Friday, July 28, 2006

Sun gets commodity hardware

I just read an interesting post by Jonathan Schwartz of Sun about the rise of general purpose hardware in the data center. It's a good read that can be found here. If Sun, the company that was built on proprietary silicon and software, can see the light to move to commodity hardware without ASICs for the largest and most complex of enterprise applications, how far behind can the move to commodity hardware for networking really be?

Granted, this is undoubtedly a defensive move by Sun against IBM/HP/Dell hardware and RedHat software, but the other shoe has dropped in the industry.

It is becoming increasingly clear that commodity hardware and open source software is a large wave that is coming to multiple shores/markets. Stay tuned proprietary networking vendors - surfing lessons are in order!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

It's 100 degrees and Robert's feelin' alright!

I've known our CTO, Robert Bays, for many years. We've worked together at many companies here in the SF Bay Area (Digital Island, Telegis Networks, Proficient Networks) and one topic of conversation that we always have is about the heat (or lack thereof) in the local climate. The conversation usually goes something like this:

Allan: Wow, it's hot out there - like 80 degrees!
Robert (wearing a leather jacket and gloves): This is nothing. It's always too cold here.
Allan: Are you crazy?  It's hotter then hell!
Robert: Anything less than 100 degrees is downright nippy.
Allan: Where did you grow up again?
Robert: Texas. Sigh... I have to remind you of this every week.
Allan: I can't wait for it to cool down again.
Robert: Time to break out the ski parka.

Well, the local weather has been downright brutal the past week with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees in many locations, including Vyatta Galactic HQ. Combine the heat outside with the hot product launch this week and it's a scorcher! Robert must be feeling alright!

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Day Has Come

Today we announced our first service and support products for the OFR! It's been a pretty exciting day for all Vyattans (even those of us that are just investors :) There have been a lot of great press articles on the product release in Network World, GigaOm, and RedHerring. We also just got awarded one of the Top Ten Startups from LightReading! Needless to say, the webservers are working overtime today!

Sort of hidden behind all of the press was the official 1.0 release of the LiveCD product, available for download here.

So, R-Day is here. Let the disruption in the marketplace begin!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

NSF support for open source networking

I was interviewed by Katie over at GigaOM yesterday about the new NSF funding for an open source wireless mesh project. Pretty cool stuff and continues the trend of more funding for open source in the networking market. More funding for open source networking projects should continue and we're excited to help folks take those projects and turn them into viable products.

If open source wireless mesh takes off, it could make life interesting for the vendors feeding the Muni WiFi deployments, like Google's in Mountain View, CA. Personally, wireless access in public places is very convenient and if I ever in an airport for more than an hour I always by the service to download email and write blog posts.

If I can blog over a wireless mesh built on open source software that leads to a commodity hardware device running our open source router/firewall, all the better! That day is not too far off from what I can tell :)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Candidate (rc1) Has Arrived!

I've received a few emails from folks informing me that Bon Jovi is not an 80s metal band, but more Neo-Glam Rock than anything else. I agree and I'd like to point out that on the same playlist with Bon Jovi I have AC/DC and Black Sabbath! If you were ever honored enough to see Angus Young play live you know he's not Neo-Glam :)

Okay, since that issue is behind us, I'd like to congratulate the Vyatta community on the release of the first release candidate for version 1.0! You can get to the download page here. I would be remiss if I did not point out that Dave would want you to first register with us here.

It's taken us just about a year of hard work to turn a number of great open source projects into our first product release candidate (1.0rc1). We're busily banging on the code in our labs and hope to be able to promote a release candidate to our official 1.0 release in the near future. We also hope that lots of you folks out there will try this release candidate and continue to give us feedback! So, help us out and test, test, test!

While you're at it, add your location to our growing Frappr map!

If you happen to be testing out the OFR while listening to Neo-Glam Rock or some hard core Metal - all the better :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bad Days Don't Begin with Bon Jovi

Yes, I am an aging 80s metal fan.... This morning I was driving down the highway in the sunshine listening to some classic Bon Jovi (You Give Love a Bad Name, Livin' on a Prayer, Bad Medicine and a few others) at an obnoxiously loud volume having a great time. All of this before any coffee.... If you're into metal and have not put those tracks into your iPod, I'd strongly recommend it!

So, here I was driving along, doing my best lip-sync/air guitar at 85 MPH (As David Letterman would say, "Kids, don't do this at home") thinking about how the MP3 music format has completely disrupted the music industry. FM radio stations are dying - why listen to what the station is playing if you have all of your songs on your iPod? Proprietary music formats have transformed the recording industry distribution system by being tied to Internet distribution (see iPod/iTunes/AAC and Microsoft IPTV/WMA) and it all started with the conversion of music to open formats. Basically, an open format changed industry and made new business and distribution models possible. It did not hurt that the compression and encoding technology for MP3 resulted in portable music (it can fit on a CD or on a Flash card) that sounds pretty damn good to my ears at full volume screaming down the highway.

Then I realized that we're essentially doing the same thing with Vyatta and the OFR. We're transforming the closed and proprietary world of networking products and producing an open networking solution that is easily portable to many different devices (today all x86-based systems). It may turn out that folks take the OFR and produce proprietary versions of it embedded within their solutions. Others may want to take the OFR and use it with our support packages. Time will tell - we're just at the beginning here. The key in my mind is that we've opened up the industry and are forcing folks to consider an alternative to what previously existed. I imagine about 10 years ago some record producer scoffed at the idea of distributing individual songs over the Internet for less then $1. And I am sure that some folks in the proprietary, closed networking companies are scoffing at Vyatta right now.

It's okay, I'm listening to Bon Jovi and having a great time!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Vyatta on Frappr

I was doing some surfing this morning and came across Frappr. Truthfully, I'm not exactly sure what Frappr is or wants to become, but it seems like a map-driven social networking tool that can link to MySpace and others. Of course, the first thing I did was to create a Vyatta Users Frappr map that you can find here. If you're using any version of the OFR and feel like anonymously telling the world where you are located, please add yourself to the map! You don't have to disclose your name, just your location. We're always curious as to where our bits have landed!

Which copy of the OFR has wandered the farthest from Vyatta world headquarters in San Mateo, CA?