With all the finesse of a bulldozer, Cisco Systems today bought its way into the storage-network market. It says it's picking up networking-equipment maker NuSpeed Internet Systems in an all-stock deal valued at $450 million. NuSpeed CEO Mark Cree will head up Cisco's new Enterprise Line of Business division.
Privately held NuSpeed links conventional storage devices to Internet protocol networks. Consolidating everything onto IP networks should make data management and access easier, according to Cisco.
"There has been a lot of talk about the convergence between IP and storage networks," says Steve Duplessie, a senior analyst at market research firm Enterprise Storage Group. "Cisco owns the IP world, and this acquisition shows that Cisco got the message about storage."
This is not Cisco's first move to bring storage networks into the IP world. In June, the company unveiled a partnership with Brocade Communications Systems Inc., a maker of Fibre channel switches for storage networks, to jointly develop IP switches that link to storage-network switches.