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Networking giant Cisco announced today that it is acquiring privately held cloud software vendor Cloupia for $125 million.
Cloupia develops infrastructure management software for automating data center infrastructure. The company's core product is the Cloupia Unified Infrastructure Controller (CUIC), which is a vendor neutral management and provisioning tool for both virtual and physical infrastructures.
The Cloupia technology will be combined into Cisco's Data Center Group, which includes the UCS server platform. Cisco already has a management platform for UCS called UCS Central, which was recently improved with a new release that provides for management of up to 10,000 servers.
Cisco's overall data center strategy is about enabling a unified physical and virtual infrastructure.
"This strategy involves the delivery of the industry’s most comprehensive data center networking portfolio, which includes physical and virtual products that support multiple hypervisors and storage stacks," David Yen, senior VP and general manager, Cisco Data Center Business Group, said in a statement. "The addition of Cloupia's automation software enhances the efficiency of such unified data center infrastructures, helping to accelerate the transition from physical to cloud environments more quickly and effectively."
Hilton Romanski, VP and Head of Corporate Business Development at Cisco, added that Cloupia’s products will integrate into the Cisco data center portfolio through UCS Manager, UCS Central, and the Nexus 1000V. The Nexus 1000V is Cisco's virtual switching platform. In Romanski's view the integration of Cloupia will strengthen Cisco's overall ecosystem strategy by providing open APIs for integration with an array of both partners and developers.
ISI analyst Brian Marshall commented that, in his view, the acquisition of Cloupia by Cisco reflects the growing importance of automation/management capabilities as the industry gradually moves to software-defined datacenters.
The acquisition of Cloupia isn't the first such automation acquisition that Cisco has done in recent years. In 2009, Cisco acquired Tidal Software for $105 million. Tidal builds workload automation software that Cisco continues to develop. Cisco also has its own Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) solution that includes technology assets from Tidal as well as other prior acquisitions.