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Cisco Gets Closer to Corvil

LAS VEGAS -- Interop -- A further indication that Irish startup Corvil is likely to be acquired by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has emerged here at the Interop tradeshow.

The clue is buried in a Cisco press release covering the expansion of its integrated services router portfolio, issued on Monday. The release cites enhanced Network Analysis Module (NAM) features [providing] bandwidth estimation in Cisco IOS 12.4 for user-defined quality of service (QoS).” (See Cisco Expands Router Portfolio.)

This "bandwidth estimation" feature is actually Corvil’s software agent, according to Pedro Colaco, Corvil’s vice president of product management and marketing. As such, it appears to confirm what Corvil has hinted at in the past -- that its technology has now ended up inside Cisco equipment as well as in Corvil’s own appliances (see Corvil: Another Cisco Secret?).

Cisco wasn't available to comment on this issue as this article went to press.

Cisco is already an investor in Corvil, which has developed technology for
removing the guesswork from capacity planning in IP networks. The technology samples traffic volumes every few milliseconds and then condenses large numbers of these measurements into a single message that is sent back to a network management system every five minutes. This is the same frequency with which routers typically send a single traffic measurement back to base -- a granularity that fails to help capacity planners work out how much bandwidth they need to provide in order to guarantee QOS without over-engineering their networks, according to Corvil.

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