,” said Hilton Romanski, vice president and head of corporate business development at Cisco on the company’s blog post.
“VCider’s code and technology will be integrated into our current development efforts of the OpenStack Quantum network service,” Romanski said.
OpenStack is a key part of Cisco’s open, multi-hypervisor, multi-stack cloud computing strategy. Cisco became part of the OpenStack cloud computing project in February 2011 and has been contributing to the OpenStack Quantum API track since then.
The goal of OpenStack -- the open source cloud computing project -- is to support interoperability and allow businesses to migrate services from one cloud provider to another. It is an initiative by The NASA and Rackspace in 2010.
Software defined networking (SDN) and Cisco
Experts think Cisco’s acquisition of vCider is to boost both its network virtualisation and cloud computing strategies as well as boosting its presence in the software defined networking (SDN) area.
“Cisco is taking the long path to build its cloud story and I mean it in a good way,” said Mahmoud Magdy, a senior virtualisation architect focusing on Microsoft, VMware, Citrix and Symantec technologies. “First there was the OpenStack initiative then partnering with EMC (which has VMware) and now it is adding SDN with vCider acquisition.”
Adding all this to Cisco UCS platform will mean Cisco would have tools to create the right cloud story from a hardware point of view, Magdy explained.
SDN is an approach to networking in which control is decoupled from hardware and assigned to a software application -- a controller. SDN is sometimes referred to as the "Cisco killer" because it allows network engineers to support multi-vendor networking fabric and application-specific integrated circuits.
Although Cisco ONE is the company’s initiative to provide customers with a choice of protocols, industry standards, and deployment models that are SDN-friendly, the vCider acquisition will help it bolster its position in the SDN market.
In July, VMware acquired network virtualisation company Nicira Networks validating the future of SDN as a technology.
HP also announced that is releasing range of new products with built-in SDN capabilities earlier this week.
“SDNs are still new and standard are still being formulated, but we will be there,” Magdy added.