VMware to acquire Kubernetes security startup Octarine and fold it into Carbon Black

Barcelona, Spain - October 13, 2014: View of the exhibition center. News & Training at VMworld exhibition of VMWARE in Barcelona, Spain.
Barcelona, Spain - October 13, 2014: View of the exhibition center. News & Training at VMworld exhibition of VMWARE in Barcelona, Spain.
Ron Miller

VMware announced today that it intends to buy early-stage Kubernetes security startup Octarine and fold it into Carbon Black, a security company it bought last year for $2.1 billion. The company did not reveal the price of today's acquisition.

According to a blog post announcing the deal, from Patrick Morley, general manager and senior vice president at VMware's Security Business Unit, Octarine should fit in with what Carbon Black calls its "intrinsic security strategy" -- that is, protecting content and applications wherever they live. In the case of Octarine, that is cloud native containers in Kubernetes environments.

"Acquiring Octarine enables us to advance intrinsic security for containers (and Kubernetes environments), by embedding the Octarine technology into the VMware Carbon Black Cloud, and via deep hooks and integrations with the VMware Tanzu platform," Morley wrote in a blog post.

This also fits in with VMware's Kubernetes strategy, having purchased Heptio, an early Kubernetes company started by Craig McLuckie and Joe Beda, two folks who helped develop Kubernetes while at Google before starting their own company,

We covered Octarine last year when it released a couple of open-source tools to help companies define the Kubernetes security parameters. As we quoted head of product Julien Sobrier at the time:

Kubernetes gives a lot of flexibility and a lot of power to developers. There are over 30 security settings, and understanding how they interact with each other, which settings make security worse, which make it better, and the impact of each selection is not something that’s easy to measure or explain.

As for the startup, it now gets folded into VMware's security business. While the CEO tried to put a happy face on the acquisition in a blog post, it seems its days as an independent entity are over. "VMware’s commitment to cloud native computing and intrinsic security, which have been demonstrated by its product announcements and by recent acquisitions, makes it an ideal home for Octarine," the company CEO Shemer Schwarz wrote in the post.

Octarine was founded in 2017 and has raised $9 million, according to PitchBook data.

Octarine releases open-source security scanning tools for Kubernetes