The point is that while Cisco is a good corporate citizen it is not a friend of open source. (West Coast Signworks makes this and other dimensional logos.)
At the heart of the pitch is the idea that you don't need specialized gear to do networking. Commodity hardware will work fine, the company says.
Like many open source companies Vyatta has both community and subscription versions. VC4, in fact, is short for Vyatta Community. This is not just important to Vyatta, but to the market it seeks to serve.
Even if phone companies subscribe to open source code, they still want to keep their proprietary tweaks. Most won't go anywhere near a product with out a sales contract. Vyatta lets them do this.
The reality of the carrier market is that today it consists almost entirely of incumbents. Fortunately there remains an immense and growing corporate market, Intranets running telecomm services and Web 2.0 companies offer that market.
This is Vyatta's sweet spot. Whether it can really build a community is less important than whether it can build a sales channel.
If it can, Cisco will face its first real market threat in a decade.