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Cisco buys container startup ContainerX

The deal marks Cisco's first acquisition in the burgeoning container market.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

Cisco on Tuesday said it plans to acquire ContainerX, an early-stage startup that develops virtual container technology for data centers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ContainerX is billed as a multi-tenant, container-as-a-service platform for both Linux and Windows. The startup was launched two years ago by a team of engineers from Microsoft, VMware, and Citrix.

The deal marks Cisco's first acquisition in the burgeoning container market. The technology is used to deploy and manage applications in the cloud, and it has exploded in popularity in recent years. Docker is the most recognizable face of the container movement, but Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and VMware have all pushed into the space.

That said, Cisco wants to use ContainerX to develop its own cloud-native stack that it can offer to customers. The deal also supports Cisco's metamorphosis into a software company, which has been an ongoing process under the leadership of CEO Chuck Robbins.

"Cisco is uniquely positioned to integrate the next generation data center with cloud-native and containerized environments that customers are demanding, all while still delivering advanced features such as security, analytics and management," Rob Salvagno, Cisco's head of corporate development, wrote in a blog post. "With ContainerX, Cisco is continuing to invest in innovative technology and talent to help our customers in their transition to cloud native architectures using containers."

Once at Cisco, the ContainerX team will merge into Cisco's cloud platform and services group led by Kip Compton.

The acquisition comes on the heels of Cisco's announcement that it would lay off 5,500 employees, or seven percent of its workforce, as part of a restructuring plan designed to shift focus into higher growth areas.

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