Cisco to Acquire Application Acceleration Provider FineGround

FineGround markets appliances that secure and optimize application perfomance across networks; the deal is reportedly worth $70 million.

Cisco on Thursday picked up its own application front end technology provider with an agreement to acquire FineGround Networks Inc. for $70 million.

Cisco Systems Inc.s acquisition announcement follows by several weeks rival Juniper Networks Inc.s announced intent to acquire FineGround rival Peribit Networks Inc. and Redline Networks Inc. for $469 million.

FineGround Networks, a Campbell, Calif., company that markets appliances that secure and optimize application performance across networks, brings to the table patented application acceleration technology along with technical expertise in the emerging application front end space.

Specifically, FineGrounds features, such as request aggregation, response redirection, dynamic browser caching and delta encoding, allow users to improve user response times by up to five times and reduce application bandwidth utilization by as much as 90 percent. It can also reduce server loads by up to 90 percent, Cisco officials said.

FineGrounds Velocity and Velocity-FS appliances complement Ciscos existing intelligent application delivery products, which include Global Site Selector and Secure Sockets Layer services modules for Cisco switches and routers. They also complement Ciscos content delivery products.

Although Cisco and FineGround both market Wide Area File Services (WAFS) products, there is no overlap between the two product lines, Cisco officials said.

/zimages/2/28571.gifRead more here about FineGround adding a dashboard to its Enterprise Application Delivery Suite.

Ciscos offering, based on technology acquired with Actona, provides local file caching for branch offices.

FineGrounds Velocity-FA appliance is designed to optimize HTTP traffic and is installed in front of a server farm in the data center.

Velocity-FS improves performance for remote clients and browsers that do not communicate through branch office devices.

Cisco intends to continue marketing the FineGround appliances as is under Ciscos own brand, and the Cisco team--including members of the original Actona team--will work with FineGround engineers to evaluate integration possibilities, Cisco officials said.

Cisco, which is pursuing a "strategy to converge application acceleration, security and highly available network infrastructure seamlessly in the data center," intends to create an integrated application delivery platform, according to Jayshree Ullal, senior vice president and general manager of Ciscos STG (Security Technology Group) in San Jose, Calif.

Once the acquisition is completed by the end of July, FineGround will become a part of the application services team within STG.

CEO Nat Kausik will continue to lead the FineGround team and report to Gururaj Singh, vice president of engineering in STG.

Cisco last August brought the application services team into STG because the company "sees security and applications convergence as key to protect and simplify customer data center deployments and operations," said a Cisco spokesperson.

No layoffs are planned.

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