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Why the Venafi Acquisition Is Good for the Jetstack Community

Why the Venafi Acquisition Is Good for the Jetstack Community

jetstack and Venafi
May 14, 2020 | Matt Barker, CEO and Co-founder of Jetstack


I’m thrilled to announce that Jetstack will be acquired by Venafi. This marks the beginning of a new chapter in the life of the company, and I’d like to write a little bit about why this is so good for us, and our loyal community of customers and users. Read a blog post from our CTO and Co-founder, Matt Bates, about what this acquisition will mean from a technology perspective.


It was a defining moment for me when Kubernetes was open sourced in 2014. The thought that software built by Google to bring together linux, cloud, and containers with a single control plane was an incredibly powerful one. This was an idea I was willing to bet on, and we started Jetstack to help companies discover the value of Kubernetes, and with a goal of enhancing their experience.

Five years later, usage of Kubernetes has swept the world. Although it seems an obvious choice now, it certainly wasn’t when we started. And we knew that in order to succeed, we had to build the company around user requirements. We started with educational sessions and workshops, moved into cluster build work, and then into production services. We now help dozens of companies support their Kubernetes infrastructure and strategy.

In the process, we found gaps, and started filling them with open source projects. This has led to a deep and successful relationship with the Kubernetes community, and I’m proud of all the work we have done to help further the project, and the ecosystem around it.

One project which we can be particularly proud of, is cert-manager. Built on the foundation of a previous project, Kube Lego, this has grown to become the default way of doing certificate management in Kubernetes. I’m astounded by the passion this project stirs, and it’s given us an audience with fantastic people, and companies we may not otherwise have met.

One such company was Venafi. Spotting the potential of cert-manager early, they have been the rarest of partners. They were willing to support us with funding through their Machine Identity Management Development Fund to help develop features of cert-manager, whilst being extremely respectful to the open source nature of the work we were doing. I can honestly say that without Venafi, cert-manager would not be the project it is.

Over the years that we’ve worked with Venafi, we have realised what a strong team we make. From their established position in the security space, to our grassroots connection to developers on the ground, we meet in the middle with cert-manager, and have an opportunity to bring these worlds together in a very unique way.

As I think about how the industry develops, there are a couple of things that are certain to me. The easier we make it for developers to build software, the more applications we will create, and more machines we will deploy. As technology permeates our lives, and the more we rely on these machines for human functions—whether transport, health or communications—the more important it will be to secure them.

Making software easier to build, and easier to consume also means that speed becomes a more important competitive advantage. The companies who can get their products to market fastest, and find the quickest fit will ultimately be the ones to win.

The combination of speed and security creates an interesting dilemma. 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.

Just as Venafi were very respectful of the cert-manager project, they have also been very respectful of Jetstack as a business, and I’m delighted to say that from the perspective of a business mission, nothing changes. Jetstack will continue to operate as a separate division, working with engineers to understand how to build and deliver software quickly, and securely with cloud native tools. Our open source projects will remain open, and our commitment to the community won’t change, in fact it will be strengthened with further investment.

Together, we have the chance to do something really special as our joint resources and expertise give us the opportunity to help developers to build fast and securely. On a personal level, working with their CEO, Jeff Hudson and the team has been a fantastic experience, and our shared culture and vision means we get the chance to extend the Jetstack family, and bring our message to a bigger audience. I’d like to thank all the Jetstackers for their hard work and commitment in building such a special company, and I look forward to continuing the journey together as one team. As we say in the UK - cheers!


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About the author

Matt Barker, CEO and Co-founder of Jetstack
Matt Barker, CEO and Co-founder of Jetstack
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