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Open source is moving into the networking sector, yet observers scoff at the notion that Cisco is threatened. However, open source player Vyatta has grown dramatically recently. How owns the future?
While there are many networking vendors, Cisco rules the roost. Cisco owns 72 percent of a market that was worth $15.4 billion in 2009. And with revenue growth of 40 percent, it seems there is no stopping the company.
So the question is: how much of the pie will Cisco own by 2014, when Dell'Oro predicts the total will have risen to $23 billion? One of the up and coming open source networking players is Vyatta. It is using open source software on commodity hardware in the network router market. Its software-based, open-source, network operating system is portable to standard x86 hardware as well as common virtualization and cloud computing platforms. Users benefit from a flexible enterprise-class routing and security feature set capable of scaling from DSL to 20 Gbps performance at a fraction of the cost of proprietary solutions. The company is on target to reach about 750,000 downloads.
"Someone asked me the other day how Vyatta has experienced such explosive growth in a short period of time, especially given Cisco's extensive power over the market," said Kelly Herrell, CEO of Vyatta. "We leapfrogged a vendor-structured industry model by leveraging an Internet-structured model."
What does he mean?
Internet-based software distribution by a self-organizing community, he said, is the key ingredient for innovation. Herrell touts the open source development models as making proprietary operations look like they're standing still by comparison. In recent months, for example, Vyatta has introduced integrated routers that provide additional functions/services, as well as virtual routing appliances.
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