Vyatta is rolling out Version 5 of its open source router system today, and the headline is improved security.
ZDNet got an advance copy of the release and a chance to chat with vice president of strategy Dave Roberts (left), he of the enviable hairline.
Security "vastly expands the footprint of available network installations we can deal with," he said. Included are support for OpenVPN, traffic inspection based on Snort Inline, and support for URL filtering, which enables network managers to control what users can do.
The result is an inexpensive system that mimics all the features corporate network managers and telecomm managers demand both to fight hackers and control employees.
Roberts said Vyatta should do well in the present economic environment but said the Obama broadband stimulus may favor more-expensive systems from Cisco.
"Being the most expensive solution, subsidies favor Cisco," he said. "We don't play heavily right now in the large carrier market. We're into mid-size ISPs, wireless providers, hosting guys, VOIP providers."
Still, the latest product feature moves would seem to head Vyatta into the large enterprise market. New features like improved virtualization support and a new GUI with a hierarchical model could even put Vyatta into the clouds.
An open source executive can dream, can't he?
"In 2001 Linux went through a revolution where it transitioned from a curiosity to mainstream. What drove that transition was the bursting of the tech bubble," Roberts said.
"Almost the exact dynamic is happening now, in other places. Vyatta and the network is one of them. Necessity is the mother of invention, so when money gets tight people re-evaluate everything."
I had a dream once too. All my hair grew back. Roberts' dream is more realistic.