Cisco to acquire Isovalent to define the future of multicloud networking and security

Via Cisco

Dec 22, 2023

  • Cisco intends to acquire privately held Isovalent, Inc., a leader in open source cloud native networking and security. 
  • Together, Cisco and Isovalent will build leading edge protection for every workload on every cloud.
  • Cisco is committed to nurturing, investing in and contributing to eBPF, Cilium, Tetragon, and cloud native open source communities. 

San Jose, California – Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced the intent to acquire Isovalent, a leader in open source cloud native networking and security, to bolster its secure networking capabilities across public clouds.

The acquisition of Isovalent will build on the Cisco Security Cloud vision, an AI-driven, cloud delivered, integrated security platform for organizations of any shape and size. The Cisco Security Cloud enables customers to abstract security controls from multicloud infrastructure to provide advanced protection against emerging threats across any cloud, application or workload.

“Together with Isovalent, Cisco will build on the open source power of Cilium to create a truly unique multicloud security and networking capability to help customers simplify and accelerate their digital transformation journeys,” said Jeetu Patel, executive vice president and general manager of Security and Collaboration at Cisco. "Imagine in today's distributed environment - of applications, virtual machines, containers and cloud assets - having security controls with total visibility, without hindering networking and application performance. The combination of Cisco and Isovalent will make this a reality.”

Isovalent’s team is a major contributor to the open source technology eBPF, and has led the development of Cilium, the leading cloud native solution for networking and security. eBPF provides unmatched visibility into the inner workings of the operating system - an ideal interface for building security systems that can protect a workload while it runs. Cilium provides IT and platform engineering teams with powerful networking capabilities and unparalleled visibility into the behavior and communication of cloud native applications, enabling seamless policy definition of software-defined networks. Isovalent has also recently introduced:

  • Cilium Mesh:  allows for the easy connection of Kubernetes clusters with existing infrastructure across hybrid clouds,
  • Tetragon: an eBPF-based open source security solution that provides visibility to and enforces runtime behavior within an application and on the network.  
  • Isovalent Enterprise: an enterprise distribution of Cilium and Tetragon

Cisco intends to continue offering and building on Isovalent’s slate of innovations for customers, including Isovalent Enterprise.

“Cisco is committed to nurturing, investing in, and contributing to the eBPF and Cilium open source communities,” said Stephen Augustus, Head of Open Source at Cisco. “Isovalent’s team will join Cisco's deep bench of open source governance and technical leadership to solve complex cloud native, security, and networking challenges. Their knowledge will accelerate innovation across the business and help further strengthen the Cisco Security Cloud platform to meet the growing demands of our customers.”

Isovalent holds leadership positions in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and eBPF Foundation, in addition to upstream software contributions, and this acquisition strengthens Cisco's role in supporting the open source ecosystem. Together as leaders in networking and security, Cisco and Isovalent will build solutions powered by eBPF technology that aim to solve the challenge of protecting workloads no matter where they reside. Cisco is committed to Cilium and Tetragon as open source projects and intends to create an independent advisory board to help steer Cisco's contributions to these important efforts in a way that is aligned with the needs of the open source community. 

The Isovalent team will join the Cisco Security Business Group once the acquisition closes, which is expected in the third quarter of fiscal year 2024.

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