Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Cisco To Buy Meraki For $1.2 Billion

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the circle-of-business dept.

Cloud 59

UnanimousCoward writes "Several outlets are reporting Cisco's intent to acquire Meraki for $1.2 billion. From the article: 'Cisco Systems of San Jose, California, says it is buying Meraki Networks of San Francisco for around $1.2 billion in cash. The news of the deal leaked on Twitter, when Cisco accidentally posted the news on its blog and swiftly removed it, but it was too late. Cisco is hoping to focus on smaller and medium-sized campuses with Meraki and its products.'"

cancel ×

59 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Bad summary (4, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | about 2 years ago | (#42028729)

What the hell does Meraki do? You can safely assume we've heard of Cisco, but not Meraki.

Re:Bad summary (1)

clm1970 (1728766) | about 2 years ago | (#42028833)

Their marketing byline lists them as: "....the leader in cloud controlled WiFi, routing, and security"

Re:Bad summary (3, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#42028965)

They are a better Aruba Networks.

Now, just another car hitched-up to the Cisco fail-train. The LAST thing Cisco needs to do? Acquire more hardware.

Software-defined networking is where Cisco will be commoditized into irrelevance. Sticking a management interface and IPAM "in the cloud" is not SDN.

But Cisco cannot realize revenue, in the way they have scaled their operations, on software. They cannot transform their business, and they will slowly die.

Re:Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42030029)

Meraki is a market leader in pseudo-random technology market buzzword analysis, acquisition, and application. Outside the box thinking that changes paradigms. Unparalleled cloud synergy mobile platforms!

Re:Bad summary (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#42028839)

If you've ever decided "Hey, I should manage the infrastructure that lets me access 'the cloud' with 'the cloud', because nothing could possibly go wrong!" then you might have gone shopping with Meraki...

Re:Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42029603)

I initially read your comment as:

"...because nothing cLoud possibly go wrong!"

Re:Bad summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42030049)

I am not responsible for your dyslexia, you insensitive cloud!

Re:Bad summary (2)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 2 years ago | (#42028849)

they are a crappy Internet proxy service for "open wifi" where none of your traffic is encrypted but still requires a user-name and password. my college uses them all it seems able to do is block legitimate services that require Internet access, log you out periodically and not let log back in, and slowly throttle your connections bandwidth down to nothing, while not stopping or slowing down torrents which is one of the reasons they started using it. oh and it has stupid site balcklists (well that might be the local admin) blocking things like dropbox,

Re:Bad summary (5, Informative)

Ultra64 (318705) | about 2 years ago | (#42029095)

"they are a crappy Internet proxy service for "open wifi" where none of your traffic is encrypted but still requires a user-name and password."

This is inaccurate. It all depends on how you configure your network. You can have encryption, RADIUS authentication, MAC whitelist/blacklist whatever.

" oh and it has stupid site balcklists (well that might be the local admin) "

No "might be" about it. Nothing is blocked by default.

"while not stopping or slowing down torrents which is one of the reasons they started using it"

Then they have a configuration problem. We have no problem doing this for one of our networks.

They *are* crappy, but only because their hardware is absurdly expensive for the speeds it provides. Ubiquiti's Unifi is much better performance/price. Their controller software isn't as advanced though.

Re:Bad summary (2)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 2 years ago | (#42029129)

What the hell does Meraki do? You can safely assume we've heard of Cisco, but not Meraki.

No, but we can safely assume you have heard of Google. Or that you know how to click on links in the summery...

OK, perhaps that last bit was too much...

Re:Bad summary (3, Insightful)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#42029625)

I have heard of Google. Is Meraki a Google subsidiary? Shouldnt the summary include this information.

Seriously, the summary is supposed to summarize the story. Give you a gist of what is happening. What Meraki does is important part of it. Expecting people to Google every word in the summary or to RTFA, is unreasonable.

Re:Bad summary (1)

rogueippacket (1977626) | about 2 years ago | (#42029737)

Expecting people to... RTFA, is unreasonable.

I see you've figured out how things work around here. Carry on.

Re:Bad summary (1)

laurelraven (1539557) | about 2 years ago | (#42030087)

As my sig says...

Re:Bad summary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42030493)

Expecting people to Google every word in the summary or to RTFA, is unreasonable.

Then keep bitching you lazy waste of a cumshot. The editors won't fly you in first class to Slashdot HQ to explain the story word by word to you.

