Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Vyatta and Digium

Yesterday we announced a partnership with Digium, the Asterisk company. As those of you who read this blog know, we've been thinking about this partnership for some time and think this partnership makes all the sense in the world. While we don't have the same number of deployments as Asterisk (yet!), we're seeing great traction into the same end customer markets with the same value propositions: open, flexible, extendable, runs on x86 hardware and very cost-effective. All of those hold true for Vyatta and Asterisk, so we're sure this partnership will be beneficial to both parties!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

People Helping People

When we started Vyatta, we made a conscious decision to make the company based on open source software and principles. We assumed, that since we were open source software, that there would be software coding done by or community that would help us along in our product development. We have leveraged and contributed to a number of open source projects (XORP, iptables, FreeSWAN, etc.), but in reality we have not seen a wealth of intricate router/firewall/VPN code patches, bug fixes and features from our developer community. Don't get me wrong, we've seen some great code from the developer community and we strongly encourage this to continue, but thinking back on things it makes sense that Vyatta users should spend their time extending our system for their specific environments. Networks are complex systems and the Vyatta system clearly appeals to users who need the flexability of an open source solution.

With this said, I have been very impressed with the way our user community has supported each other. We now have a good number of very knowledgeable users that we have never met (Arturo, Jacobo, Jon, Nick and others I am talking about you :) that provide excellent answers to our community. We see new people on the vyatta-users mailing list everyday and I am sure that this community support will continue to grow quickly. This involvement helps us out each and every day - thank you to everyone!

We're also impressed with the way people have been helping us test out the Vyatta system. Nick has done some extensive testing and www.openmaniak.com has built a Vyatta tutorial. These are some of the most visible examples of community involvement and if you know of others, please let me know.

We're watching the community grow, let's keep having people help people!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Comcast + open source = pressure for telcos?

I'm embarrassed to say that's it has been a month since I last posted here. I'll definitely try to pick up the pace - things have been busy on multiple fronts. As a partial excuse, some of you have noted that I've been fairly busy posting on GigaOm on various topics.

Back on track, today Zimbra, the open source alternative to Microsoft Exchange, announced a partnership with Comcast - the same folks that led our recent Series B investment.

This latest news makes complete sense to me, as Comcast is interested in using their large fiber and cable infrastructure to deliver integrated voice, video and data products to both the consumer and enterprise markets. While they have a good market position, they need to keep innovating to stay ahead of the telcos, specifically AT&T and Verizon here in the US. Leveraging open source for that innovation, whether for network infrastructure (Vyatta) or the hosted email (Zimbra) gives them better economics and avoids a vendor lock with either Cisco or Microsoft. Better operational costs leads to better customer pricing for their target markets and larger overall market share.

I think Comcast's use of open source to build products and services is a great strategy - it should help keep pressure on the telcos for now.