In Pictures: Cisco's 10 most opportunistic acquisitions

These acquisitions helped Cisco jump on market trends early on, and take hold of them as they grow into money-makers.

Kalpana Inc, October 1994 About a year after acquiring Crescendo, Cisco dropped another $200 million on Kalpana, which many at the time considered the leader in Ethernet switching. Kalpana was the first vendor to introduce a multi-port network switch with the release of its EtherSwitch, which featured a whopping seven ports, in 1989. The product line acquired from Kalpana led to the Catalyst 3000 stackable portfolio. Kalpana was also responsible for EtherChannel, a proprietary method of aggregating multiple ports together. This was the one of the first of many proprietary standards that Cisco used to make the end-to-end Cisco network easier to manage than its competitors' products. Kalpana was also the company that brought the brilliant Charlie Giancarlo into the Cisco fold.

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