Enterprise networking specialist Cisco Systems announced its intent to acquire privately held LineSider Technologies, a provider of network management software that helps customers build the network services necessary to securely create and deploy cloud computing infrastructure. Based in Danvers, Mass., the company said the LineSider acquisition would enhance Cisco’s ability to rapidly provision network services.In addition to providing Cisco with their technology, the acquisition of LineSider will bring a team of engineers to the company. Upon the close of the acquisition, the LineSider team will become part of Cisco’s Network Management Technology Group (NMTG). Financial terms of the transaction are undisclosed. A company release noted the acquisition is subject to various standard closing conditions and is expected to be complete in the second quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2011. “Cloud computing represents a significant opportunity for Cisco customers to create more effective business models and increase the operating efficiency of the network,” said Jesper Andersen, senior vice president of Cisco’s NMTG. “With the acquisition of LineSider, Cisco will gain a key component to helping customers make this shift. LineSider’s advanced network management software integrates both physical and virtual network services with a policy-based approach and makes networks more flexible and responsive to change.” LineSider’s software is designed to enable customers to organize their network resources into a flexible cloud infrastructure that integrates the network with customers’ existing IT operational tools and processes. This network abstraction layer helps customers to provision and deploy numerous individual network components more quickly, in turn reducing network operations costs and accelerating service delivery. The company’s policy-based approach automatically responds to predetermined business scenarios and is designed to offer high performance across networking products and service delivery platforms. “A partner-centric approach remains a cornerstone of Cisco’s strategy in the cloud computing space, and LineSider’s technology will strengthen Cisco’s ability to work with a broad community of software partners, particularly within the service management space,” a Cisco statement explained. LineSider recently entered into a partnership with newScale, Inc., providers of a self-service IT storefront for the enterprise. With newScale software, businesses and service providers can publish their “menu” of standardized IT services in a portal for on-demand provisioning of compute, storage, and network resources. LineSider’s OverDrive technology automates the initiation, deployment, control, and management of network services using business-level policies.