Isovalent Emerges from Stealth, Raises $29M in Series A Funding

Cloud-native networking startup Isovalent has emerged from stealth by the recent launch of Cilium product. At the same time, the company has announced a funding round with participation from Google and Cisco. Cilium is aimed at helping enterprises connect, observe and secure modern applications with a new approach that frees modern cloud-native applications from outdated, legacy techniques.

As enterprises are adopting Kubernetes and other cloud-native technologies, systems constantly change in response to changing demands. At cloud scale, thousands of systems are starting, working or closing down, all the time. Services appear, connect and disappear in seconds.

Photo Dan Wendlandt, co-founder and CEO of Isovalent
“Cilium is cloud-native networking without the compromise: platforms teams get a developer-friendly, scalable and multi-cloud platform while giving SecOps teams the efficient and powerful security visibility and controls they need,” said Dan Wendlandt, co-founder and CEO of Isovalent. 

With Cilium, enterprises can keep watch over these dynamic applications, carefully ensuring that important systems stay online even if major issues arise. Security teams can have confidence that system-wide policies will be applied correctly to workloads that may only exist for a few seconds. Application developers can use the cloud-native techniques that would provide huge benefits for flexibility and responsiveness without breaking enterprise audit and security rules that might compromise the organization. Instead of sacrificing performance, flexibility or security, enterprises can fully embrace the potential of Kubernetes to transform their organization.

“As enterprises move past the initial stand-up of Kubernetes and start transitioning critical workloads onto the platform, they are faced with difficult trade-offs between optimizing for a truly cloud-native platform and achieving traditional enterprise goals like security and compliance,” said Dan Wendlandt, co-founder and CEO of Isovalent. “Cilium is cloud-native networking without the compromise: platforms teams get a developer-friendly, scalable and multi-cloud platform while giving SecOps teams the efficient and powerful security visibility and controls they need.”

Cilium’s approach would combine three key functions of cloud-native networking:

  • Connect – Cilium would provide highly scalable service connectivity with minimal overhead, even across clusters. Cilium supports the dynamic, flexible and heavily automated approaches required by the most demanding modern workloads. There are no side-car proxies or other complicating elements found in legacy approaches.
  • Observe – Cilium would enable deep insight into services at a flow level, application level or entire infrastructure level without performance penalties thanks to the power of eBPF. Teams can fully instrument their environments. It would allow them to safely gather the metrics they need for troubleshooting or incident investigation without slowing down critical production applications.
  • Secure – Cilium would ensure service connectivity for critical workloads scales without compromising on security. Cilium supports advanced network policy, transparent encryption and integration with standard security tools for validation, audit and investigation, all without slowing down application data flows.

Private Equity Funding

Isovalent has just raised $29 million in Series A funding, led by Andreessen Horowitz and Google with participation from Cisco Investments.

“I have spent my entire career in this space, and the North Star has always been to go beyond IPs + ports and build networking visibility and security at a layer that is aligned with how developers, operations and security think about their applications and data,” said, partner at Andreessen Horowitz, board member of Isovalent and the founder of Nicira – a company that popularized software defined networking that was acquired to create VMware’s NSX Martin Casado product line. “Until just recently, the technology did not exist. All of that changed with Kubernetes and eBPF. Dan and Thomas have put together the best team in the industry and given the traction around Cilium, they are well on their way to upending the world of networking yet again.”

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