More consolidation: Cisco to acquire Reactivity

The consolidation in the vendor space continues. From

Cisco Systems Inc., a leading supplier of Internet network equipment, has announced its intention to acquire Reactivity Inc., a provider of gateway solutions that simplify web services management. The agreement, which is subject to the standard closing conditions, states that Cisco will pay $135 million and assumed options of Reactivity.

Jeff will need to update his scorecard. This certainly puts two big boys head-to-head in this space with IBM previously having acquired DataPower. Cisco has been very quiet for some time regarding its AON technology, so I’m wondering how this acquisition impacts that effort.

The more important question, however, is what this means for the bigger picture. I previously posted on the need for an open, integrated world between service management, service connectivity, and service hosting. Unfortunately, these acquisitions may point more toward single-vendor, proprietary integrations, rather than open solutions. Will the Cisco version of Reactivity still partner with companies like AmberPoint, or will the management focus now shift all to Cisco technologies, starting with the Application Control Engine mentioned in Cisco’s press release? What’s been happening with the Governance Interoperability Framework now that HP owns Systinet? IBM’s Registry/Repository solution doesn’t support UDDI and has a new API.

While bigger fish eating the smaller fish is way things frequently work with technology startups, these players need to keep in mind the principles of SOA. Their products should be providing services to enterprise, and those services should be accessible in an open, standards-based way. Just as the business doesn’t want a bunch of packaged business applications that require redundant data and can’t talk to each other, IT doesn’t want a bunch of infrastructure that requires redundant management capabilities with only proprietary APIs to work with. We need SOA for IT, and any vendor selling in this space should be making that a reality, not making it worse.

One Response to “More consolidation: Cisco to acquire Reactivity”

  • You are right on target. The only reason we are still talking SOA in 2007 is because of Web Services and the open nature of the standards around them. Service orientation existed before now as we all know but no one was ever able to get all the vendors to play together. The open standards associated with Web Services is what brought SOA back to the limelight and got folks talking again.

    The industry around SOA has now moved beyond just Web Services but they were the catalyst. You take away the standards and SOA suffers.

Leave a Reply


This blog represents my own personal views, and not those of my employer or any third party. Any use of the material in articles, whitepapers, blogs, etc. must be attributed to me alone without any reference to my employer. Use of my employers name is NOT authorized.