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Microsoft and Isovalent partner to bring next generation eBPF dataplane for cloud-native applications in Azure

Microsoft announces strategic partnership with Isovalent to bring Cilium's eBPF-powered networking data plane and enhanced features for Kubernetes and cloud-native infrastructure.

This post was co-authored by Narayan Annamalai, Partner PM Manager, Microsoft Azure.

As cloud-native applications are experiencing astronomical growth, customers are constantly demanding to scale their Kubernetes and containerized deployments with rich feature sets for network security and observability and without degrading their network performance. With the above in mind, we are excited about this partnership to enhance our platform to bring the power of eBPF natively in Microsoft Azure that will efficiently meet networking capabilities like container network security, cluster service routing, and network observability at a large scale while maintaining mission-critical uptime and reliability.

Microsoft and Isovalent bring new features with eBPF to Azure Kubernetes Services

Microsoft announces the strategic partnership with Isovalent to bring Cilium's eBPF-powered networking data plane and enhanced features for Kubernetes and cloud-native infrastructure.

Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS) will now be deployed with Cilium open-source data plane and natively integrated with Azure Container Networking Interface (CNI).

Microsoft and Isovalent will enable Isovalent Cilium Enterprise as a Kubernetes container App offering onto Azure Container Marketplace. This will provide a one-click deployment solution to Azure Kubernetes clusters with Isovalent Cilium Enterprise advanced features.

Azure CNI powered by Cilium

Recently, Microsoft announced the preview of Azure CNI powered by Cilium for Azure Kubernetes Services.

Cilium’s expertise in eBPF-enriched features like efficient load-balancing, extensive network security features, and rich monitoring along with industry-leading robust and scalable Azure CNI IP Address Management (IPAM), VNET and Overlay mode, will give the most performant and best-in-class container networking platform for our AKS customers.

As a native offering, customers will find it significantly easier to leverage Cilium open-source features directly on AKS Cluster creations as opposed to multi-step configuration via bring your own CNI (BYOCNI) or custom configurations.

Microsoft will handle first-line support and collaborate with Isovalent on specific support issues to their deep knowledge of the technology. We are thrilled to be expanding our relationship with Isovalent and continuing our collaboration with the Cilium open-source community. Together, we have built an ideal platform for current benefits and future innovations.

Isovalent Cilium Enterprise in Azure Container Marketplace

Microsoft and Isovalent are actively collaborating to bring the Isovalent Cilium Enterprise offering onto Azure Kubernetes Services via Azure Container Marketplace.

With this tight integration, customers who also want advanced Isovalent Cilium Enterprise capabilities, will be offered one-click deployment and upgrade for Cilium Enterprise features to a new or existing AKS cluster with a much simpler and more reliable experience. Cilium Enterprise will be built with native integration with Azure networking platform to offer advanced features and capabilities with best-in-class performance and scale. Microsoft and Isovalent will also collaborate to include joint testing, compatibility, and versioning checks, along with seamline support to ensure Cilium Enterprise runs best on Azure.

Customers will also get a unified billing experience, auto-upgrades of Enterprise version updates, usage, and all the other key features offered by the Azure Marketplace platform. This will eliminate a lot of management overhead, which otherwise customers would have to manage manually.

The preview for this new offering will be available early next year.

Learn more

Find out more about this strategic partnership from Thomas Graf, Co-founder, and CTO of Isovalent.

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