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Cisco continues carrier software push with $175M acquisition

  • Cisco (CSCO) is buying Tail-f Systems, a Swedish provider of network orchestration software for carriers, for $175M in cash + retention incentives.
  • Tail-f's software enables the rapid provisioning of apps/services over networks featuring hardware and virtual appliances from multiple vendors. Its offerings can be used to enable SDN implementations (likely of particular interest to Cisco), but can also work with more conventional networks.
  • Light Reading notes AT&T and Deutsche Telekom are Tail-f clients - both are hatching big SDN initiatives that present challenges for Cisco - and that its revenue is believed to be below $30M. CEO Fredrik Lundberg insists Tail-f will continue its multi-vendor support post-acquisition.
  • The purchase follows Cisco's 2012 acquisitions of network management/planning software firm Cariden and policy control software vendor BroadHop, and provides a fresh use for its offshore cash. Cisco has set a goal of doubling its software sales from 2012-2017.
  • Carrier routing archrival Juniper bought network management software firm WANDL last year. Cyan (CYNI) is an independent player in the network orchestration space.
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