News this week that Cisco is acquiring workload portability tool CliQr comes hard on the heels of Oracle's acquisition of Ravello Systems. While the price tag is half of the estimated $500 million that oracle paid for Ravello, it's still an impressive deal for a company that has raised a relatively modest $38 million.
Both Ravello and CliQr (not to mention the other handful of similar vendors) offer a service that is, broadly speaking, a variation on the theme of workload portability. While different vendors have different propositions tied to this (cloud bursting, testing and development, security sandboxing, etc.), the core premise is essentially the same: the ability to take a workload, perhaps one sitting on on-premises infrastructure, and to bundle it up and shift it en masse to another piece of infrastructure. often this is articulated as an on-premises to cloud move, but similarly, it can happen the other way.
It should be noted that CliQr was already working with Cisco and the tool was already integrated across a number of different Cisco products and services.
It comes at an interesting time for the entire hybrid cloud movement. While my assessment is that none of these vendors really found an excellent product/market fit (witness the number of times they've subtly changed their messaging over the years), the general theme of organizations needing a hybrid cloud offering has been growing in volume. Just last week IBM and VMware announced a partnership that will see VMware customers able to move their workloads over to the IBM Cloud.
Increasingly, the polarized view of all-cloud or all on-premises has been softened and replaced with a far more pragmatic view of a world which is changing over time, and which will continue to utilize a plethora of different infrastructure options.
"Customers today have to manage a massive number of complex and different applications across many clouds," said Rob Salvagno, vice president, Cisco Corporate Development, in a statement. "With CliQr, Cisco will be able to help our customers realize the promise of the cloud and easily manage the life cycle of their applications on any hybrid cloud environment."
According to Cisco, the existing CliQr product will remain operational as it is today, but the platform will be more deeply integrated into Cisco's core products. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of the year and will see CliQr become part of Cisco's Insieme business unit.
Given the uncertainty around all of these vendors on a year or so ago, this $260 million can be seen as a really good win. I wonder who is next up on the block?
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