Networking equipment is expensive. Not only do you need to pay for the equipment, the support, and follow contract agreements, you must pay someone to support the network (a.k.a. have someone on the payroll). Network costs for a small to medium sized business can easily surpass $50,000 a month depending on what is a part of the infrastructure. Cisco, Juniper, HP, and D-Link are some of the top names in the networking game. But there is a new name in town, and it is providing something that none of the top networking companies can offer. That name is Vyatta. Vyatta offers an open source networking platform in direct competition with Juniper, Cisco, and other networking giants.
So, what exactly does Vyatta offer? Well, just like Juniper or Cisco, they offer VPN applicances, switches, routers, and other networking gear – but all of it can reside in the SAME APPLIANCE! Their software (or IOS) is linux based which can house enterprise class routing, stateful firewall, IPSec VPN, QoS, VRRP, and other services in the same box with the same software. While you still have the option to do so (and may demand it depending on your support needs), you don’t need to have one appliance to handle VPN, one to handle switching, or another one to handle routing. You can do so all in the same appliance. Plus, all of their appliances run on x86 hardware. This means all machines Vyatta supplies are literally x86 mini-PCs. No proprietary hardware or software. No more paying over $10,000 for a single corporate VPN solution, or $3,000 for a decent Cisco router!
They have one common version of the Vyatta VC5 software. It is linux based and can be run via a live-CD, install on an actual PC, or even install it in a VMWare environment as a virtual appliance. Running it as a virtual appliance is very interesting because you can force all network traffic with the rest of your VMs to go through VC5 first, essentially creating a virtual firewall or router. This eliminates the need for a hardware device, reducing total cost of ownership! This is one one example of what you can do with Vyatta. Give the software a try – it is free (and a small 175mb download)! Of course, enterprises have the option to purchase support and actual appliances from Vyatta, which offer more services that are too much to list here.