Vyatta officially launched its open source routing platform this week. The routing software, called Open Flexible Router (OFR), is available for a free download. Calling the competition ???expensive, inflexible and closed???, Vyatta hopes to duplicate Red Hat???s business model by wrapping fee-based support around free, highly configurable software. In conjunction with the official OFR launch, the company also announced two tiers of technical support: an Enterprise subscription for $647 per router per year, which includes phone support and software updates; and a Professional subscription for $497 per router per year, which includes Web-based support and software updates.
Vyatta touts OFR as an enterprise-class product and is targeting mid-size businesses or remote and branch offices of large companies. However, initial adopters will likely be small businesses looking to save money by running OFR on low-cost x86 hardware.
Dave Roberts, VP of strategy at Vyatta, says flexibility will be a key customer driver. Users will have access to the source code to modify OFR as they see fit, or add utilities such as TCP Dump or Ethereal. ???You can???t add that to a Cisco product, but it???s easy to add to ours???.
He says the product???s flexibility also extends to hardware. Users can load the software onto a standard PC and upgrade performance by purchasing off-the-shelf components.
The OFR software, which is based around the XORP (Extensible Open Source Routing Protocol) stack created by researchers at U.C. Berkeley, supports common routing protocols such as OSPF, BGP and RIPv2.Drew is formerly editor of Network Computing and currently director of content and community for Interop. View Full Bio