Buying into the WAN

Cisco Systems has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Los Gatos, California-based Actona Technologies, a developer of wide-area file services software, for $82 million.

Cisco Systems has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Actona Technologies of Los Gatos, California. Actona is a developer of wide-area file services software that facilitates data management across geographically distributed offices.

Cisco currently offers a Full Service Branch solution that combines enhanced wide area network (WAN) connectivity with advanced network security, IP voice communications, and business application and video acceleration services on a common platform.

According to a statement, Actona’s technology will augment that offering by expanding the functionality of Cisco’s branch office access router portfolio with intelligent network services that enable WAN-optimised file transfer and access. Additionally, Actona will extend Cisco’s solutions for Data Centre Storage Consolidation to the branch office.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco will pay approximately $82 million in cash for all outstanding shares not already held for Cisco’s account and will convert outstanding Actona options to Cisco options. The acquisition of Actona is subject to various closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2005.

“The large amount of mission-critical information that resides on employee desktop, laptop computers and workstations needs to be shared, backed up, and archived,” commented George Kurian, vice president for Cisco’s Routing Technology Group.

“Today’s distributed branch office storage management methods are complex and expensive. Providing intelligent network services so distributed enterprises can centralise file servers and storage, and better protect and cost-effectively manage their remote office data is critical,” added Kurian.

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