Cisco indicates intent to buy Socio Labs, Sedona Systems

Network giant aims to purchase developer of technology to deliver automation for routed optical networking, and modern event technology platform provider

Cisco has entered into an agreement to buy a routed optical networking technology provider and a virtual platform on which to host virtual events.

In the first case, Cisco has agreed to purchase Sedonasys (Sedona Systems), whose NetFusion technology is said to be market leader for the hierarchical controller (HCO) that enables multi-supplier, multi-domain automation, and software-defined networking. Cisco describes HCO as “the brain” that enables network transformation such as 5G network slicing, routed optical networking, and disaggregation.

The Sedona NetFusion platform is the first to deliver complete network abstraction and control, allowing communications service providers (CSPs) to manage their networks across domains, suppliers, layers and myriad technologies, all as one single network.

As a platform, NetFusion provides service-to-fibre visibility based on real-time data from operating network domains, including 5G, converged IP and optical core, access and aggregation. It automatically discovers the packet and transport layers of a network and stitches all layers and domains together, performing deep analytics to optimise and automate network control. These advanced analytical capabilities can save precious time and resources, says Cisco.

With Sedona NetFusion joining its Crosswork portfolio, Cisco said it could now deliver the most advanced network automation platform for its routed optical networking system. This means that CSPs can gain real-time, dynamic control of IP and optical multi-supplier networks together, moving from manual operations across siloed teams and technologies to a completely automated, assured network managed through a single pane of glass, it said. 

In future, Crosswork and Sedona NetFusion will be combined to provide a real-time replica of the entire network to predictively manage any changes to the deployment, connectivity and activation status of all network inventory. Through this, operators will be able to preview optimisation, assurance and changes, and then commit them as needed.

Kevin Wollenweber, Cisco vice-president, product management service provider network systems, said: “The journey to reinvent the internet will take time. Modernising operations is vitally important to changing the recurring costs of operating networks of massive scale. Typically, it cost $5 to operate for every dollar spent on equipment annually. That must change.

“Together, Cisco’s Crosswork network automation and Sedona’s NetFusion unify and modernise optical and IP operations. We are excited to share all the possibilities with routed optical networking, cross work and Sedona to help our customers grow revenue, reduce costs and mitigate risk.”

By contrast, Cisco’s second planned acquisition, privately held, US-based Socio Labs, is an event technology platform designed to provide event organisers with what they need to successfully host in-person, virtual or hybrid events.

Cisco will work with Socio Labs to extend its Webex Events beyond meetings, webinars and webcasts to also include large-scale, multi-session hybrid events and conferences. This, it believes, will enable live streaming, sponsorship, networking and advanced analytics, along with continuous engagement before, during and after events with Webex features such as polling, Q&A, chat and real-time translation.

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