Acquisitions in Kubernetes Space: Part 2
Harshit Mehndiratta
Harshit Mehndiratta
March 09, 2021
8 minutes read

Acquisitions in Kubernetes Space: Part 2

The adoption of Kubernetes as an enterprise technology has placed it at the center of growing acquisitions in recent years. Many large vendors in the Kubernetes space have acquired small startups instead of competing with them to deliver reliable security and performance for Kubernetes workloads.

In the year 2020, Many Kubernetes acquisitions took place, but we have curated the eight most noteworthy ones with their reasons for takeovers in this blog.

So, let’s get started.

RedHat acquires StackRox

Date of Acquisition: Jan 7, 2021

Acquisition Amount: Undisclosed

Acquisition Close Date: Feb 22, 2021

RedHat’s announcement of acquiring StackRox-a California-based Kubernetes security company marks one of the significant acquisitions in Kubernetes space in 2020.

It’s no secret that RedHat has built a strong cloud-native background with OpenShift throughout the years, but with the acquisition of StackRox, they aimed to address the security features missing from their OpenShift infrastructure.

As per the acquisition details, RedHat will utilize the StackRox Platform to identify and address the container build and CI/CD processes security vulnerabilities. It will integrate with OpenShift API to run CIS benchmarks and implement end-to-end security and visibility through CRI-O (container runtime), OpenShift SDN (CNI network), and OpenShift Service Mesh.

Also, StackRox will simplify DevSecOps while providing visibility and consistency across all Kubernetes clusters to reduce the time required to implement security procedures.

Coming to acquisition cost, RedHat didn’t reveal the price. Yet, reports are putting a rough estimate of $100 million, which is less than the 250 million paid to CoreOS.

Post the acquisition, RedHat plans to open source StackRox’s products while fully supporting the KubeLinter community. StackRox, on the other hand, will continue to support multiple Kubernetes platforms, including Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE).

Cisco acquires Portshift

Date of Acquisition: Oct 1, 2020

Acquisition Amount: Estimated $100 million

Acquisition Close Date: Oct 26,2020

Cisco acquired Portshift-a Kubernetes-based security startup, for roughly $100 million is also a significant Kubernetes acquisition that happened in 2020. Founded in 2018, Portshift has raised $5.3 million in seed funding from Team8 and has technology partners, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure.

Portshift focuses on building security solutions for cloud-native development environments, including Kubernetes, Containers, Serverless applications, and aims to bring security capabilities and expertise for Kubernetes to Cisco’s vast customer base of loyal enterprises.

Portshift, which provides DevOps, security, and operations teams to securely protect containerized applications from vulnerabilities across images, containers, and runtime deployments, can help the Cisco customers build security constructs and integrate DevSecOps into cloud-native applications.

According to the acquisition details, Cisco would be closing the deal in the first half of the fiscal year 2021, and the Portshift team will be joining Cisco’s Emerging Technologies and Incubation (ET&I) group, which manages and advances technologies to address Cisco’s clients most challenging Application security IT issues.

Cisco acquires Banzai Cloud

Date of Acquisition: Nov 16, 2020

Acquisition Amount: Undisclosed

Acquisition Close Date: Jan 15, 2021

Cisco, the world’s largest networking provider, has declared a definitive agreement to acquire Banzai Cloud - a Hungarian Kubernetes-based startup that helps develop, deploy and scale cloud-native applications.

Founded in 2017, Banzai Cloud raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by European venture capitalists and simplified the transition to microservices on Kubernetes.

According to Cisco, senior vice president of emerging technologies and incubation, the acquisition of Banzai Cloud will complement the Tel Aviv-based cloud-native security startup Portshift acquisition and expands Cisco’s cloud-native footprint.

Together Banzai Cloud and Portshift will create a cloud-native ecosystem that delivers both on deployment and security fronts. Banzai Cloud will reduce friction so developers can focus on writing code for cloud-native application development, deployment, and security workflows by spending less time managing the environments.

While Portshift being an active participant in the open-source community, can easily solve critical real-world security pain points and increase stability.

Post-acquisition, all the assets and Banzai cloud team members will become part of Cisco’s Emerging Technologies and Incubation group,

Pure Storage acquires Portworx

Date of Acquisition: Sep 16, 2020

Acquisition Amount: $370 million in cash

Pure Storage acquiring Kubernetes data services platform Portworx for $370 million marks its biggest acquisition to date. Pure Storage has a global footprint spread across organizations for delivering storage-as-a-service in cloud environments. Their definitive agreement to acquire Portworx aims to provide their high-performance, low latency storage solutions to support Kubernetes storage, a bigger and more fast-growing market.

Both, Pure Storage and Portworx are different in their backgrounds. Pure Storage is an enterprise-based storage company focused on traditional storage solutions. In contrast, Portworx has come from the container space and is used by leading companies like Lufthansa and T-Mobile as Kubernetes Data Services Platform.

Portworx provides complete Kubernetes Storage management and allows Enterprises to access various storage features, including high-availability, backup, security, and provisioning.

