Home Applications Analysis – Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Tidal Software

Analysis – Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Tidal Software

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Analysis

As I predicted in my Analysis of Cisco’s Unified Computing System Cisco was not done (nor are they done now). With this acquisition Cisco picks up (rather inexpensively) a vendor that specialized in automated remediation of issues affecting the operation of critical line of business applications like SAP. This is a very curious move for Cisco for the following reasons:

  1. It puts Cisco in the business of trying to automatically address issue with the operation of applications. This is very far removed from Cisco’s core business networking and (with the UCS) data center operations. Therefore this announcement either represents a statement with respect to a dramatic widening of scope of Cisco’s business, or it is a huge mistake and reach into an area where Cisco has no track record of succcess or credibility.
  2. This announcement leapfrogs over several areas of management in the virtualization space that really need to be solved before one can address how applications are working and how to address issues with the operation of applications in an automated manner. If Cisco intends to be the vendor of a Unified Data Center solution (as opposed to just the box), then Cisco needs to step up to how the combination of the virtual infrastructure that comprises the UCS is operating and performing. This means that questions of CPU, Memory, Network I/O, and Storage I/O and how these impact infrastructure performance in a dynamic environment need to answered first.

 In summary, this is either the first part of an elaborate plan to become a true end-to-end solutions provider of a Unified Computing Solution (as opposed to the previously announced Unified Computing System), or it is a tactical shot in the dark. Knowing the history of how smart Cisco is about its aquisitions, one would have it assume that this is part of something large and well thought out. We will just have to see how the rest of the pieces get filled in.

The Announcement

SAN JOSE, Calif. – April 9, 2009 – Cisco today announced its intent to acquire privately held Tidal Software, Inc.  Based in Palo Alto, Calif., and Houston, Tidal Software is the creator of intelligent application management and automation solutions that will advance Cisco’s data center strategy by enhancing product and service delivery offerings.  

"Cisco believes the network has become the logical platform to manage and maintain mission-critical applications," saidGary Moore, senior vice president of Advanced Services at Cisco.  "With the acquisition of Tidal Software, Cisco will accelerate its ability to help customers optimize the performance of their business applications and automate operational best practices in real time, which will lead to significantly reduced operational costs."
 
Tidal Software’s intelligent solutions will bolster Cisco’s data center strategy by providing timely, accurate and cost-efficient management and automation of application performance across entire business operations, from the server through the network to the desktop.  The acquisition will also create significant opportunities for Cisco and its partners through the delivery of partner-led services, leveraging Cisco’s application management capabilities.
 
Cisco is pioneering the development of next-generation data centers that unleash the full power of virtualization.  It recently unveiled its vision of Unified Computing, an evolutionary data center architecture which unites compute, network, storage access, and virtualization resources in a single cohesive system. 
 
The Tidal Software acquisition exemplifies Cisco’s "build, buy and partner" innovation strategy to move quickly into new markets and capture key market transitions.  Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco will pay approximately $105 million in cash and retention-based incentives. 
 
Upon the close of the acquisition, the Tidal Software team will become part of the Cisco Advanced Services organization. The acquisition is subject to various standard closing conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2009. The acquisition will be accounted for in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.  
 

About Cisco Systems

Cisco, (NASDAQ: CSCO), is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go tohttp://newsroom.cisco.com.
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