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NetApp Buys What EMC Wouldn't

Although the big acquisition buzz yesterday was about NetApp looking to widen its value to virtual infrastructures via its purchase of Akorri, I was more intrigued by Cisco's announcement that it had completed its acquisition of LineSider Technologies, a low-profile company founded in 2005 that got a head start on the cloud craze with its OverDrive product, which automates network services so the network becomes "fluid and responsive" to user demands.

More specifically, LineSider says OverDrive streamlines cloud environments and reduces network operation costs by ensuring that applications receive the network resources they require any time by provisioning them without costly, invasive, manual intervention. The company employs a policy-based approach which "automatically responds to pre-determined business scenarios and provides maximum performance across networking products and service delivery platforms." This approach eliminates the need to burn time and money every time an application, computer or storage resource changes in virtualized data centers, which is frequently, since they are typically characterized by dynamic movement between physical locations or network segments.

Just as NetApp was looking to become more competitive in virtual environments, so too was EMC in May of last year when it announced a collaboration with LineSider aimed at automating EMC's Atmos cloud computing infrastructure. At the time, EMC was full of predictable praise for its new business partner. It would be interesting to know why the relationship soured and EMC didn't eventually buy LineSider, which some seven months later was apparently more highly prized by its arch competitor, NetApp. Using a baseball metaphor, it's like trading one of your best prospects to another team in your division.

According to LineSider, Cisco will sell LineSider as a Cisco product, and existing customer products will continue to be serviced as they are today. Cisco will also continue to fulfill the terms if LineSider's current customer contracts.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 01/13/2011 at 12:48 PM


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