Cicsco Systems, the world's largest maker of computer networking gear, is buying Meraki for $1.2 billion to expand its ability to let customers compute in the cloud.
Cloud computing refers to the increasingly popular practice of storing software applications in remote data centers that are accessed over the Internet instead of installing programs on individual machines.
Meraki is based in San Francisco and also has offices in New York, London and Mexico. The privately held company was founded in 2006 by members of MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science. Meraki technology offers customers Wi-Fi, switching, security and mobile device management centrally managed from the cloud.
Cisco, based in San Jose, Calif., says the acquisition is expected to close in its second fiscal quarter ending in January.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)