Feeds

Cisco eyes the server with $250m Topspin buy

Deep data center invasion

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Cisco Systems has stretched even deeper into the data center by agreeing to acquire once high-flying server startup Topspin Communications.

Cisco will shell out close to $250m in cash and options for Topspin with the deal expected to close by July, pending standard approvals. The buy fits in with Cisco's core networking strategy in that the Topspin gear works as a type of intelligent switch sitting between many server and storage systems. Cisco, however, appears to be sending a message to rivals and partners that it's looking to handle more of the server and storage management functions than those dealt with by its current networking gear.

"The widespread adoption of server architectures such as blades, grid computing, and clustered applications is driving an emerging market opportunity within the data center," said Luca Cafiero, a SVP at Cisco. "As our customers build out these new computing environments, it is important that we deliver server networking technologies to fit their needs."

It's no secret that storage switch makers like Cisco, Brocade and McData have been looking to play a more major role in the data center. They're all coming out with "intelligent" networking products loaded with sophisticated software. This gear can perform some of the management functions typically done by a server or storage box.

With Topspin, Cisco kicks the play up to a whole new level.

The startup gained a lot of attention about two years ago when it jumped on the virtualization craze. Topspin's products could sit in a rack and look out over numerous servers. The hardware creates the fabled "pool" of server resources and connects that pool to storage systems. Basically, Topspin let administrators manage lots of hardware from a single, abstracted point.

Companies such as IBM, Dell, HP and Sun Microsystems have all shown interest in Topspin and partnered with the startup on projects. However, we've never run into too many Topspin customers. And the start-up has lost some of its luster in the last couple of years.

Cisco will now be able to complement its Ethernet and Fibre Channel switches with a pretty damn smart box. It's not hard to see Cisco building out more and more management software over time and trying to control the virtualization rush from a networking angle. ®

Related stories

Cisco to merge with Nabisco
Cisco pumps $750m into channel financing
Topspin hopes to hit winner with VFrame
IBM and Topspin link Infiniband lust

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
Docker kicks KVM's butt in IBM tests
Big Blue finds containers are speedy, but may not have much room to improve
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp
Stats analysis reckons we'll hit that point in just three years
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.