The move shores up Cisco's Full Service Branch solution, which combines enhanced wide area network (WAN) connectivity with advanced network security, IP voice communications, and business application and video acceleration services on a common platform. Officials say Actona's technology will augment that offering by expanding the functionality of Cisco's branch office access router portfolio with intelligent network services.
"Actona's technology has a way to consolidate data that is typically housed at branch offices, and allows that information to be aggregated at the data center level," one official told Networking Pipeline. "By integrating branch information resources in this manner a lot of pressure can be taken off of the network and still provide local branches with the kind of access they were used to when those resources were maintained in local-area networks."
There is a significant amount of complexity associated with managing mission-critical data that is generated and maintained on desktops, laptops and workstations. Cisco believes that there is a growing market for automatically consolidating the management of that information among organizations that need to share, jointly back up, and archive the data in a way that ensures it is available to all appropriate members of the workforce. The Actona acquisition is seen as a way to strengthen Cisco's ability to serve the needs of organizations exploring ways to better manage their distributed branch offices. (Interesting note: Actona was founded in 2000 and has 48 employees in the United States and Haifa, Israel.)