Top 8 Cloud Computing Acquisitions of 2021

The pandemic has fueled advances in cloud-based interactions and collaborations, paving the way for a post-pandemic hybrid workforce. Amid this backdrop, the industry has seen significant growth in 2021 with many strong acquisitions. Let’s take a look at a few:

1. Okta acquires Auth0

Okta and Auth0 are the heavyweights of the identity and access management (IAM) arena. They both sell identity authentication software but with different approaches. Okta’s product focuses on workforce identity and serves businesses and their workforces. Auth0’s product focuses on consumer identity and serves developers and end users. As a unified entity, they leverage their individual experiences across the company and developer communities to create a single, unified platform that can provide secure access to both customers and employees. Okta first approached Auth0 in 2013 for a partnership. After eight years, the courtship finally culminated in a $6.5 billion deal in which Auth0 functions as a separate business unit within Okta.

Okta was doing well in the enterprise market with its single sign-on and easy logins for employees. However, he had to expand into the developer-friendly and customer login markets to compete with the rapid growth of Azure and Microsoft’s identity-related products. Now Okta and Auth0 bring together the best of both worlds: Okta’s core identity and Auth0’s developer-focused offerings. Its comprehensive identity platforms solve all identity use cases, regardless of audience or user.

2. DigitalOcean acquires Nimbella

A leading cloud computing company, DigitalOcean, acquired a serverless platform provider, Nimbella, in early September 2021. Nimbella is built on top of Kubernetes and Apache OpenWhisk and helps address the challenges developers face when adopting serverless computing. DigitalOcean is a cloud computing provider that helps businesses grow by offering IAAS. The acquisition allows DigitalOcean to build a serverless platform that unlocks the capabilities of the cloud for all types of developers. It also enables them to build and scale their applications and APIs by removing operational complexities.

3. Microsoft acquires Nuance

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In early 2021, Microsoft acquired Nuance, the largest voice technology company, for $19.7 billion. Nuance specializes in conversational artificial intelligence and speech recognition technology. The Microsoft Health Cloud provides automated workflows and detailed analysis of structured and unstructured data. As they merge, the health cloud retains all of its built-in capabilities and adds “natural language understanding and processing” to its armor. Nuance adds a layer of AI at the point of care by making the process of capturing clinical information more efficient and organized. This acquisition adds to the breadth and depth of Microsoft’s intelligent cloud-based services. These services enable better decision making, end-to-end security, next-generation customer engagement, and advanced security capabilities.

4. Cisco acquires Epsagon

Cisco acquired modern observability vendor Epsagon in November 2021. The acquisition adds the ability to monitor container-based applications and a serverless computing framework to Cisco’s portfolio. Epsagon provides expertise and software to track solutions across microservices, container-based applications, Kubernetes, and serverless environments. It offers payload visibility and end-to-end observability within microservices environments. Cisco is a network solutions provider that manufactures and sells Internet protocol products. Epsagon offers Cisco the opportunity to provide its customers with a complete observation capability.

5. NetApp acquires CloudCheckr

In late 2021, NetApp completed the acquisition of the leading cloud optimization platform, CloudCheckr. Managing costs while accelerating to cloud applications has become a major hurdle for organizations. CloudCheckr provides insight into lower costs and cloud visibility while maintaining security and compliance. When these new capabilities are combined with NetApp cost optimization and automation services, organizations can better understand the benefits of cloud at scale and control and improve the use of their cloud resources. CloudCheckr also offers complete AWS Cloud management on a single platform, as well as security monitoring across all AWS services. This acquisition will enable NetApp to help its customers achieve more cloud at lower cost.

6. IBM acquires Turbonomic

IBM jumps on the observability bandwagon with the $2 billion acquisition of Turbonomic, a provider of network performance management (NPM) and application resource management (ARM) software. IBM provides clients with AI-powered automation capabilities and services that run anywhere, in any hybrid cloud environment. Turbonomic’s full stack visibility and other capabilities merge with this to create a single vendor approach to AIOps and observability. The acquisition of Turbonomic comes after the recent acquisition of Instana by IBM, an observability startup. Both complementary acquisitions will provide IBM with complete application observability and ensure application performance and governance for any architecture and platform. Turbonomic’s NPM products will help IBM clients optimize their applications running in 5G environments.

7. Microsoft acquires Kinvolk

In an effort to bolster its capabilities in the Kubernetes space, Microsoft acquired Kinvolk, a six-year-old startup developing cloud-based open source projects. Linux develops and distributes Flatcar Container Linux, which is a Linux distribution that helps make cloud containers like Kubernetes more platform resilient. The Microsoft ecosystem can take advantage of Kinvolk’s Flatcar Container Linux, as it ensures containers run both in the cloud and on-premises. Kinvolk can further expand the capabilities of the Azure hybrid container platform and increase Microsoft’s contribution in the container space. This acquisition is ideal for both parties. Kinvolk can continue to operate as an entity within the Microsoft ecosystem, and Microsoft can compete with AWS’s Bottlerocket container operating system and Google’s optimized container operating system.

8. JFrog acquires Vdoo

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DevOps platform JFrog acquired cybersecurity company Vdoo in June 2021 for $300 million. Vdoo has an AI-based platform that detects software vulnerabilities as it focuses on analyzing and protecting applications in their production context. Jfrog provides industry leading security support to DevOps users. Their merger will help extend JFrog’s security solution. It will provide a holistic process that efficiently consolidates security data. It will also provide the highest integrity to end-to-end delivery systems for security certified releases. This acquisition plays into JFrog and Vdoo’s joint vision for DevOps and security. They both believe that if any DevOps company is not also a security company, it is only solving a small piece of the puzzle.


To accelerate application development lifecycles, enterprises are adopting microservices and containerized components at scale. This leads to increased complexity involving multiple teams focused on optimizing and securing each digital experience. This has led organizations to struggle to integrate state-of-the-art infrastructure solutions that better assist in this process. In doing so, they must ensure that the integration process is seamless and does not leave security holes that can be exploited by cybercriminals. The number of mergers and acquisitions only seems to be increasing, with 2021 being a banner year for company acquisitions in the cloud computing space.

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