Re:Bad summary (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#42030017)

Or that you know how to click on links in the summery...

You can only do that in New Zealand or Australia, here up north it's getting pretty wintery.

Re:Bad summary (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about 2 years ago | (#42037349)

Or that you know how to click on links in the summery...

In the summaries defense, the article didn't really do a much better job of explaining who Meraki is.
As for google... sure I can do the job of the reporter, but that isn't what I am paying him for.

Re:Bad summary (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 2 years ago | (#42029163)

Not surprising. A $1.2B acquisition for Cisco could be paid for out of petty cash.

Re:Bad summary (2)

helix2301 (1105613) | about 2 years ago | (#42029421)

Meraki will form Cisco’s new Cloud Networking group, led by Meraki CEO Sanjit Biswas. This purchases comes right on the heels of the $125 million purchase last week of Cloupia, which develops software that helps data center operators manage their resources. Meraki today supports 20,000 customers and hundreds of thousands of network devices on its platform. From the way things look Cisco is beefing up there cloud division with great software and great knowable staff as they compete with companies like Oracle and Rackspace.

Re:Bad summary (3, Informative)

mellon (7048) | about 2 years ago | (#42029875)

They do mesh networking, and remote management. So you buy a bunch of their boxes, hang them all over the place, hardwire them to your network where you can, rely on the mesh where you can't hardwire them. They form a mesh, which you manage from a web site Meraki runs. It's not a bad system for running a wifi infrastructure, if you don't mind the monthly fees and the somewhat underpowered routers.

Re:Bad summary (1)

Xacid (560407) | about 2 years ago | (#42031043)

They make some really neat stuff - which is why it bums me out they're going to be under Cisco now.

Used to use Meraki, switched to openmesh (3, Insightful)

witherstaff (713820) | about 2 years ago | (#42034595)

Back when Meraki came out they were a great product. Cheap products that did mesh that just worked. I used them for years giving free wifi to a small area that transferred over 1TB to thousands of clients. Then Google bought them - or invested into them, not sure the exacts - and I didn't notice much of a difference at first. I wanted to expand my area and found the cheap products were end of lifed and no more. They had more expensive multiband gear and then enterprise. I could upgrade but it wasn't worth the expense to add two units when I could redo my whole area by going with openmesh. I've been happy with openmesh, another simple mesh wifi that just works. In fact I'm using it right now, my house is 2 hops from the commercial connection at the office, about 1km away.

I never used the enterprise level gear. If it was as easy to use as the cheap gear I can see why it'd have value. I am surprised that it's a billion dollar value. I wonder how much profit Google made through this?

Re:Bad summary (3, Informative)

Bryansix (761547) | about 2 years ago | (#42031007)

Let me reply since I actually support a Meraki network. The client already has it before we took them over. So basically on the service its just another networking gear vendor. However when you get into actually supporting it, its pretty nice. Instead of needing access to the internal network to manage things, we login to a central dashboard which is hosted by Meraki themselves. Because the device configuration is replicated on their servers then the support experience is different and improved because by simply knowing your account and the proper authorization, they can see your entire configuration. Furthermore the devices all talk to each other and of course to the dashboard. Now Cisco has this with its wireless controller hardware but its nowhere as easy to manage. Meraki has downsides too. One feature is an agent which tracks all the network devices both on and off the network. The agents exist for Windows, Mac IOS and Android. While the feature is cool, its now adding another thing which needs to be managed. They've had bugs too which were not very friendly to figure out like one that just randomly rebooted the firewall every so often. Overall though the experience has been good. If Cisco can integrate the best features of Meraki into its products then maybe the barrier to managing Cisco devices will finally go away.

Re:Bad summary (1)

cusco (717999) | about 2 years ago | (#42032381)

More likely you'll see your nice Meraki management interface congeal into a useless lump of Cisco-ness. Made the mistake of "upgrading" the firmware on a Linksys business-class Layer 3 switch a couple of years after Cisco bought them. Lost several features, including the ability to manage VLANs through the web interface, PPTP connections went from 3 concurrent sessions to 1, port forwarding became almost impossible to find, and the local help file was deleted in favor of a link back to the mother ship (where I had to create a user account so that Cisco could spam me with requests to "upgrade" the router).

