Cisco’s announcement last week that it will acquire Austin, Texas-based NetSolve looks to be a good move for resellers.
This estimated $128 million purchase would integrate NetSolve’s remote monitoring technology into Cisco Systems Inc.‘s existing management offerings. NetSolve sells a remote monitoring service that gives companies real-time monitoring of health and performance on IP networks. The technology would allow Cisco and Cisco resellers to offer remote monitoring to customers as a service.
Unlike other recent purchases, such as the acquisition of Linksys, Cisco will not operate NetSolve as an independent business unit but rather will subsume it into its services operations. The NetSolve buy fits into Cisco’s other recent purchases, such as the acquisition of network management software company P-Cube last month. Together, these acquisitions allow IP networks to be monitored and controlled remotely.
Likewise, both the P-Cube and NetSolve solutions are aimed at enterprise networks with specific bandwidth monitoring and management needs, such as VOIP (voice over IP) networks where voice delivery is mission-critical.
With both technologies, a Cisco-equipped NOC (network operations center) could monitor real-time traffic flow and immediately detect impending problems, then use the P-Cube technology to manage the traffic so that operations are not impaired while management staff makes repairs or adjustments.
The ability to handle all of this remotely allows Cisco and its resellers to offer very high availability to customers, even if those customers don’t have a fully staffed NOC.
Much of this technology is intended to be offered to resellers for delivery as part of an overall Cisco solution. The resellers could provide the monitoring and management services, or they could resell Cisco’s delivery of the services in addition. While many Cisco resellers already deliver NetSolve and similar services, this opens a number of options while also allowing a total Cisco-branded solution.
Cisco, of course, keeps its acquisition plans close to its chest, but it would seem likely that the missing part of the puzzle—managed security services—is next. With managed security technology and managed vulnerability assessment, Cisco could deliver a complete solution to its enterprise customers. Not only would this keep customers close to Cisco, but it would add alternative revenue streams to supplement the still-dicey infrastructure hardware market with all of its recent turmoil.
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