Networking giant Cisco has announced its intention to acquire Springpath, a leader in the hyperconvergence software space.

Springpath, based in Sunnyvale, California, was founded by Mallik Mahalingam and Krishna Yadappanavar, both former senior engineers at VMware.

The acquisition marks the culmination of a long-standing relationship between the two firms which began in 2012 when Cisco’s investment team first met Mahalingam shortly after he had launched the startup.

According to Cisco, Springpath’s founders wanted to revolutionise the data centre through its innovative data platform. Having followed Springpath’s progress, Cisco led the company’s Series C financing round, coupled with a joint go-to-market agreement.

This led to the 2016 launch of Cisco’s HyperFlex product, the industry’s first fully-integrated hyperconverged infrastructure system. By co-engineering Springpath’s software with the Cisco Unified Computing System, the companies delivered a fully-integrated platform.

The goal was to provide customers with the convenience and benefit of getting all of the HyperFlex software and hardware from a single vendor.

Cisco VP of corporate business development, Rob Salvagno, said: ‘This acquisition is a meaningful addition to our data center portfolio and aligns with our overall transition to providing more software-centric solutions.

‘Springpath’s file system technology was built specifically for hyperconvergence, which we believe will deliver sustainable differentiation in this fast-growing segment.’

Cisco will acquire Springpath for $320 million (approx. £249 million) in cash and assumed equity awards, plus additional retention-based incentives. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of fiscal year 2018.

Senior VP and GM of Cisco’s computing systems product group, Liz Centoni, will now be in charge of Springpath at Cisco. Centoni commented: ‘The acquisition of Springpath is strategic to our data centre portfolio as we transition to delivering software-centric solutions to our customers.

‘This acquisition will further fuel the incredible momentum we have seen in the adoption and deployment of this solution over the last several quarters.’