This is a follow-up, because there is one implication of Matt's article that Matt suggested, but sort of slipped through the cracks. You see, with one side of its mouth, Cisco suggests that only its proprietary IOS is capable of running today's modern networks. Only IOS and ASIC-powered Cisco hardware, you see, have the stability, reliability, and performance required in today's demanding networking environment.
I dealt with the ASIC lie a few months ago. As for the software lie, the fact that Cisco is using so much open source in its ASA and PIX products reveals it. If you're using Cisco products today, you're already using gobs of open source software. You just don't know it because it's rolled into an otherwise proprietary offering and branded "IOS." And you're overpaying for it, as I said in the previous posting. But the fact is, nobody, least of all Cisco, can claim that open source isn't good for networking. It's so good that Cisco stuffed at least 45 open source packages into the ASA/PIX families. If it didn't work, all those proprietary products shouldn't work either.
Fortunately, with Vyatta you can get all that yummy, open source goodness, with a fully open, extensible software system, utilizing low-cost commodity hardware, for a price that will make you a hero during the coming recession.