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Cisco Systems on Thursday agreed to buy up the remaining portion of routing software startup BCN Systems that it didn’t already own.

The Santa Clara, Calif., startup brings to the table a software architecture that can help Cisco more efficiently move new features or advanced services into an IOS (Internetwork Operating System) network, according to Ned Hooper, vice president of business development at Cisco Systems Inc. in San Jose, Calif.

“What they’ve developed is a software architecture focused on being able to drive reliability, modularity and feature enhancements across the routing infrastructure. It is complementary to IOS within the routing products,” Hooper said.

Cisco, which agreed to pay about $34 million in cash for BCN Systems Inc., already had a $15 million stake in the company. That could increase by as much as $122 million if and when certain milestones are met.

“Because it is still in the architecture stage, part of the value will be determined on the success of that as it is rolled into products,” Hooper said.

The technology BCN is developing is centered around Cisco’s growth strategy to bring more advanced services such as QOS (quality of service) and security into the core of the network, rather than having those exist in multiple appliances scattered around the network.

“It’s focused on driving next-generation applications onto the network. That’s a key value to our customers,” Hooper added.

The technology is expected to be used across a range of Cisco routing platforms. The deal is expected to close by the end of January.

BCN is made up of several ex-Cisco engineers, and former engineers from rival Juniper Networks Inc. are also part of the mix.

Read more here about Cisco and Juniper making noise in the high-end router space.

In a testament to the small community of developers in the networking space, former Cisco routing software expert Tony Li is again wearing a Cisco badge as of Monday of this week.

Li, who left Cisco in 1996 by reportedly nailing his letter of resignation to an office door, went on to found high-end routing rival Juniper Networks.

He later left Juniper to startup Procket Networks, which Cisco acquired earlier this year. He was not involved in BCN Systems.

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