Cisco last week announced a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Parc Technologies, a developer of traffic engineering software for routing optimization, for $9 million.Parc is a spin off from a center for research into search algorithms based at Imperial College, University of London. Cisco had a previous investment in the company.\u00a0Parc's Route Server algorithms break up network routing problems involving quality-of-service constraints. These algorithms help service providers improve network utilization and reduce capital expenditure, Cisco says.Initially, Parc's technology will be used by Cisco in the planning and optimization of MPLS Traffic Engineering (TE) products. Parc's Route Server software performs Primary and Backup MPLS TE tunnel placement, and also includes an optimization algorithm development platform.Parc's Route Server software will be incorporated into Cisco's MPLS Management product line. The integrated offering will compute and provision optimized traffic paths for primary and fast restoration back-up traffic, Cisco says.Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco will pay approximately $9 million in cash for all outstanding shares it does not already hold. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of Cisco's fiscal year 2005. The Parc team. led by CEO Gideon Agar, will report to Cliff Meltzer, Cisco senior vice president, Network Management Technology Group.