Cisco Outshift Focuses on Cloud-Native Tools and Platforms

Cisco today added an observability platform optimized for cloud-native applications along with a security life cycle management offering, dubbed Panoptica, to a portfolio of tools it has rechristened Outshift.

Announced at a Cisco Live! event, the Full Stack Observability (FSO) Platform makes use of open source OpenTelemetry software to unify the collection of metrics, events, logs and traces.

Vijoy Pandey, senior vice president for emerging technologies and incubation at Cisco, said that while Cisco already provides an AppDynamics platform that has its roots in application life cycle management, the FSO Platform is designed to meet the needs of IT teams managing modern application environments.

Panoptica, meanwhile, addresses the need for a platform to first identify risks, issue and manage alerts and ultimately prioritize remediation efforts based on an attack path analysis capability embedded within the platform.

These offerings join a growing list of platforms and tools that Cisco has previously developed under the auspices of an OpenClarity initiative. Cisco is now creating the Outshift brand to make it clear these offerings are aimed at developers and software engineers rather than the networking and IT operations teams that Cisco has historically focused on, noted Pandey.

Most recently, Cisco added an open source Nasp service mesh extender that enables a service mesh running on Kubernetes to integrate applications running on edge devices, legacy virtual machines and mobile clients. In addition, Cisco added an agentless tool—dubbed VMClarity—to detect and manage software bills of materials (SBOMs) for virtual machines running in a cloud-native environment. VMClarity is essentially an extension of KubeClarity that enables IT teams to employ the same agentless capability to detect and manage SBOMs and vulnerabilities on both Kubernetes and virtual machines.

Earlier, Cisco made available a project for securing application programming interfaces (APIs) using a service mesh, dubbed APIClarity, a tool for detecting and managing software bills of materials (SBOMs) and vulnerabilities in container images and filesystems, dubbed KubeClarity, and a command line interface (CLI) tool to invoke a verification function that can be used on serverless computing platforms, dubbed FunctionClarity.

Ultimately, Cisco is now committing to creating an Outshift ecosystem based on these and other forthcoming cloud-native initiatives, said Pandey. The overall goal is to create a set of tools and platforms for managing DevOps and security workflows across cloud-native application environments.

It’s too early to say to whether Outshift can establish itself as a major force within cloud-native environments, but with backing from Cisco, it should have the necessary resources. The challenge, of course, is that in areas such as observability, there are already plenty of competitors. However, Outshift is also driving projects such as Nasp that provide unique capabilities.

IT teams managing cloud-native applications already have no shortage of tools and platforms. As the overall size of the market for these tools continues to expand, the number of enterprise IT organizations building and deploying these types of applications continues to increase. With Outshift, Cisco is clearly betting there will be plenty of room to expand in the cloud-native era for many more years to come.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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