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Open-Source Rumors Greatly Exaggerated

The news that Cisco Systems was going to open-source Cisco Trust Agent, the client software for its NAC Framework initiative, turned out to be false. "Cisco is not open-sourcing CTA, nor do we have any plan to do so," said Neil Wu Becker, PR manager of security for Cisco.

Too bad. Open-sourcing CTA would be a good move because it would expose Cisco's network access control architecture to a broader audience and perhaps win Cisco some new allies.

Cisco certainly has the clout to compel other vendors to participate in its NAC Framework--32 partners are shipping compatible product so far--but two other entities are challenging Cisco's NAC hegemony.

First is a little company called Microsoft, which is aggressively promoting its NAP (Network Access Protection) initiative. Although it's working closely with Cisco to create an interoperable architecture, Microsoft has assembled its own posse of partners.

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