Venafi To Buy Kubernetes Open Source Tool Developer Jetstack

Venafi and Jetstack have worked together for the past two years to accelerate machine identity protection for Kubernetes, multi-cloud, service mesh and microservices ecosystems.


Venafi has agreed to purchase open source machine identity software provider Jetstack to better assist enterprises using Kubernetes for mission-critical infrastructure.

The Salt Lake City, Utah-based cybersecurity vendor said it has been working closely with London-based Jetstack for the past two years to accelerate the speed of innovation for machine identity protection in Kubernetes, multi-cloud, service mesh and microservices ecosystems. The two companies share a vision for how to deliver machine identity protection to developers in cloud native infrastructure, Venafi said.

“This acquisition brings together two leaders who are already working together to accelerate the development process while simultaneously securing applications against attack, and there’s a lot more to do,” Venafi CEO Jeff Hudson said in a statement. “Our mutual customers are urgently asking for more help to solve this problem because they know that speed wins, as long as you don’t crash.”

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[Related: VMware To Acquire Kubernetes Security Startup Octarine]

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, and Venafi executives weren’t immediately available for additional comment. Jetstack was founded in 2015, employs 25 people, and hasn’t raised any outside funding, according to LinkedIn and Crunchbase.

“Our team is thrilled to join Venafi so we can accelerate our plans to bring machine identity protection to the cloud native stack, grow the community and contribute to a wider range of projects across the ecosystem,” Jetstack Co-Founder and CTO Matt Bates said in a statement.

Jetstack’s most popular open source software is cert-manager, which allows developers to quickly create, connect and consume certificates with Kubernetes and cloud-native tools, Venafi said. It is used by many of the largest banks, retailers, airlines and media companies to power some of the world’s most popular consumer web and mobile applications, according to Venafi.

Leveraging real-life, operational experience, Jetstack has fostered the cert-manager open source community, which Venafi said has hundreds of code contributions and millions of downloads. This fuses well with Venafi’s offerings, which protect TLS, SSH and code signing machine identities for the largest, most security-conscious organizations and government agencies in the world, according to Venafi.

“Nowadays, business success depends on how quickly you can respond to the market,” Jetstack Co-Founder and CEO Matt Barker said in a statement. “However, putting speed before security is risky. By joining Venafi, Jetstack will give our customers a chance to build fast while acting securely.”

Venafi has supported Jetstack will funding to help develop features of cert-manager while still being extremely respectful of the open source nature of the work Jetstack was doing, Barker wrote in a blog post. Venafi’s established position in the security space and grassroots connection to developers on the ground makes them a strong fit for Jetstack, according to Barker.

Jetstack will operate as a separate division within Venafi, working with engineers to understand how to build and deliver software quickly and securely with cloud native tools, according to Barker. The company’s open source projects will remain open, and Barker said Jetstack’s commitment to the open source community will be strengthened with further investment from Venafi.

“The combination of speed and security creates an interesting dilemma,” Barker wrote in the blog post. “How do you build software quick enough to compete without the risk of being exploited? This is the challenge that Jetstack and Venafi will solve.”

Venafi found Jetstack cert-manager early in the project almost two years ago, and the two companies have been working together ever since with Venafi’s Development Fund sponsorship and support, Bates wrote in a blog post. The two companies have collaborated on cert-manager features such as private key rotation, OpenShift support and experimental work to support the beta Kubernetes CSR API in 1.18.

Under Venafi, Bates said Jetstack will grow its field and product engineering teams and contribute more to the open source community. The engineering and support resources will be allocated both to the cert-manager project itself as well as projects across the ecosystem on open source and open standards, according to Bates.

“I’ve no doubt that the team we’re so proud of will continue to be adaptable and will be as hard working and passionate as ever operating in this new normal,” Bates wrote in his blog post.