Cisco Buying Network Traffic Software Vendor Cariden

The networking giant is buying Cariden, whose products will help boost Cisco’s offerings to service providers, for $141 million.

Cisco Systems is bolstering its network traffic management capabilities by buying Cariden Technologies, the networking giant's latest purchase in its ongoing acquisition spree and the third company it's bought in November.

Cisco officials announced the $141 million deal for Cariden Nov. 29, saying the deal will give service providers another tool to help them speed up, optimize and monetize their networks.

"Given the widespread convergence of IP and optical networks, Cariden's technology will help carriers more efficiently manage bandwidth, network traffic and intelligence," Surya Panditi, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Service Provider Networking Group, said in a statement. "This acquisition signals the next phase in Cisco's packet and optical convergence strategy and further strengthens our ability to lead this market transition in networking."

Service providers are converging their IP and optical networks to deal with the rapid growth in Internet traffic and the increase in mobile traffic, according to Cisco officials. The networking vendor has been talking about the skyrocketing growth in network traffic, fueled by such trends as increases in the number of mobile devices and Internet users, as well as the growing popularity of video on the Internet.

In their latest Visual Networking Index Forecast released earlier this year, Cisco officials are predicting that Internet traffic will quadruple by 2016, by which time there will be 3.4 billion Internet users. There also will be almost 18.9 billion network connections—there were 10.3 billion in 2011—that include not only smartphones, tablets and notebooks, but also machine-to-machine connections, such as smart appliances.

Bringing Cariden into the fold will help Cisco offer service providers more ways to handle such traffic growth. The deal is expected to close before the end of the year. Once it's completed, Cariden employees will be integrated into Cisco's Service Provider Networking Group and report to Shailesh Shukla, vice president and general manager of the vendor's Software and Applications Group.

Cariden, which was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., offers several tightly integrated network management software products in its Mate portfolio. The products include Mate Design for designing, engineering and planning networks, and Mate Live, which enables users to do deep-dive analysis of networks and quickly detect and troubleshoot problems. In addition, Mate Collector automatically gathers information on the network infrastructure and offers traffic data for planning and analytics.

Cariden's technology will enhance Cisco's nLight efforts to converge IP and optical transport networks, and also will support Cisco's Open Network Environment (ONE) strategy, which is part of the vendor's larger software-defined networking (SDN) initiative, according to company officials.

Cisco over the past few years has been aggressive in its acquisition efforts as it looks to bolster its networking capabilities and expand its reach into such areas as cloud computing, video and software. Most recently, Cisco announced Nov. 15 that it is spending $135 million for startup Cloupia, whose software will enable businesses to better manage their Cisco converged data center solutions.

Days later, Cisco announced it is buying Meraki Systems for $1.2 billion. The deal is expected to boost Cisco's cloud computing and WiFi networking capabilities.