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Cisco’s upcoming acquisition of Isovalent emphasises an industry push towards deep observability

Cisco’s upcoming acquisition of Isovalent emphasises an industry push towards deep observability

Announced at the tail end of last year, and due to complete some time this spring, Cisco’s intended acquisition of the security startup Isovalent is rightfully turning heads in the networking and cybersecurity industries. Best known for helping to develop highly regarded and widely adopted open-source projects like Cilium, Tetragon, and eBPF, Isovalent has set itself up as a key member of the open-source community, and a valued contributor to the bedrock technology that helps secure much of the industry’s cloud solutions today.

Given the startup’s expertise around cloud-native security and networking, the acquisition looks set to mesh closely with and augment a great many of the existing products and solutions coming from Cisco – not least in the increasingly critical realm of cloud-based observability. Isovalent’s contributions to Cilium, Tetragon, and eBPF have helped build these projects into powerful technologies in providing observability and visibility into cloud-native applications, security, and the operating system layer, respectively.

Cisco’s previously announced acquisition of Splunk is also noteworthy, and not only because it represents the largest such deal in Cisco’s history. Splunk is also known for its offerings in the observability space, providing software and technology to aid organisations in analysing and visualising data from multiple sources in real time, and enabling proactive threat prediction and prevention, rather than just response. When taken into consideration alongside the Isovalent purchase, it’s clear that Cisco is making a significant investment into visibility and observability, and expects the importance of these technologies to only increase in future.

Cisco’s expansion in this space seems like a prudent one – after all, without meaningful visibility into every aspect of an organisation’s estate and network, diagnosing and fixing even minor issues can balloon in time and effort. At the same time, vital security certifications and frameworks – such as Cyber Essentials, DSPT, and the Cyber Assessment Framework – are increasingly requiring organisations to demonstrate knowledge of, and control over, their estate – a task that is exponentially more difficult without the insight that such tools deliver. With the additional context that observability tools bring, organisations can begin to be proactive around threats and issues, often fixing them before they ever impact users.

At ITGL, we’ve seen time and again the transformative difference visibility can have on an organisation’s day-to-day working. We previously worked with Birmingham Community Healthcare to deploy the ThousandEyes platform into their estate, providing critical visibility into application health within the NHS Trust’s network, and empowering them to confidently and accurately diagnose unexpected latency within specific applications and work towards a solution. We’ve also provided organisations with the support and expertise to deploy services like Cisco SecureX and Stealthwatch, delivering substantially improved visibility into their network and traffic, from edge devices right down to the data centre. Even in more general cases, such as our work with Wiltshire Health and Care, the way in which visibility is built into the core of Cisco Meraki solutions means that clients benefit from powerful control and visibility through its centralised dashboard, rather than a bolt-on or third-party service.

We’re continuing to work with our clients to deliver comprehensive visibility into their estates alongside our other transformative network and security solutions. As well as the work we’ve detailed above, our Integral Services offering allows us to support clients with advanced telemetry, machine learning, and network management, reducing the noise and directing clients’ attentions to the issues that matter most. To find out more about how we can build visibility into your organisation’s systems, get in touch at hello@itgl.com.

Published by Cybersecurity Practice

February 5, 2024