Cisco has acquired privately held vCider, a developer of virtual network overlay technology for secure data centres.

The vCider technology includes a controller for multi-tenant distributed virtual networks. Cisco says it will "play an important role" in its Open Network Environment (ONE) strategy, particularly in support of the open source OpenStack APIs for cloud orchestration.

Cisco joined the OpenStack effort 18 months ago and is contributing to the OpenStack Quantum API, which supports a series of virtual and programmable network plug-ins, including Cisco's. Cisco's Quantum plug-in is designed to give application developers programmability of both virtual and physical networks in cloud computing environments.

Cisco said the vCider code will be integrated into its current development of the OpenStack Quantum network service.

"With Quantum becoming a core OpenStack service, it's clear that programmable networking is quickly becoming an important component in large scale, multi-tenant, cloud computing environments," said Hilton Romanski, Cisco vice president and head of corporate business development.

The vCider personnel will be part of Cisco's Cloud Computing organisation, reporting to Lew Tucker, Cisco's Cloud Computing CTO. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.