Cisco to buy network management developer

Cisco Systems Inc. said it will acquire privately held P-Cube Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., for $200 million in cash and options. P-Cube develops software for analyzing and managing network traffic.

"Application and subscriber-aware technology solutions like P-Cube's provide the ability to differentiate and control new content-based data services," said Mike Volpi, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's routing technology group. Volpi said the acquisition is part of the company's commitment to building intelligence into IP data networks.

According to Cisco, P-Cube's technology offers stateful deep packet inspection for application awareness while maintaining quality of service through real-time application control. Stateful inspection delves beyond a packet's address to ascertain its priority level as set by network administrators, such as by giving precedence to voice over IP packets to ensure smooth delivery. As a programmable platform, P-Cube technology lets network operators extend their infrastructure in support of new requirements.

Cisco of San Jose, Calif., will continue to sell P-Cube software in the near term as it begins integrating the technology into its own software and hardware products. The technology can be used to manage IP services such as voice over IP, video on demand and peer-to-peer networking.

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