Open Source Router Launched

Vyatta, a San Mateo, Calif.-based start-up is close to releasing an open source router platform, that runs on standard x86 hardware and can perform equally well as some of the more commercial products. Vyatta plans to target the corporate market with its own devices, but anyone can download the software, officially called, the Vyatta Open Flexible Router (OFR), and roll their own … router.

“Open source has had a tremendous impact on other markets, and if Vyatta’s community gains traction, the same could happen in networking.,” says Matthias Machowinski, Directing Analyst of Enterprise Voice and Data for Infonetics Research.

Vyatta’s software and platform could prove to be attractive to small and medium sized enterprises. Even smaller ISPs could find the offerings more affordable than some of the other products on the market. Vyatta officials say their biggest competitor will be Cisco Systems, currently the 800-pound gorilla in the $8 billion a year enterprise router market.

Vyatta is amongst many telecom and networking companies that are taking the open source route to up-end the existing players. I have previously written about Vyatta for Business 2.0. While researching that story, I saw the parallels between early open source telecom software and Linux. They both started at the bottom, and are now inching higher-up the food chain.

Asterisk has had a perceptible impact on the PBX market. Other open source products are having an impact in firewall, DNS devices and many other product categories. (Details are here.) IBM has built a fault tolerant version of the Asterisk PBX System as well. Since then, I have learnt about many more open source projects. Sangoma Technologies backed Yate, for example. Last week, we reported that an Open Source Wireless Mesh project had received financial backing from the National Science Foundation.

Networking Pipeline reports that a new project dubbed Freeswitch is planning to build a highly scalable switching platform that is meant to meet the needs of carriers. The telecom open source is likely to gather more momentum in the emerging telecom markets where money is tight but desire to build broadband networks is high. Open source can fill in those gaps … perhaps!