The turn-of-year flurry of networking acquisitions continued this week when ATM specialist Fore Systems bought Massachusetts-based Cadia Networks for $150 million in shares. The takeover extends Fore's market reach to Internet service providers (ISPs).
Cadia, a privately held company, focuses on multi-service Wan adapters and concentrators for the ISP sector. Founded by Greg Ferguson only 10 months ago, and with no products delivered yet, it will now form the nucleus of a new remote access products group within Fore, which will focus on the service providers. Ferguson will head up this group.
Analysts believe Fore is keen to move into the ISP sector because of slower than expected adoption of ATM in its core corporate base.
Cadia's products add the carrier class access technology that service providers require to Fore's own ATM Lan switching lines. Fore aims to deliver a full range of products based on Cadia technology in the middle of this year. Together with its existing offerings, these will allow ISPs to consolidate different network and traffic types, including IP, frame relay, voice and video, on one ATM backbone.
"Cadia Networks was formed to meet the needs of service providers for multi-service adaptation and concentration at dramatically reduced capital costs," commented Ferguson. "Cadia and Fore share a common vision of the emerging service provider architecture, with ATM at the core and multi-service adaptation at the edge."
Features of the upcoming product line will include support for any service - frame relay, ATM, PPP, multilink PPP and circuit emulation - on any port. There will also be SNMP-based management and links to Fore's Foreview network management software; plus full redundancy and channelised DS3 to the DS0 level. The products will also incorporate the Forethought internetworking software for integration with other Fore and third party products.
The acquisition, which involved the transfer of about four million Fore shares, will be accounted for as a pooling of interests.
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