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Cisco Ramps Up Cloud Virtualization with LineSider Purchase
By Frank J. Ohlhorst
December 02, 2010 - News

Networking giant Cisco has purchased LineSider, a small Massachusetts software company known for its network provisioning software for clouds and virtual data centers. According to the company’s website, LineSider offers two primary products: OverDrive, and an IP-based services management product sold to OEMs, such as 3Com, EMC and Orange.

According to Cisco, LineSider's technology will allow it to offer faster and more efficient provisioning of network services in a virtual environment. Privately held LineSider is based in Danvers, Mass., and was founded in 2005. The company offers its flagship product, OverDrive, to enterprise customers, cloud providers and systems integrators.

OverDrive is a network services virtualization platform that offers real-time automation and control of network services. The product is positioned as a rules-based tool that helps network and security support teams control and automate in real-time complex access and security models as well as network infrastructure services.

Oli Thordarson, CEO of Alvaka Networks, a Californa based MSP, feels that Cisco’s purchase only has ramifications for very large MSPs.

“The Linesider acquisition looks to be a possible problem solver only for the largest of MSPs and datacenter operators," Thordarson said. "Most MSPs dealing in the small business to mid-size enterprise sector are likely never to see a compelling need or value with Linesider, especially given the $250,000 price tag. That said, it also remains to be seen how suitable this product is not just for managing virtualized environments, but doing it within the added complexity of multi-tenant billing and operational practices. The commercial MSP feature sets are usually an afterthought not considered during initial product development."

An FAQ posted on Cisco's website, states that Cisco will fulfill the terms of LineSider's current customer contracts with no disruption, and in the future, will sell LineSider technology branded as Cisco. LineSider will be integrated within Cisco's Network Management Technology Group, under Jesper Andersen.

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