Internet giant’s buying spree goes on

Cisco Systems, with its seemingly unquenchable thirst for acquisitions, has bought Sheer Networks.

Under the terms of the deal, Cisco will pay around $97 million in cash and share options. If things go well, the price may go up by another $25 million if development and product targets are reached.

The Sheer technology provides a virtual network model which overlays a potentially complicated physical network. By simplifying the network, Sheer’s so-called Dynamic Network Abstraction layer makes it accessible to a broad range of management applications. Given Cisco’s core markets are in large-scale networks, it’s easy to see that the Sheer technology would provide it with an attractive solution. Cisco says it will continue to develop and sell device-, network- and service-level management applications enabling intelligent management across multi-vendor networks and network-based services.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2006

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