Cisco Acquires Tail-f for $175 Million

Cisco picks up network orchestration technology vendor to aid with Internet of Things and NFV.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Jun 17, 2014
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Cisco today announced the acquisition of privately held Tail-f Systems for $175 million in cash. The deal is set to close in the fourth quarter of Cisco's fiscal 2014 year. With the acquisition of Tail-f, the Cisco product portfolio gains some much-needed device and network configuration management solutions.

Once the deal closes, the plan is for Tail-f staff to join Cisco’s Cloud and Virtualization Group, currently run by Cisco vice president and general manager Gee Rittenhouse.

Tail-f's technologies center around the orchestration of physical and virtual networking. Tail-f's core product platform is the Network Control System (NCS), a multi-vendor network device management tool. The NCS tool makes extensive use of the YANG data modeling language specification and the NETCONF protocol to understand device and network configuration.

ConfD is Tail-f's other core product. It provides network equipment vendors with a data model technology for configuration of device management.

"This acquisition demonstrates Cisco’s commitment to open standards, including the NETCONF protocol and the YANG data modeling language, and provides an unprecedented opportunity for lasting change in the way our industry designs, builds and maintains programmable networks," Fredrik Lundberg, Tail-f CEO, said in a blog post.

From Cisco's perspective, the acquisition is all about accelerating their own ability to deal with the increasing complexity of the growing networking landscape and the Internet of Things.

"Our goal is to help to eliminate the bottleneck caused by operational complexity within the network," Hilton Romanski, senior vice president, Cisco Corporate Development, said in a statement. "The acquisition of Tail-f’s network services configuration and orchestration technology will extend Cisco’s innovation in network function virtualization, helping service providers reduce operating costs and the time it takes to deploy new services, making agile service provisioning a reality."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist,

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