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In celebration of KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, Cisco announces a group of open-source projects. These projects should make cloud-native environments more secure. The networking company also notes that it continues to make major contributions to existing developments.

Cisco is announcing three cloud projects simultaneously. First, there’s VMClarity. The project is designed to reduce the risk posed by virtual machine usage within a cloud-native environment. Cisco indicates that VMs are still the most widely used container hosts. However, according to the company, there is a gap in the security coverage offered by software vendors in this area. Earlier this week, Solo.io made a similar observation.

Service mesh

The other two projects both bring improvements to service mesh interaction. A service mesh is a level of cloud infrastructure designed to allow applications to communicate with each other. Currently, there is a desire among many companies to work in the cloud as much as possible, but not all applications and devices easily plug in to said service mesh.

Cisco argues that Nasp can help in this regard. It allows smaller cloud environments and non-cloud endpoints to still be equipped with “service mesh-like capabilities”. What Cisco means by this is that applications on edge devices, legacy VMs and mobile applications can now be integrated into a Kubernetes service mesh. Another step further for cloud integration, in other words.

Finally, Cisco announced Media Service Mesh (MSM) through an invited keynote. It should run real-time media applications more efficiently in a cloud-native Kubernetes environment. Normally, real-time applications are not suitable for use in Kubernetes, which is designed for Web-apps. Non real-time means that an application allows multiple users to make modifications at the same time. This is possible because the application applies a user’s action only after it is synchronized. In short, there is a moment between user action and application response.

Real-time media applications are used to distribute live video content, to name one prominent example. MSM takes the streaming aspect of said media application and puts that into a Kubernetes environment. Cisco promises to make the project available in the coming months.


Cisco highlights its own contributions to open source projects under the umbrella of CNCF and the Linux Foundation. In any case, the company is not afraid to lay out its security vision and strategy. The new open source projects are an extension of those efforts. More integration, open source and more resilience, then. The vulnerable sides of the cloud are bound to get extra coverage with this development.