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November 29, 2012

Cisco to Acquire Network Planning, Traffic Management Outfit Cariden

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC

Cisco (News - Alert) Systems today announced plans to buy privately- owned Cariden Technologies Inc. for $141 million in cash and retention-based incentives. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company supplies network planning, design and traffic management solutions for telecommunications service providers.

While there are several players in this space, Cisco selected Cariden because it has strong traction with leading service providers, said Shailesh Shukla, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Service Provider Networking Software and Applications Group. Cariden, which has been a Cisco partner for about a decade, provides its solutions for more than 60 networks worldwide and is a supplier to such leading companies as DT, Facebook, Google (News - Alert) and Verizon.

In an interview this morning with TMCnet, Shukla said the Cariden technology will enable Cisco’s service provider customers to get a complete view of their networks in real time so they can optimize those networks to save money, effectively cache content, introduce new services, and otherwise make the most of their infrastructure. As video and other rich content becomes a huge portion of network traffic, Shukla added, it becomes really important to intelligently place caches and CDN sources in network, and service provider technicians need to under understand network topology to do that. The Cariden technology, he said, provided them with that information.

Shukla added that in the last year and a half, service providers have begun linking the optical layer with the IP layer of their networks to enable convergence, and only recently have the technologies, protocols, and software become available to create those linkages among optical nodes and fiber and the IP layer.

“Cariden's capacity planning and management tools for IP/MPLS will be integrated into Cisco's Service Provider Networking Group to enable multilayer modeling and optimization of optical transport and IP/MPLS networks,” according to the Cisco statement issued today about the deal. “Cariden's products and technology will advance Cisco's nLight technology for IP and optical convergence. The acquisition also supports the company's Open Network Environment (ONE) strategy by providing sophisticated wide area networking orchestration capabilities.”

Cariden’s existing product set will be integrated into the Cisco product portfolio immediately, said Shukla, adding that the first step would be to link the Cariden platform with Cisco’s GMPLS-based optical/IP linkage protocol technology, known as nLight.

In the future, he said, Cisco expects to make the Cariden technology part of a broader push around WAN orchestration so it can allow service providers to extract data from their networks, analyze it, and link it to policy. While the Cariden technology will work with routing and optical platforms, it will sit outside the router and will be sold by Cisco as a stand-alone software license or on a subscription-based model, Shukla explained.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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