Cisco Buys Meraki for $1.2 Billion

Cisco has acquired Meraki, reports TechCrunch. The purchase price was $1.2 billion, all in cash for the mesh networking innovator. The Meraki acquisition will strengthen Cisco’s Unified Access platform, which simplifies and unites wired and wireless networks. Cisco admits it’s also about talent – a trait Meraki is widely respected for.

Cisco and Meraki say they are committed to supporting Meraki’s customers and partners, and will continue to improve and expand all of Meraki’s product lines. Meraki will form Cisco’s new Cloud Networking group, led by Meraki CEO Sanjit Biswas. Sanjit Biswas explained the reasons behind the merger in a letter to Meraki employees.

The company’s technology was based on MIT’s Roofnet project. While many companies promised to deliver practical mesh networking over the years, only Meraki delivered a simple, reliable, cost-effective solultion available on a large scale.

Meraki is an innovator in cloud-controlled mesh networking that “just works” – without requiring special training or expertise.

Meraki’s cloud-based centralized management provides unified views of all your devices, including mobile clients connected to third-party networks. Meraki’s elegantly designed mesh system enabled hundreds of thousands of people to connect to the internet, both in the United States and globally.

CEO Sanjit Biswas discussed the benefits of wireless internet access to low income residents, and the potential for TV white spaces, in this 2006 interview (above).

If you’ve ever used Meraki gear, it’s hard not to be a fan of their simplicity, reliability and value. Hopefully, under Cisco, they can retain their unique strengths.

Competitor Ruckus Wireless had it’s initial public offering last Friday. Ruckus Wireless focuses on hub controlled products for carrier-owned networks in public places and enterprises. Ruckus raised $105 million in gross proceeds. At Friday’s closing price of $12.25 per share, the firm is valued at $903 million. Ruckus claimed 18,700 customers worldwide, with more than 7,100 added in the first nine months of this year.

The combination of the inexpensive Ubquiti access points with PowerCloud’s Cloud Command is considerably less expensive than the combination of Meraki Access Points and Meraki’s Cloud Controller.

Wi-Fi is the new hot thing for mobile operators. Hotspot 2.0 allows carriers to seamlessly roam their subscribers onto unlicensed WiFi, utilizing the carrier’s on-board SIM for automatic authentication.

The Wireless Broadband Alliance promotes carrier-class Wi-Fi solutions, and recently wrapped up its Global Congress event in San Francisco.

Ovum estimates carrier Wi-Fi shipments will grow 84 percent this year from 2011 and will increase by an average of 34 percent per year through 2017. The strongest new growth driver is mobile operators deploying carrier Wi-Fi to offload a portion of their mobile data traffic.

Cisco also acquired Cloupia, a start-up focused on Cloud Automation and Management Software, for approximately $125 million. Cloupia, which is based in Santa Clara, provides tools to automate converged data center infrastructure.

Related Dailywireless articles include Qualcomm & Cisco Team for WiFi Location, Cisco Small Cells, Really Big Stadium WiFi, Qualcomm & Cisco Team for WiFi Location, Meraki’s Outdoor Cloud-Controlled Hotspots, Meraki Cloud Managed Security, Cloud-based WiFi: $100 a Pop, Meraki MX60 Router, Meraki MR-24: 3×3 MIMO, Meraki Announces $1500 “N” Node, Solar RoofNet Wiki, Meraki: Wall Warts and Solar Power, Meshing Tibet, The Open-Mesh Revolution, Meraki Teams with One Economy

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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