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Cisco to acquire Cognio

Cisco today announced plans to acquire wireless spectrum analysis and management vendor Cognio, proving that Cisco is aggressively making a name for itself in the wireless and mobility arenas.

Cisco today announced that it will acquire wireless spectrum analysis and management vendor Cognio. The exact terms of the deal have not been released.

Cognio makes spectrum technology to enhance performance, reliability and security of the WLAN by detecting, classifying, locating and mitigating sources of radio frequency (RF) interference.

According to a statement from Cisco, the acquisition will give the networking giant "complementary and differentiating technology, intellectual property and a core team to expand Cisco's leadership in unified wireless networking."

Cisco has placed a strong emphasis on wireless and mobility, recently announcing a suite of 802.11n tools and other solutions. Cisco said that both wireless and mobility have become mission-critical components of today's networks, and organizations see the wireless spectrum as a strategic corporate asset.

"Businesses now require robust, next-generation wireless networks to support the unprecedented growth of wireless devices and the increased reliance on mobility applications," Cisco said in a release. "Cognio's spectrum intelligence solution enables network managers to proactively manage their wireless spectrum and minimize RF interference for an optimal user experience."

According to Brett Galloway, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Wireless Networking Business Unit, Cognio is a leader in the Wi-Fi spectrum analysis and management space, and users recognize the need to keep the spectrum up and running with minimal interference.

"Wireless spectrum is a strategic asset for our customers, and its management is key to the robust delivery of mobility applications," Galloway said. "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."

For more on Wi-Fi
Read about a past partnership for Cisco and Cognio

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The acquisition of Cognio comes as Cisco makes stronger plays in wireless and mobility, and it ties in with other wireless-related acquisitions, such as Airespace, which Cisco has made over the past few years. The Cognio acquisition specifically falls in line with the way Cisco uses business development strategies to move into new markets or gain new technologies.

"This is a good move for Cisco," said Yankee Group senior vice president Zeus Kerravala. "Obviously, wireless has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years. Wireless has now become mission-critical to many organizations, maybe even more so than the wired LAN."

Previously, Cisco didn't offer a wireless spectrum analysis and management solution, and users would go to a third-party vendor for those capabilities, "if they did it at all," Kerravala said.

"Up until this year, Cisco has sold wireless stuff but has not really been a mobility vendor," he said. "Many customers will point out that management of wireless is very difficult. As mobility becomes more strategic, Cisco customers will want to ensure the experience for customers is consistent. You can buy it from a third party, but over the past few years, Cisco has been much more aggressive with providing [its] own management tools."

Cisco classifies wireless networking as one of its six Advanced Technologies, the others being application networking services, home networking, security, storage networking, and unified communications.

Once the Cognio deal is complete, which is expected in the first quarter of Cisco's 2008 fiscal year, Cisco will integrate Cognio into its Wireless Networking Business Unit, under the Ethernet and Wireless Technology Group.

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