The 10 biggest cloud computing acquisitions of 2017

Last year witnessed several major acquisitions in the field of cloud computing. Cisco, HPE, Sage, Peak 10, and many other tech giants made some big moves to strengthen their existing or future technologies. Here is the list of top 10 cloud computing acquisitions in 2017 in ascending order.

10. Palo Alto Networks acquires LightCyber — $105M

When: February

What Palo Alto does: Network security

What LightCyber does: Behavioral attack detection

Why this deal: Palo Alto Networks wants to boost its security platform with modern machine learning based behavioral detection

Palo Alto Networks has rebranded LightCyber as Magnifier and has included it in its product portfolio.

9. Cisco acquires MindMeld — $125M

When: May

What Cisco does: Networking hardware, telecommunication services, and enterprise software

What MindMeld does: Conversational interfaces for applications

Why this deal: Cisco hopes to make its enterprise collaboration app Spark smarter with the artificial intelligence capabilities of MindMeld

In the long term, Cisco hopes to use MindMeld’s technologies to enhance conversational experiences across all its products. With AI being all the rage today, it’s no surprise Cisco is taking this route.

8. Cisco acquires Viptela — $610M

When: August

What Cisco does: Networking hardware, telecommunication services, and enterprise software

What Viptela does: SD-WAN in the cloud, particularly on the AWS cloud

Why this deal: Cisco wants a larger share of the cloud market and Viptela is a shortcut to get there

Cisco wants to be both a solution provider on the AWS marketplace and find new customers for its own cloud platform. Viptela, with a large customer base on AWS is an attractive opportunity for Cisco to expand its reach with the cloud. This deal isn’t a surprise as many in Viptela management are ex-Cisco employees.

7. CA Technologies acquires Veracode — $614M

When: March

What CA does: End-to-end software development tools

What Veracode does: Application security for the cloud

Why this deal: Veracode would tighten security in the cloud for CA’s customers

Veracode works on providing multiple analysis technologies to handle security vulnerabilities. Their advanced application analytics capabilities improve the security of web, mobile, and third-party applications.

Veracode brings to CA high-level advanced security features that can help bolster the development process and help CA’s customers better respond to vulnerabilities. With this merger, CA’s Security and DevOps products will be unified into a single SaS platform that would bake security into the application from the very initial stages of development.

6. HPE acquires SimpliVity — $650M

When: January

What HPE does: Public cloud platform

What SimpliVity does: Hyperconverged infrastructure

Why this deal: HPE wants to provide the next generation of infrastructure that’s hyperconverged, and SimpliVity enables this.

Hyperconverged infrastructure is an approach to servers where compute, storage, and networking are combined into a single hardware and software system. This makes for simpler management and a more well-integrated solution. SimpliVity has found takes for this idea in entrenched server vendors like Dell and Cisco who have used SimpliVity’s software within their solutions. HPE sees the potential in their offering and has scooped up SimpliVity for a hefty $650M.

Bonus: 2018 acquisitions

Before I reveal the top five acquisitions of 2017, I’d like to add a little bonus of two recent acquisitions in 2018.

First up, there’s Red Hat’s acquisition of CoreOS for $250M. CoreOS has long been a flagbearer in the container ecosystem and is the only company to have headed a Kubernetes release apart from Google. With this rich history, it’s no surprise Red Hat scooped up CoreOS for a neat $250M.

Then Veeam acquired N2WS for $42.5M. N2WS is a provider of AWS backup solutions and will help strengthen Veeam’s data availability platform.

These acquisitions are further proof that the cloud computing space is buzzing with activity, and 2018 is going to be another great year for startups and enterprises alike.

