Cisco serves up $250 million for Topspin

Networking giant Cisco Systems is getting a grip on the clustering racket with an agreement to buy Topspin Communications.

Privately held Topspin makes "server fabric switches" designed to provide high-performance networking service in areas such as grid computing, clustered applications and server virtualization. One of the start-up's customers is Dell, which uses Topspin's switches to connect PowerEdge servers in clusters of up to 128 servers.

Cisco says the $250 million acquisition will help round out its lineup, with Topspin's InfiniBand-based gear falling into place alongside Cisco's Ethernet and SAN switches.

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