Cisco Systems moved further into the WAN optimization/wide-area file services (WAFS) space Thursday with the $70 million acquisition of FineGround.
Five-year-old FineGround is an application optimization specialist that just waded into WAFS last month with its Velocity-FS appliance.
It’s Cisco’s second big move in the WAFS space, following the acquisition of Actona last year. The space has been a hot one lately, with Juniper Networks, HP and Brocade making moves in just the last month.
In a statement, Jayshree Ullal, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Security Technology Group, said the acquisition of FineGround “further enhances Cisco’s strategy to converge application acceleration, security and a highly available network infrastructure seamlessly in the data center. FineGround augments Cisco’s leadership in content and security products enabling customers to accelerate application response time and minimize costs.”
WAFS is an emerging field in the storage sector that lets users access a remote data center as though it were local. The technology enables corporations with scattered branch offices to manage data backups through one system. Such access centralization is important at a time when enterprise workers grow more mobile by the day and data becomes more decentralized.
FineGround’s appliance lets users share and store files from one box in a data center. A combination of hardware and software, Velocity-FS uses a single box to manage the likes of e-mails, PDFs or media files from remote offices within a data center. It installs in front of data center storage and file systems to boost file service traffic for the wide area network (WAN) while preserving security, rights management and access control. The device supports all CIFS storage and also implements support for the Microsoft Distributed File System.
FineGround will become part of Cisco’s Security Technology Group, and CEO Nat Kausik will continue to lead the team. The acquisition is expected to close in Cisco’s fiscal fourth quarter ending July 30.