Cisco is buying privately-held FineGround Networks, a maker of bandwidth optimisation apps, for $70 million.

Cisco will integrate the data-centre technology - which speeds up, secures and monitors applications while minimising bandwidth usage - in its routing and switching products.

Application acceleration and bandwidth optimisation has been a hot area of late. Cisco rival Juniper recently announced plans to acquire Peribit and Redline, two makers of acceleration and optimisation products, for a combined $469 million.

FineGround's patented technology decreases latency, and offloads processing from servers across the network, Cisco said. The appliances improve end-user response times by up to five times, reduce application bandwidth usage by up to 90 percent, and reduce the load on servers by up to 90 percent, Cisco claimed.

The appliances also incorporate application firewall functions to allow companies to secure and mitigate the risk of Web-enabled business transactions, Cisco says.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco will pay approximately $70 million in cash and options for FineGround.

FineGround will become part of Cisco's Security Technology Group and CEO Nat Kausik will continue to manage operations. FineGround was founded in June 2000 and has 42 employees.