Now, onward to the biggest acquisitions of 2017.

cloud computing acquisitions

5. HPE acquires Nimble Storage — $1.2B

When: March

What HPE does: Public cloud platform

What Nimble Storage does: Cloud-based flash storage

Why this deal: HPE wants to add another storage option to its cloud platform, and leverage Nimble’s InfoSight, which delivers monitoring and predictive analytics for cloud storage

Considering HPE had recently acquired SimpliVity, this acquisition was a bit of a surprise as they both provide storage solutions, although Nimble is more exclusively focused on storage. Nimble has found it hard to cut its losses since its IPO in 2013, and with the market for separate flash storage in the cloud shrinking, Nimble saw HPE as a way out of the inevitable dead end. For HPE, being able to bolster its storage services with the innovative Nimble Storage was an attractive proposition.

4. Peak 10 acquires ViaWest — $1.7 Billion.

When: May

What Peak 10 does: Datacenter co-location and cloud services

What ViaWest does: Datacenter co-location and cloud services

Why this deal: Two of the largest datacenter service providers in North America combine to become the single largest provider

Peak 10 is a portfolio company of GI Partners, which was also the investors of ViaWest, a hybrid IT solutions provider. This collaboration creates a leading provider of cloud, co-location, and managed IT solutions. In this deal, GI Partners will remain the majority stakeholders of the company.

Together the company caters to 20 domestic and international markets and 4,200 customers with hybrid IT infrastructure solutions. They are now able to offer 40 highly redundant datacenters, 2.7 million sq. ft. space of datacenter, new cloud nodes, and more than 10,000 cross-connects. The aim of this deal is to bring more reliable and efficient services to the business and private users, of both entities.

3. Sage acquires Intacct — $850M

When: July

What Sage does: Payroll and accounting software firm (UK-based)

What Intacct does: Financial management applications

Why this deal: Sage wants to expand its reach to the North America market and Intacct is a better option for a takeover than its rivals

Sage, the leading UK-based payroll and accounting software firm acquired North America’s leading cloud financial management solutions provider, Intacct Corp. for $850 Million. Intacct competes with its American rivals like Salesforce’s Financial Force and Netsuite from Oracle. Being a 19-year old company, this is a great exit for Intacct.

Stephen Kelly, CEO of Sage believes that the acquisition of Intacct will help in their strategy of strengthening Sage Business Cloud and will open up a huge potential market in North America. Robert Reid, CEO of Intacct will continue to run business as joint name “Sage Intacct.”

2. Cisco acquires Broadsoft — $1.9B

When: October

What Cisco does: Networking hardware, telecommunication services, and enterprise software

What Broadsoft does: Cloud PBX (private branch exchange) and business communication systems

Why this deal: Broadsoft strengthen’s Cisco’s position in the enterprise collaboration market

Cisco started its foray into enterprise collaboration software with Webex more than a decade ago. It then launched Spark, its internal communication platform. But there has been stiffening competition from the likes of Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, all aiming for the lucrative enterprise collaboration app space. Cisco sees Broadsoft, with its modern and powerful calling and communication apps, as giving it a leg up in this race. With this and other acquisitions like Viptela and MindMeld, it’s clear that Cisco is serious about the enterprise collaboration market and is in it for the long run.

cloud computing acquisitions


1. Cisco acquires AppDynamics — $3.7B

When: October

What Cisco does: Networking hardware, telecommunication services, and enterprise software

What AppDynamics does: Application performance monitoring

Why this deal: Cisco has been diversifying from its roots in hardware networking over the past decade. This, the biggest acquisition of 2017, is one more step in that direction.

AppDynamics was preparing for an IPO in early 2017 when news broke that it had been acquired by Cisco. The price of $3.7 billion was especially noteworthy as this makes it one of the biggest deals in recent times. Cisco aims to integrate AppDynamics into its overall cloud offerings to be more competitive.

Cisco has, by far, been the biggest buyer of cloud computing startups in 2017. HPE comes in a distant second. With all this activity in the past year, it’ll be exciting to see how the cloud computing market shapes up in 2018. Cisco and HPE are definitely two companies to watch as they integrate their big buys of 2017 and introduce new offerings this year.

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