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Cisco nabs data center software start-up

Cisco Systems plans to buy Tidal Software for $150 million in cash as it bulks up its offering for corporate data centers.

Cisco Systems is picking up another data center start-up as it makes a push to diversify its business.

On Thursday the company announced that it plans to buy privately held Tidal Software for $150 million in cash. Tidal, located right in Cisco's back yard in San Jose, Calif., develops management software that automates business processes.

Specifically, the company automates routine tasks that often span multiple servers and operate independently. Traditionally, IT managers have had to manually schedule jobs that these servers undertake, which costs time and money. Tidal's software helps streamline this process.

Tidal counts Citibank and Microsoft as its customers, among others.

The acquisition fits into Cisco's strategy to expand its presence in the corporate data center. Cisco, which has long dominated the IP router and switch market, is looking to diversify its business to grow the company. Recently, the company moved from offering networking equipment in the data center to actually selling computer servers. The move squarely puts Cisco in competition with companies such as Hewlett-Packard and IBM. The company also plans to offer software to help companies better manage traffic to their data centers.

Cisco expects to close the acquisition of Tidal Software in the quarter that ends in July.