Thursday, December 28, 2006

Wedged between Cisco and Juniper

Christmas time is fun. Presents come in so many ways. Among the things that arrived this year, Vyatta got some additional recognition. Network World published its list of the 50 most powerful people in networking. There, in the Network Infrastructure category, wedged in between Charlie Giancarlo, Senior vice president and chief development officer of Cisco, and Scott Kriens, CEO of Juniper, is Vyatta's own Kelly Herrell. That's some nice company to keep, I think. Can anybody say "validation?" I thought you could.

You can also read Kelly's in-depth profile at Network World. Who knew you could go from charter fishing to open-source networking...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Whaddaya know, Cisco says decoupling is the way to go

Well, well. What do we have here? It seems that earlier this month at Cisco's analyst conference, the networking giant announced that it is going to start separating hardware from it's IOS software: unbundling the two in effect.

Obviously, this is something Vyatta has believed in for a long time. We think that unbundling of networking hardware and software is a natural course for the market to take long term. The fact is, people need to be able to choose hardware and software platforms independently to best suit the needs of their particular situation. With an unbundled system, you get greater flexibility. The question for Cisco is whether you will also get better pricing? My guess is that you won't.

Further, Cisco seems to be waving around the currently ΓΌber-hot "virtualization" word, saying that IOS will be able to run multiple applications on the same hardware. To quote Inigo Montoya, "I do not think that word means what you think it means." Will Cisco's virtualization solution handle other, 3rd party applications, or will it be Cisco-specific? Does Cisco really mean virtualization with a true hypervisor, or are they just talking about adding processes such that customers can restart BGP without rebooting a whole system? Who knows. What I'm pretty sure about is that customers will have to pay more for the privilege.

In any case, it's always fun when the market follows you. Vyatta has already unbundled hardware from software. And Vyatta already works great with VMware if you want true virtualization.

I think the question you have to ask yourself is where the long-term power lies: with closed-source solutions, even if unbundled, or with open-source solutions where the community can drive things forward at a faster pace? Vyatta obviously believes strongly in the power of an open community. Watching our download weblogs, we think many of you do, too.