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Cisco Gets Cloupia, Meraki; Dell Buys Gale Technologies

For a while now I have been complaining that Cisco needs to do something to reinvent itself and that it is lagging behind many other companies in our IT industry which are all try to carve their own space in the new IT. So, just like that, as if someone at Cisco wants to tell me, “Oh yeah, Eli? Well here you go!” Cisco makes two acquisitions -- Cloupia and Meraki -- and frankly I am not sure which one to be excited about more. I will say that they are both fantastic pickups and will go a long way in the Cisco reinvention process. Cisco is not done yet, however. This analyst believes that Cisco will inevitably acquire a storage company in 2013 and I am betting it will be NetApp but we will discuss this a bit closer to the end of the year as we make the 2013 predictions that y'all love so much.

Meanwhile, another company undergoing a massive reinvention effort, Dell, has also picked up an excellent automation and orchestration company in Gale Technologies.

At the beginning of 2012 I started blogging heavily about converged infrastructures and how they will enable the private cloud. I also emphasized the point that the traditional method of acquisition will soon fade away and that these stacks, these PODs of physical resources will be sold pre-configured, pre-validated, pre-tested and supported as a unit. I was bashed by my own people and cursed for daring to suggest that things are changing. Lo and behold, at the end of 2012, the emphasis is on automation and orchestration for converged infrastructures in particular, albeit, many of these tools will support different manufacturer stacks as well.

Cisco's pickup of Cloupia and Dell's pickup of Gale Technologies falls in this space. With Cloupia, Cisco takes a giant leap in its automation and orchestration of physical resources all the way to virtualized resources. If the very essence of clouds are automation, then Cisco and Dell have nabbed two companies that are leaders in that space. Now you can truly manage your physical converged infrastructures and virtual resources from a single pane of glass.

I wonder what EMC and VMware will say when and if Cisco decides that it wants to replace UIM with the new Cisco Cloupia solution in VBLOCK. Who knows? Maybe they will come to a friendly agreement of giving the customer a choice of management tools. Both Cloupia and Gale technologies were on my radar and favorites in this space and I am glad they were picked up by these A players.

What about Meraki? Talk about an expensive acquisition, Cisco paid for Meraki just about what VMware paid for Nicira, except if you are thinking that Meraki is Cisco's answer to Nicira, you would be mistaken. Meraki is a very cool cloud networking management technology which allows you to manage your network devices completely from the cloud. Meraki comes with a complete set of hardware like Wireless AP, switches and more that all communicate with the cloud, download their configurations and off they go. Meraki also simplifies the complicated tasks traditionally associated with managing, scaling, monitoring and optimizing a network. It offers profiles for common tasks. For instance, if you want to setup a VPN or a wireless AP, you no longer need to know command line interface or spend an extended amount of time implementing that solution -- Meraki automates it and gives you more time to do things that matter.

Meraki in my opinion represents a true mindset change at Cisco, a true shift and embracing of the cloud era, one where physical hardware is not the main focus.

Are you a Meraki, Cloupia or Gale Technologies customer, I want to hear your comments. What do you think of these solutions?

Posted by Elias Khnaser on 11/26/2012 at 3:02 PM


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