Feeds

Cisco pays $97m to pump networks full of its DNA

Sheer intelligence

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Hoping to turn data centers from smart to super-smart, Cisco has bought flashy start-up Sheer Networks for up to $122m.

The deal will see Cisco acquire some of the most bizarre marketing speak around along with complex networking software for shuffling data in an "intelligent" fashion. Sheer's entire pitch revolves around the metaphorical links between its networking products and tools used to unfurl the human genome. Sheer is so committed to this premise that its flagship product sells under the DNA (Dynamic Network Abstraction) brand.

We're not making this up.

"Just as leading scientists worldwide have succeeded in cracking the human genome, so Sheer Networks has decoded the network genome to identify and abstract the four basic elements of the network - forwarding tables, protocol stacks, interoperable interfaces and links - using these elements Sheer has constructed a library of three 'network genes' that can abstract any type of: Network element, Network technology, and Network service," the company tells us on its web site.

"Using these three fundamental gene types, Sheer has created the Dynamic Network Abstraction (DNA) layer, a software-based virtual network where Virtual Network Elements connected by Virtual Links simulate the flow of virtual packets.

"Sheer DNA hides the complexity of large, multi-vendor, multi-technology networks in a way that makes them transparent and accessible to a variety of OSS applications."

Hopefully, some boffins at Cisco deciphered that product description oddity and figured out what Sheer actually does before buying the firm.

Cisco will shell out $97m in cash and assumed options for Sheer; however, another $25m could be added to that price if Sheer meets "product milestones." Pending standard approvals, Cisco expects the acquisition to close during its first fiscal quarter of 2006.

"Our blueprint for Cisco network management includes a common services platform on which applications are delivered and the ability to support management applications from Cisco and other vendors," said Cliff Meltzer, a senior vice president at Cisco. "Sheer has a similar philosophy and parallel architecture which will accelerate our delivery of Cisco's next generation management platform and advanced applications to our Service Provider customers."

Cisco has been on quite the buying spree of late. Last week, it nabbed Danish networking entertainment devices firm Kiss Technology for $61m and last month it grabbed VPN start-up M. I. Secure for $13m cash.

Many will also remember Cisco's infamous merger talks with Nabisco. ®

Related stories

Check Point beefs up spyware defences
IBM does the application shuffle and catches Meiosys
Moseley mops up Proxim s assets
Oracle cures need for speed with TimesTen buy
Cisco pushes application optimisation

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.