The ever-acquisitive Cisco has snapped up ContainerX for an undisclosed sum amid fast-growing interest in the potential use of container technology by enterprise users and even communications service providers.
The equipment giant's latest takeover, announced in a corporate blog, marks its first M&A move in the container technology market and comes just days after the company announced plans to lay off 5,500 workers, as pressure intensifies in the traditional hardware business. (See Cisco Throws 5,500 Overboard on Cruise to Richer Waters.)
When it comes to running IT applications, containers are regarded as a much more "lightweight" approach than virtual machines, each of which -- unlike a container -- also includes an entire operating system.
Just two years old, ContainerX has developed a container-management technology that is capable of working across various platforms. Cisco says it plans to work with the ContainerX team on developing a "comprehensive cloud-native stack" for its customers.
The company, which appears to have just eight employees, is to become a part of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s cloud platform and services group under the leadership of Cisco vice president Kip Compton.
ContainerX has had a busy time since launching the beta version of its product in November last year, releasing a commercial offer as recently as June. (See ContainerX Debuts Multi-tenant Container Management.)
Heavy Reading analysts believe there is a real need for container-management technology, building on the momentum generated by Docker, a popular container technology.
Speaking previously with Light Reading, ContainerX CEO Kiram Kamity pitched his company's technology as the "second generation of container management." Without it, he said, enterprise IT shops with numerous projects and teams working on Docker applications would have to set up multiple times.
In a statement on today's deal, Kamity said that Cisco would help it to accelerate product development.
"The power of Cisco's cloud and ContainerX's expertise has potential to offer a turn-key cutting-edge private and hybrid cloud to customers," he said. "And with the help of the massive distribution channels and reach that Cisco provides, we look forward to building a much bigger team quickly and exponentially expanding our reach and impact."
Kamity added that ContainerX still had "a few things we need to figure out as we join forces with Cisco," promising to provide further updates on strategy.
— Iain Morris, , News Editor, Light Reading