Cisco is buying CliQr for $260M to expand its hybrid cloud management solutions

Some more consolidation underway in the world of enterprise cloud services, and specifically in the area of hybrid cloud. Today Cisco announced that it is buying CliQr, a provider of application management solutions for hybrid cloud environments, for $260 million in cash and equity awards.

The deal, which is expected to close in Q3 of this year, will see the CliQr team become a part of Cisco’s Insieme business unit reporting to Prem Jain. CliQr was already working with Cisco, with the company’s solutions integrated across several of Cisco’s data center switching and cloud solutions, the company said.

CliQr had raised just over $38 million from investors that include Google Ventures, Foundation Capital, InstantScale Ventures, Polaris Partners and Translink Capital. CliQr, based out of San Jose, was founded in 2010 but only came out of stealth in 2012.

While many businesses today are moving services off their own servers and into cloud-based evironments, more often than not enterprises are taking a combined approach using on-premise, cloud and third-party servers to run their IT. This is leading to a lot of M&A activity in the hybrid cloud space but also companies organically expanding their service offerings in this field to meet customer demands.

Indeed, the acquisition of CliQr comes at a time when we’re seeing some other interesting moves from other enterprise services companies to build up their hybrid cloud services. Last week, IBM announced a deep partnership with VMWare specifically to expand its own hybrid cloud offering (and it’s also made some acquisitions of its own in the space, for example buying Cleversafe last October). RedHat acquired Ansible also last October. And Microsoft’s acquisition of Aorato was also aimed at improving its security offerings for hybrid cloud environments.

“Customers today have to manage a massive number of complex and different applications across many clouds,” said Rob Salvagno, vice president, Cisco Corporate Development, in a statement. “With CliQr, Cisco will be able to help our customers realize the promise of the cloud and easily manage the lifecycle of their applications on any hybrid cloud environment.”

CliQr’s approach, as Cisco describes it, is to provide customers with a single platform, called the CloudCenter, to manage applications across hybrid IT environments. The idea with CliQr is that it’s meant to grow with the business’s own gradual move to the cloud by making it easy to move application by application into a cloud environment, making it an attractive upsell.

Cisco says it will keep CliQr operational as it is today and integrate it further into its data center business.

The is Cisco’s 195th (!) acquisition.