Cisco to Distribute Grid Networks’ P2P Client

Cisco will include Grid Networks‘ peer-to-peer software in its home networking products, alongside participation in the company’s Series A round. “They’re going to embed the GridCast client into edge devices in millions of households in the coming year-plus,” Grid Networks CEO Tony Naughtin told us last week.

Cisco had actually all along been an investor in the company’s $9.5 Series A round, which was led by Panorama Capital, but hadn’t disclosed its involvement until now.

Grid Networks is also in production trials with a couple of “satellite-, cable-type TV networks” for streaming live television, said Naughtin. “Our system was built to scale to Nielsen-sized audiences,” he emphasized. The Seattle-based company gives publishers tools to manage and distribute their content, combining its proprietary peer-to-peer system with commodity conventional content delivery to ensure reliability alongside lower costs.

Naughtin, who said he considers his company’s main competitor to be Move Networks, added in a swipe at the rest of the sector: “There are distinct differences between what we’re doing and BitTorrent, Pando, Swarmcast, and Itiva. It’s difficult to take a software company and turn it into a service provider.”

We’re in the middle of a land grab among these companies as they try to avoid making end users manually install their clients. Cisco is a pretty good coup for Grid Networks. Move Networks recently cut a deal to be included in Silverlight. BitTorrent’s CEO bragged about his own tie-ups in a recent video interview we posted.

Apologies: this had been announced earlier last week, but got stuck in my story pipeline.