Cisco announced Tuesday that it is buying ContainerX, a two-year old orchestration and management platform used in the emerging market of distributed containerized microservices e.g., Docker .

But why would Cisco acquire a company that is mostly directed at enabling the next generation of cloud-based virtualized services?There are a number of reasons.

First, Cisco is becoming a software and cloud enablement company.

Cisco, as well as its network competitors, needs to adapt or die a slow death.

And moving to a more cloud-centric approach makes Cisco a player in the broader enterprise cloud marketplace.

In a containerized cloud-enabled world, Cisco gains some real advantages by having ContainerX as part of its core capabilities.The way software-defined networks and network function virtualization SDN/NFV will be deployed in the future as part of Cisco s core business is in a cloud environment where small software components in distributed computing environments will be tied together to define the entire network infrastructure.

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