Cisco buys into containers with Container X acquisition

Cisco buys into containers with Container X acquisition

Cisco today turned its attention and checkbook onto another hot enterprise market by announcing it intends to buy Container X a nearly 2-year-old startup specializing in virtual container technology.

ContainerX describes its technology as a turnkey container platform “designed for enterprise IT to administer as easily as they’ve administered VMware vSphere or Microsoft HyperV over the years, with dev and ops self service. Enterprise IT can set up the platform in under 60 minutes, integrate with various enterprise infrastructure aspects including storage, network, orchestration, LDAP etc, create pools with resource limits, for various dev/ops teams to self service.” the company wrote on its website.

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“Many of our customers are starting to use containers to build, deploy and manage cloud native applications. Containers provide an easy, flexible way to build, test, deploy, and move applications across a variety of environments, including public clouds, private clouds and hybrid environments. Today the container space is in an emerging phase with enterprises experimenting with adoption but at the same time wanting to see the level of security, manageability and interoperability they need within their IT environment,” wrote Cisco vice president of corporate business development Rob Salvagno in a blog on the acquisition.

“Containers should be simple for customers to deploy and include secure, interoperable solutions that can integrate across the data center stack with existing infrastructure,” he stated.

Container X CEO Kiran Kamity wrote: “The power of Cisco’s cloud and ContainerX’s expertise has potential to offer a turn-key cutting edge private and hybrid cloud to customers. And with the help of the massive distribution channels and reach that Cisco provides, we look forward to building a much bigger team quickly and exponentially expanding our reach and impact.”

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The deal is Cisco’s first in the container arena which features a number of established players such as Red Hat to IBM, Amazon Web Services, Docker Microsoft and VMware. There are a number of startups as well including PortWorx and others.

The Container X acquisition will be the sixth buy Cisco has made this year and the 16th since Chuck Robbins became CEO a little over a year ago. Most recently Cisco acquired cyber security provider CloudLock for $293 million. The company’s acquisitions in the past year have been in the areas of security and/or cloud software.

The acquisition alone comes on the heels of Cisco’s recent announcement it would cut 5,500 workers and refocus development on growth areas.

Or as Cisco said: "Today, we announced a restructuring enabling us to optimize our cost base in lower growth areas of our portfolio and further invest in key priority areas such as security, IoT, collaboration, next generation data center and cloud. We expect to reinvest substantially all of the cost savings from these actions back into these businesses and will continue to aggressively invest to focus on our areas of future growth."

Cisco said it will use the ContainerX technology to develop a comprehensive cloud-native stack and the ContainerX team will join Cisco’s Cloud Platform & Services Group led by Vice President Kip Compton.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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