Cisco to Buy Isovalent to Bolster Multi-cloud Networking, Security

Cisco Systems disclosed plans to acquire Isovalent – an open-source, cloud-native networking and security company – to bolster its secure networking capabilities across public clouds.

The transaction should build on Cisco’s Security Cloud vision, an AI-driven, cloud-delivered, integrated security platform. The Cisco Security Cloud allows 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, EVP and GM of Security and Collaboration with 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 contributes to open-source eBPF technology, and has led the development of the Cilium cloud-native solution for networking and security. eBPF provides visibility into the inner workings of the OS, providing an interface for building security systems that can protect a workload while it runs. Cilium provides IT and platform engineering teams with networking capabilities and visibility into the behavior and communication of cloud-native applications. This enables seamless policy definition for 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 with 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, thus strengthening Cisco’s role in supporting the open source ecosystem. 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 when the acquisition closes in Q3 of fiscal 2024.

For further details on Cisco’s partner program, visit here.