The rumor mill says Cisco is buying NetApp, but insiders say it will never happen


The rumor has surfaced before, and it seems likely it will appear again. The chit-chat around the watercooler is that Cisco is looking into buying storage technology partner NetApp, but according to a Business Insider article, just forget about that idea. It's never going to happen.

As the article noted, it's hardly the first time Cisco has been rumored to be ready to buy NetApp. The latest version of the rumor appears to stem from NetApp's falling stock value and the pending Dell acquisition of EMC. Combine that with Cisco's long history of acquiring technology partners, and sure, it makes some sense.

The article noted "people close to the company" have a different perspective. The acquisition is not in the cards – and apparently never will be.

When it comes storage, Cisco's strategy is to look ahead to next-generation technologies. With NetApp, it's fair to say it doesn't fit. NetApp is a long-time storage vendor that held onto legacy product lines a little too long. It was slow to make the switch to flash-based storage technology – and that could account for its poor stock performance.

The Business Insider article speculated that Cisco is likely working internally to design and build its own next-gen storage technology. In the past, Cisco would have supported a spin-in model. Former CEO John Chambers was a huge fan of helping Cisco employees go off to innovate and then buying their companies for big bucks when the right time came. Current CEO Chuck Robbins isn't a fan of such initiatives. Instead, Robbins has hinted a few times since taking the reins in July 2015 that he prefers to create internal development teams.

My bet would be that one of those internal teams has been (or will be) tasked with creating Cisco's storage tech.

For more:
- read the Business Insider article

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