Feeds

Cisco eyes the server with $250m Topspin buy

Deep data center invasion

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.