Cisco Acquires Swedish SDN Firm Tail-f Systems For $175 Million

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Cisco has agreed to acquire privately held Tail-f Systems, a provider of multi-vendor network service orchestration solutions for traditional and virtualized networks for about $175 million in cash and incentives.

Stockholm, Sweden-based Tail-f Systems was one of the first to take a new approach to the networking Operations Support system, where it decoupled network services from specific network components in an open, standards-based and model-driven service orchestration technology.  Its Network Control System (NCS) orchestration server software enables network operators to provision their services and network devices with a single software tool.

The company lists AT&T and Deutsche Telecom as customers with SDN initiatives under way. Tail-f products will join Cisco’s Evolved Services Platform (ESP).

The acquisition accelerates Cisco’s cloud virtualization strategy of delivering software that increases value to our customers’ applications and services, while supporting open standards, architectures and multi-vendor environments. With Tail-f’s network service orchestration technology, Cisco’s service provider cloud and virtualization portfolio will simplify and automate the provisioning and management of both physical and virtual networks, the company said.

Tail-f’s solutions are equally applicable for today’s network problems, such as layer 2 or layer 3 VPN provisioning and next-generation networking based on network function virtualization (NFV) and network programmability. Tail-f was named a 2014 Gartner Cool Vendor for having SDN control for elastic network services and NFV service orchestration and emerging analytics services.

“With a rapidly increasing number of people, devices and sensors connecting across the Internet of Everything (IoE), service providers require new capabilities to deliver value-added, cloud-based services and applications,” said Hilton Romanski, senior vice president, Cisco Corporate Development. “Our goal is to help to eliminate the bottleneck caused by operational complexity within the network.

“The acquisition of Tail-f’s network services configuration and orchestration technology will extend Cisco’s innovation in network function virtualization, helping service providers reduce operating costs and the time it takes to deploy new services, making agile service provisioning a reality.”

Tail-f employees will join Cisco’s Cloud and Virtualization Group led by Gee Rittenhouse, vice president and general manager.

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