Cisco is making its biggest acquisition in 2015 by picking up privately-held OpenDNS for $635 million. The deal is set to close in the first quarter of Cisco's fiscal 2016, with OpenDNS staff to become part of the Cisco Security Business Group organization run by David Goeckeler, senior vice president and general manager.
OpenDNS is well known as a DNS and security service for both home and business users. For home users, OpenDNS offers a free service that provides faster DNS as well as domain filtering for objectionable content. The enterprise service extends that capability with more robust enterprise features and monitoring for a wide array of security threats. According to OpenDNS, it has 65 million users worldwide today.
Cisco and OpenDNS are not strangers, with Cisco being a venture investor in past OpenDNS funding rounds.
"Cisco loves OpenDNS, too, and has been an investor in the company and supporter long before this deal was announced," OpenDNS wrote in an FAQ. "We are still selling and supporting our products. We’re all on the same page here, committed to making sure that what makes OpenDNS so great stays intact, and that includes the team."
It's still not yet entirely clear how Cisco will integrate with OpenDNS, though the FAQ on the deal provides some optimism for future capabilities.
"The old cliché of 'better together' applies very aptly here, and building incredible security solutions together is a major motivation for the deal," the FAQ states.
OpenDNS is already a line-item integration option on many consumer and enterprise networking gear administrators. Additionally, OpenDNS can be easily enabled on any router by simply redirecting the DNS setting to OpenDNS.
"As more people, processes, data and things become connected, opportunities for security breaches and malicious threats grow exponentially when away from secure enterprise networks," Hilton Romanski, Cisco chief technology and strategy officer, said in a statement. "OpenDNS has a strong team with deep security expertise and key technology that complements Cisco's security vision. Together, we will help customers protect their extended network wherever the user is and regardless of the device."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.