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Zeus: A Takeover Target?

LAS VEGAS -- Interop -- After Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) decided to cough up nearly half a billion dollars to acquire Peribit Networks Inc. and Redline Networks Inc., there is now growing speculation about who could be next on the traffic management hitlist.

U.K. startup Zeus Technology is starting to attract attention, and analysts believe the firm could make good acquisition fodder as other vendors look to follow Juniper's lead.

Redline and Zeus are similar companies,” says R. Lynn Nye, president of analyst firm APM Advisors, citing Zeus’s ability to package up application traffic right next to users’ servers. Both firms improve HTTP compression and offload a lot of the TCP compression from the servers, he adds.

Nye, who describes these technologies as “application front ends,” believes that the next vendor to step into this space is likely to be Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). “Cisco needs to address this issue, whether they buy a company or develop" the technology, he says. “It’s a hole in their portfolio.”

Zeus started life selling Web server software back in the Nineties. At one stage, it was held up as a shining example of a successful startup, although it failed to achieve an "exit" in terms of getting acquired or staging an IPO.

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