Cisco Acquiring Isovalent to Stengthen Security Cloud Platform

Cisco became an Isovalent investor in 2020.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

December 21, 2023

4 Min Read
Cisco strengthens security cloud with Isovalent

Cisco is acquiring Isovalent, the provider of open source technologies Cilium and eBPF.

The acquisition will build on Cisco Security Cloud, an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven, cloud-delivered, integrated security platform. The Cisco Security Cloud enables customers to abstract security controls from multicloud infrastructure to provide protection against emerging threats across any cloud, application or workload.

Cisco became an investor in Isovalent as part of its Series A funding round in 2020.

Cisco isn’t disclosing financial details of the acquisition. It should close in the third quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2024, which ends April 30.

Building on Cisco Security Cloud

As part of Cisco's security product and engineering team, Isovalent will help develop and strengthen the foundation of the Cisco Security Cloud, enabling network, cloud and security teams to provision common policy and enforcement points across physical and cloud environments, all managed from a cloud-native control plane.

Cisco's Jeetu Patel

“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, Cisco’s executive vice president and general manager of security and collaboration. "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.”

Related:The 12 Biggest Channel-Impacting Mergers & Acquisitions of 2023

Cilium and eBPF

Isovalent’s team is a major contributor to the open source technology eBPF, and has led the development of Cilium, a cloud-native solution for networking and security. eBPF provides visibility into the inner workings of the operating system. Cilium provides IT and platform engineering teams with networking capabilities and visibility into the behavior and communication of cloud-native applications, enabling policy definition of software-defined networks.

Isovalent has also recently introduced:

  • Cilium Mesh, which allows for the 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 to Continue Isovalent's Innovation

Related:Cisco Partner Summit 2023: Cisco Unveils New AI, Security Products

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

Cisco's Stephen Augustus

“Cisco is committed to nurturing, investing in and contributing to the eBPF and Cilium open source communities,” said Stephen Augustus, Cisco’s head of open source. “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.”

There is no impact or change to Isovalent partners, Cisco said. It looks forward to building on the relationships that Isovalent has with its partners. More information about how Cisco and Isovalent will come together will be available after the close of the acquisition.

“As initial talks with Cisco sparked, we didn’t have to ask what a potential acquisition would mean for Cilium, Tetragon and our other projects,” Thomas Graf, Isovalent’s CTO and co-founder, said in a blog. “It was clear from the beginning that Cisco came to the table with a clear vision to double down on our products and our open source strategy with a strong commitment to our open source projects. Open source has become the way to standardize technology and cloud native infrastructure is no exception.”

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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