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Cisco bolsters CSP portfolio with Sedona Systems acquisition

Cisco's acquisition of Sedona Systems is expected to add significant carrier technology for 5G slicing and routed optical networking.

Cisco announced Tuesday plans to acquire Israeli startup Sedona Systems, which makes a control system for communication service providers' 5G and optical networks.

Cisco said Sedona fits its strategy for developing products that deliver the network speeds needed for future internet applications, such as augmented and virtual reality. Cisco did not release the deal's terms.

Sedona's flagship technology is a hierarchical controller (HCO) called NetFusion, which transfers network management from hardware to software. In a blog post, Kevin Wollenweber, vice president of service provider product management at Cisco, said NetFusion delivers "complete network abstraction and control."

The product enables several capabilities for building high-speed networks, according to Cisco. They include 5G network slicing and routed optical networking.

5G slicing lets wireless carriers create virtual networks that separate customers, devices and applications from one another. Routed optical networking merges the internet protocol (IP) and optics into a single network layer. Today, IP runs separately over an optical network, which complicates network design, operations and management.

Cisco plans to roll NetFusion into its Crosswork network automation platform for service providers. Sedona introduced in March tight integration between NetFusion and Crosswork to improve control over IP and optical networks through a single software console.

Cisco has been bolstering its service provider portfolio, expecting carriers to increase spending to deliver 5G services to businesses. Providing the next-generation wireless technology will require service providers to rearchitect their current 4G networks.

Cisco's other products aimed at the carrier market include 400 Gbps switches and the Silicon One chipset. That latter powers the vendor's 8000 series routers and is also available as a standalone product for white box network hardware.

In the quarter ended Jan. 23, Cisco reported that sales to service providers were down due to the slow pace of network buildouts to accommodate 5G. "We're just early in that transition," Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said during an earnings call with financial analysts.

Antone Gonsalves is news director for TechTarget's Networking Media Group. He has deep and wide experience in tech journalism. Since the mid-1990s, he has worked for UBM's InformationWeek, TechWeb and Computer Reseller News. He has also written for Ziff Davis' PC Week, IDG's CSOonline and IBTMedia's CruxialCIO, and rounded all of that out by covering startups for Bloomberg News. He started his journalism career at United Press International, working as a reporter and editor in California, Texas, Kansas and Florida. He can be found on Twitter at @AntoneG.

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