In an inorganic move aimed at cloud-based managed security services, Cisco has announced its intent to acquire OpenDNS.
OpenDNS's specialty is protecting devices of any type from threats via a SaaS model. They do so by extending traditional DNS services with content filtering and anti-phishing capabilities. Cisco will fold those capabilities and the talent assembled by OpenDNS into its own growing cloud security portfolio and talent base.
Despite the use of the word 'open' in its name, OpenDNS is not about open source but rather refers to the fact that DNS services are open to queries from any source. In earlier years, OpenDNS made its money from advertising on pages displayed to users who typed in a nonexistent URL, but they discontinued that line of business about a year ago.
This isn't Cisco's first look at OpenDNS of course, as they participated in an $35M Series-C funding round a year ago. The purchase will cost Cisco some $635M to make the deal happen, mostly in the form of cash. It is expected to close in Cisco's fiscal Q1 2016, which for those who like me don't memorize these things ends on October 31.
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