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Cisco acquires NeoPath

Cisco Tuesday acquired file-area networking company NeoPath Networks for an undisclosed amount.

The acquisition of NeoPath marks Cisco's sixth storage acquisition. Last year, Cisco gained an 80 percent investment stake in data center company Nuovo Systems, and made it a subsidiary of Cisco. In 2005, the company acquired TopSpin Communications, a maker of InfiniBand switches. It also acquired Actona Technologies in 2004 and FineGround in 2005 to bolster its wide-area file services products. Cisco started its storage acquisitions when it picked up IP storage company NuSpeed in 2000. In 2002, it spun in Andiamo Systems, a Cisco start-up involved in multiprotocol networking.

NeoPath makes two appliances -- the File Director 220 and the 7200 -- that aggregate data on network-attached storage devices and file servers into a common pool or namespace of information.

Cisco will add NeoPath's technology into its Services Oriented Network Architecture, where it will establish a tighter link between file-based data and network acceleration, the company said. Cisco may also add NeoPath's SMART virtualization technology to its director-level multiprotocol switches.

Cisco had in the past provided funding for NeoPath. The acquisition also shows that Cisco is interested in the file virtualization market. In March of last year, Cisco's main rival, Brocade, acquired NuView and added the company's StorageX product to its product portfolio. EMC also acquired file virtualization vendor Rainfinity and developed its own file-area networking product, Infoscape product.

NeoPath was founded in 2002 and has 55 employees.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.