Re:Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42033759)

I'm sure it nice from a management perspective, but why are Meraki managed networks always so horribly slow? I travel 365/7/24 and I've started to shun hotel/motels that use Meraki. I'm never able to get decent speeds at these places.

Re:Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42033729)

They provide crappy Internet at places like Motel 6, which is the sole reason why I've switched to the more expensive Super 8.

Hmmm (0)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 2 years ago | (#42028745)

Just had a thought, what if one on the major tech companies (Google, Apple, MS...) bought Hostess?

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42028845)

Twinkie 2.0?

Re:Hmmm (3, Funny)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 2 years ago | (#42028911)

iHoho's, gTwinkies, Microsoft Ding Dongs#

Re:Hmmm (1)

Hobadee (787558) | about 2 years ago | (#42028979)

It would keep the programmers productive!

Re:Hmmm (4, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | about 2 years ago | (#42029055)

They would just change the interface to make it harder to eat and then sue all the other high calorie snak makers for patent infringement.

Re:Hmmm (3, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#42029145)

Never happen. Wrong color for Apple, and since Twinkies have rounded corners, the others would be afraid of getting sued.

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42029373)

I don't know if I could eat anyhing that is "Silver"

news for nerds? stuff that matters? (1)

jlv (5619) | about 2 years ago | (#42028797)

This is the 5th or 6th story over the last week that I had already read about in the WSJ. Some of them were stories reported the day after they were in the WSJ.

I'm not sure these stories are what I read /. for.

Re:news for nerds? stuff that matters? (1)

laurelraven (1539557) | about 2 years ago | (#42030379)

So, they shouldn't report on tech news just because it's reported somewhere else? I'm sure I'm not the only person here who doesn't read WSJ, and this very much does apply to what I do in tech.

Accidental Post? (3, Informative)

clm1970 (1728766) | about 2 years ago | (#42028855)

Then I guess Meraki "accidentally" put out a FAQ on the acquisition too. http://www.meraki.com/company/cisco-acquisition-faq [meraki.com]

Re:Accidental Post? (1)

franciscohs (1003004) | about 2 years ago | (#42029007)

Or in their home page too for that matter.

Meraki: Kings of bait and switch (3, Informative)

hughbar (579555) | about 2 years ago | (#42028949)

Meraki is mesh wifi that grew out of Roofnet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roofnet [wikipedia.org] . They sold 'open source' oriented mesh hardware for a while and then closed the infrastructure and raised prices. Declaration of interest, I got caught and remain mad with them, they're a good example of [what I call] 'open season', jackals who scavange on open-source. Here's some of the detail: http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Meraki-Annoys-Partners-Customers-88249 [dslreports.com]

Since there's been news of predatory and exaggerated pricing by Cisco recently: http://slashdot.org/index2.pl?fhfilter=cisco+pricing [slashdot.org] they'll make great partners. I'm not taking anything at all from either of them.

Re:Meraki: Kings of bait and switch (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#42028991)

I really liked the part where they bait-and-switched on their business model and pushed a firmware update to devices already in the field to try to stop anybody who didn't like the new pricing model from reflashing the APs they already owned. That was a nice touch.

Re:Meraki: Kings of bait and switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42029175)

they just copied some bits for themselves, not like they stole anything

Re:Meraki: Kings of bait and switch (4, Interesting)

UnanimousCoward (9841) | about 2 years ago | (#42029391)

As the submitter of the story, let it be known that I put in this /. link as part of the submittal, but it must have "accidentally" lost in the shuffle:

http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/08/03/24/1318226/from-happy-hacking-to-screw-you

And they will pay... (1)

Zemran (3101) | about 2 years ago | (#42029035)

... in Bitcoins.

wireless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42029073)

Iirc they make competition to Cisco WLC. Meraki: Configure in cloud, send radio to customer, connects to Internet and grabs config.

Another one bites the dust (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42029107)

Sucks! Cisco destroyed linksys now another mid size company will become one with the borg.

Re:Another one bites the dust (1)

game kid (805301) | about 2 years ago | (#42029993)

...and, if that mid-size company is as described [slashdot.org] , nothing of value was lost.

