Cisco to acquire NeoPath

By Kevin Komiega

—Cisco announced an agreement this week to acquire privately held NeoPath Networks, a maker of file storage management software and appliances.

The acquisition is subject to various closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close by the end of April. Cisco did not disclose the financial details of the agreement.

NeoPath's family of File Director products provides network file management capabilities via an appliance that resides in-band between file servers and their clients. The File Directors offer namespace virtualization and globalization, non-disruptive file migration, real-time file characterization and analysis, and policy-based file management. The NeoPath appliances also work with filers and NFS and CIFS file servers, including products from EMC, Network Appliance, and Sun, as well as Linux and Windows servers.
NeoPath's SMARTtouch software creates a virtualized namespace that lets the File Director act as a router for the NFS and CIFS protocols between clients and file servers. With File Director, clients can access files in a consistent manner regardless of the file's physical location in the network.

The acquisition comes on the heels of Cisco's recent roll-out of a new set of hardware and software products aimed at consolidating branch-office server, storage, and backup systems and boosting the performance of TCP-based applications across WANs.

The new package, launched late last year, combines Cisco's Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) networking software—which enables WAN optimization, application acceleration, and wide area file services (WAFS) functionality—with a new network module for running the WAAS software on Cisco's Integrated Services Router (ISR).

Cisco's addition of NeoPath's file virtualization technology is similar to the approach Brocade has taken over the course of the past year toward combining WAFS and WAN optimization technology with advanced file management software.

Brocade made a comparable acquisition in March of 2006, in which the company acquired enterprise file management software maker NuView. Brocade has since begun integrating NuView's StorageX technology with its own Tapestry WAFS solution for managing and consolidating files across branch offices and data centers.

NeoPath was founded in 2002 and has 55 employees based primarily in Santa Clara, CA.

The NeoPath team and products will be integrated into Cisco's Datacenter Switching and Security Technology Group (DSSTG).

This article was originally published on March 15, 2007