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Cisco To Acquire Network Management Vendor for $97M

Cisco Systems took a step Tuesday toward the expansion of its network management portfolio with the planned acquisition of Sheer Networks, a privately held company that targets large enterprise and service provider customers.

Sheer Networks’ Dynamic Network Abstraction technology makes complex networks transparent and accessible to a broad range of management applications, according to a statement from Cisco. The San Jose, Calif.-based vendor plans to use the technology to create device, network and service-level management applications that work across multivendor networks. Cisco also intends to tap standards-based APIs to enable other hardware and software vendors to better interoperate with the Cisco applications, according to the statement.

The price tag for the proposed $97 million deal, scheduled to close in the first quarter of Cisco’s fiscal 2006, which begins Aug. 1, could be increased by as much as $25 million pending the outcome of attempts to meet development and product milestones after the close.

After the close of the acquisition, the Sheer Networks team will report into Cisco’s Network Management Technology Group, headed by Senior Vice President Cliff Meltzer.

San Jose-based Sheer Networks was founded in 1999 and has 100 employees. The acquisition is Cisco’s eighth this year.