Running inside Kubernetes clusters, Portworx can deliver storage services efficiently, which Pure plans to integrate with Pure orchestrator software for Kubernetes to provide a comprehensive data suite that can be easily deployed in-cloud or bare metal. Integrating Portworx Kubernetes data features with Pure data storage capabilities will also make Portworx available to a large customer base who wants to accelerate their steps of a cloud-native journey.

Rapid7 acquires Alcide

Date of Acquisition: Feb 1, 2021

Acquisition Amount: $50 million

Rapid 7 - a Boston-based security operation company, announced its intent to acquire Kubernetes-based security startup Alcide for $50 million. The acquisition aims to provide Rapid 7 clients a more secure cloud-native platform that facilitates risk and compliance management across various environments while providing unified visibility for innovating, securing, and managing cloud-native applications.

Before the Alcide Acquisition, Rapid 7 has acquired DivvyCloud, a cybersecurity company, for $145 million, which together with this acquisition amounts to $200 million for protecting cloud workloads.

Alcide, a five-year-old Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity platform, has a noteworthy client base and raised near $12 million along the way. Alcide is focused on Kubernetes-based container environments and aims to bridge DevOps and security gaps within Kubernetes deployments.

Alcide utilizes an industry-leading cloud workload protection platform (CWPP) that will provide Platform 7 real-time governance, vulnerability scanning features to detect and investigate unknown components in the production. The platform will also assist in preventing security misconfiguration made by hackers to misuse cloud applications.

Alcide security features perfectly complement Rapid 7 tools since both companies believe in Cloud Native and secure cloud operations, and merging them will enable Rapid 7 to identify and mitigate cloud-native application security risks in real-time.

Mirantis acquires Lens

Date of Acquisition: Aug 13, 2020

Acquisition Amount: Undisclosed

Mirantis announced that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Lens - the Kubernetes IDE project to help enterprises build and manage containerized applications in Kubernetes production environments.

Mirantis did not disclose the amount for the completed acquisition, but the acquisition has taken place following the takeover of Kontena, the company that originally developed Lens.

As per the acquisition, Lens would add various management tools alongside the Mirantis Docker Enterprise offering to make it easy for enterprise developers to manage Kubernetes clusters in production and simplify development for Amazon EKS, Google GKE, Microsoft AKS, and On-Prem Clouds.

Lens IDE is fully open-source has been widely adopted with a growing community of thousands of users on GitHub and used by companies like Apple, Zendesk, and Adobe to accelerate their Kubernetes adoption.

Lens supports a unified, easy-to-use interface, so developers at Mirantis can support different aspects of Kubernetes without ever losing focus. It also includes features like context-aware terminal, multi-cluster management making it an excellent fit for Mirantis massive enterprise portfolio.

Mirantis Acquires Kontena

Date of Acquisition: Feb 25, 2020

Acquisition Amount: Undisclosed

Mirantis declaration of acquiring cloud container services company Kontena represents another significant Kubernetes acquisition by Mirantis following the Docker Enterprise. The organizations didn’t reveal the acquisition cost but mentioned that the entire Kontena team would join Mirantis post-acquisition.

Mirantis has made significant investments in Kubernetes by providing application dev tools and multi-cluster management. Mirantis took another step to provide easy-to-use, fully integrated Kubernetes products for DevOps and development teams with this acquisition.

Mirantis will utilize the assets acquired from Kontena for integration in Kubernetes technology, including Docker Kubernetes Service (DKS) and Universal Control Plane (UCP). In simple words, Mirantis and Kontena together will allow teams to easily deploy and manage workloads on their Docker Enterprise-based Kubernetes offerings.

Veeam Acquires Kasten

Date of Acquisition: Oct 6, 2020

Acquisition Amount: $150 million

Veeam, a cloud data management platform, has acquired Kasten, a Kubernetes-based data protection startup, for $150million.As per the acquisition, the Kasten K10 platform will operate independently and be integrated into Veeam products to offer a complete data management solution.

Veeam is known for its data management solutions that work within Kubernetes and other cloud-based ecosystems. While Kasten has also been behind the development of data protection platform tailored explicitly for Kubernetes workloads

Together Kasten and Veeam will offer a platform that would simplify data management and protection for enterprises across virtual, cloud, and Kubernetes-based workloads. With the Kasten data Protection Platform integrated into Veeam software. Enterprises will have a single, easy-to-use, scalable, and secure system that provides customers the ability to manage application data while supporting data protection features to protect container-based applications.


There are many key points that we can take away from these Kubernetes-focused acquisitions. First, building and managing containerized applications using the open-source Kubernetes platform has become a norm. Kubernetes provides so much flexibility with features and tooling that large enterprises don’t feel committed and boxed to a single provider.

Second, acquisitions in the Kubernetes ecosystem target the biggest issues with Kubernetes, such as storage, security, and development. Also, the startups that got acquired are majorly integrated into large vendor offerings.

So, if you’re a business that wants to run Kubernetes production workloads, there are various options that you can take away from this blog. The options mentioned above are from highly stable startups and large vendors, which may provide a competitive edge over other options.