Cisco signals open source intentions with Isovalent acquisition

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Cisco has announced plans to acquire open source cloud native networking and security provider Isovalent, as the connectivity giant looks to boost its secure networking capabilities across public clouds. 

Expected to close in Q3 2024, the move will expand Security Cloud, Cisco’s integrated, cloud-based platform that provides users with tools and services for securing on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, Isovalent is a major contributor to open source technology eBPF, which serves up visibility into the inner depths of the operating system to help organizations build security systems that protect workloads while they run.

The firm has also led the development of Cilium, a cloud native solution that equips IT teams with networking capabilities and visibility into the behavior and communication of cloud native applications, as well as introduced the eBPF-based Tetragon for visibility and enforcement of application and network runtime behavior.

The startup has previously generated $69 million over two funding rounds.

Jeetu Patel, executive vice president and general manager of Cisco’s security and collaboration segment, said Cisco will build on Cilium’s open source capabilities to create a “truly unique” multi-cloud security and networking offering.

"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,” he commented. “The combination of Cisco and Isovalent will make this a reality."

Cisco outlines open source commitments

Cisco said it is strengthening its role in supporting the open source ecosystem through Isovalent’s leadership positions in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and eBPF Foundation, as well as its upstream software contributions. 

The company confirmed it will continue offering Isovalent’s solutions, including Isovalent Enterprise distribution for Cilium and Tetragon, as well as build new solutions that leverage eBPF technology.

Cisco also underlined its commitment by revealing plans to set up an independent advisory board to help direct its contributions. Post acquisition, the Isovalent team will join Cisco’s Security Business Group.


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"Cisco is committed to nurturing, investing in, and contributing to the eBPF and Cilium open source communities," commented 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."

Daniel Todd

Dan is a freelance writer and regular contributor to ChannelPro, covering the latest news stories across the IT, technology, and channel landscapes. Topics regularly cover cloud technologies, cyber security, software and operating system guides, and the latest mergers and acquisitions.

A journalism graduate from Leeds Beckett University, he combines a passion for the written word with a keen interest in the latest technology and its influence in an increasingly connected world.

He started writing for ChannelPro back in 2016, focusing on a mixture of news and technology guides, before becoming a regular contributor to ITPro. Elsewhere, he has previously written news and features across a range of other topics, including sport, music, and general news.