Strategic vendor buyouts became a significant part of Cisco’s journey as a leading company in the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) market. The successful strategy landed the company on the number three spot in Gartner’s magic quadrant of HCI Vendors.
HCI merges storage, compute, and networking functions. It utilizes software-defined networking (SDN) and a hypervisor to establish the cloud. It’s a modular, customizable approach that allows an enterprise build for its data center needs. Cisco calls attention to five benefits of HCI: reduced storage footprint, speed and agility, flexible scaling, multi-cloud support, and workload support. The company advertises that the Cisco hyperconverged platform “deploys any applications, in any cloud, and at any scale.” The platform is HyperFlex.
The Acquisition Strategy behind the Cisco Hyperconverged Platform, HyperFlex
Advancing the Cisco hyperconverged platform required an acquisition strategy to gain the intellectual property to resolve the HyperFlex’s weak spots. Cisco bought out other vendors that excelled in security and cloud optimization with an eye toward delivering multicloud abilities through HyperFlex.
The beginning of outside intelligence for HyperFlex began with the purchase of Springpath in 2017. It’s the combination of Cisco hardware and Springpath software. Prior to the acquisition, Cisco and Springpath collaborated on creating the HyperFlex product. Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Computing Systems Product Group, says that Cisco’s intention of acquiring Springpath “is strategic to our Data Center portfolio as we transition to delivering software-centric solutions to our customers.”
Shortly after that, Cisco acquired another company in pursuit of enhancing its HyperFlex product. In February 2018, it bought the security company Skyport Systems, which manufactures SkySecure, a server that establishes firewalls for specific virtual machines (VMs). However, the acquisition of Skyport Systems did not involve leveraging SkySecure’s hardware in Cisco’s portfolio. Instead, the purpose of the buyout, according to Rob Salvagno, Cisco’s VP of corporate business development, is to “enable Cisco to utilize Skyport’s intellectual property, seasoned software and network expertise to accelerate priority areas across multiple Cisco portfolios.”
In relation to the cloud services that HyperFlex provides, Cisco purchased the company Cmpute.io for its cloud comparison software to help its clients target the ideal cloud workload amount for their multi-cloud strategy.