Just last week VMware Inc. picked up Palo-Alto, Calif.-based NiciraNetworks Inc. in an effort to bolster its networking virtualization capabilities, which had the added affect of pitting VMware against Cisco Systems Inc. Nicira has long been seen as a networking rival to Cisco, but instead of acquiring the company outright, Cisco’s network virtualization ambitions landed it with Insieme, a small start-up created by former Cisco employees.

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