Cisco this morning said it plans to acquire Tidal Software for $105 million in cash as part of its expansion into the data center. Tidal, which raised venture money from investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Panorama Capital, and VantagePoint Venture Partners, makes software that schedules jobs and tracks the performance of applications across a network. Cisco can use such software to help IT departments track performance over highly virtualized environments, from the data center to the desktop.
As Cisco pushes its vision of a Unified Computing System out to corporate clients, IT departments will need tools to help manage the beast that is the new Cisco server. With Tidal, Cisco will have job scheduler software in its portfolio that can handle the thousands of virtual machine images on those servers. The software also measures performance across an entire IT network, from the servers to the desktops. That would give Cisco clients an eye on desktop performance, while ensuring that Cisco gets to control access from end to end. Plus, as desktop virtualization is becoming more interesting to corporations, Tidal could be an important part of Cisco’s offering that would help IT track performance issues on those virtual desktops.