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Isovalent + Cisco: What it Means for Our Customers 

Dan Wendlandt
Dan Wendlandt
Published: Updated: Isovalent
Isovalent + Cisco: What it Means for Our Customers 

A Note from the Isovalent CEO Dan Wendlandt to Current (and Future) Isovalent Customers

Where We Started

It’s strange to be almost seven years into building a company and still feel like you’re just getting started. But that is undeniably the feeling we at Isovalent have when it comes to our vision and roadmap for eBPF, Cilium, and commercial product Isovalent Enterprise for Cilium. eBPF, which Isovalent co-maintains, is a once-in-a-decade (or more) technology shift. Cilium, the project that Isovalent has led the development for, is using the power of eBPF to disrupt networking, network security,runtime security, load-balancing, and more. Each of these areas are themselves massive industries with 25+ years of (often hardware-centric) legacy that needs to be re-invented to align with a modern world where platform and application teams need to operate seamlessly across multi-cloud infrastructure.  

When we founded the company back in early 2017, we bet big on three things: 

  • eBPF
  • Open Source
  • Kubernetes

We have never been more bullish on these three bets than we are today, and they will continue to drive the core of our strategy for years to come. 

Left: Isovalent Office in Cupertino, Right: Our booth at KubeCon Europe in April 2017

Our Customers

Along the road we’ve been privileged to work with amazing enterprise, telco, and startup customers who themselves have a vision for how eBPF & Cilium can help solve critical business problems by making their infrastructure, and ultimately their applications, more secure, reliable, efficient, and scalable. We are incredibly grateful to these customers for supporting our dreams of building the future of networking & security, and are particularly in debt to those who bet on us in the very early days (pre-1.0 Cilium in production? Yes please!). Isovalent as a company would not exist without you.

Our Isovalent Enterprise for Cilium customers are not just the lifeblood of our business, they also inspire many of our new product features and grow our overall user community by vocally sharing what they love about Cilium with others. We are excited and honored to continue to partner with you for many years to come.  

Our Next Phase @ Cisco

Today I am excited to share an important update . Cisco, who first invested in Isovalent back in 2020, has announced plans to acquire the company.

An acquisition can raise many questions for customers, I know. Will the acquiring company retain the product? Will the team still innovate and lead the open-source projects they created? Will the use cases I care as a customer about still matter in the future?

eBPF and Cilium are continuing to sky-rocket in popularity. Our business is continuing to grow at a healthy clip thanks to our enterprise customers. Why consider joining Cisco?  

The first thing that started to change our minds was taking the Cisco Security Business Group (SBG) team through the Cilium & Tetragon feature set, and seeing the excitement on their faces grow and grow.  They were already excited about eBPF for networking and firewalling (that’s why we were talking in the first place), but when they saw what we had already done with network visibility, runtime security, service mesh, load-balancing, and more, they were excited. When it came to building a seamless layer of networking, security, and visibility for workloads across all types of infrastructure, public or private cloud, our vision was their vision. And Cisco wanted to swing for the fences.  

The other area that was critical for us was the ability to stay true to what made Isovalent special: our open-source DNA. Having been acquired into Cisco himself as part of IronPort Systems, Cisco Security leader Tom Gillis understood the importance of preserving a startup’s vital DNA, and worked closely with us to create a structure where we are confident that our open source first approach to innovation can flourish. One example that further built our confidence was that of Sourcefire, a Cisco acquisition in 2013. Prior to its acquisition, Sourcefire maintained two open-source technologies that we know well: Snort (IDS/IPS) and ClamAV (anti-virus). After more than 10 years in Cisco, both projects remain the standard for open-source technology in their respective areas.     

Buying into a model where we have the support of a company that shares our technical vision and gives us the ability to maintain our team culture and open source focus, Thomas and I are committed to Cisco for the long haul. We will help continue to foster the eBPF and Cilium communities, grow the enterprise business started by Isovalent, and work to realize the massive long-term platform opportunity made possible via eBPF and Cilium

What this Means for You as an Isovalent Customer

Cisco is welcoming the existing Isovalent team, while also continuing to invest in growing our Isovalent Enterprise for Cilium product offering. We will not only continue to support existing customers, but also continue investing in building the business by meeting the community at events like KubeCon, educating platform teams via technical blogs, our eCHO livestream, and Hands-on-Labs, and doing whatever we can to make our current and future customers successful with Isovalent Enterprise for Cililum.  

Current and potential customers, eBPF, Cilium, and Isovalent Enterprise for Cilium are now even safer technologies to bet on given the long-term backing and reach of Cisco. We’re excited about a future where Isovalent Enterprise by Cilium stands beside other software-based solutions from Cisco like Duo Security, ThousandEyes, OpenDNS, Sourcefire, and more, that provide enterprises with a uniform layer of security across all public and private cloud infrastructure, regardless of the underlying hardware.  

Community and customers have and will continue to be at the very core of what we do, so as you think through what this change for Isovalent means for you, I’d encourage you to reach out and have a chat.  There’s nothing we enjoy more than hearing and learning from our customers and end-users.  Thanks!    

More Information

Dan Wendlandt
AuthorDan WendlandtCo-founder & CEO of Isovalent
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