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Vyatta does open source networking with a mean streak

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So much of the Web 2.0/Participation Age garbage arrives with false pretenses of goodwill. Give everyone a MySpace page and our collective spirit will fill the world with creativity and freshness. Gwana-gwana.

Thanks heavens then that we have companies such as Vyatta willing to use the web and its bloginess for proper, fist in your face business. The networking company has set up a charming web page where customers can post their goodbye letters to Cisco CEO John Chambers. "Write your Dear John letter and tell Cisco why you're leaving them. Whatever your reason....inflated pricing...tech support issues...expensive upgrades...not enough cuddling."

Vyatta seems more willing than most upstarts to mount a head-on attack against the big boy on the block. Part of this sense of entitlement may come from Vyatta's claims as an open source software maker. It has written router/firewall/VPN code and put that software on appliances (Dell's PowerEdge 860 server), hoping to undercut companies such as Cisco on price and ethos.

This week the Belmont, California-based company dished out Version 3 of its flagship Vyatta Community Edition software.

Vyatta has highlighted the following addition to its free software.

  • IPSec VPN – Vyatta now supports dedicated site-to-site (branch-to-branch or branch-to-HQ) virtual private networking and supports the most widely used cryptographic algorithms, including 3DES, AES (128 and 256-bit), MD5, and SHA1. In addition, IPsec VPN can now be configured in a cluster of multiple Vyatta units with failover mechanisms providing high availability for mission-critical services.
  • Multi-link PPP (MLPPP) – MLPPP allows customers to increase WAN bandwidth by using multiple low-speed circuits, typically T1 links, in parallel, enabling a pay-as-you-grow strategy instead of paying the high cost of a T3 upgrade.
  • BGP scaling and security enhancements – Improved BGP scaling provides faster routing convergence with many peers. MD5-based neighbor authentication delivers improved routing security. Per-BGP peer policy support makes it easier than ever to control route propagation. New monitoring and troubleshooting commands make Vyatta easier to use.

Interested folks can find the code here.

Going after Cisco is hardly an original attack. That said, it's only natural for a number of open source players to ride Linux's success and try and expand their piece of the data center management pie.

It's nice to see that Vyatta isn't relying on open source's alleged good name along as it tries to carve out a prominent place in the networking realm. More young companies should have the guts to kick their rivals where it counts. ®

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Reducing security risks from open source software

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