Cisco Systems Inc. has agreed to acquire London-based traffic engineering and routing software provider Parc Technologies Ltd. in an effort to gain better traffic management in its systems and products, the company said Thursday.

The San Jose networking giant will pay US$9 million in cash for all outstanding shares of Parc that it doesn’t already own, it said.

The privately held U.K. company is a spin-off from an algorithm research centre at the University of London’s Imperial College. Its route server algorithms are used to break up complex network routing problems, according to Cisco.

The networking company plans to initially use Parc’s algorithms in its Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) TE product to help service providers improve their network utilization.

Cisco also plans to incorporate Parc’s Route Server software into its MPLS Management product portfolio and make it available as part of its IP Solutions Center, it said.

Cisco has been on a bit of a shopping spree, agreeing to snap up both router maker Procket Networks Inc. and backup software provider Actona Technologies Inc. in recent weeks. The company reported strong third-quarter earnings last May, including a US$1 billion sales increase that has apparently left it with a little extra pocket money to fill some gaps in its portfolio.

The company’s buy of Parc is expected to be completed in the first quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2005, subject to closing conditions.

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