Goodbye Ethernet

By Patrick Corby

‘Plugging into the Cloud’

Cisco Systems, a specialist in internet and networking equipment, is set to acquire Meraki a leader in cloud based software. The deal send another signal to the market towards low cost cloud based solutions over traditional hardware to solve networking and storage of information problems.

Formed in 2006 by two MIT graduates and backed by Google Meraki specialises in deployable low cost network solutions managed through the cloud. Meraki now has offices in London, New York and Mexico increasing it’s employment base to 330 this year from 120 due to $100 million in booking deals as of 2012.

Meraki allows individuals to access and solve problems at 4am from their home instead of trailing into the office; Admins can log on and get a view of all devices and deployments from anywhere.

“Meraki’s solution was built from the ground up optimised for cloud, with tremendous scale, and is already in use by thousands of customers to manage hundreds of thousands of devices.” Said senior vice president of Cisco Rob Soderbery.

Cisco is one of the largest specialists in high level networking manufacturing and has competitors in Hewlett Packard and Juniper Networks. The aim in it’s acquisition is to extend its own software-centric networking solutions and tap into the low to mid – sized company market that Meraki can reach. The cloud is now being used to offer low cost solutions to the rapidly increasing mid – sized market who are outpriced the expensive equipment of large companies such as Cisco. Cisco has said that Meraki will become a new division in the group called the Cloud Networking Group.

The deal makes sense: it allows Cisco to enter into Cloud computing before small cloud based companies such as Meraki sneak up on it, offering future strategy to ‘cloudify’ Cisco’s extensive product base; Cisco has been streamlining itself for the last year cutting sectors and bureaucracy, Meraki offers a protection against gross margins through lower costs.

The acquisition of Meraki’s business and operations is said to close as of January, the end of Cisco’s fiscal year, with a $1.2 billion cash deal. Say goodbye to your ethernet cable.

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