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The way Vyatta CEO Kelly Herrell sees it, the open-source networking vendor is at the center of a perfect storm of opportunity.
Enterprise acceptance of open-source solutions is not only better than ever, he suggested, but also trends like virtualization and cloud computing, profound in their ability to reshape the market, are helping customers move away from proprietary systems and toward open, scalable architectures better equipped to handle them.
"Our addressable market keeps growing," Herrell said in a Channelweb.com interview. "The market is growing vertically, but also horizontally, too. Whether you want to use Vyatta as a virtual machine or as part of your cloud infrastructure, you can. We're the only open networking operating system in the world that is basically hardware-agnostic and virtualization-agnostic. Everything from small edge routers and VPNs on up to data centers is pretty much a target for Vyatta now."
The vendor's channel has been growing in kind. According to Tom McCafferty, Vyatta's director of marketing, Vyatta has been adding between 20 and 25 partners a month for the past year.
The difference now, Herrell and McCafferty said, is that Vyatta isn't so much reacting to partners interested in its networking platform than it is aggressively recruiting them -- specialty VARs, service providers, system integrators alike -- with a good channel story around network virtualization and cloud infrastructure supported on an open-source platform.
"Commercial adoption of Vyatta only really started two years ago, and part of what you're seeing now is the flywheel effect from those years of early market penetration," Herrell lsaid. "If you think about it, 'networking' and 'virtualization' were not used in the same sentence two years ago. 'Virtualization' and 'applications' were. Network virtualization is now becoming more and more of a standard topic."
Herrell's contention, as , is that the next era in the industry is one of software-based networking. Single-function devices will exit in favor of multi-function networking tools, managed services and cloud-based solutions will dominate, and data center efficiency is more necessary than ever.
"If you think of the layers, there's a section of networking, Layer 3 and up, that is beautifully addressed by a software solution," he said. "Routing, security ... that's all CPU-intensive, and that's the reason why we perform so well. Then you have WAN optimization and load balancing, and you're starting to see those and other networking applications become virtual machines."