Cisco has announced its intent to acquire Viptela - its 19th deal since 2015 - as it looks to grab a bigger slice of the fast-growing software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) market.
According to IDC, the SD-WAN market is set to almost double in size every year for the remainder of the decade as the software-defined networking model spreads from the datacentre to the WAN.
Against that backdrop, Cisco is laying down $610m to snap up cloud-based SD-WAN outfit Viptela, a San Jose-based start-up that has raised $108m since it was founded in 2012.
Set to close in the second half of 2017, the deal extends an acquisition run for Cisco that has taken in 19 firms since the start of 2015, including CloudLock, Jasper Technologies and Portcullis.
Cisco has been offering SD-WAN technology for several years, but acquiring Viptela will boost the SD-WAN functionality it can deliver through the cloud, Rob Salvagno, head of Cisco's M&A and venture investment team, explained in a blog post.
"Together, Cisco and Viptela will be able to deliver next generation SD-WAN solutions to best serve all size and scale of customer needs, while accelerating Cisco's transition to a recurring, software-based business model," he added.
Cisco stressed it is committed to Viptela's product offering and architecture, as well as its existing Intelligent WAN (IWAN) and Meraki SD-WAN solutions.
Viptela's staff will join Cisco's Enterprise Routing team within the Networking and Security Business, led by senior vice president David Goeckeler, Cisco added.
IDC estimates that the SD-WAN market will achieve a compound annual growth rate of more than 90 per cent between 2015 and 2020 to hit $6bn.
Cisco's shopping spree has slowed of late. It acquired 11 firms in 2015 and seven in 2016. But Viptela is only the networking giant's second conquest of 2017, the other being cloud applications and business monitoring platform AppDynamics, which it bought for $3.7bn in January.
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