Cisco has announced the purchase of Cognio, a company specialising in wireless spectrum analysis solutions. According to the news release, Cisco and Cognio has not closed the agreement, but expects to do so at the beginning of the first quarter of its 2008 fiscal year.
The release has:
“Wireless spectrum is a strategic asset for our customers, and its management is key to the robust delivery of mobility applications. Cognio’s innovation in spectrum intelligence will help ensure Cisco continues to differentiate our ability to deliver our customers rich and dependable end-user mobility experiences.”
I see this as Cisco trying hard to get into the Network Management arena. Cisco already has there CiscoWorks product that is geared towards network management of their products, but I don’t like it that much, and would rather use a commercial product like CA Spectrum, or even the open-source Nagios.
But it could also be a push into network analysis. Cisco also recently release their Network Application Performance Analysis Solution (NAPAS) which allows the analysis and monitoring of network and application performance, much like products from Netscout and Network Instruments. Netscout also plans to acquire Network General (maker of Sniffer products) for $205M US according to this news release.
From my view, it looks like there is going to be heated battle out there for network analysis supremacy. The thing is, network analysis has been a relatively quiet field; however, as networks now are much more complex to those about 5 years ago, it has become more difficult to troubleshoot network problems. So it could be that companies are now starting the see the value in having such tools available, and that includes Cisco as well, and as such now see it prime to start having such products available.
Now, one small comment should also be made about open-source software now being available. While those products may not be at the level of the commercial products, they do add a lot of value. So you may find that a lot of IT Engineers actually using these tools more and more. Tools such as Wireshark (formerly Ethereal), NetStumbler and Nagios add a lot of value to an IT Engineer on a small budget. Will the commercial products be able to compete? Yes, but you can be sure that it will cost a shit-load of money to purchase one of these products.