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Cisco acquisition of ThousandEyes has many user benefits

Cisco's acquisition of ThousandEyes could benefit companies using Cisco's SD-WAN, AppDynamics, Duo Security and AnyConnect. Cisco plans to close the deal by the end of October.

Cisco plans to acquire internet intelligence vendor ThousandEyes. The acquisition, announced this week, would give Cisco customers better visibility into internet connections among the data center, branch offices and multiple cloud providers.

The Cisco acquisition is expected to be complete by the end of October. After the transaction closes, Cisco's software-defined WAN customers would be the first to benefit from the combined company, said Shamus McGillicuddy, an analyst at Enterprise Management Associates.

Like most SD-WANs, Cisco's Viptela product provides users with solid visibility into the virtual network, or overlay, between the SD-WAN at the branch and cloud applications. With ThousandEyes, Cisco would also provide intelligence on the underlay's performance, which would be the public internet.

"Cisco has the opportunity to offer integrated visibility into both layers of a hybrid network," McGillicuddy said.

ThousandEyes monitors the performance of traffic paths over the internet through software agents running on dozens of facilities owned by AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. The vendor also has agents in the data centers of colocation partners, such as Equinix and Cogent, in more than 150 cities.

ThousandEyes customers also deploy agents on the virtual private clouds companies create to run applications on the infrastructure of public clouds. As a result, the vendor's customers view internet performance from the software running on a cloud provider to the end user.

ThousandEyes and Cisco AppDynamics

Cisco is likely to provide some integration between ThousandEyes technology and AppDynamics, McGillicuddy said. The latter is Cisco's product for monitoring the performance of applications and computing infrastructure in the data center.

ThousandEyes has many customers using its technology and AppDynamics as their primary performance management products, the company said.

McGillicuddy said Cisco could also package ThousandEyes with Cisco's Duo Security two-step authentication service and its AnyConnect VPN software. The combination would provide Cisco customers with tools for improving application access for people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This is something that is so important right now with so many people working from home," McGillicuddy said. "I urge Cisco to focus on this opportunity."

Cisco did not disclose how much it was paying for ThousandEyes, but Bloomberg reported the cost of the Cisco acquisition was nearly $1 billion. Cisco planned to fold the company into the networking services business unit.

ThousandEyes CEO and co-founder Mohit Lad will become general manager of the ThousandEyes operation, with CTO and co-founder Ricardo Oliveira continuing to lead product development.

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