With the acquisition of LineSider Technologies, Cisco plans to aid its enterprise and cloud-bound service provider customers in their pursuit of superior network provisioning capabilities. LineSider Technologies provides network management software that integrates both physical and virtual network services with a policy-based approach that, according to Cisco, makes networks more flexible and responsive to change.
The deal for the privately held LineSider Technologies is expected to close within the next 60 days, at which time the LineSider team will become part of Cisco's Network Management Technology Group. The LineSider Overdrive Network Services Virtualization Platform is designed to simplify network management by abstracting the actual commands from the goals of a task.
Overdrive discovers network devices and builds a model of the customer's network, and, with fine tuning, the customer can start making changes through the policy engine. Unlike plain-vanilla cloud offerings from companies such as Amazon, the Cisco/LineSider tandem should offer service providers multi-tenant capabilities with all the bells and whistles that enterprise customers demand, including automated provisioning, scalability, load balancing and security.
Cisco has been working with LineSider in the labs and with early client engagements for the last six to nine months but stated that they wanted more control. Cisco believes it can add significant resources, plus gain control over the roadmap, once LineSider is part of the company.
Analyst Charles King, of Pund-IT, says there is an increasing shift toward developing and delivering products that can be used across both physical and virtual assets, similar to what has been happening in the server and storage management markets. "That sort of technology plays a critical role in cloud computing environments, which Cisco seems focused on here, so LineSider should provide additional value as cloud deployments and services become increasingly common."