Cisco is buying software company Parc Technologies to improve traffic management in its systems and products. The networking giant will pay $9 million in cash for all outstanding shares of Parc that it doesn't already own.

The privately held UK company is a spin-off from a Imperial College's research center. Its route server algorithms are used to break up complex network routing problems. As such, Cisco plans to add Parc's technology in its Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) TE product to help service providers improve network use.

Cisco also plans to incorporate Parc's Route Server software into its MPLS Management product portfolio and make it available as part of its IP Solutions Center.

Cisco has been on a bit of a shopping spree recently, agreeing to snap up both router maker Procket Networks and backup software provider Actona. The company reported strong third-quarter earnings last May, including a $1 billion sales increase that has apparently left it with a little extra pocket money to fill some gaps in its portfolio.

The company's purchase of Parc is expected to be completed in the first quarter of Cisco's fiscal year 2005.