Public Announcement on Meraki's website (1)

theslug (90894) | about 2 years ago | (#42029239)

The /. posting notes that Cisco was quick to remove the announcement however Meraki has yet to react. The post is in their "About Us" section, http://www.meraki.com/company/about

"Cisco to acquire Meraki
In November 2012, Cisco announced its intent to acquire Meraki for $1.2 billion in cash. When the acquisition completes, Meraki will form Cisco’s new Cloud Networking group, led by Meraki CEO Sanjit Biswas. Cisco and Meraki are committed to supporting Meraki’s customers and partners, and to continue to improve and expand all of Meraki’s product lines."

Re:Public Announcement on Meraki's website (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42029831)

We use lots of Meraki APs. Their dashboard/cloud controller has a link right at the top - Cisco to acquire Meraki - Customer FAQ

Competition (1)

fsterman (519061) | about 2 years ago | (#42029631)

Could someone from the FCC please step in and stop Cisco's networking monopoly? Networking should be a commodity market but every time a networking vendor gets any traction in the market, Cisco snatches them up, marks up their product, and generally ensures that there is no legitimate competition.

Re:Competition (1)

rogueippacket (1977626) | about 2 years ago | (#42029815)

Cisco is large, but hardly a monopoly or market leader anymore. HP, Shoretel, Mitel, Juniper, Dell, Palo Alto, Aruba, they're all here to eat Cisco's lunch one way or another. There's also Huawei and Alcatel-Lucent on the service-provider and mobility side of things. Cisco's major advantage comes from their roots in education; their certification exams are still the foundation of any networking career, and no other vendor has near as much reach today.

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42029999)

Also Brocade, Avaya, Foundry Networks and a few others that I can't recall at the moment

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42036249)

Arista, Nortel, granted the latter is pretty much done.

Re:Competition (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 2 years ago | (#42032105)

People just love to scream "Monopoly".

Re:Competition (1)

CyprusBlue113 (1294000) | about 2 years ago | (#42033551)

Cisco may be overpriced by a good bit in a lot of areas, but they also have a lot of competition that is the equivalent to a Resident Evil zombie as far as intelligence goes.

Example: Have you ever used dell switches? Go ahead, ask them the buffer sizes for the ports and or the backplane connection / ASIC mappings, good luck even *finding* someone who can tell you, because they sure aren't documented anywhere accessible.

Open-mesh.com: same idea, 20% of the price (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42029835)

Open-mesh.com [open-mesh.com] provides a similar capability with remote web management for much lower cost.

If you need to do any wireless backhauls you can use Ubiquiti NanoBridges to create linked pockets of mesh routers.

Meraki needed a "liquidity event," Cisco may regret this purchase.

The worst thing that could happen (1)

fluor2 (242824) | about 2 years ago | (#42030667)

Meraki is all about what I expected Networking to be in the future. Now Cisco buys it.

I fear Cisco saw the increasing amount of customers asking why they don't do like Meraki. Hell, their battle cards even did not list anything negative about Meraki except that Meraki only had about one hundre employees.

Well, now Cisco will probably freeze the features and start moving in their own technology as new features, where you have to buy large complex and expensive licenses for getting it all.

Meraki was really starting to taking off, and Cisco got rid of a future competitor for lousy billion.

Re:The worst thing that could happen (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 2 years ago | (#42032139)

Their licensing prices were a bit high. The hardware a bit weak.
I considered using them and even had a unit for about a month for evaluation.
In the end I decided that though it was ok that for the company I work for I could not justify the cost increase for the feature set.

Re:The worst thing that could happen (1)

bledri (1283728) | about 2 years ago | (#42036525)

Their licensing prices were a bit high. The hardware a bit weak.

Well here's my prediction. The licensing fees are going to get much higher. The hardware will stagnate as Cisco spends time "Ciscoizing" it and then milking it for every last cent. One other thin, Meraki's engineers are about to get a taste of what happens when a company run by engineers (as Cisco once was) turns into a company run by MBAs (as Cisco is).

Re:The worst thing that could happen (1)

bledri (1283728) | about 2 years ago | (#42036539)

One other thing. Would it kill Slashdot to let me edit my posts?

Cisco is growing (1)

epSos-de (2741969) | about 2 years ago | (#42033497)

Cisco is know to buy companies that do things better than them. They have no R&D, but buy new technology instead. This was thought to me in university.

Meraki was a bad company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42044715)

They are an open source leech and closed their forum, lucky the webarchive has it stored:
http://web.archive.org/web/20071208225620/http://forums.meraki.com/viewtopic.php?t=1841&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?