Cloud computing is driving the transition to converged infrastructure. At the same time, there's a marked need for simplified management systems across compute, storage, network and virtualization functions.
Cisco hopes to better tap into those market demands with its latest acquisition. The networking giant just bought Cloupia, a privately held software company that automates converged data center infrastructure. Cloupia's innovation promises to help enterprises and service providers simplify deployment and configuration of physical and virtual resources from one management console.
Cisco will pay approximately $125 million in cash and retention-based incentives in exchange for all shares of Cloupia. Cisco will also bring Cloupia employees into the fold.
The Cisco Cloud Puzzle
In the acquisition announcement, David Yen, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Data Center Business Group, said Cisco's data center strategy is based on the premise of making it easier for customers to deploy a unified and integrated infrastructure that is efficient, fast and flexible.
"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," Yen said. "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."
Demystifying Cloud Building
Specifically, Cisco said Cloupia's infrastructure management software enhances its Unified Computing System and Nexus switching portfolio with a single "pane-of-glass" view into the automation of compute, network, storage, virtual machine, and operating system resources.
When combined with data center management solutions like Cisco UCS Manager, Cisco said Cloupia allows enterprises and service providers to manage pools of computing power, network services, storage and virtual machines as a unified whole in order to deploy and deliver IT services more rapidly and at lower costs.
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research, said Cloupia is a good buy for the networking giant -- and probably won't be the last in this space.
"All the focus on cloud has driven the need for a converged infrastructure," Kerravala told us. "When you look at the old-school management tools, they are very focused on managing physical infrastructure. A lot of the newer management tools, like VMware, focus on managing virtual infrastructure. Building a cloud is dependent on both.
"Cloupia helps simplify the process of building a cloud. It's a bit of a different strategy for Cisco, who for years never really paid much attention to management software," Kerravala said. "But over the last couple of years Cisco has invested a lot into management tools and I think they finally understand that IT is a lot more complex now."