Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Which camp are you?

As we were developing Vyatta over the past several months, we spent a lot of time interviewing potential users of the product. An interesting trend appeared as we talked to a variety of folks - some users wanted us to ship our software that they wanted to install on their hardware and others wanted to have us ship to them a bundled hardware/software package. The way I see it, users fall into two camps: systems folks and network folks.

Systems folks, we found, like to buy a commodity set of hardware with exact specifications. Specific disk drives, memory configuration, bus properties, clock speeds, interface cards and so forth. When the system arrives at their site, the first thing that they might do is to wipe the disk clean and install a version of their operating system of their choice with their partitions, tools, applications and optimizations. These folks want the Vyatta OFR to be an application that runs in their environment on their hardware of choice. So, for the systems folks, we plan on keeping the OFR available in the manner that is is today and letting them install it on a system built with their environment in mind.

Network folks, on the contrary, don't really want to take a clean system and install the operating system and utilities to bring up the system. They seem to care about the hardware specs of the system such as processing power, bus speed, number of interfaces, memory capacity and so on, but only as this pertains to their specific network environment. What network folks appear to want is a system that they can put in a rack, connect up to the LAN and telnet/ssh to configure. So, we're exploring ways to deliver a hardware/software package to the network folks - more details on this to come in near future.

We're curious as to where the folks in our community fall - are you in the systems folks camp or the network folks camp? Maybe you have a different camp altogether? Please let us know as we're always looking for input!


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